Little Difference in A.B., Business Degrees

A Business School professor stated last night that there is little difference between those holding A.B. degrees and those holding M.B.A.'s as far as comparative desirability to business is concerned.

Moderating the career conference on Business and Manufacturing, in Dudley Hall, Robert W. Merry '34, professor of Business Administration, explained that most firms run their own training programs for college and post-college graduates. The early rate of progress, according to Merry, is faster in these programs for M.B.A.'s; however, few firms are pressed immediately for new executives.

Wallace R. Harper '30, vice-president of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, said that his concern looked for business school graduates to fill posts in the financial department, but was principally interested in college graduates for other non-technical positions.

All the speakers stressed that the largest number of openings in big business was for those with technical training, particularly engineers.

"This," however, stated George D. Lobingier, of Westinghouse Electric Corporation, "does not mean that there are not innumerable opportunities for liberal arts concentrators."

The 600 B.A.'s in the 1800 college graduates hired by General Motors last year now serve in the sales, finance, public relations, purchasing, and manufacturing departments, Edwin L. Yates, director of College and University Relations of General Motors, declared. Over 60 percent of all General Motors executives are not technically-trained, he added.

Production Salaries Higher

Lionel B. Hunter '37, president of Inland Steel Container Co., stated that Inland Steel's production division paid new employee $4,500 per year. In other divisions, the salary was slightly lower, Salaries in big business increase rather slowly, however, Harper disclosed.

Beginning careers in small business and manufacturing differ most from those in big business in that it is easy for the newcomer to grasp the total system of the small company without an inductive training period, Merry said. In this small surrounding, individual personalities become critical in the effectiveness of company projects.