September 2012: Tech + MBA

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.

On Dice, requests for candidates that hold an MBA as a prerequisite or a preference are relatively rare – about 1,500 job postings on any given day. But, roles with that appeal are wide ranging from .NET Developer to Web Developer and about everything in between.

Regardless, perceptions about the need for an MBA among non- MBA-holder tech pros continue to lag. According to a recent Dice survey, nearly a third of respondents (32%) reported seeing an MBA as important for future tech employees, while more than half (52%) saw it as unnecessary.

Those who saw the value of an advanced business degree cited the upside of combining business knowledge with technical skills; additional career marketability and greater likelihood of advancing into management. Tech professionals who saw no value in an MBA greatly favored one response above all the rest: They believe technical expertise will outweigh benefits from general business knowledge.

Among current MBA holders with technical expertise (9% of respondents), higher pay was the top reported impact of their degree (ahead of “no impact,” the second-place response). Other frequent responses? It helped the MBA holder “move into management within the technology department,” let them “obtain employment at a preferred company” or helped them land “work in a new, business-oriented technical role.”

For tech professionals without an advanced business degree, only one in five (19%) 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.

Tom Silver
SVP, North America

*A single job posting may reflect more than one skill, location or type of position; therefore total figures for those attributes may be greater than total jobs posted.