eNEWSLINE - Business Education News from AACSB International

Business School Salary Differences: Comparing Average Salaries
with Different Variables

August 2012

By Jessica Brown, Senior Manager, Knowledge Services, AACSB Internationa

It is no secret that salary ranges for different disciplines within business education can differ substantially. However, how do these salary ranges compare when other criteria are explored? To examine this question further, AACSB global salary data has been reviewed from a variety of perspectives, and alternate views of the current state of faculty salaries can be seen.

First, when limiting the data to only business school professors who are both academically qualified and hold tenure-track positions (i.e. tenured and tenure track), gender appears to have an impact on average salary. For example, among all of the listed disciplines in Figure 1 below, 17.8% of the 7,366 professors were listed as female with average salaries ranging 5–15% lower than for professors listed as male. Since this is a basic snapshot of the data, it does not take into account the individual situations of specific faculty members, but is based on all reported faculty with these characteristics. There are frequently salary differences based on length of tenure and other criterion, but this particular figure displays that gender appears to be an area for faculty and administrators to watch closely during their salary negotiation and structuring processes.

Figure 1.

When limiting the data to all professors who hold tenure-track positions, the comparison shifts toward qualification type. In Figure 2 below, the data is limited to only those professors reported as tenure track with a qualification type of "academic" or "professional." Faculty reported as "neither" or "unknown" were excluded from this calculation. A total of 97.7% of the 7,540 tenure-track professors were listed as holding academic qualifications. Please note that the number of professors listed in each discipline ranged from 735 to 1,590 for academic qualifications and only 12 to 59 for professional qualifications. In all of the disciplines listed, the average salary for academically qualified tenure-track positions exceeded that for similar positions listing professional qualifications. Therefore, as the focus shifts toward hiring more faculty with professional experience to integrate with existing personnel with academic qualifications, it will be important to strive to maintain salaries that are enticing to all prospective faculty, while also balancing the needs of current faculty at your each school.

Figure 2.

Despite whether or not gender equity, qualification type, or discipline-specific criteria are used, recruiting and retaining high-quality faculty is challenging—even for the best institutions. This is why it is important to be familiar with a variety of salary data that can provide assistance with your recruitment efforts. Remember, decisions related to faculty hiring and retention help to establish the culture at your business school, so make your choices as informed and positive as possible.