Are MBA's Worth It for Tech Pros?
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An IT professional with an MBA could have a distinct edge over competitors looking to land that perfect position, according to a report from online technology jobs site Dice. Among current MBA holders with technical expertise (9 percent of survey respondents), higher pay was the top reported impact of their degree, but other benefits included moving into management within the technology department, obtaining employment at a preferred company or helping to land work in a new, business-oriented technical role.
However, a majority (52 percent) of survey respondents said they don't think having an MBA would be important to their future technical careers, while 32 percent said they thought it would. Sixteen percent said they had no opinion. Out of Dice's daily tech listings, the company found about 1,500 job postings on any given day that require or prefer a candidate with an MBA. Survey respondents seemed to indicate having technical knowledge was more of a concern than general business knowledge, but those who saw the value of an MBA cited additional career marketability and greater likelihood of advancing into management.
"Major League baseball teams lust after five-tool players. In the marketplace for technology talent, multiple threats are IT professionals who combine technical experience with business acumen," Tom Silver senior vice president of Dice, North America, wrote in a company blog post. "For tech professionals without an advanced business degree, only one in five (19 percent) said they will likely get an MBA in the future. That seems to ensure tech professionals with MBAs will be as tough to find as the great Willie Mays."
According to the company's information, the nationwide number of available tech jobs stands at 84,268 in September, with full time positions numbering 52,106, contract positions numbering 35,542, part-time positions numbering 1,771, and telecommuting posts reaching 1,047 positions. As of September 4, New York was the top metro area for IT jobs, with 8,814 available positions, down 4 percent from the same period in 2011. The Washington D.C./Baltimore area placed second, down one percent from the same period last year, for a total of 8,063 available jobs.
Up three percent from September 2011, IT stalwart Silicon Valley placed third with 5,675 open tech positions, while Chicago IT jobs edged up four percent from the same period last year to reach 3,847 positions. Rounding out the top five best cities for tech jobs was Boston, which surged six percent when compared with September 2011 to post 3,451 available tech jobs.
Los Angeles, with 3,439 available IT positions, placed sixth and saw its overall tech jobs market improve six percent compared with the same period last year, followed by Atlanta (3,195 IT positions and a six percent uptick), Dallas, which saw available positions rise one percent to 3,071, and Seattle, with 2,668 positions and a four percent boost from September 2011. The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, posted far and away the biggest gain in the number of IT positions in the top ten: Philly's available tech jobs surged 16 percent when compared with Septmeber of 2011, with the total number of IT positions hitting 2,432.