Is a graduate business degree worth the money?
Every prospective applicant grapples with this question. You can easily rattle off the negatives. For full-timers, you’ll leave your job, take out a loan, and lose your income. Chances are, you’ll need to box up your stuff and relocate too. Even if you keep working, you’ll lose your evenings and weekends, and time with family and friends.
EXECUTIVE MBAs HAPPIEST WITH THEIR PROGRAM
Is it worth it? The Class of 2015 sure believes so. In a new study released by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) on July 25, nearly 90% rated the value of a graduate business degree as outstanding, excellent or good. Another 88% would recommend their program to others.
Overall, MBAs were the most satisfied with their programs. Ninety-five per cent of executive MBAs graded it as outstanding, excellent, or good. They were followed by online MBAs (94%), full-time one-year MBAs (93%), post-graduate business programs (93%), and full-time two-year MBAs (89%). Students who earned a master’s in management were the least happy with their return, though three-quarters (77%) gave it high marks for value.
However, graduates’ willingness to vouch for their programs is a strong test of satisfaction. Here, executive MBAs were also the most likely to recommend their program – at a 95% clip, no less, with full-time one-year MBAs (91%) and part-time MBAs (90%) not far behind. Full-time MBAs (86%) and online MBAs (89%) were less likely to recommend their programs, even though they gave their programs higher grades for value.
Looking deeper, the sample rated graduate business schools particularly high on outcomes. Collectively, 86% of respondents believed their degree improved their odds of finding a good job, with 85% agreeing that it provided them with a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Similarly, 82% pointed to a graduate degree affording them greater control over their direction, while another 78% credited it with introducing them to new career opportunities.
So what are business schools doing right? According to the Class of 2015, faculty tops the list. Nearly 35% of respondents from all programs rated faculty as outstanding – and nearly 40% regarded them as “Excellent.” In fact, barely 1% considered their faculty to be “poor.” While many consider content to be a commodity, graduate business students appear to feel otherwise. Ninety-three per cent were either very satisfied or satisfied with faculty knowledge, the highest rate of consensus of any aspect of the MBA experience. And 90% were pleased with faculty responsiveness, the second-highest score from respondents. In addition, 85% had favorable impressions of faculty teaching methods.
Aside from faculty, respondents also cited fellow students, curriculum, and program structure as major pluses for their respective graduate business degrees. Thirty per cent considered their fellow students to be outstanding, with nearly 40% rating them as excellent. In this category, graduates touted their peers for creating a cooperative atmosphere, contributing to learning, and having high talent level.