Influences on perceived career success: findings from US graduate business degree alumni.

Cocchiara, Faye K., Kwesiga, Eileen, Bell, Myrtle P. and Baruch, Yehuda (2010) Influences on perceived career success: findings from US graduate business degree alumni. Career Development International, 15 (1) . pp. 39-58. ISSN 1362-0436 [Article] (doi:10.1108/13620431011020880)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of US MBA and specialist master's degree alumni to determine the influence that their degree program experiences had on subsequent perceptions of career success.

Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from 318 alumni MBA and specialist master's degree recipients from a large university in the southwestern USA; more than half of them were male. The university provided independent demographic data used to match respondents' surveys.

Findings – Evidence was found that men and women graduates perceived their post-graduate degree success differently, with women graduates reporting less salary gain but higher hierarchical levels and job satisfaction compared to men. Social capital and perceived discrimination indirectly affected the reported career success of graduates on hierarchical level salary gain.

Research limitations/implications – Use of self-report data, for all model variables, puts the findings at risk for common-method bias. Additionally, while discrimination measure had acceptable reliability for this sample, it has not been widely validated.

Practical implications – The findings that women viewed their graduate program as less effective for advancing their careers than men despite earning higher grades suggests that business schools emphasize improving graduate student experiences as well as managerial competencies. Organizations' leaders should make their diversity management practices readily apparent as women and minority MBA graduates are likely to view such practices as important during their job search.

Originality/value – This study contributes to the knowledge of factors that influence career success.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
ISI Impact: 2
Item ID: 7600
Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2011 07:43
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:22

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