Never stop learning.

Author:Westfall, Christopher

Education is a precious thing, whether in a formal academic setting or by self-guided means. Financial executives understand the value of scholarship to support solid fundamentals in finance, business and accounting, while also keeping up with the myriad changes through continuing education.

But being bottom-line inclined types, CFOs, comptrollers and other financial professionals realize there is also a return on investment (ROI) for education. Professionals who gain an MBA specifically see their career ROI skyrocket, with those graduating with advanced business degrees garnering an average 80 percent pre- to post-MBA increase in salary, according to the latest numbers from the Graduate Management Admissions Council.

The same survey adds in the U.S., an MBA translates to annual median earnings of $110,000 and advanced business degree recipients should expect to command a $45,000 salary premium over new bachelor's degree holders.

Not bad for a little extra time in school. Despite the payoff of an advanced degree, the benefit does not seem to be going both ways. Financial executives at our nation's higher education institutions are particularly concerned regarding the financial health of U.S. colleges and universities. Only a quarter of college CFOs expressed strong confidence in the viability of their institution's financial model over five years, according to a recent Gallup poll. When looking at a 10-year horizon, the CFOs' perception of higher education became even...

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