Georgetown Professor's Research Supports Value of MBA

December 20, 2006

Andy Pino
(202) 687-8610

Georgetown Professor's Research Supports Value of MBA

Washington, D.C. - An MBA degree yields a healthy return on investment (ROI) for almost anyone, regardless of the ranking of the school attended, according to Georgetown Assistant Professor of Management Brooks C. Holtom. Holtom's conclusion emerged from a five-year study of the value of MBA programs that was recently announced by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

Along with Associate Professor Ed Inderrieden of Marquette University, Holtom conducted the research with funding from the GMAC. The study examined the relative financial value of full-time, part-time and executive MBA programs and is the subject of an article by Holtom and Inderrieden in the January/February issue of BizEd magazine.

One of the most surprising findings of the research was that graduates of MBA programs outside of the top ten actually earned a better ROI than top-ten graduates. This finding is largely a function of the cost of education. The gap between the cost of tuition and the average starting salary of graduates of top schools tends to be greater than the gap at other schools, mainly because top schools cost more. This creates a lower ROI for new graduates of higher-ranked schools. Over time, however, the ROI for top schools is strong. The study also noted that part-time MBA programs have a particularly high annualized ROI of 68 percent for all schools.

Holtom's work at Georgetown focuses on organizational behavior and human resource management. His current research looks at how organizations acquire, develop and retain human and social capital. He teaches courses in organizational behavior, human resource management and negotiation, and he works with executives on issues involving decision making, negotiation, leadership, motivation and strategic human resource management.

About the Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business is a premier business school located in the nation's capital. Founded in 1957 to educate undergraduate business students through the integration of liberal arts and professional education, the McDonough School today welcomes approximately 1,300 undergraduates, 620 MBA students, and more than 500 participants in its executive education programs annually. For more information about the McDonough School, visit

About Georgetown University
Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in America, founded in 1789 by Archbishop John Carroll. Georgetown today is a major student-centered, international, research university offering respected undergraduate, graduate and professional programs on its three campuses. For more information about Georgetown University, visit