Is an MBA the ticket to a career in tech?

Not all CEOs from top companies in the United States obtained businesses degrees.

By U2B Staff 

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The importance of technology in businesses across industries can no longer be ignored but what has become increasingly clear is the importance of talent with business expertise to technology giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Google. MBA graduates have proven to be highly employable in the tech industry, in fact, 84% of those who graduated from the 131 MBA programmes ranked by US. News found employment within three months, according to a survey of recent graduates.

With the more recent technology boom, MBA graduates are increasingly driven to seek opportunities with the tech giants of Silicon Valley.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)’s 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey report reflects an interesting trend development – 89% of tech employers planned to hire MBA holders in 2018 which is an 84% increase from the year before.

The love affair goes both ways, fresh MBA graduates are reportedly seeking hiring with the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Google for their entrepreneurial culture, high compensation, and an improved work-life balance.

It can be said that MBA graduates who complete accredited programmes are found to enjoy good prospects for employment in any industry.


MBAs offer different specialisations and many universities and business schools offer MBA programmes through various modes of study. Online MBA programmes are becoming increasingly popular, allowing students the opportunity to balance their careers while studying.

Additionally, The Princeton Review cited even more positive findings on the return of investment of an MBA.

The report which calculated the return of investment of an MBA degree as the difference between the average 10-year earnings of a bachelor’s degree-holder and an MBA graduate, and found that an MBA graduate earned up to 300% higher.

In the tech industry, MBAs who specialise in technology management and work as leaders in the technology sector can make up to US$113,000 a year, with information technology directors earning up to US$147,000 a year.

GMAC has also cited the fast growth of tech companies as the pull factor when it comes to MBAs, making it the perfect grounds for MBA holders to establish their post-graduate careers.

In 2020, tech joins the likes of consulting firms such as McKinsey to become the biggest employers of MBAs.

Technology companies that heavily recruit MBA graduates include Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Intel, and IBM.


Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer and a prominent cloud services provider, has hired as many as 1,000 employees from about a dozen of the country’s most elite business graduate schools in the past years.

Amazon reportedly hires MBAs from top business schools including Michigan Ross, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan, Northwestern Kellogg, Chicago Booth and Columbia.

Amazon is now hiring more tech MBAs, from a broader range of schools as the tech giant has plans to hire more than 1,000 MBA employees this year from more than 80 schools across North America.

Companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Cisco also report similar trends, with a large concentration of MBA, hires having gone to school in MIT Sloan and Northwestern Kellogg.

Even with the recent developments surrounding COVID-19, major MBA recruiters including tech giants such as Google and Amazon, have not reported any hiring impacts so far.

MBA specialising in technology, technology leadership, and even entrepreneurship are highly sought after by professionals who are keen to find employment with tech companies

These specialisations give you the advantage of a general MBAs that will cover the key aspects of an MBA with the additional emphasis on technology. This allows the learner to gain the knowledge and skills related to general business, management, and leadership, on top of the specialisation in technology.

The core curriculum varies by school but in general, these programmes will cover areas of finance, statistics, accounting, marketing, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and ethics. The added specialisation in technology will set graduates from these programmes apart in areas such as business intelligence, emerging technologies for business, business process and design, database application, as well as information systems.

Quacquarelli Symonds, QS recently released rankings for various MBA specialisations, including the top programmes for careers in technology. The ranking is based on surveys conducted on employers, academics, and business school programmes, and evaluated MBA programmes on career outcomes in the tech industry, programme reputations in the industry, and research output related to technology.

The top three schools based on QS rankings is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan with 32% of its MBAs going into the tech industry. This is followed by the University of California at Berkeley (Haas) with 37% of its MBA graduates going into the tech industry. This is followed by Stanford University, the University of California at Los Angeles (Anderson) and Northwestern University (Kellogg).