THE BEST SHORT-TERM VALUE IS DELIVERED BY SECOND-TIER BUSINESS SCHOOLS
If we take data from the Forbes business school rankings and break down these schools beginning with the top 20; those ranked 21 through 45; and those ranked 46 through 70, it’s clear that there is huge value to be obtained in all three tiers. In fact, the best value is not at the top tier, but in the second tier (see below)!
How can this be? There are three things going on simultaneously. Yes, the highest tier produces the highest salaries. But, they also take in candidates who were earning higher salaries to begin with and they charge higher prices. That’s the reason that all three tiers offer so much value. Forbes doesn’t offer data below the top 70, but I’ll bet that this pattern continues at least to the 100th and possibly well beyond.
In 2011-2012, the last year for which data is available, 191,571 people graduated from U.S. schools with advanced degrees in business, about 25% of all the master’s degrees conferred. That compares with 178,062 master’s degrees in education, or 23% of all the advanced degrees.
THE MBA IS THE ‘MOST SUCCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE’ OF THE PAST CENTURY
This remarkable growth of the MBA—largely due to its widespread acceptance by employers and the almost assured return on investment of the degree—has been fairly steady during the past half century, making the degree the most successful educational experiences of the past 50 to 100 years.
Yes, the cost of an MBA has jumped over time, but the value of the degree continues to keep up with existing costs. These familiar, “sky is falling,” warnings about the value of an MBA fails to recognize the broader leadership and economic impact top business schools have on global business, sustainable business development, and entrepreneurialism.
Even though markets will change over time, companies will continue to demand top quantitative skills, expert communication competency, and forward-thinking leadership skills–all hallmarks of today’s MBA graduate.