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Directorships and the MBA – Do They Go Together?


Most of us study an MBA to advance our careers. In support of this, there is a common belief that directors are likely to have MBA degrees. But is this true? The SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) recently conducted an interesting survey that revealed otherwise.

SAICA’s survey found that about a third of the chief executives of the 194 top listed companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange are chartered accountants. SAICA completed a comprehensive update of the JSE’s database of directorships which showed that 32% of CEOs and a further 32%, or 692, of directors at the top listings were qualified CAs.

In contrast, only 9.8% of board directors held an MBA.

Why do you think this is so much lower than expected? Share your thoughts.

For the full article, click here. Thanks to MBAconnect.net member Dylan Allison for sharing this article.

Author: Colette Symanowitz

Director of FraudCracker. Passionate about entrepreneurship, personal branding and networking. I also tweet under @FraudCracker

2 thoughts on “Directorships and the MBA – Do They Go Together?

  1. Interesting observations….and mirrors my own experiences as a MBL grad.

    I think that this phenomenon is spurred on by multiple issues:

    1. The proliferation of “instant” MBA’s presented by dodgy institutions has cheapened the value of the qualification and the degree needs to be qualified within the context of the business school it was obtained from.
    2. MBA’s are seen as the fast track to greatness and are therefore being completed by younger and younger candidates in what is hopefully a quick career move. In reality the qualification alone is like obtaining a drivers licence – true value only kicks in once you’ve experienced driving the free-ways of corporate life for a while.
    3. The qualification is often dismissed by those that don’t have it, often as a motivation of why they haven’t actually attempted the course themselves. Its about the old adage that there are those that talk and those that do.
    4. MBA grads are often seen as “smart Aleck” and in more than one publication I noticed that the major downturn we have been through / still experiencing has been attributed to MBA’s and the lessons learnt in the evil business schools!

    …and the list goes on….

    The answer? Perhaps a professional body, where the qualification is formally recognised and where MBA’s are held to account – similar to the IoD.

    Great blog, keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks Ralph for your feedback. I agree with you 100%, especially point 2.

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