Many would-be MBAs expect a salary after graduation that’s far in excess of what they can actually earn.
The average US MBA student expects to earn $140,000 on graduating, a 240% increase from the average current pre-enrollment salary of $58,000, according to a survey by QS TopMBA.com,
The reality? Payscale puts the median for grads with 4 or less years of experience at $55,779, and $71,920 for those with 5-9 years.
Graduates of top schools can usually still expect 6 figures.
MBA salaries have been flat for some time now as graduates price themselves out of many industries, traditionally lucrative banks slash pay, and startups grow increasingly skeptical. Expected salary has gone down slightly from last year, but it’s still extremely high.
Students expect a salary that only students from the top schools in the country get close to. In fact, even Harvard and Stanford only reach $140,000 if you add the average bonus on top of salary. Since the survey includes students from the full spectrum of programs, these expectations are far out of step with reality.
Students outside the US have even higher expectations, with prospective Indian MBAs expecting a 469% increase, and South Africans, a 387% bump.
Here’s the report’s chart of what incoming MBAs expect around the world:
This post originally appeared at businessinsider.com