More thoughts on the value of an MBA

MBA topics

Earlier this week, the NY Times published an article entitled “” which summarizes some studies and the content of a yet-to-be-completed documentary that will follow a handful of Harvard MBA graduates from 1996-2026, with interviews every 5 years. I’m happy to say that most of their findings are consistent with my own recent thoughts about having an MBA degree, though I went to Michigan and not Harvard for mine.

Here are some points of interest from the article:

  1. Average MBA salaries have not increased in real dollars for the last several years
  2. High salaries are seen as less important for defining “success” than balance of life, respect from peers, and other intangible factors
  3. Meaningfulness of job or feeling like you’re making a positive difference in the world is becoming increasingly important
  4. Having an MBA from a good school can make you feel freer to take time off in your career to pursue other interests, a sort of safety net

I didn’t write much about this last point earlier, but I have to agree. I feel more comfortable having an MBA, especially as a woman who, in the future, may decide to stay at home and raise a family instead of working in corporate America, because if the day comes that I want or need to return to work, I believe having an MBA will allow me access to jobs and to return to the business workforce more easily than without one.

Sure, my work experience will be less than those of others, including many men, and I’ll have to work hard to build my career again. But being more likely to be able to be financially independent, or being able to support our family on my wages alone if I need to is also comforting. Of course, whether or not this is a false sense of security, I can’t say.

Thanks very much to my friend An for forwarding me this article!


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