Financial Literacy - Careers
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Are you management material?

Decide whether to MBA or not to MBA

Most fantastically successful people don't stumble into their life path, and CEOs are no different. Their accomplishments are usually the result of long-held goals and a commitment to becoming a leader.

"Typically CEOs are people who are well-educated, intelligent, driven to achieve and they are people who like to influence others and do meaningful and significant things," says Marshall Goldsmith, executive consultant and author of "What Got You Here Won't Get You There."

That said, they are not necessarily all in possession of a master's degree from business school. In 2006, BusinessWeek reported that fewer than one in three chief executives has an MBA.

While an MBA may not put you at the helm of a Fortune 500 company, it can be a foot in the door for an initial management position.

Whether an MBA is necessary has been debated for years, says American Management Association's Manny Avramidis.

"I will say that if two candidates with identical resumes -- with the exception that one had an MBA -- applied for the same management job, the one with the MBA will have a better chance of being hired. In general, all else being equal, an MBA or any advanced education can prove to be very helpful in someone's career," he says.

An advanced degree can be helpful and if it's from a top-rated school, an MBA can even be a golden ticket into management -- but where you go once you're in is largely up to you.

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