What Experts Are Saying About the Value of an MBA

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An online MBA can provide a personal as well as a financial return on investment. The benefits can range from developing leadership skills that will last a lifetime, engaging in global perspectives and issues, and creating lifelong networks and career connections.

The knowledge that an MBA can provide is highly practical in the job market and provides opportunities for career enhancement and upward mobility. The benefits are not just anecdotal, and there have been many studies offering data to quantify an MBA’s value. Below are three such studies.

Research Improves Program Values

For more than 10 years, studies have worked to establish the value of an MBA and identify its real-world implications for business managers. The Academy of Management studied how effective an MBA is both in isolation and in combination with other activities such as internships, experiences and leadership development.

The research found that the academic portion of the MBAs in and of themselves were not enough to prepare students for executive positions. However, a program’s knowledge development alone does not provide the holistic picture of leadership and character development than an MBA offers.

Regardless, in light of this research educational institutions have worked to orient their programs to focus more on skill development rather than just knowledge of the field, emphasizing internships and creating opportunities for real-world examples and practice.

Innovation and Creativity Matter to Employers

The value of an MBA in developing skills that benefit professionals, employers and institutions has changed over time. As millennials enter the job market, being the first generation to grow up with digital technology and the Internet, they also bring new perspectives and innovative ideas.

Studies show that learning goals are more effectively met when a variety of methods are used to teach and engage learners. Graduates of programs that use a variety of educational techniques are proven to be more versatile and successful professionals — those who are able to identify and create positive lasting change.

More Opportunities and Higher Pay

The most obvious benefits of an MBA are the career and professional opportunities it affords that also offer high compensation and job mobility. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to find that job opportunities for business managers and a plethora of other careers commonly sought by MBA graduates are growing on par with other professions but pay a much higher entry-level salary. This means that the value of an MBA is not only found in the career that graduates seek, but also the financial stability that it can offer after graduation.

1. Rubin, R. S., and E. C. Dierdorff. “How Relevant Is the MBA? Assessing the Alignment of Required Curricula and Required Managerial Competencies.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 8.2 (2009): 208-24. Web.
2. Lohr, Steve. “M.B.A. Programs Start to Follow Silicon Valley Into the Data Age.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 2014. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.
3. Mary C. Pinard, Robert J. Allio, (2005) “Improving the creativity of MBA students”, Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 33 Iss: 1, pp.49 – 51
4. “Top Executives.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.