Investment Advice: Go for the MBA
Business school deans have been rushing to the defense of their graduate degree programs ever since Jeffrey Pfeffer and Christina Fong published their 2002 article questioning the value of an MBA. Not only did those authors debate the worth of the MBA in general, they suggested that the degree was only valuable if it was earned from a top-ranked school. A recent U.S.-based study shows this is clearly not the case. Researchers employed by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) surveyed thousands of graduates over the course of five years, collecting data that compared the costs and rewards of accredited programs across the U.S. Analysis shows that an MBA yields an excellent return on investment (ROI) for nearly everyone, regardless of the type of program, the race of the student—or even the ranking of the school. Pfeffer himself believes management education has undergone significant changes since his original article was published. (See his viewpoint regarding business schools’ possible overemphasis on MBA salaries in “What’s Right—and Still Wrong—with Business Schools” on page 42.) One thing that hasn’t changed is the enduring value of an MBA.