What Do Recruiter and CEO’s Really Think About the Value of an MBA

By Alexandra Mondalek and Abby Rogers for www.businessinsider.com

An MBA from a top school can cost almost $100,000—a huge expense.

But is it really worth it?

Top HR recruiters, CEOs, and startup innovators disagree about the value of MBAs, depending on the situation and person.

Attaching the MBA to your name can affect your hiring chances, your networking abilities, and your innovation skills. 

While none of the recruiters think to waste your time at a less-than-prestigious graduate program, they do debate whether the top ones deliver on the promise of producing better business leaders. 


MBAs are absolutely essential—but you've got to find the right program for you

MBAs are absolutely essential—but you've got to find the right program for you

Christine Ricci

Christine Ricci believes that an MBA is crucial for success in the business world.

"An MBA or some advanced degree is almost a must-have right now," she said. "It's expected now."

Ricci handles marketing and public relations for B.E. Smith, an interim leadership recruiting firm that focuses mainly on health care industries.

"I'm even seeing senior leaders that are very seasoned go back and get one just because their organization is putting the pressure on to go back and get one," she said.

However, Ricci cautions, not all MBAs are created equally.

"I think it's more important to find the program that's a good fit for you," she said.

If you're fresh out of undergraduate studies, a business school that focuses on seasoned professionals probably is not the best fit, Ricci said.


You should only consider going to a top-tier business school

You should only consider going to a top-tier business schoolJonathan Guidi

A MBA can be an asset, but only if you're getting it at the right time in your life and from the right school, according to Jonathan Guidi, the president of HealthCare Recruiters International. 

Guidi emphasized that a MBA is only valuable if it's issued by a respected school.

"I don't think, from a hiring point of view, that anyone cares if you have a MBA from the University of Phoenix," he said, adding that MBAs from top-tier schools are the only ones that matter.

"But you get below that, into just regional schools, I don't think anyone cares," he said.

In the same vein, Guidi said he doesn't think returning to school once you've begun your career is the best move.

Professionals who choose to leave the workforce to return to school will only be hurting their careers, he said, adding that his clients want someone who has been focused and on an upward trajectory–not someone who has moved back and forth.

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