Facebook actually does want MBAs – no matter what Sheryl Sandberg says...

Though Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg got an MBA from Harvard Business School, she has questioned whether such a degree actually helps people in the tech industry. In a recent Quora thread, she even went so far as to say: “MBAs are not necessary at Facebook and I don’t believe they are important for working in the tech industry.” Whether or not this is true is hard to pinpoint, partially because Sandberg’s wording is vague. What does she mean by important? Important to get a job, to do you job, to move up the ladder, to start your own business? But there is one part of her claim we can check, one that is useful for anyone considering either an MBA or the tech industry. Do hiring managers in Silicon Valley agree with Sandberg? In other words, does having an MBA matter in getting a job? Research suggests that, in fact, hiring managers don’t agree (even at Facebook itself). Silicon Valley wants MBAs. Tapwage, a job discovery startup, analyzed over 100,000 job listings to find out whether having an MBA mattered in Silicon Valley. They started from this premise: “If hiring managers don’t believe in the value of an MBA, there wouldn’t be any point in stating it as a criteria for selection on job postings.” Looking at Facebook in particular, they found that the company had 75 jobs (9% of total openings) that either had a preference for an MBA (or required one). They found similar or higher percentages at other tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Apple. When Tapwage compared tech companies to Wall Street banks, they found that MBAs were actually in higher demand in tech companies. An example: Facebook looks for three times as many MBAs...

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...