The importance of Return on Investment in higher education

“JU Davis has a great Sport Business program. The thing I love about it is that, while they give you great sport-oriented classes, they also make sure you have a true foundation in business, with classes like accounting, statistics, and others.” – Andre Sullivan, Jacksonville University

With the threat of another global economic downturn looming large and student debts rising at rapid rates, higher education is now more under the spotlight than ever before. Passion or interest in a particular field no longer suffices for the aspiring student when shopping for the best university program. As budgets tighten, they’ve become more selective in the process, and see Return on Investment (ROI) as the deciding factor.

What is ROI?

Which degree program is likely to lead to the highest-paying salary? Which is likely to provide the most transferrable expertise? Which university is likely to maximise ROI from the moment a student completes their degree program or certificate? An education that guarantees basic shelter and a paying nine-to-five alone wouldn’t impress the ambitious Gen Y; they want both job security and satisfaction, opportunity for growth, and guaranteed disposable income.

According to Harry A. Patrinos, Manager for the World Bank’s education sector, however, higher education remains a sound investment.

“Over the past two decades, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of university students and graduates worldwide, which should have led to a decrease in the rate of return to investment to higher education – if supply outpaced demand, of course,” writes Patrinos.

“While there has been some decrease in overall rates of return, investment in education is still a highly profitable investment,” he adds. “Global demand for high level skills such as working with new information and problem-solving has kept the returns to schooling high in even the poorest countries of the world. In fact, the returns to higher education are higher in lower-income countries,” Patrinos concludes.

Jacksonville: High Return on Investment for an affordable price

One university that has earned a reputation for providing impressively high ROI is Jacksonville University, an urban comprehensive university located in Jacksonville, Florida, with a strong curriculum based in the Liberal Arts. The university’s Davis College of Business (JU Davis) is a school that particularly shines in terms of ROI, consistently producing graduates equipped with the skills to tackle the complex business world – and all for a price tag that is really nothing if not affordable.

When you consider that some of the world’s top private institutions charge more than US$100,000 for an MBA degree, and most public universities hike a fee between US$30,000 and US$50,000, the fact that JU Davis – a Tier-1-ranked business school in this year’s CEO Magazine – charges between US$25,000 and US$30,000 for its world-class MBA makes it an incredibly attractive option.

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is the postgraduate degree of choice not only for students from the U.S., but for those around the world. In fact, the MBA has become crucial for advancements into senior positions in most industries.

As Sarah Hernon, Principal Consultant for Right Management, told The Guardian, “An MBA makes people more marketable”, and therefore represents a proven path to new or expanded career opportunities that transcend global markets.

“There is a very long history of graduate business education at Jacksonville University (JU),” notes JU Davis’ experienced professional faculty. “Our Executive MBA program is one of the most established programs of its type in the entire country.

“Hundreds of high quality, globally-competitive companies support our programs by hiring our graduates and encouraging their employees to enroll,” the faculty continues. “Many company founders and non-profit organization leaders in our community are alumni. We are proud to say that the JU Davis College of Business alumni network has produced successful leaders and employees throughout Northeast Florida’s business and economic communities.”

Making the most of Florida’s business assets

One attribute that makes the JU Davis education so unique is its rate of corporate engagement; the school wholeheartedly involves all stakeholders in its students’ entire learning process – be it via faculty – all of whom have beyond 10-20 years of experience in their respective fields – or otherwise alumni, supporting and hiring organizations, and the wider business world.

On top of this, the institution places extensive emphasis on the principle of learning by doing, meaning a considerable portion of what JU Davis students learn is not pulled straight from books. As Tom Peterson, a graduate of JU Davis who now serves on the university’s advisory board, on top of his position as Chief of Staff for Black Knight Financial Services, says: “JU Davis College of Business students get internships and our graduates get hired.” And not only do these students go on to find success at some of the world’s most competitive firms, they also go on to earn between 10 and 20 times more than they ever would had they not earned this prestigious degree.

“During my freshman year, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study and JU Davis was a huge reason why I decided to choose a career in business,” says Stephania Landaeta. “JU Davis provided me many opportunities to become a student leader and the close relationship between students and professors allowed me to have a great college experience.”

A world-class business education that doesn’t break the bank

Stephania, like all the students before her and those that are destined to follow, chose to pursue a JU Davis education because it prepared her for success in an exceptional environment for a truly economical price. So, while her first-rate professional degree allowed her to thrive in a fast-paced dynamic and competitive business environment, it didn’t break the bank, and granted her a starting salary to rival those of graduates at some of the world’s top business schools.

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All images courtesy of JU Davis College of Business

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