Are MBAs and Master's Degrees Worth it? A Discussion of Wages, Job Security and Business Cycles

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Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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Foley, Claire
Digital Commons @ DU
Business Cycles; Higher Education; Labor; Master's Degree; MBA
thesis / dissertation description
Since the 1970's, recessions have become more frequent and severe, causing major changes to the labor market and the importance of education. This study focuses on the problems for employees with master's degrees and MBAs, and asks three questions: 1) Do employees with graduate degrees have higher earnings than bachelor's degree recipients, 2) Do they experience greater job security as a result of their additional education, and 3) Is graduate school a way to avoid unemployment during a recession? Ordinal logistic regression analysis is conducted and finds that master's degrees and MBAs experience very different outcomes, with much higher returns for MBAs, although master's degrees do see higher earnings than bachelor's degrees. Job security is slightly higher for the graduate degrees relative to bachelor's degrees, which could account for the relatively higher earnings.