How Should Online MBA Students Ask for a Raise?

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When we talk about money, some of us crawl into a shell and don’t want to appear disrespectful or crafty after cash. Entering your job with an undergraduate degree, you have a specific salary. That salary is based on the general market salary analysis and, give or take, years of experience and your portfolio. If you are looking to find another job, you are at an advantage because you can seek out specific jobs and see the base salary on places like or If you currently have a job and want to ask for a raise, it can be a little tricky. The circumstances determine the optimal course of action, particularly the employer’s compensation structure. You must conduct your homework, and if you choose to bargain, do it from a position of strength.

 “Know your worth. People always act like they’re doing more for you than you’re doing for them.” – Kanye West

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Graduating with an online MBA might result in significant income increases over time. But you can’t simply demand more money. Both sides of the negotiation table share the goal of assessing the fair market worth of an individual’s contributions to an organization during such discussions. Each party likewise aims to achieve its objectives.

Personal objectives are frequently brought to the bargaining table by MBA graduates. These often include things like:

  • wanting to see a return on one’s MBA investment 
  • anticipation that one’s future remuneration will outperform former compensation by a certain proportion (subjectively defined)
  • a desire to outperform one’s peers in a competition

Establishing and negotiating one’s fair market worth takes time and practice. The critical thing to remember is that knowledge is power. The superb strategy to ensure that you will be fairly compensated in future situations is to think through what information you need to decide and then obtain that information. Listed below are six key points that you might want to note as you enter the conversation on negotiating your salary

1. Salary Discussions: Key Points

Salary is usually mentioned during a second interview. However, it may be brought up right away. Do your studies to prepare for any situation and are not caught off guard. If you’re asked about salary before you know what a job entails, indicate you’d like to learn more about the job’s responsibilities before discussing remuneration.

2. Proper compensation is determined by several factors involving you, the employer, and the position to be filled.

Academic credentials; prior experience; responsibilities of the position and particular competencies required; industry and regional norms; job location and local cost of living; company’s internal salary structure and associated salary policies; prior salary (even though this may not be relevant given your new credentials); current business conditions; and salary data collected from other business schools are all factors that firms consider. Putting a paying figure in any position is a difficult task. Recognize how many variables are at play and be prepared for disparities between jobs depending on corporate or industry standards and practices.

3. Before deciding on a salary, most businesses perform extensive research.

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Be as well-prepared with the facts as you are with the questions. Offer statistics and information from other online MBA programs to begin. Sloan statistics and links to placement reports from other institutions can be found on the MIT website’s Employment Reports area. Don’t stop there, though. Inquire with classmates, alumni, or friends familiar with a particular sector, firm, or geographic region about what to expect. Examine relevant articles from business journals. Consult the Dewey Library for information or publications from related professional societies. Simply put, dig. This will enable you to communicate your requirements and expectations straightforwardly and confidently.

4. Don’t mistake assuming that all offers are negotiable or that the “sky is the limit.”

Some managers do not expect to bargain, even though many do. They’ve already assessed a position’s “fair market value.” Their first offer is their most acceptable offer in this scenario. If you ask for more, you may jeopardize your friendship with them. Know your audience once more.

5. Consider the complete package being given while deciding on a wage.

Salary, bonuses, equity, stock options, health, and dental insurance, life insurance, pension plans, housing, moving expenses, family leave, child care benefits, paid vacation, unpaid leave, a car, a personal computer, professional development (tuition assistance, professional meetings, etc.), loan repayment, interest-free or low-interest loans, and a one-time offer of $2-5K for miscellaneous expenses are all examples of employee compensation. Consider the big picture rather than simply the salary. Consider how a potential employer might reward you. Make a list of your passions an priorities (i.e., what you want).

6. Understand that wage compression is a problem for many businesses nowadays.

Experienced employees’ pay frequently lags behind fresh graduates’ salaries on a relative and absolute basis. Firms face this challenge daily to keep long-term staff while also bringing in new blood. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have realistic expectations. Be aware of the limits that employers may have when discussing your pay.

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Know your why…

“Knowing what you genuinely want is the key to a successful negotiation,” said Chris Meyer, an associate professor of negotiation and organizational behavior at Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business. Consider why you want to ask for a raise in the first place, rather than focusing on the specifics of your request, such as a 5% raise. Perhaps your motivation is that you acquired expertise leading a team working remotely in high-pressure situations during the pandemic. Both parties select how they will split their resources during a negotiation. Your boss is interested in the resources you bring to the table that would justify a greater wage.

Take Action and Prepare

Asking for a raise might sound like a scary thing to do, but Meyer believes that creating a good case for yourself involves practice. It’s good to remember that you probably already bargain a lot—at work, at home—and aren’t even aware of it. Meyer believes that when your supervisor requests a project update, it is a negotiation. It’s a discussion about how we use resources and whether we need more. After that, consider whether you presented your point in a positive light. Was it clear that I communicated effectively? Ask yourself: were we both in a better position when we went away?

Knowing your worth in the job market is a number one priority. You are spending a ton of money on your education and want to make a return on this investment. Employees must dispel the myth that it is pompous to speak about money. You will be spending lots of time and energy with this company and using your education to take them to another level. If they respect you and your work and elevation, they will entertain the conversation on negotiating your salary! Good luck, and know that you have not because you ask not!

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