Kenya is churning over 3,000 Masters of Business Administration graduates every year, making the graduate degree one of the most popular courses in the country. Over 20 public and private universities are offering MBA degrees in the country, with more expected to join the fray.
Despite the soaring MBA numbers, the demand for qualified business managers has grown in tandem and employers are paying top dollar for MBA holders. But there is a caveat: Years of experience and the issuing institution determines how much you earn, according to QS TopMBA: Jobs & Salary Trends Report.
Graduates from some of the best MBA Schools in Africa like University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, Universities of Wits and Stellenbosch earn an average of $50,000 (Sh4.5M) per year while MBA holders in Asia earn an average of $85,000.
According to the report, demand for MBAs in the technology sectors has undergone an era of unprecedented growth, especially in Asia. The globalization of skills is seen in the report as demand for MBAs in North America and Western Europe has flattened in the last three-four years, reflecting the economic growth in these regions.
“The real story is the continued astounding appetite of Asian employers for the MBA qualification. Asian employers reported another bumper year, with 20 percent growth in MBA demand in 2013. Employers, particularly in India and China, are embracing the qualification, especially in consulting and professional services, manufacturing, IT/computer services, finance and micro-finance,” states the report.
Whilst Kenya was not featured in the survey, a Nairobi-based HR consultant says an MBA may not necessarily give a candidate an edge when applying for a job.
“Kenyan employers are looking for specialized skills gained from working experience. The right papers are just an entry point,” says Perminus Wainana.
A hiring & Trend report released a month ago by Corporate Staffing Services showed that 61.6 percent of the employers assess the area of specialization of the candidates. Leadership experience comes a close second followed by a candidate’s affordability.