Assistant professor Sunil Mithas research on WTOP
MBA Leads to Higher Salaries for IT
College Park, Md. - March 11, 2008 - Firms in the United States value
IT professionals MBA degrees much more than IT experience, according to new
research from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.
An IT professional with an MBA degree earns 46 percent more than a counterpart
with only a bachelors degree and 37 percent more than one with any other masters
degree, according to the study, published in this months Management Science
Our research confirms that getting an MBA is the single best move you can
make to increase your value as an IT professional in today's market, said Sunil
Mithas, Smith assistant professor of decision, operations and information
technologies and lead author of the study. Education is more valuable than
experience because it provides more durable and versatile conceptual skills. In
contrast, IT experience has high rate of obsolescence learning new technologies
only makes a professional valuable for a few years when those skills are in high
demand. An MBA education teaches how to evaluate new technologies or how to
strategically invest in and manage IT projects, which makes for a more valuable
long-term employee that can use those skills in a variety of situations.
On average, in dollar terms (deflated to 1999 figures), IT professionals with
MBAs earn more than $24,000 per year than those with only bachelors degrees and
more than $17,000 per year than those with other masters degrees after
controlling for a variety of demographic and institutional factors.
Mithas and co-author M.S. Krishnan of the University of Michigan found that
firms place greater value on IT experience at other firms than at the current
firm, explaining the high turnover culture in the IT profession and the notion
that job-hopping is the way to get ahead in the industry. The researchers found
no evidence that having both an MBA degree and significant IT experience boosted
an employees salary more than having the MBA alone.
The study results also found a gender gap in earnings in the IT industry,
with female professionals earning about 9 percent less than males.
The paper, Human Capital and Institutional Effects in the Compensation of
Information Technology Professionals in the United States, by Sunil Mithas and
M.S. Krishnan appears in the March 2008 issue of Management Science. For
more information, contact
About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized
leader in management education and research. One of 14 colleges and schools at
the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate,
full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, executive MS, PhD and executive
education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The
school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning
locations on three continents - North America, Europe and Asia.
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