Employers looking for MBA graduates with specific skillset

by Kumar Balani

NEW YORK – The five most important skills (among those classified as ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ ones) that employers are looking for among those who have completed their Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs are the ones we name below. This is based on a survey by the Financial Times of 48 top employers worldwide and across various sectors of business:

• The ability to work with a wide variety of people
• Time management and the ability to prioritize their tasks
• Understanding the digital impact on businesses
• Ability to build, sustain, and expand a network of people
• Ability to solve complex problems

The survey also found that that the least important skills (which some MBA graduates had thought were also important) are: complex statistical skills; environmental management and corporate social responsibility (CSR) skills; specialized financial skills; specialized marketing skills; and specialized programming skills.

So with the above five bullet-pointed ones being the most critical characteristics that you need to have, and if you do not possess them yet, endeavor to develop and acquire them, But before you can be among the candidates that employers are looking for, you need to acquire an MBA.

Why? Because one way to get top pay in the world of business here in the United States is to get an MBA degree from a top-ranked US graduate-level business school.

While you may be able to acquire a high-compensation management position in a US company with an MBA from a business school in the Philippines if you have other qualifications such as awards, experience, or other accepted performance benchmarks, your best chances are with an MBA received from a top business school in the US.

The US News & World Report, a magazine that is well-known for analyzing various educational programs at US institutions of higher learning and publishing annual college rankings, came out last March with its 2019 ranking of the top 10 MBA schools in the United States, and they are:

1. University of Chicago Booth School of Business
2. Harvard Business School (tied as No.1)
3. University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School of Business
4. Stanford Graduate School of Business
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management
6. Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Business
7. University of California Berkeley – Haas School of Business
8. The University of Michigan – Ross School of Business (tied as No.7)
9. Columbia University Business School
10. Dartmouth University – Tuck School of Business

Highest-Compensated MBA Graduates: Which Business Schools Rank the Highest?

You might think that the top salaries would go to MBA graduates based on the ranks above, but you would be surprised to know that that is not the case. We found a list in an article published on March 17 this year written by Will Martin in Business Insider entitled The 16 MBAs Where Graduates Can Earn the Highest Salaries. This article is based on data obtained by the salary benchmarking organization Emolument from almost 11,000 MBA degree holders.

The study found that graduates from the MIT Sloan School of Management, ranked No.5 in the list above, received on average the highest annual compensation, amounting to $286,000.

The likely reason companies pay MBA graduates from MIT more than those from other schools is the primacy of technology these days in developing tools for innovation. US firms are increasingly looking for ways to stand out from their competitors and achieve higher earnings per share. Superior financial results also usually (but not always) lead to higher stock prices, which in turn benefit top company management executives.

Next highest in pay were those who received their MBA from Harvard Business School, with an average annual $255,000. Trailing just slightly behind with $250,000 in per-year pay were MBA-educated graduates from the Chicago Booth School of Business.

Here below is the list of top five schools with highest-compensated graduates of MBA programs.

1. MIT Sloan School of Management – $286,000
2. Harvard Business School – $255,000
3. Chicago Booth School of Business – $250,000
4. Wharton School of Business – $248,000
5. Columbia University Business School – $239,000

Business schools ranked No.6 to No.10, and the compensation its MBA graduates received were these, respectively: New York University Stern School of Business-$213,000; Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business-$209,000; Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management-$189,000; Duke University Fuqua School of Business-$189,000; and University of Michigan Ross School of Business-$187,000.

There was one other US business school in the list of the top 16: it was the No.11 ranking UCLA Anderson School of Management whose MBA graduates received an average $185,000 a year. The other five ranked No.12 to No.16 were Europe-based business schools, with one each in France, Spain and Switzerland, and two in the United Kingdom.

Passing GMAT: Requirement for Admission into MBA Programs in US Business Schools

One of the top requirements for getting into an MBA program in a US business school is to pass the Graduate Management Admission Test, known in short as the GMAT. This is a computer-adaptive test intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English.

The GMAT requires knowledge of certain specific grammar rules and some amount of knowledge of algebra, geometry, and mathematics. According to the test-owning company, the Graduate Management Admission Council or GMAC (established in 1953) this test also requires and assesses analytical-writing and problem-solving abilities. It also addressing data sufficiency, logic, and critical-reasoning skills that it believes to be vital to real-world business and management success.

The GMAT format has four sections, requires the test-taker to write an essay, as well as answer a total of 79 questions in just a little over three hours. Analytical Writing Assessment – 30 minutes, 1 essay question; Integrated Reasoning –  30 minutes, 12 questions;  Quantitative  62 minutes, 31 questions; Verbal65 minutes, 36 questions.

In July 2017, the GMAC announced that from now on, the order in which the different parts of the GMAT are taken can be chosen at the beginning of the exam. The GMAT can be taken up to five times a year. Each attempt must be at least 16 days apart. More than 7,000 programs at approximately 2,300 graduate business schools around the world accept the GMAT exam as part of the selection criteria for their programs.

Business schools use this critically important exam as a criterion for admission into a wide range of graduate management programs, not just for an MBA, but also for master’s degrees (MAs) in accounting, finance, investment, management, marketing, and other business specialties.

2 Test Centers for the GMAT in the Philippines: Makati, Metro Manila, and Cebu City

The GMAT is given in ‘standardized’ test centers in 114 countries around the world. In the Philippines, the administering company GMAC informs us, that this exam is given by MSNet Education, Inc. in two sites, at Unit 2201 Antel Corporate 2000 Centre at 121 Valero Street in Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City in Metro Manila; and at Unit 401 Don A. Gothong Centre (Sugbutel) on Sergio Osmena Boulevard, North Reclamation Area, 8000 Cebu City.

A survey conducted by Kaplan Test Prep showed that the GMAT is still the number one choice for MBA aspirants despite the increasing acceptability of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. In addition, the GMAC has continually performed validity studies to statistically verify that the GMAT predicts success in business school programs. Now that you know how important an MBA from a top US business school is to your career, you can get started!

Kumar (Kem) Balani joins the Philippine Daily Mirror as a columnist. He also writes for the Daily Tribune in the Philippines. He is the founder and current publisher of BIZ INDIA Online News (www.BizIndia.net) that followed the print publication BIZ INDIA Magazine begun in 2002.

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