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MBA not a guarantee of higher salary, employers look for unique skills

[caption id="attachment_13273" align="alignnone" width="300"]Courtesy of Flickr Courtesy of Flickr[/caption] A recent study conducted by SumZero, a community of investment professionals, found that hedge fund associates with undergraduate degrees bring home bigger paychecks than their peers with Master’s in Business Administration, according to an article released by the Financial Post. A hedge fund is a partnership of investors that take high risks in attempt to obtain large returns of money. According to the SumZero 2016 Fund Compensation report, pre-MBA associates took home an average $200,000 which included a $90,000 bonus. Associates with an MBA took home an average of $184,000 which included a $60,000 bonus, as reported by the Financial Post. The report based on an user-generated anonymous survey of more than 1,800 associate positions between 2012 and 2015 stated that it “does not claim to be a statistically perfect representation of the fund industry at large” and “tends to be biased toward NYC-based professionals” where the SumZero community is located. However, some Seton Hall professors disagreed with the idea that an MBA was hurting salaries. Despite what was said in the study by SumZero, Elven Riley, instructor in the department of finance, said that people should be hired based on their experience. “My initial reaction is that I can find another insignificant sample size within any cohort that supported any conclusion and this would be suspect to the other work I have read on this subject,” Riley said in an email. He added, “I also have 30 years working for the largest trading organizations on the planet so I have additional corporate data. If the applicant has knowledge we hire them. How they acquired the knowledge could have been formal education or not.” Daniel Ladik, Stillman School of Business MBA program director and associate professor of marketing, questioned the facts put forth by the SumZero study. “Would a hedge fund manager earn more money than a hedge fund manager who also has an MBA?” Ladik asked in an email. “Should we compare a newly minted MBA student with someone who has been working out in the field for number of years and been promoted to Hedge Fund manager?” Vincent DeBartolomeis, a freshman sports management major, said that some students may get their MBA too early instead of going out into their fields to get experience following graduation. When asked if the results of the study would affect his own plans, DeBartolomeis said, “I do plan on getting my masters at some point but I’ll probably go into the workforce for a couple of years to not only get experience but also earn some money to help pay for grad school.” Alexandra Gale can be reached at


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