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.