1. It gives you credibility with your business peers.
Having an MBA demonstrates your commitment to the business because you've invested the substantial time and energy required to obtain the degree. It shows that you value the business perspective and recognize that the technology you implement, support and develop is intended to enable business activities and is not an end in itself. An MBA also indicates that you've mastered a certain level of knowledge in business management, which gives you the ability and confidence to speak on equal terms with executives outside of IT. Because IT touches nearly every part of the modern business enterprise and because IT managers are increasingly ...view middle of the document...
Knowing how to read a financial statement is important when, for example, you are evaluating a vendor's financial health. Knowing how to interpret marketing plans and market analyses will help you identify a vendor’s strengths and overall strategies to see if the vendor can or will continue to be able to meet your needs. It's also helpful when trying to understand your own organization's operating environment: The better you understand the way your company is moving, the better able you'll be to position the IT department in front as opposed to being dragged along behind. Being in front, on the leading edge of change, is more fun and will make the IT department much more valuable to the company.
4. You can apply business school classwork to your day job.
In one class I wrote a paper that investigated the value of training for the IT staff, and I used the research and arguments I developed in that assignment to convince management to approve a substantial training budget for my staff at William and Mary.
On another occasion, I developed a statistical analysis that identified giving patterns across different segments of William and Mary's alumni. In this analysis, I compared different categories of graduates and the frequency and amount they donated to the college. My analysis revealed that alumni who received their undergraduate degrees in business gave with the greatest frequency and donated nearly twice the average amount of other segments of the giving population. This particular group of alums had been managed by a centralized annual fund group for many years, but after I presented my findings, the business school lobbied for and received approval to appeal to those generous donors directly. The result was more fund-raising dollars for the business school and for the college overall. I would not have thought to explore this business issue of fund-raising had I not gone through the MBA process, and William and Mary might not have brought in more donations had I not uncovered these funding patterns.
5. You'll polish your written communication skills.
Because the MBA is a master's-level academic program, you generally have to produce a 20- to 30-page report for each class subject. In my program, the classes were only six weeks long, so every six weeks I had to demonstrate academic mastery of a given topic with each paper I wrote. The ability to research business topics and develop written comprehensive analyses quickly has been enormously helpful to me in my role.
6. You'll learn standard tools for organizing business activity and managing business processes.
Before working on my MBA, I looked at IT as a services organization that executed requests or commands rather than as a function that needs to position itself strategically inside an organization. The MBA gave me the tools, techniques and resources I needed to run IT like a business—things like risk management plans, performance plans, project management methodologies, steering...