MBA Jobs and Salaries in Africa: Trends |

MBA Jobs and Salaries in Africa: Trends

By Pavel Kantorek

Updated June 9, 2017 Updated June 9, 2017

The number of MBA jobs is on the increase worldwide. Over the past year, there has been a rise of 14%, according to an annual survey of over 4,300 actively hiring MBA employers carried out by QS.

Much of this growth in MBA jobs has been driven not by the traditional powerhouses of Europe and North America, but by developing regions. Asia leads the way, with India offering more MBA jobs than any other country in the world.

However, though starting from a smaller base, the Africa and Middle East region has enjoyed strident growth in recent years. This year’s rise of 8% comes on the back of a massive 21% increase in MBA jobs reported by employers in 2012; a further 13% is projected over the next year.

Though it is Arab nations like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which are chiefly driving this, Africa has also enjoyed growth, with the energy, mining, consulting and finance sectors all reporting increases in MBA job opportunities.

The survey also asks MBA employers what regions they are target when looking for hires; Latin American employers were the most insular, with an astounding 99% targeting their searches within the region, but employers in the Africa and Middle region are not too far behind, on 86% - good news for MBA students who intend to study within the region.

Business schools in South Africa lead the way

Of course, with increased demand comes increasingly handsome remuneration. The average MBA salary on offer in the region stands at US$76,457. Considering the average pre-MBA salary, according to QS research, is US$29,000, this is an impressive premium.

Salaries are generally higher in the Middle East than in Africa, therefore these figures are driven up by employers in the peninsula. However, graduates of the three top business schools in South Africa can expect to enjoy an extremely competitive MBA salary, due to the esteem in which these school are held by employers. Indeed, three of the five representatives of the region that are included in the world’s top 200 business schools (according to employers) are South African: the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

Graduates of the top business school in South Africa, the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (around three quarters are from South Africa), are in fact among the world’s top earners, with the average salary in US dollars three years after graduation comfortably exceeding $130,000.

With the average pre-MBA salary for South African applicants standing at $32,000, and the average post-MBA salary expectations of the same MBA aspirants standing at $122,000, this message – study at a business school in South Africa and potentially enjoy a huge salary premium – will be extremely welcome.

This article was originally published in April 2016 . It was last updated in June 2017

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Mansoor is a contributor to and former editor of He is a higher and business education specialist, who has been published in media outlets around the world. He studied English literature at BA and MA level and has a background in consumer journalism.