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August 28, 2002
Certification Coming for MBAs
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The moment of truth is coming for MBAs.

According to USA Today, a certification exam for MBAs will arrive in April, prompted by a desire to make sure the 112,000 people a year who receive the degrees have learned their core subjects.

The newspaper reports that the CMBA - certified MBA - will be announced Sept. 3 by the International Certification Institute (ICI) and Thomson, a major company in the growing industry of certification exams and testing administered by computer.

Certification that those who hold master's degrees in business administration actually know what they claim to know seems certain to stir controversy at the nation's top-tier business schools, since their graduates have long been able to demand fatter salaries than those from other schools, USA Today reports.

Test-takers will know where they rank against all test-takers, regardless of school.

No regulatory body will require the CMBA, which means the exam's success will rely on employers expecting it of applicants or students deciding it will give them an edge in a job hunt.

Companies spend $8.5 billion a year in salaries for new MBA hires and often "get burned," says Peter Navarro, a business professor at the University of California at Irvine.

The exam comes at a time when the MBA degree is under attack. Management scholar Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford combed through 40 years of research and concluded that those who get an MBA make no more money nor do they advance faster in their careers than executives who don't get the degree.


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