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MBAs are still worth it, according to Columbia Business School's dean

·3 min read

Critics recently raised concerns about the value of an MBA, arguing that management programs – which can cost up to a staggering $240,000 – are overpriced and no longer worth attending.

Columbia Business School Dean Costis Maglaras says otherwise. In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance's Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer, Maglaras asserted that an MBA remains a strong way to advance one’s career despite the steep price tag.

“I think getting an MBA has been and continues to be an incredibly good investment, investment of time, and also financial investment,” Maglaras told Yahoo Finance in an interview (video above).

Maglaras says that in a post-Covid job market, an MBA can offer candidates a way to acquire new skills and position themselves for success. At Columbia, students study subjects including financial accounting, corporate finance, marketing, and managerial statistics.

The MBA program has also made business analytics a key component of its core curriculum. The effort prepares students for a job market that increasingly demands strong data skills.

“You get incredible training that launches you into very good professional career paths," Maglaras said. "That continues to be true in a time of change, like the one that we have experienced in the last two years."

In addition, Maglaras said the "value offered by an MBA is strong" and "will continue to be strong.”

The numbers support Maglaras’ assertions.

Graduates react during the Columbia University commencement ceremony in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., May 18, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Graduates react during the Columbia University commencement ceremony in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., May 18, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

In a recent report, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a global association of leading graduate business schools, found 92 percent of corporate recruiters expect to hire new MBAs this year. Better yet, over half of recruiters predict demand for new business school talent will increase over the next five years.

Maglaras noted that Columbia Business School, which costs attendants roughly $170,000, is trying to reduce its price of tuition.

“What we do here is we try to make an effort to control the cost of the of the business school out of an MBA degree, either by keeping the cost down for our students," Maglaras said. "And I want to mention that at our school, some other schools as well, tuition right now is 5% lower than it was three years ago."

With talks of a potential recession looming, Maglaras says he hasn't witnessed immense concern regarding graduates being wary of seeking out careers with big tech firms or on Wall Street.

"I believe there continues to be strong appetite to join these companies the same way that there has always been and continues to be strong appetite to join big banks, or to do investment banking, or asset management or careers of that sort," Maglaras said. "I think that what we see in our students, and we see more now than we used to see in the past, is that they like to join what they call purpose driven organizations."

Dylan Croll is a reporter and researcher at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @CrollonPatrol

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