More women than ever are earning graduate business degrees, and at younger ages than ever before. But it's unclear whether these women are gaining much from the degree, with persistent wage gaps between men and women who have the same business credentials and work experience.
Last year, almost 106,000 women -- the highest number ever -- took the GMAT, the standard admissions test for entry to MBA programs and other business graduate programs, according to the latest figures from the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), which owns the test. And the majority of test-takers between June 2009 and 2010 were 30 years old or younger.
In addition to MBAs, more women are pursuing graduate business degrees in disciplines like finance and accounting, GMAC found in its 2011 report.
许多年轻女性选择全日制学习，比如29岁的杰西卡· 迪琳。大学毕业后，她在房利美（Fannie Mae）与第一资本银行（Capital One Bank）工作了七年。明年，她即将从乔治城大学麦克多诺商学院（Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business）毕业。
Many of the younger female students are pursuing degrees full-time, such as Jessica Dillon, 29, who worked for seven years after college, at Fannie Mae and Capital One Bank (COF). She will graduate from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business next year.
"You have to think about your return on investment," she says of her decision to earn an MBA. "Business school is expensive and you want to see that return at an earlier point in your career.
今年六月，阿莱丽·迪恩将从西北大学凯洛格管理学院（Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management）毕业。她之所以选择MBA，一方面是希望拓展自己的技能，同时也希望拥有更多的就业选择机会。她在国防工业巨头洛克希德马丁公司（Lockheed Martin）工作了五年多，一直从事分析师工作，但她希望有机会挑战其他职业。
Arielle Deane, who is graduating in June from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, says opting for an MBA was a way to expand her skills and also to avoid pigeonholing her career. She had worked for more than five years as an analyst at defense industry giant Lockheed Martin, and wanted to explore other career possibilities.
"This is an opportunity to change the trajectory of my career," says Deane, 30, who is planning to start a job at a marketing and branding consultancy after graduation.
Women have largely flocked to medical and law schools in greater numbers over the past few years, but they are now turning to business school as well in part because business schools are mindful of the shortage of women students and are recruiting them more aggressively than they have before. Women now make up more than one-third of all MBA recipients, according to federal data -- up substantially in the past decade.
High costs and less than stellar payoff
Concerns about the steep cost of a degree -- which can run $100,000 or more for a top business school -- and going into debt have been top factors in women's reluctance to enroll in an MBA program. In contrast, the main concern for men is the outcome, or job prospects, following a degree, according to GMAC. Other business degrees such as finance or accounting are a more affordable option, and nearly two-thirds of these degrees are awarded to women.
Despite their growing numbers, all is not rosy for female business graduates entering the working world. Last year, women MBA graduates received half the job offers -- one versus two, on average -- of their male counterparts, despite sending out 20% more applications, according to GMAC.
And the payoff from the degree is not always stellar. While 2010 female MBA graduates told GMAC's researchers that they earned, on average, 51% more than their pre-degree salary, men experienced a 54% increase. That translates into a median salary for women of $74,000 for their first post-business degree job versus men who earned $77,500, according to the council's findings.
A report last year by Catalyst, an organization that studies female advancement in business, found that a woman in her first post-MBA job made $4,600 less than a man in the same type of job.
More significantly, Catalyst found that unequal pay starts with the first job, and widens over time, even after accounting for job level, industry, child bearing and career aspirations, according to the results of the study by authors Nancy M. Carter and Christine Silva.
2011-05-02 15:58 编辑：kuaileyingyu