Monday, June 12, 2006

Harvard M.B.A. Worth It

Was Earning That Harvard M.B.A. Worth It? - New York Times: "What was the real-world value of a master's in business administration, especially one from the iviest of Ivies? Was it, as widely perceived, an ace in the hole, a get-out-of-jail-free card, a ticket to the good life?

Mr. Richman decided to track a core group of his Harvard classmates, to converse with them about their personal and professional aspirations, and then to revisit them every five years until 2026. He also decided to film them along the way, à la "7 Up," Michael Apted's celebrated documentary series, which chronicled the lives of the same 14 people every seven years.

THE popularity of the degrees has surged. In 1970, for example, business schools handed out 26,490 M.B.A.'s, according to the Department of Education. By 2004, after a period marked by an economic boom and heightened competition for top-flight business careers, that figure had jumped to 139,347. But opinion and data appear divided on the tangible benefits of an M.B.A.

They surveyed about 130 other students along with their main focus group, asking questions about post-Harvard goals, salary expectations, relationship status and other topics.

Stephen Klein is executive vice president of Too Far, an arts and entertainment company in San Francisco; Kevin Hall is the chief operating officer of the Broad Foundation, a Los Angeles nonprofit group; Kim Malone is director of online advertising sales for Google Adsense in Mountain View, Calif.; Mareva Grabowski is a bank executive in Athens; Jeff Flemings is a senior executive at Digitas, an advertising and consulting firm in Boston; Clare R. Scherrer is a managing director at Goldman Sachs in New York; Levent Kahraman is a managing director of a New York bank; Cheryl Pegues is the director of business development at Cox Enterprises in Atlanta; and Humphrey Chen is a director at Avaya, a software company in Basking Ridge, N.J."

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