The next Full-Time MBA application deadline is March 31. GMAT waivers available.


The Long-Term Value of the MBA

by Joe Soto

We know your decision to earn an MBA is a big step. You want your degree to pay off in meaningful ways — and not just in the short term. That’s why Rice Business is committed to helping you accelerate your career at any stage and supporting your professional growth long after graduation. And, when it comes to earnings potential, the numbers show investing in an MBA is well worth it.

Numbers Have Shown the MBA Offers a Strong ROI

Over a 35-year career, MBA graduates reported earning a median cash compensation of $5.7 million, according to a 2021 PayScale analysis for Poets&Quants. In contrast, those with only an undergraduate degree earned $2.3 million less in lifetime earnings.

The study used salary data shared by graduates from the country’s top 50 business schools, and the compensation figure is considered a low estimate, given that it does not factor in other earnings like stock-based compensation or the cash value of retirement benefits.

Seasoned business school graduates agree that earning their degrees was a smart move. More than 85% of graduates surveyed over 12 years said their graduate business degrees offered a positive return on investment, according to a 2022 Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) report featured in this April 2022 article in Fortune.

Want to crunch the numbers yourself? Let our professor of finance James P. Weston show you how to estimate ROI for the full-time program (since the professional, online and executive programs are fully employed while earning their degrees). In this quick video, Weston explains why he considers the MBA “one of the greater return-on-investment degrees you can earn.” 

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Powerful Community and Career Services That Grow With You

When you choose to pursue an MBA at Rice Business, you also gain full access to our Career Development Office, which has a proven track record of helping students accelerate their careers. And we remain in your corner as your career advances. From one-on-one coaching to targeted programming and workshops, we offer individualized career services for alumni at all levels of experience as they pivot, grow and evolve.

Plus, as a graduate, you’ll have access to a slate of robust lifelong learning offerings, including opportunities to officially audit classes that pique your interest, or take an Executive Education course at a reduced alumni rate. Great leaders never stop learning.

But one of our most powerful resources remains our alumni network. When you graduate from Rice Business, you join a network of more than 8,000 alumni working around the world and across every major industry. One word comes up repeatedly when describing our community: responsive. That’s why we’re constantly connecting alumni whose paths may inform each other, or matching alumni to job postings submitted by other alumni.

Over and over, we hear the same feedback from Rice Business graduates across class years: The alumni community is one of their most valuable tools. Relationships built here last a lifetime.

Enduring Value in a Dynamic Landscape

Your MBA also offers an edge when it comes to leadership advancement as well as flexibility in an ever-shifting professional landscape. According to the 2022 GMAC survey cited in Fortune, 38% of business school graduates reported changing industries after earning their degrees. Further, 68% of corporate recruiters said the leaders within their companies typically hold graduate business degrees, according to a 2021 GMAC survey.

Our podcast, Owl Have You Know, is one way to hear directly from alumni (and others) about the impact of the Rice Business experience. During a September episode, Pierre Aristide ’22 described how the Executive MBA program gave him the tools to leverage his 27-year career in the military and private sector experience to pivot toward entrepreneurship. Aristide is committed to improving mental health treatment and is the co-founder and CEO of Impireum Psychiatric Group, as well as other ventures.

To get started earning a degree with staying power, check out our many MBA program options — including full time, online, professional, hybrid and executive.

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Master Finance With a Rice MBA

Rice Business is the right choice for you if you’re looking for a career in finance. And we’re competitively positioned to prove it. Our faculty have a reputation for excellence and our students are recruited by corporations across all financial sectors. That’s why we’re ranked the #5 Best MBA for Finance (Princeton Review, 2023).


If you’re interested in becoming an effective leader and making a positive difference in the world, then participating in a class with one of our top scholars is your next step. We’ve set a high bar. Best students. Best faculty. Rice and Houston are ripe for that. We hope you are, too.


One of the top questions we get about the online MBA student experience is how do you become part of the Rice Business community if you’re taking classes solely online? If you live in or around Houston, you’ve got more opportunities to come to campus. But even if you’re far away, you still have ways to interact, get to know your classmates and professors in person, and meet alumni.