Are there no degrees left that really result in great big salaries?

Law school leaves graduates with huge debt and no job prospects. Medical school will leave you a whole mortgage in the red and subject to the uncertainties of Obamacare. Now it turns out even the master of business administration doesn’t mean a fancy job at Goldman-Sachs and a lavish apartment. That’s just another debt hole.

According to an article by Ruth Simon in the Wall Street Journal:

Soaring tuition costs, a weak labor market and a glut of recent graduates… are upending the notion that professional degrees like M.B.A.s are a sure ticket to financial success.

The M.B.A.’s lot is partly reflected in starting pay. Recruiters’ expected median salary for newly hired M.B.A.s was essentially flat between 2008 and 2011, not adjusting for inflation, according to a survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

For graduates with minimal experience—three years or less—median pay was $53,900 in 2012, down 4.6% from 2007-08…. Pay fell at 62% of the 186 schools examined.

Meanwhile, administrators have hiked tuition and fees for full-time M.B.A. programs almost 25 percent in the last three years. With those tuition increases come increasing graduate debt.

Part of the problem is that an M.B.A. is pretty common now. While in the 80s the degree was uncommon, and a sign of some exclusive understanding of contemporary capitalism, in the 90s it seemed like every school in the country created part-time and night programs for aspiring businessmen. And then the online programs mushroomed.

Today it seems like everyone and his dog has an M.B.A. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer