The Wall Street Journal asked students if an MBA is ‘worth it’. If they asked executive recruiters, I think they would find, that for people early to mid stage in their career, yes, the degree is definitely worth it. I guess I should add the disclaimer that I toiled through an evening MBA program at Santa Clara and may be biased.
Here’s the deal. It can be very competitive at the top 25% of the professional talent pool. Generally, I can tell pretty quickly how advanced someone’s business education is, not because I quiz them, because of how they describe things, their language, their thought process. If you want to stand out of, or heck, even remain in the pack, having an MBA often helps. I talk to people all the time who are far hungrier and more committed than most—like the guy who couldn’t afford to get to the US to attend one of the premier schools in the country (he figured it out) and went on to do great things here.
But rarely does it rule candidates out. If you are awesome, accomplished and likeable, you’ll get the job generally speaking, with or without the paper.