National | MBA Special 2019

Japan-based degrees offer international advantages

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A Master of Business Administration continues to be a path to senior executive roles as demand has been increasing and the degree still equates to higher salaries.

In Japan, qualified MBA holders are highly sought after and the value of an MBA is stressed more and more in an increasingly globalizing society.

In the past, many Japanese business professionals went to prestigious universities overseas to obtain their MBAs, but there are also excellent business schools in Japan with MBA programs that have various advantages for those who want to work in Japan. Some feel that staying in Japan while acquiring the degree allows them to build strong in-country business connections.

Some business schools in Japan offer highly rated MBA programs with instruction conducted exclusively, or partially in English.

Students taking MBA courses in Japan can study with international students, some of whom could become CEOs and company presidents, and can expect to enjoy increased demand from employers.

Demand for MBA holders has been increasing in the global job market. It rose by 13 percent in 2017 from a year earlier, according to the Jobs & Salary Trends Report 2018, published by QS TopMBA.com, which is currently compiling the latest version.

Regional hiring of MBA holders increased across the board. According to the report, the Asia-Pacific region posted the strongest growth at 18 percent, with the mature markets of North America and Western Europe both registering 10 percent — comfortably in excess of employers’ conservative predictions. Eastern Europe saw a 12 percent increase, while Africa and the Middle East had a 2 percent increase, and Latin America saw an 11 percent jump.

The report had made forecasts, though they may be subject to change due to recent economic and political factors. The report noted that global MBA hiring was probably up 6 percent last year and will rise 4 percent this year. The U.S. and Canada probably posted a 7 percent increase for 2018 and will post a 2 percent rise this year. Hiring was likely to be up 7 percent in Western Europe in 2018 and should rise by 5 percent in 2019. The Asia-Pacific region may have seen a 7 percent jump for last year and will possibly post a modest growth of 2 percent this year. The report for Latin America indicated a possible 9 percent increase for 2018 and may extend the gains to 10 percent this year. Eastern Europe probably posted a 3 percent increase for 2018, but may see a 3 percent drop this year. Africa and the Middle East, on the other hand, probably posted a 2 percent decrease last year and will have 10 percent rebound this year.

Salaries for MBA holders rose in 2017, according to QS, which has not yet posted data for 2018.

2017 marked a return to near the six-figure mark for basic MBA salaries in the U.S. and Canada, after the previous year’s slight dip. The annual salary of MBA holders was $98,900 in the U.S. and Canada in 2017, up from $91,300 in 2016.

MBA salary levels did not increase by the same amount in Western Europe, nor did it quite recover to the level seen in 2015 or the two preceding years (in 2013, reported levels were very close to the U.S. and Canada), according to the report. The trend was positive, however, with a healthy figure of around $85,500 in 2017, up from $81,100 in 2016, pulled over the six-figure mark when bonus figures were taken into consideration.

In the Asia-Pacific region, MBA salary levels continued on a steady upward trend (though not in excess of the anomalously high figure reported in 2014), reflecting the region’s long-term ongoing strengthening, the report said. The salary was $71,300 in 2017, up from $69,300 a year earlier.

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, there were improved MBA salary offers tempered by stable compensation levels — a shift from performance-related bonuses to basic salary could be taken as a sign of increased confidence from employers, the report said. The salary in the region rose from $47,500 in 2016 to $57,000 in 2017.

In the Middle East and Africa, salaries averaged $78,200 in 2017 from $67,500 a year earlier, according to the report. In Latin America, it soared to $62,500 in 2017 from $58,800 in 2016.

By country, Japan ranked ninth in terms of MBA salaries in 2017, at $80,000, according to the report. The top eight were Switzerland ($123,500), the U.S. ($102,100), Canada ($99,800), France ($98,500), Australia ($98,400), Britain ($92,400), Italy ($86,400) and Singapore ($82,700). Germany rounded out the top 10 at $77,200.

While Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, may have endured some tough years, MBA employers in this established market are still able to offer appealing compensation packages.


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