Does MBA = The Big Buck$ ?

January 22, 2012
Lucas Weingarten

GMAT BlogI don’t read Forbes magazine with any regularity.  If there is a copy in the dentist’s office, then I might pick it up and look at the cover, but will rarely be enticed to actually open it and read an article.  However, as is becoming ever more apparent, the age of print media is ceding tremendous ground to its virtual counterparts.  As proof, I come across an interesting Forbes article online with some notable frequency.  Here’s the latest eye catcher:

The MBA Megabucks CEOs” has a title I just couldn’t pass up.  Maybe it was the timing—GMACs’ 2012 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report was recently released and in it we learned a couple things about remuneration trends with MBA degree holders.  Anyway, it reads almost like an article out of People; full of straw-man evidence and blanket statements that get folks comparing themselves to others in useless ways.  Still, that kind of thing is entertaining, no?

As it turns out, forty out of the 100 best paid CEOs in America during 2011 hold an MBA degree.  The article also gets into some patterns among the world’s ultra-rich and, interestingly, that list contains a bunch of people that dropped out of school.

So to answer the question in the article’s title: Sure, it could.  But we knew that already.  While the promise (or better-than-average chance) of seeing a return on our investment in graduate education is an important factor in our decision to go, I hope it is not the only factor you are considering.  Don’t get an MBA just to get a bigger paycheck.  Have more purpose than that.  As sentimental as it may sound, I hope you pursue an advanced degree mainly out of a desire to become a better person.  That way, if you do end up with the Big Stack, you’ll do some good with it.

Lucas Weingarten Lucas Weingarten is a full-time instructor for Kaplan Test Prep and he loves preparing GRE students for Test Day. The classroom is Lucas’ arena. When he cannot be found in one of Kaplan’s cage matches of learning, he is very likely dancing around DePaul University’s College of Commerce/Kellstadt Graduate School of Business in Chicago professing various courses offered by the Department of Management, up to and including monikers such as: “Managing for Effective and Ethical Organizational Behavior,” “Entrepreneurship Strategy,” “Strategic Managements and Analysis,” “Human Resource Management,” “Recruitment and Selection,” and “Foundations of Business Thought and Theory.” (Although that last one was cancelled just before the quarter started and he’s still not gotten over it.) Lucas spent most of his formative years in North Carolina, but hit the long road as soon as he was able. A world traveler with a currently expired passport, he has lived on and wandered around three continents with the expressed intention of finishing the job. He holds a BFA with a concentration in sculpture as well as an MBA with dual concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Finance. When not challenging standardized tests to a duel or wondering how to corrupt the business students of America, Lucas can be found brewing delicious beers, riding-then-fixing-then-riding his motorcycle, hanging out with dogs, pretending he’s a good cook, and feeling like the luckiest guy in the world to have such a fantastic wife and endlessly amazing young son. He’s in Milwaukee now, but is in Chicago often. Email him anytime about anything at:

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