You Consider an MBA?
The Master of Business Administration (the MBA) has
long been seen as the magic ticket for career
advancement, but should you consider an MBA despite
the lengthy time commitment and potentially high cost?
There is no doubt that the knowledge and skills
acquired in a good MBA program gives the graduate a
boost into leadership positions, said Paul Danos,
Dean of Tuck
School of Business, Dartmouth University. We
did a survey of Tuck graduates and found that nearly
70 percent of Tuck alumni were in positions of leadership
in the organization, that is, CEO, Chairman, Partner,
Owner, CFO, etc. According to Danos, Tuck students
often more than double their salaries.
Bill Brady, director of Graduate Career Management,
School of Management, Brigham Young University,
agrees. MBAs are like bachelors degrees
in the 90s, said Brady, and since MBAs are
becoming available by so many resources, it is
more common to expect managers to have the degree.
MBA benefits abound. Mindy Storrie, president, MBA
Career Services Council and director of MBA Career
Services at Kenan-Flagler
Business School, the University of North Carolina,
adds, The rewards are immense for a mid-career
MBA student. An MBA can be one of the best ways to increase
your business knowledge base.
According to Brady, there are two reasons for obtaining
an MBA: first, to obtain advanced skills to provide
a power boost to an individuals career and
second, to change careers, for example, from retail
sales to finance.
According to a 2004 survey by the Graduate
Management Admission Council (GMAC), the majority
of the MBA class that graduated in 2004 (54 percent)
were using their MBA as a way of changing career tracks.
The survey showed that that the average graduate made
roughly $56,500 before earning the degree and about
$76,000 afterward. GMAC surveyed 6,223 MBA graduates
from 128 business schools in 16 countries. Twenty-one
percent of the respondents were from outside the United
We have long referred to the MBA as a global
currency - a degree that symbolizes value all over the
world. To many people, that value comes in the form
of career mobility, said David A. Wilson, president
Daniel R. Nagy, Associate Dean of the Fuqua
School of Business, Duke University, said that an
MBA can aid in a persons career advancement because
if you start at a higher level post MBA in a career
path with clear promotional levels (e.g. brand management,
consulting, I-banking, etc.) than you will certainly
move quickly through the first several levels of management.
But, after that careers move at ones competency
level, Nagy added.
Brady agrees. Simply getting an MBA is not sufficient
to make me successful, he said, It gives
a knowledge advantage only if that advantage can be