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Expert Advice: Usefulness of an MBA in Marketing

Expert Advice: Usefulness of an MBA in Marketing

American Marketing Associatio |Matthew T. Grant, PhD, AQUENTn

November 03, 2009

Question
I’m currently studying for GMAT yet not sure of obtaining an MBA as my peers say, it doesn’t guarantee obtaining a job. Some advice getting marketing certifications… But, I’m not exactly sure what to do? Can you guide me? What are your thoughts on the usefulness of a MBA in Marketing?

Answer
Let me start by saying that I do not have an MBA, from which I conclude that one does not need an MBA to have a career in marketing. I have also heard, though cannot immediately verify, that unless you go to one of the top schools, the cost of attending business school will not be appreciably off-set by the resulting increase in salary.
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That being said, if you are looking to get a job with a well-known CPG or otherwise heavily brand-driven company, chances are that they will be looking for an MBA (ideally from a major biz school) if you want to go into product or brand management. Same goes for joining a marketing consulting firm. In the communications/advertising world, it’s more about your writing and creative credentials. Degrees in statistics and mathematics are sought after in the research area.

My personal opinion is that business schools are primarily valuable for the networking opportunities that they offer and in-depth study of esoteric stuff like “discounted cash flow analysis.” The value of the former will depend on the caliber of the school you are able to attend and the value, to you, of the latter will depend on the particular branch of marketing you plan to pursue. That is, if you plan on launching and running your own company, that stuff might matter. However, there are a lot of marketing roles you could have, where it will not.

Featured Expert: Matthew T. Grant, PhD, AQUENT