MBA Salary – How Much Do MBA Graduates Make in Nigeria?

Joe McGoldrick
06.06.2022·7 min read

Pursuing an MBA program can open up a whole new world of possibilities for you.

With an MBA degree, you can get promoted to managerial positions, change jobs, or even launch your own company.

And since an MBA program is basically an investment in your future, you’re probably wondering how much an MBA graduate makes in Nigeria.

In this guide, we’ll explore the salary prospects for MBA graduates in Nigeria so you can decide whether pursuing an MBA degree is worthwhile.

What Is the Average MBA Salary in Nigeria?

The average MBA salary in Nigeria is $2,000/year, which is at least 80% higher than the national salary average. Compared to the average salary of MBA graduates in the USA, the numbers are pretty close when adjusting for the differences in currency and living expenses, of course.

In the U.S, the average salary for MBA holders is estimated at $95,000 annually, compared to a national average of $52,000 per year.

Factors That Shape Up the Salary of an MBA Graduate in Nigeria

Here are some of the variables that affect the MBA salary in Nigeria:


The local industry demand and cost of living are 2 factors that cause salary ranges to differ from one state to another in Nigeria. Generally speaking, Lagos, FCT Abuja, Delta, and Kano are the Nigerian states with the highest salary ranges for MBA graduates.


As an MBA holder, the industry you work in can significantly impact your salary. For example, oil and telecom companies have the highest salary ranges for MBA holders in Nigeria. They often exceed $2200.

Other high-paying industries for MBA holders include consulting, technology, and financial services.

On the other hand, the lowest-paying industries for MBA graduates in Nigeria are government and non-profit. Still, the salary range for these industries is well above the national average salary.

If you want to increase your chances of landing a job in a specific industry, enrolling in an MBA program that offers a concentration in that particular industry might be a good idea. Many MBA programs offer specializations in areas like sustainability, entrepreneurship, accounting, and technology.

Job Titles by Industry/Profession

If you want to get a better idea of the average MBA salary by professional, searching for the right job titles can be quite beneficial.

  • Consulting: Strategy Consultant, Management Consultant, Senior Managing Consultant
  • Accounting: Chief Financial Officer, Senior Finance Manager, Vice President of Finance, Finance Director
  • Entrepreneurship: Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Business Development Director
  • Information Technology: Information Technology Director, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Work Experience

If you have relevant work experience in a specific job or industry, your salary as an MBA graduate will probably be much more than that of a fresh graduate with little to no experience.

And it’s not just the number of years that count. For example, if your experience includes a managerial position, your salary expectations should definitely be higher.

Also, keep in mind that some MBA programs only accept students who have a certain number of years of relevant work experience on admission.

Professionals who already had significant experience before applying to an MBA program were able to earn higher incomes than MBA graduates who were still at the beginning of their careers.

School and Program

Though not as relevant as other factors, your choice of school and MBA program can affect your future as an MBA graduate.

Opting for an online MBA program might be a good idea for Nigerian professionals since you can pick a business school from the United States and other regions in the world.

You should also consider whether the program is accredited or not. Accreditation is proof that the program’s curriculum and teaching methodologies are on par with international standards. As a result, accredited MBA degrees hold more value than non-accredited ones.

You can learn whether a particular school’s MBA program is accredited or not by visiting the websites of the accreditation bodies and searching for the program’s name.


Having a set of sought-after individual skills can improve your career prospects and help you land higher-paying jobs as an MBA holder. Skills like leadership, accountability, decision-making, and problem-solving can all make a difference.

Why Are MBA Salaries High?

There are many reasons why employers are ready to pay MBA holders more money than other job candidates. These include:

Versatile Skills

MBA programs are often quite generic, exposing students to a wide range of topics and concepts related to business leadership.

Typically, MBA programs contain coursework related to finance, accounting, supply chain, business strategy, and business growth. With such a strong foundation, graduates are able to develop their careers at a very fast pace.

What’s more, MBA holders are more successful in leading teams than other professionals, specifically when that team consists of members from various functional areas.

Strategic Thinking

“Strategic Thinking” might seem like a buzzword that managers and stakeholders say in company meetings, but it’s actually one of the most valuable assets of an MBA graduate.

Many employers agree that strategic thinking is what truly sets MBA holders apart from other candidates. The reason is that MBA graduates usually assume managerial positions where they’ll be required to think strategically and make critical decisions.

In a world where market changes and disturbances prevail, having the ability to think strategically can literally save a business from bankruptcy. As a result, more and more companies seek professionals with excellent strategic thinking capabilities every year, and the demand is only expected to increase.


MBA holders are excellent communicators. Since most MBA programs emphasize mastering communication skills, MBA students learn how to communicate effectively with their peers, team members, managers, and suppliers.

From active listening to negotiation and social perceptiveness, the impact of an MBA graduate at a company is immediately noticeable, thanks to effective communication.

MBA vs. MSc Salary

As far as salary is concerned, MBAs and MScs are pretty much on par. Professionals in Nigeria with an MBA or MSc make an average salary of $2000/year.

If you have a background in areas other than business, opting for an MSc instead of an MBA has probably crossed your mind.

Both options can help your career, but you need to think about your interests. What do you intend to do after graduating? What kind of job do you see yourself doing? By asking yourself these questions, you’ll be able to set a guided career path.

Making the Most Out of Your MBA Program

One of the best ways to maximize the benefits of your MBA degree is to list down your career goals before even applying to the program. Having a clear purpose before enrolling in an MBA program allows you to stay focused and choose the right program that supports your goals.

Many MBA students agree that setting goals have helped them write more persuasive MBA application essays. Admission officers are more likely to accept a potential student if their essay demonstrates a clear sense of purpose.

Calculating the Return on Investment for an MBA

Contrary to what many people think, the return on investment you get from an MBA degree isn’t just the immediate pay-off you get after graduating. Yes, an MBA will likely give you better job opportunities with higher salaries, but that’s only one part of the story.

For instance, some students enroll into MBA programs primarily to expand their network. Making long-lasting work connections can have major career benefits that may not be immediately noticeable.

As you progress through your career, someone in your network could help you land a better job, while another one might offer you guidance and consultation in challenging situations at work.

For that reason, people may decide to enroll in a specific MBA just because it has a strong reputation for producing exceptional professionals that work at elite, multinational companies.

It’s also noteworthy to point out that an MBA isn’t for everyone. For example, if you’re starting a small business, like a car wash, stationery store, or even a restaurant, pursuing an MBA degree may not be worthwhile, both in terms of money and time.

MBA degrees are more suitable for professionals that want to undergo a major career switch. In addition, MBA programs prepare students to become future organizational leaders at their respective companies.


Alright, so that was a brief overview of MBA salaries in Nigeria.

If you want to accelerate your career, getting an MBA degree might be exactly what you need. Not only will you potentially earn higher salaries but also take on managerial positions at your company.

If you want to make sure that you get a high salary as an MBA graduate, choosing a high-paying profession and industry, along with improving your skills and acquiring more work experience, can all make a difference.

Ready to take the next step and discover how a Nexford MBA could increase your salary as a working professional in Nigeria? Download our brochure or book a call with our Nexford Advisors!

About the Author

Joe McGoldrick

Known for strategy and attention to detail

Joe has more than 10 years of marketing experience, working within the public sector, client-side, and agency side.

He is passionate about using data and customer insights to improve marketing performance.

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