SMITH BRAIN TRUST – Considering getting an MBA? It might be the best investment you ever make, says Michael Faulkender, associate dean for master's programs and professor of finance at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.
"Whether things are stagnant or booming, obtaining a skillset that will enable you to make a leadership contribution is always a good idea," says Faulkender, speaking recently to online magazine GoodCall.
The Graduate Management Admissions Council recently released the findings of its Alumni Perspectives MBA Survey Report and the Prospective Students MBA Survey Report. According to the findings, 91 percent of MBA recipients said their degree was professionally rewarding. And 76 percent said it was financially rewarding.
"For people who already have some exposure to the workforce, this is an opportunity to supplement their ability to contribute to the organization through skills that organizations need to run themselves effectively," Faulkender said.
About 70 percent of people who earned an MBA 10 years ago now hold senior, executive or C-suite positions, according to the findings. And 75 percent of MBA recipients say their master's degree helped speed their career advancement.
"An MBA is very much targeted at the management needs of organizations across the entire economy," Faulkender says. "This degree provides students with the skills that they need to understand customer needs, produce products and services efficiently, generate returns, and manage diverse workforces."
Faulkender says MBA students tend to be older than non-MBA business masters students, and tend to have more professional experience. "The right time to pursue an MBA is after you've had exposure to the workforce for a few years, so I would not recommend it immediately after undergrad school," he says. "By taking the time to understand how organizations work, you're in a better position to apply the skills that you learn."
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