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A survey of 40,000 prospective MBA students revealed that 68% were motivated by the prospects of boosting their earning potential and securing highly paid jobs.
This was second only to job satisfaction, rated by 69% of respondents, as a reason for studying for an MBA.
Nearly 50% of MBA candidates expected to earn 50,000 in their first job after gaining the qualification, and 21% expected to earn more than 70,000, the survey by World MBA Tour revealed.
Fifty eight per cent expected to be working as a director of a major company within 10 years, and 55% thought they would be running their own businesses within the same timeframe.
Only 3% of MBA candidates expected to downshift to achieve a better balance between their work and home lives.
Candidates are not afraid to put in long hours to achieve their goals. Fifty nine per cent said the would work more than 50 hours a week during their studies, and 10% expected to be working more than 70 hours a week.
"Most MBA candidates are still looking for a healthy return on their investment in time, money and resources," said Nunzio Quacqarelli, director of World MBA tour.
Demand for staff with MBAs has returned to the high levels of the late 1990s, and salaries are rising quickly, with the average starting package for new MBAs this year likely to be worth about 60,000, he said.