IT pros with MBAs earn more than bachelors' or masters' in other domains

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Washington, Mar 12 (ANI: Information Technology (IT) professionals with an MBA will have heavier pockets than those with just bachelors' degrees or even other masters' degrees, says a new study by two Indian origin researchers.

The study "Human Capital and Institutional Effects in the Compensation of Information Technology Professionals in the United States," by Sunil Mithas of the University of Maryland and M. S. Krishnan of the University of Michigan, has cited that IT professionals with MBAs earn 46pct more than IT professionals with bachelors' degrees and 37pct more than IT professionals with a masters' degrees in any other stream.

For the study, the researchers asked whether IT professionals should go for an MBA degree or acquire more IT experience and by studying economic returns on an MBA degree and IT-related experience for IT professionals, the researchers came down to the above conclusion.

Data on the demographics, salary, education, and experience of over 50,000 IT professionals in the United States for the 1999-2002 time period was used for the study and the above finding was found to be contrary to prior research that questions the economic benefits of an MBA degree.

It was found that firms consider IT experience more significant than non-IT experience for IT professionals, and that firms compensate for IT experience at other firms more highly (3.2pct per year) than they compensate for IT experience within the firm (2pct per year).

With respect to these findings, if firm-specific IT experience is more valuable to the firm, these firms should consider subsidizing investments in MBA education to help retain their IT professionals.

The authors further said that IT professionals are better off investing in MBA education because the economic returns on an MBA degree are significantly higher than the returns on IT experience.

The findings of the study are reported in the Management Insights feature in the current issue of Management Science, the flagship journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

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