To read this content please select one of the options below:

To MBA or not to MBA

Yehuda Baruch (University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 14 August 2009




The purpose of this paper is to critically reflect on the value of the MBA – a Master in Business Administration, considered the flagship of business and management education. The author aims to bridge the gap in the understanding of the possible added value of the MBA.


This conceptual paper is enriched by findings from secondary data, surveys with managers in the UK, and interviews with human resource managers of leading US firms.


The MBA can generate significant tangible and intangible inputs to graduates' careers and their employing organizations. Having an MBA contributes considerably to graduates' human capital. Employers may profit from such contributions, while an indirect positive effect is implied at the national level.

Research limitations/implications

The knowledge of MBA impact should be based on rigor studies rather than unsupported assertions.

Practical implications

The MBA is the closest thing to a qualification to manage. It generates positive outcomes and lead to good management. For individuals, embarking on MBA is a major career decision, carrying certain risks, but offer high potential for return on investment.


This contribution is of special importance amid the recent criticism of the MBA by prominent management scholars.



Baruch, Y. (2009), "To MBA or not to MBA", Career Development International, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 388-406.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles