Women find MBA delivers undisputed ROI and value

The following post was prepared by Jessica Burlingame, a senior admissions consultant with The MBA Exchange. Jessica earned her MBA degree at Columbia Business School. She has worked with a wide range of applicants, particularly those with non-traditional backgrounds, to gain admission to top-tier b-schools.

Here at The MBA Exchange, we’re bullish on the top MBA as an equal-opportunity degree. The ROI of a great b-school experience can’t be beat, regardless of your professional background, undergrad major, nationality, aspirations – or your gender. That’s why we’ve been chagrined recently to see some media coverage questioning the MBA’s value to women. We stand proud to say that we disagree entirely – that a top MBA can be one of the smartest paths for the world’s smartest women to take.

Here are our top 3 reasons:

The top MBA helps women navigate career on-ramps and off-ramps. Careers are a marathon, not a sprint. Most MBA students can expect post-grad careers spanning several decades. While some research shows that women with elite MBAs disproportionately take a career off-ramp 10 years after graduation, stories abound of women MBAs who take some time off and then return to the workforce – better than ever. Easy? No. Easier with a top MBA under your belt? Definitely.

The earning power of top MBAs empowers women to make diverse career and life choices. In 2012, graduating MBAs enjoyed an average 81% salary bump over their pre-MBA salaries. For top MBAs, this effect is likely even higher. For women seeking to navigate on-ramps and off-ramps successfully, managing the fruits of high-earning periods wisely can translate into the economic freedom to pursue our wildest dreams – personally and professionally.

The top b-schools actively seek out and cultivate top women students. Though the percentage of MBAs earned by women is on the rise, 50-50 parity is still a long way off. Understanding diversity of all kinds in their classes as a competitive advantage, admissions committees at top b-schools want to recruit well-qualified women, and lament those strong candidates who avoid the top-tier admissions fray due to a lack of confidence. As the old saw goes, “You never know unless you try.”

As a 2003 alumna of Columbia Business School, and an admissions consultant with The MBA Exchange since 2006, I’ve been privileged to share in the transformative value of a top MBA in my own life and in my clients’ lives – both women and men! The MBA Exchange has worked successfully with thousands of successful candidates – women and men – since 1996. If you’re considering a top MBA, a free evaluation from our expert team can be the first step. Click here to get the journey started. We’re standing by!