Academic journal article Journal of Business and Behavior Sciences

The Value of Business Education: A Case Study of Business Administration Graduates of a Large University

Academic journal article Journal of Business and Behavior Sciences

The Value of Business Education: A Case Study of Business Administration Graduates of a Large University

Article excerpt


In an article Karen Kucher (2013) makes the following statements, "Amid the debate about college costs and the value of a university degree, in May 2013, 7.4% of high school graduates were unemployed, while just 3.8% of university graduates were without a job, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( That trend - of almost double the unemployment rate for high school grads compared with college grads - has largely held steady even amid the U.S. recession. Those with no high school degree were the worst off, with an unemployment rate of 11.1%."

The Education Report (2013) examines the value of college in both financial and nonfmancial terms. The goal is to "call attention to ways in which both individuals and society as a whole benefit from increased levels of education. The authors continue "higher education isn't a guaranteed ticket to higher earnings" and they state "that in most cases it does pay to attend college, and to make conclusions about the value of education are much more complicated than they seem".

Alore than a decade of research about business school graduates, alumni, and the employers that hire them conducted by the Graduate Alanagement Admission Council® (GAIAO2013) reveals two "truths" that have stood the test of time: (1) graduates remain highly employable, and (2) graduates consistently credit their degrees for offering valuable opportunities for career advancement, professional development, and personal satisfaction. The GALAC (2013) also provides Five Reasons to Get a Graduate Business Degree as follow:

1. A graduate business degree can boost your career.

2. A graduate business education rates high in value.

3. A graduate business degree will help you land a job.

4. A graduate business degree is financially rewarding.

5. Demand for talent is strong.

Several studies have questioned this payoff. "Dilbert" creator Scott Adams (2011) in a Wall Street Journal article stated, "Business education should exist in universities, but more attention must be paid to the value the education delivers."

A 2011 Pew Research Center article asked "is College worth it"? Alost respondents said, "Americans were not getting "good value' for the money they spent on a college education. And yet those who graduated from college estimated they were earning greater than $20,000 more a year than they would without a degree, a figure that lines up with the census results (Pew Research Center, 2011).

According to Byrne (2013) "Business school is a waste of time and money. If you want to blow $100K, go to Vegas". That's what one Class of 2008 AJOBA alumnus from New York University's Stem School of Business told Forbes when surveyed for the magazine's latest return-on-investment ranking of the best business schools.

Besides the slower payback periods, the magazine noted that five-year gains attributed to the AJOBA also have fallen over the past decade. The average 5year gain for grads at the top 25 schools was $118,000 a decade ago, but only $68,000 this year. "Five-year out salaries averaged $159,000 this year, but that represents an annual gain of only 1.8% since 2003, which was slower than the rate of inflation," the magazine noted (Badenhausen, 2013).

With the rising costs of higher education, the burden of student loans and a less-certain job market has left many wondering: Are too many young people going to college? In his article, Weber (2012) states, "A college education was once regarded as a first-class ticket to a better life."

A few well known educators have debated whether a lot of students would be better off spending their time and money somewhere else. Comments included:

"College graduates make vastly more than those with high-school diplomas. True. But that is comparing apples and oranges. College graduates, on average, are smarter and more disciplined and dependable than high-school graduates-so much of the reported earnings differential has little to do with college learning" (Wadhwa and Vedder, 2012). …

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