Masters losing some of its lustre but not importance

See The Good Universities Guide to MBAs for a full listing of MBA details.

ATTAINING a Masters of Business Administration may no longer provide the edge people are looking for. Instead, the degree has become a necessary prerequisite for a successful career.

With the number of people with MBAs rising all the time, the value of having one and being “above the pack” has diminished.

University prestige and the prestige of the MBA program are now more important than ever.

According to Edith Cowan University outgoing director of higher degrees, Barry Chapman, a very high value traditionally was placed on MBAs, but this had been lost in recent years.

“It’s become more the minimum qualification rather then the maximum. The bachelor degree is no longer the minimum qualification,” Mr Chapman said.

“Its very hard to say that after an MBA you get better jobs and better pay.”

While still a firm proponent of the value of education, especially an MBA qualification, Australian Institute of Management deputy director of training and consulting Richard Duldig said the value of an MBA had been somewhat reduced.

“The contrast between those who have and haven’t got an MBA has diminished,” Mr Duldig said.

“It’s not the be-all-to-end-all that it used to be. I don’t think it’s the walk-up start to higher jobs as it was, say, seven years ago.”

An MBA on its own is no longer enough. Employees also wanted to see previous experience.

“An MBA without success and without experience may not be as useful,” Mr Duldig said.

“But it (MBA) is like having a front door – it is useful to have one.”

University of WA’s graduate school of management associate director Ray Fells believes those with an MBA would usually do better than someone without.

It depends very much on the individual as to how much they get out of the course work, Mr Fells said.

There were many people who were simply going through the motions of getting an MBA program just to get accreditation and a “ticket”, which they could add to their CV. They see it as a career progression, he said.

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