The Broken Market for Business Professors

Demand is up and supply is down for business professors, so … wages are staying about the same. Okay, okay, in some places salaries are adjusting. Generally speaking, however, it is as irrational as ever to be a business professor, with an MBA plus five years of post-grad doctoral studies getting you an average annual salary of a whopping $60-80,000.

A cynic would say that rather than being a broken market, of course, this is a functioning one.


  1. and the optimist would say it’s a heck of a lot better than being a professional philosopher with fewer prospects for advancement/tenure. certainly consulting opportunities come to those in the social sciences, but nobody can pull down off-season consulting fees like b-school professors. a friend of mine is interviewing for tenure-track positions at solid tier 2 schools and the range seems to be a bit higher than the article. but how many data points are needed to make a trend again? 😉

  2. the article mentions a ’24-year-old MBA’ — are there lots of those? i’m 24 and i only know of one person from my graduating college class who has been accepted to an mba program. i was led to believe that the average age of an mba student has been getting higher.

  3. Paul,
    Many business school professors do not have MBAs. But you know that. (That was nitpicking.)
    Some people with PhDs in business even go to industry from grad school Also some established professors leave too. But maybe I am making your point.
    In my field, wages rise, every year. We have about 250 applicants for the 4-5 slots in our PhD program.
    And hello.

  4. Hey Burton —
    Thanks for the post. You’re right, I knew that a decent number of biz school professors don’t have MBAs, which is interesting in itself, in that you have people teaching on a professional program that they themselves have never taken.
    I think Finance (your discipline) is an exception, to some extent, in that it is the main biz school discipline that has real claims to leading practice, as opposed to accounting/strategy/ops/etc., where management academics are more like sociologists reporting on the latest doings out in the field.

  5. In engineering, you have a similar (or lower) salary for professors, but the entrepreneurial ones (like about 99.9% at Stanford) take sabbaticals and start companies. So they keep their materialistic side happy that way. I’m not sure about this, but I don’t think the same is true with B-School profs. I’m guessing this is because techie professors do research and come up with novel new technologies, and try to commercialize them, while B-School professors come up with new theories for business models, but that really isn’t enough to start a new company.