Dice Survey: Are Tech Pros Rushing to Get MBAs?

We’ve all heard that in today’s data-driven business world, IT is increasingly perceived to be a central and powerful part of the business operation, not merely a service department. But if CIOs are gaining  influence in the board room and their managers are more important to the business mission than ever, then why aren’t more tech experts scrambling to get MBAs?

In an August survey of 3,121 U.S.- based technology professionals, Dice found that just a third of respondents see an MBA as important for future tech employees, while more than half see it as unnecessary. At the same time, requests for candidates that hold an MBA as a prerequisite or a preference are relatively rare on Dice—about 1,500 job postings on any given day.

Those who perceive the value of an advanced business degree focus on the importance of combining business knowledge with technical skills, additional career marketability, and a greater likelihood of advancing into management. On the other hand, tech professionals who don’t perceive value in an MBA tend to believe that outstanding technical expertise will always outweigh the benefits of having general business knowledge.

Among the 9 percent of survey respondents who actually hold MBAs, higher pay was the top reported impact of their degree, although the second-place response was “no impact.” MBAs also said their degree helped them “move into management within the technology department,” let them “obtain employment at a preferred company” or helped them land “work in a new, business-oriented technical role.”

As it stands today, only one in five, or 19 percent, of respondents say they will likely get an MBA in the future. It looks like professionals who are fluent in the languages of both technology and business will continue to be a rare breed.

Image: Excited graduate student in gown by Bigstock

Comments

  1. BY Wizgod says:

    Total bs is what that is. I actually hold three degrees and I haven’t had a job in over a year and a half and to tell you what I’m glad I didn’t waste my money on them. cio position are really a joke. The losers that hire them should be shot for stupidity.

  2. BY Fred Bosick says:

    An MBA is like the emperor’s clothes. A typical BS in computer science is far more rigorous than any MBA program. It’s a piece of paper from a Cracker Jack box but with built in schmoozing and glad handing.

  3. BY Doug_B says:

    Globally, most of us ( US & Europe) are going through some difficult times. It is time to give up the ‘status quo’ and move.

    One of the many ideas promoted by ‘status quo’ thought is that you are going to earn more money by getting a college education. So just get more degrees and you will earn even more money!

    Alas, for profit colleges and internet colleges have taken advantage of this addage and the bottomless, government financed student loan machine – to make a lot of money. Where many students now have enough debt that they will be paying it off till they’re 40 – 50.

    Right now we are living in a neo-feudalism world that is making us debt slaves. We need to change the status quo – it’s not worth saving.

    • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

      Doug B.: Your post stands like a giant among dwarfs. Right on the mark.

      “MBA”: “Master of Business Administration”. If you want to administer business, get an MBA. Administering business and crafting software are totally different cognitive spaces. If you are a software craftsman, take some economics courses from a social sciences department, as well as a marketing and a finance course from a business school. Don’t go for a degree; just take enough courses so that you understand where your boss “is coming from”. Too many technical people are utterly illiterate in economics, and just a little exposure to this other world is usually enough.

      I am an economist and also a software craftsman. If you want to understand your world, look at how the money flows. I’ve made some huge technology bets in my career that came in for me. I was able to make these bets successfully because I have a passion for both software and economics. The economics background enabled me to understand my “technical world”:

  4. BY mark says:

    Yes, a BS in CS is a hard won degree. But try telling that to the business types who are doing the hiring. So an MBA will impress them, even if it is the BSCS that should be doing the impressing.

  5. BY ImpartedPursuit says:

    Or, at least, a rare breed to be having a piece of paper showing both business and technology fluency.

  6. BY Jerry says:

    I think it is worthwhile if you’re looking to get into a Director or C-suite position. It is a check on the application. We need more tech people with business savvy at those upper levels. Far too many non-tech business people think they know IT and consequently make poor technology decisions.

  7. BY Mike says:

    I have a MBA (or does it have me?). Regardless, no one seems to care I have an MBA, and considerable technology experience, and am an “IT generalist”. Perhaps its my age and experience that frightens them?

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