What’s an MBA worth? This question is pondered by many as we continue to slog through some murky financial waters. The November issue of Graduate Management News, published by the Graduate Management Admission Council, weighs this question as more college graduates struggle with unemployment and debt from student loans.
In a strictly monetary sense, the article argues that the degree consistently adds value in terms of salary; MBAs, on average, make more than both recent college graduates with bachelor’s degrees and master’s level graduates in disciplines other than business. Studies including GMAC’s Corporate Recruiters Survey have shown that graduate management degrees can have a significant positive effect on lifetime earnings.
But why, exactly, do MBAs make more money? One could argue that the MBA gives students a broader array of applicable skills than any other type of program. Not only do students learn the theory behind sound business practices, MBA programs also teach strategic and management skills. Also, the case study method and collaborative approaches used by many MBA programs hones skills in a very practical way.
As valuable as the MBA is for individual graduates, MBAs can contribute more to society as well, says Ashok Sarathy, GMAC vice president, GMAT Program: “The skills and opportunities people gain from earning an MBA can help organizations launch new products, improve the lives of consumers, and help society as a whole.”
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