MBA Information Technology

Silicon Valley May Want MBAs More Than Wall Street Does...

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel said MBAs are predisposed to “herdlike thinking and behavior.” Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen dubbed them a contrarian indicator, saying “if they want to go into tech, that means a bubble is forming.” In a post on the question-and-answer website Quora, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who earned an MBA from Harvard in 1995, said that while she got “great value” from her experience, she wasn’t ready to recommend the degree to the country’s future tech stars. “MBAs are not necessary at Facebook and I don’t believe they are important for working in the tech industry,” Sandberg wrote. Silicon Valley’s trash talking of the MBA obscures the reality that U.S. tech companies are hiring B-school grads in ever-larger numbers. Business schools sent 16 percent of their 2015 graduates into technology jobs, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek survey of students who’d accepted offers by that spring, making it the No. 3 industry for MBA grads after finance and consulting. By one measure, Silicon Valley values MBAs more than Wall Street does. In 2015 tech companies paid business school graduates more than financial companies did, according to Businessweek’s poll of more than 9,000 MBAs. “If I said all people with a law degree are worthless, what would you say?” says Rich Lyons, dean at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Forty-three percent of its 2015 class went into tech, according to the survey. “It’s such an unwarranted generalization. Firms wouldn’t keep coming back to hire our MBAs if it wasn’t a valuable skill set.” Amazon.com, Microsoft, Google, and IBM were among the 15 companies that hired the most MBAs in 2015, according to data reported by 103 business schools to Businessweek, proof that while...

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg says you don’t need an MBA to be successful in tech...

There’s a longstanding Silicon Valley stereotype that MBAs are risk-averse, entitled, and brainwashed into being boring, and are therefore not suited for the fast-paced technology world. The idea of foregoing a formal education to pursue an entrepreneurial venture is furthered by tech leaders like billionaire investor Peter Thiel, who has a $100,000 fellowship for students who drop out of college to start a business. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg may have dropped out of Harvard as an undergraduate, but his COO Sheryl Sandberg followed a more traditional path. She not only graduated from college but also received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She worked for a year as a McKinsey consultant and then spent time in the US Treasury before joining Google in 2001. Zuckerberg recruited her in 2008 to help him take his company to the next level. In a recent Quora post, Sandberg weighed in on the MBA debate, saying that her b-school experience gave her a solid business foundation but that she and the rest of Facebook’s leadership think “degrees are always secondary to skills.” “While I got great value from my experience, MBAs are not necessary at Facebook, and I don’t believe they are important for working in the tech industry,” she writes.Read full story: Business...

Google Most Popular MBA Employer Amid Migration To Tech Sector...

Google has topped the list of the most popular MBA employers in research that confirms a significant shift in business graduate job destinations to the technology industry. Tech has become a magnet for MBA students, who are energizing businesses from e-commerce group Amazon to Apple, the world’s most valuable company. “Technology companies are seen to be the place of innovation and creativity. This is really attractive to MBA candidates,” Paula Quinton-Jones, director of career services for Hult International Business School, told BusinessBecause. Google bested all other companies for the ninth consecutive year to the title of most sought after company among MBAs, with nearly 30% saying the internet search giant was among their top companies to work for. The annual list is compiled by Universum, the employer branding company founded by a graduate of Stockholm School of Economics. Google has doubled the number of business schools it recruits from. Google is already a leading recruiter at top schools including Berkeley Haas, Kellogg and Stanford. Apple, the record smashing iPhone maker, came second in Universum’s list. Apple is looking for MBAs to join its marketing, operations, sales, and internet software and services teams. In its last fiscal year, the company added nearly 9,000 non-retail jobs to its 100,000 strong workforce. At Duke Fuqua School, Apple has hired 74 students and graduates for internships and full-time roles over the past five years alone. Amazon came in at fifth and is highlighted by 12% of MBAs as a desirable employer. The e-retailer has become a symbol of the tech shift at business schools. It is a leading recruiter from most of the top-ranked MBA programs. At Michigan Ross, for example, Amazon hired more MBAs last year than any other company — including...

Banks’ Big Data Boom Brings New MBA Job Opportunity...

In the depths of a 20,000 sqm vault on the outskirts of Madrid, Spanish bank BBVA is hoarding rows of computer processors. Instead of storing bullion, Spain’s second largest lender is stockpiling data. BBVA, which between 2011 and 2013 spent an average of €850 million a year investing in technology, infrastructure and software development, is an example of the way finance institutions are beginning to bank on big data. “Banks are starting to realise the full potential of digital technologies and their potential to disrupt and transform the banking industry,” says Richard Lumb, group chief executive for financial services at Accenture, the consultancy. The big data boom in finance has started to bring new job opportunity at banks. “Demand for big data experts is strong,” says Adam Jackson, managing director at leading City of London recruiter Astbury Marsden. He says this has become an important focus as more data exchange with consumers is conducted via the cloud. But there is a skills shortage of analytics talent across the financial services industry, according to Accenture. Technology is becoming increasingly important for banks and they are battling technology groups for the best talent. All industries are scrambling to figure out ways to harness the power of data, which they are using to drive decision making. Finance is one sector that has been ahead of the curve. “I have seen both the insurance and financial services areas make the early moves,” says Michael Goul, chair for the Department of Information Systems at W. P. Carey School of Business. Dustin Pusch, director of business analytics at George Washington University’s business school, says big data is becoming particularly important for banks’ credit departments. “The use of big data is increasingly necessary for firms to...

MBA Programs Start to Follow Silicon Valley Into the Data Age...

Greg Pass, the former chief technology officer of Twitter, put the matter succinctly. The M.B.A., he observed, is “a challenged brand.” That’s because the degree suggests a person steeped in finance and corporate strategy rather than in the digital-age arts of speed and constant experimentation — and in skills like A/B testing, rapid prototyping and data-driven decision making, the bread and butter of Silicon Valley. Those skills are not just for high-tech start-ups. They are required now in every industry. And leading business schools are struggling to keep pace. Mr. Pass is on the faculty at Cornell Tech in New York, where an innovative new program brings M.B.A. candidates and graduate students in computer science together. Meanwhile, across the country, colleges are adding new courses in statistics, data science and A/B testing, which often involves testing different web page designs to see which attracts more traffic. Business plan competitions have become common. Students’ ideas usually have a digital component — websites, smartphone apps or sensor data — and prizes are up to $100,000 or more. Innovation and entrepreneurship centers have proliferated. Dual-degree programs, with a science or engineering degree added to an M.B.A., are increasing. Graduate business schools have picked up the digital ethos of experimentation and new ventures. At the Stanford Graduate School of Business, 150 elective courses are offered; 28 percent of those did not exist last year. “We’re responding to the best practices we see in the outside world like A/B testing and working with massive data sets,” said Garth Saloner, dean of the Stanford business school. “We’re adapting.”..Read full story:...

Do IT leaders need an MBA?

Many CIOs don’t have an MBA. Maybe they don’t think they need one. So what is the attraction for those who have lost sleep and precious family time earning a master of business administration (MBA) qualification? For some IT leaders with highly technical backgrounds and minimal business experience, an MBA may be an important step towards gaining a better understanding of the mechanics of their organisations. Others may simply use an MBA to stand out from the crowd when competing with hundreds, possibly thousands, of candidates for that highly paid, plum CIO role. Paul Munslow, IT program manager at Tennis Australia is an aspiring CIO who is studying for an MBA at Melbourne’s Chifley Business School. He has worked in IT for more than 15 years in the public and private sectors and has been a program manager for the last nine years. “I very much aspire to become an IT leader,” says Munslow. “I’ve had some great mentors who are very successful.” Munslow says the changing nature of an industry where IT people need to understand business, and feeling unfulfilled academically because he didn’t have an undergraduate degree prompted him to pursue an MBA. “It is no longer satisfactory to understand IT only, and to gain respect and have a ‘seat at the table’, business skills are required,” he says. “My recipe for respect and success is to become knowledgeable in IT and business, and I see an MBA as a vehicle for achieving this. The modern CIO needs to have many skills in the arsenal. It is my hope that an MBA will give me a competitive advantage in the future.” Munslow says he is sacrificing social and sporting activities “to get this sucker complete” in August...

Is an MBA in Information Technology right for you?...

I was trying to decide between an MBA and a Masters in Computer Science, and then I heard about an MBA in IT. Do you think an MBA in IT is my best choice? Trying to answer your question as directly as possible, all three choices are great alternatives. The one that’s best for you depends on what you would like to do professionally long term. If you have no aspirations to become a manager and wish to become a true expert in a specific technological discipline, such as security, data communications or data management, a Masters in Computer Science degree within your chosen technology may be your best educational direction. Regarding an MBA or MBA in IT, here too, there are advantages of both based on your long term professional goals, and the specific class offerings of the program you select. A general MBA has the advantage of teaching you a wide range of professional business disciplines, including marketing, finance, human resources, sales and other corporate functions. At first glance, this may seem to be of little or no value to you if you wish to become a future IT executive. In fact, an understanding of these non-IT business functions will be of crucial importance to you as a leader within IT because, by definition, your job will be to provide technical support to all of these business areas. Therefore, the more knowledgeable you are of these business areas, the better understanding you will have of their needs, wants and challenges. This, in turn, will allow your group to maximize the value you provide to those you are trying to serve. Using myself as an example, I have undergraduate degrees in Accounting and Computer Science and an MBA....

Big Data Gets Master Treatment at B-Schools

B-school students can’t get enough of big data. Neither can recruiters. Interest in specialized, one-year master’s programs in business analytics, the discipline of using data to explore and solve business problems, has increased lately, prompting at least five business schools to roll out stand-alone programs in the past two years. The growing interest in analytics comes amid a broader shift in students’ ambitions. No longer content with jobs at big financial and consulting firms, the most plum jobs for B-school grads are now in technology or in roles that combine business skills with data acumen, say school administrators. But some faculty and school administrators remain unconvinced that the programs properly prepare students to work with analytics. The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business began its Master of Business Analytics program this fall with 30 students. About 50 to 60 students are expected to enroll in the $47,000 program next year, the school said.Read full story: Wall Street...

Stanford MBAs: tech is out, finance is in

Lured by some of the most exorbitant pay packages ever given to MBAs, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business made finance once again the industry of choice this year. Nearly three of every 10 MBA graduates at Stanford, or 29% of the class of 2014, accepted job offers in finance, up from 26% last year. So much for all those reports suggesting that finance is out of favor. The increase, largely due to more acceptances in private equity, investment banking and investment management, came at the expense of the technology industry and consulting. Last year 32% of Stanford’s graduating MBAs rushed into tech. This year, the percentage fell to just 24%. Consulting fell to 16%, down three full percentage points from the 19% who chose to become consultants last year. For the consulting industry, it’s one of the lowest draws out of the Stanford pool ever. Only five years ago, in 2009, 32% of the class headed into the field. Finance was able to reclaim its number one position at Stanford because of some extraordinary pay packages it dangled in front of the newly minted MBAs. Graduates who accepted jobs in private equity—12% of the entire class—pulled down median base starting salaries of $170,000, 36% higher than the $125,000 median for the entire class and $20,000 higher than last year’s $150,000 median in private equity. The PE crowd also grabbed some of the highest signing bonuses and guaranteed other compensation. The average sign-on bonus in private equity was $46,250, highest of any sector, while the guaranteed other first-year comp $166,250. Even the median numbers were eye-popping: $40,000 for signing bonuses and $175,000 for guaranteed. For an MBA who collected all three pieces of the pie—salary, sign-on and year-end guaranteed...