‘I Went To Business School To Get My MRS Degree’

“I’m in business school to get me my M-R-S
The returns on a marriage are worth the debt
Findin’ a man in the markets’ not happened yet
So I’m gonna’ find my hubby at CBS”

In the 1950s women mainly went to college for one reason and no, it wasn’t to study philosophy. It was to get their MRS degree. Back then, women felt tremendous societal pressure to focus their aspirations on a wedding ring. The U.S. marriage rate was at an all-time high and couples were tying the knot, on average, younger than ever before. Getting married right out of high school or while in college was considered the norm. But things are totally different now right? Women don’t need husbands in the way that they used to which could be a major factor as to why the number of single adults rose to 50%  in 2010, compared to 33% in 1950, according to census data. To some young women, the MRS degree is a foreign phrase. They actually think it is some sort of master’s degree, perhaps for science. But for some women, attending the male-dominated business school (more so than law and medicine) is a great place to find a husband. The MBA may just be the icing on the cake. We talked to a few women about this

There is more general interest in going to business school for women now. Approximately 10% more women now take the GMAT then a decade ago, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council and women now constitute 31% of business-school classes, up from about 26% in 2001, according to the Forté Foundation, which also advises companies and business schools on diversity strategies. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Harvard Business School’s class of 2013 will have the highest percentage of females ever making up the class with 39%. This is an increase of three percentage points over the past two years. The London Business School is also pushing to recruit more women into its MBA program. The school has said it will ensure 30% of its MBA students are women by 2015 at the latest. The program currently has 26-28% women in its class of 400.

For many women, they do not go through that lengthy application process and pay $80,000 just with the intention of finding a husband. Many women are already married when they go to business school or in a serious relationship. But the majority of people that go to business school have been working for a few years and are now getting the degree in order to move their career to the next level. Many of them may have been people that were so busy working at their jobs that they didn’t have time to work on their social life. For those getting an MBA and a husband can be a nice group package to go after.

Photo: lozas /Shutterstock.com

UPDATE: Jezebel Says I Think Women Only Go To Business School To Find Husbands

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    • Lastango

      Good luck to them all… I hope they meet wonderful men and leave school with both their degree and their lifetime partner!
      ==========
      Just one quibble… I’m not much in favor of denigrating 1950s women. In retrospect those 1950s women look smart and focused. Perhaps it would be instructive to consider what they knew that we seem to have lost sight of. They remind me of the 1940′s cohort, who went into industry by the millions during the war. They learned new skills from scratch and kept things going until the fighting was done. That was a rugged bunch. They knew how to make choices and get things done — exactly what we should expect from people who grew up in the Hungry Thirties. Of course, just because some of us are rediscovering the virtues of pursuing the MRS degree doesn’t mean we are as canny or tough as they were… but maybe we can learn. But we have to stop snickering first.

    • Lastango

      Good luck to them all… I hope they meet wonderful men and leave school with both their degree and their lifetime partner!
      ==========
      Just one quibble… I’m not much in favor of denigrating 1950s women. In retrospect those 1950s women look smart and focused. Perhaps it would be instructive to consider what they knew that we seem to have lost sight of. They remind me of the 1940′s cohort, who went into industry by the millions during the war. They learned new skills from scratch and kept things going until the fighting was done. That was a rugged bunch. They knew how to make choices and get things done — exactly what we should expect from people who grew up in the Hungry Thirties. Of course, just because some of us are rediscovering the virtues of pursuing the MRS degree doesn’t mean we are as canny or tough as they were… but maybe we can learn. But we have to stop snickering first.

    • HardWorkingFemale

      This article is so ridiculous…as a female, i would think that you wouldn’t want to continue these types of stereotypes. As a female with a MBA, i find it very insulting that you think I only went to school to get a husband. I went to school to better myself so that I don’t have to wait for any man to take care of me. Why don’t you go ahead and step into the 21st century please and stop writing articles that make women look like we can’t do anything for ourselves.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/AXH6ASW3FKEFA7FJLXKDID722A Shannon

        She’s also a terrible writer who is incapable of verifying facts.

      • http://twitter.com/sross4 Sarah Ross

        I’d like to read the original article, not what she edited after the Jezebel article came out. Shady.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/AXH6ASW3FKEFA7FJLXKDID722A Shannon

        Yep, she went from generalized stereotypes to defensive petulant child in 0-60.

      • MALepore

        Hey guys. Sorry did not appear to be shady. I was trying to link to my follow up and Jezebel’s piece for traffic reasons so had to add an extra line in there (but then I just put the link at the end) so it flowed but I totally understand the confusion. I took out that extra line. Thank you Sarah for reading so closely!

      • hmm

        but you still left out the “icing on the cake” line, why’s that? do you normally go back and edit posts if people challenge them? is that what they taught you in journalism school?

      • MALepore

        @Shannon Post is fixed. I couldn’t get a hold of the original draft when I added the link. Thanks

    • HardWorkingFemale

      This article is so ridiculous…as a female, i would think that you wouldn’t want to continue these types of stereotypes. As a female with a MBA, i find it very insulting that you think I only went to school to get a husband. I went to school to better myself so that I don’t have to wait for any man to take care of me. Why don’t you go ahead and step into the 21st century please and stop writing articles that make women look like we can’t do anything for ourselves.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/AXH6ASW3FKEFA7FJLXKDID722A Shannon

        She’s also a terrible writer who is incapable of verifying facts.

      • http://twitter.com/sross4 Sarah Ross

        I’d like to read the original article, not what she edited after the Jezebel article came out. Shady.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/AXH6ASW3FKEFA7FJLXKDID722A Shannon

        Yep, she went from generalized stereotypes to defensive petulant child in 0-60.

      • MALepore

        Hey guys. Sorry did not appear to be shady. I was trying to link to my follow up and Jezebel’s piece for traffic reasons so had to add an extra line in there (but then I just put the link at the end) so it flowed but I totally understand the confusion. I took out that extra line. Thank you Sarah for reading so closely!

      • hmm

        but you still left out the “icing on the cake” line, why’s that? do you normally go back and edit posts if people challenge them? is that what they taught you in journalism school?

      • MALepore

        @Shannon Post is fixed. I couldn’t get a hold of the original draft when I added the link. Thanks

    • Incoming!!
    • Incoming!!
    • kitty

      did you miss the fact that the Columbia video was SATIRE?

    • kitty

      did you miss the fact that the Columbia video was SATIRE?

    • MALepore

      Just wanted to say I absolutely did get that the CBS article was satirical. What I was really trying to say was that isn’t it okay to be a smart, career driven woman who hopes that when she is devoting two years of her life to getting an advanced degree that she may find a like-minded man (or woman) with the same career and life goals? If you want to have a great career and get married to someone who supports your career are you anti-feminist? I clearly said these women did not go for the sole intention of finding a husband but why can’t that be an added perk for a smart, single girl? Finding a husband doesn’t take points off the degree. It is still an MBA. None of the women in this article said they were only going to find a husband.

      • Lastango

        I don’t think you need to explain yourself. What you said the first time is clear enough: these women want a business education, are looking for their soulmate, and see a good chance to do something about both.
        Besides, who should be the judge of the correct mix of motives? Finding a mate might be a big part of deciding to go to B-school, or a nice-to-have that became a focus because a woman found her classmates eligibe and appealing. That says nothing about her intellect, business abilities, career potential, or personal confidence.
        ======
        A few other thoughts: We usually applaud women for having a solid grasp of reality, and it appears there’s good reason to get on with the job of marrying. From what I’ve read elsewhere, older, single professional women are encountering huge problems finding good men to marry. They very much regret bypassing their 20′s due to an exclusive focus on career. If they were going to settle, the pool of men to settle with was much better back then. By the time a woman reaches her mid-30′s, the settling pool is getting lousy – in part because the age groups are mismatched in interest, there are very few good, unmarried men compared to the number of women looking for them, and the rest of the men are damaged goods. It’s a bad situation to be in, and time is the enemy. And she’s past her prime. Here’s how one put it:
        “Now,
        though, I realize that if I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life, I’m at the age where I’ll likely need to
        settle for someone who is settling for me.”
        So, those husband-hunting MBA students are not only smart and ambitious, they’re wise too. Maybe a lot wiser than their critics.
        ======
        BTW, the video knocked me out — so professionally done, and totally funny!

    • MALepore

      Just wanted to say I absolutely did get that the CBS article was satirical. What I was really trying to say was that isn’t it okay to be a smart, career driven woman who hopes that when she is devoting two years of her life to getting an advanced degree that she may find a like-minded man (or woman) with the same career and life goals? If you want to have a great career and get married to someone who supports your career are you anti-feminist? I clearly said these women did not go for the sole intention of finding a husband but why can’t that be an added perk for a smart, single girl? Finding a husband doesn’t take points off the degree. It is still an MBA. None of the women in this article said they were only going to find a husband.

      • Lastango

        I don’t think you need to explain yourself. What you said the first time is clear enough: these women want a business education, are looking for their soulmate, and see a good chance to do something about both.
        Besides, who should be the judge of the correct mix of motives? Finding a mate might be a big part of deciding to go to B-school, or a nice-to-have that became a focus because a woman found her classmates eligibe and appealing. That says nothing about her intellect, business abilities, career potential, or personal confidence.
        ======
        A few other thoughts: We usually applaud women for having a solid grasp of reality, and it appears there’s good reason to get on with the job of marrying. From what I’ve read elsewhere, older, single professional women are encountering huge problems finding good men to marry. They very much regret bypassing their 20′s due to an exclusive focus on career. If they were going to settle, the pool of men to settle with was much better back then. By the time a woman reaches her mid-30′s, the settling pool is getting lousy – in part because the age groups are mismatched in interest, there are very few good, unmarried men compared to the number of women looking for them, and the rest of the men are damaged goods. It’s a bad situation to be in, and time is the enemy. And she’s past her prime. Here’s how one put it:
        “Now,
        though, I realize that if I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life, I’m at the age where I’ll likely need to
        settle for someone who is settling for me.”
        So, those husband-hunting MBA students are not only smart and ambitious, they’re wise too. Maybe a lot wiser than their critics.
        ======
        BTW, the video knocked me out — so professionally done, and totally funny!

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    • http://twitter.com/RecruiterPatti Patti Pokorchak

      Please– let’s assume this is a tongue in cheek article. The video is funny and for those of us old enough to remember the 50s, university was where you got your MRS degree along with your BA in home ec!

      The sad but true part – when I was doing my MBA in the 70s with even fewer 10-15% women – 50% of the men were looking to marry their mothers, not career women like myself!!

      Have things changed in those 35 years? Has anyone asked those male MBA students if they want a career wife or stay-at-home mom?

      Be interesting to know if any progress has been made on that front!

    • http://twitter.com/RecruiterPatti Patti Pokorchak

      Please– let’s assume this is a tongue in cheek article. The video is funny and for those of us old enough to remember the 50s, university was where you got your MRS degree along with your BA in home ec!

      The sad but true part – when I was doing my MBA in the 70s with even fewer 10-15% women – 50% of the men were looking to marry their mothers, not career women like myself!!

      Have things changed in those 35 years? Has anyone asked those male MBA students if they want a career wife or stay-at-home mom?

      Be interesting to know if any progress has been made on that front!

    • smoo007

      Wow. Even with your Jez-fueled edits, this article is an embarrassment. It’s a watered-down embarrassment, but one nonetheless.

      Also if, in this economy, I was willing to spend $80,000, plus living expenses, supplies, and time to find a man, frankly I’d just just get some crazy plastic surgery and not waste my time, mental energy and sleep on getting an education. But what do I know? I’m just a girl who did her MBA to find a manz.

    • smoo007

      Wow. Even with your Jez-fueled edits, this article is an embarrassment. It’s a watered-down embarrassment, but one nonetheless.

      Also if, in this economy, I was willing to spend $80,000, plus living expenses, supplies, and time to find a man, frankly I’d just just get some crazy plastic surgery and not waste my time, mental energy and sleep on getting an education. But what do I know? I’m just a girl who did her MBA to find a manz.

    • Nora Bass

      This article highlights an important topic for women in or applying to business school on the realities of planning your personal future while attaining a higher degree. Thank you, Meredith, for addressing an issue relevant to real women who are not ditzes—dating and trying to find your life partner in b. school is widely discussed among my friends at Tuck, Stanford and HBS. And thank you, Jezebel, for reminding me why I never read your site, because it offers nothing but regurgitated facts and a total disregard for the substance and healthy discourse others create!

    • Nora Bass

      This article highlights an important topic for women in or applying to business school on the realities of planning your personal future while attaining a higher degree. Thank you, Meredith, for addressing an issue relevant to real women who are not ditzes—dating and trying to find your life partner in b. school is widely discussed among my friends at Tuck, Stanford and HBS. And thank you, Jezebel, for reminding me why I never read your site, because it offers nothing but regurgitated facts and a total disregard for the substance and healthy discourse others create!

    • http://twitter.com/Curvy_CEO Curvy CEO

      Ok. I will fess up. During my first week of law school, a new friend told me a story about her husband. As soon as I learned she married, my very first thought was, “Wait – you’re already married. Why are you bothering with law school?” I didn’t even realize I felt that way until the words popped into my head. For the record, I never did find a husband in law school, but I did get my JD and now have a fabulous career . . . where I attend lots of networking events . . . in hopes of finding a suitable husband. *runs and hides*

    • http://twitter.com/Curvy_CEO Curvy CEO

      Ok. I will fess up. During my first week of law school, a new friend told me a story about her husband. As soon as I learned she married, my very first thought was, “Wait – you’re already married. Why are you bothering with law school?” I didn’t even realize I felt that way until the words popped into my head. For the record, I never did find a husband in law school, but I did get my JD and now have a fabulous career . . . where I attend lots of networking events . . . in hopes of finding a suitable husband. *runs and hides*

    • wondering

      Is there a reason why you deleted the sentence that asked if an MBA was just
      “the icing on the cake” for some women out of your original piece?

    • wondering

      Is there a reason why you deleted the sentence that asked if an MBA was just
      “the icing on the cake” for some women out of your original piece?

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    • http://www.facebook.com/danielle.meitiv Danielle Meitiv

      “In the 1950s women mainly went to college for one reason and no, it wasn’t to study philosophy. It was to get their MRS degree.”

      Wow, that’s insulting! The woman I know who went to college in the 1950s worked their asses off to even get into schools (which were biased against them from the start) didn’t do it just to find a man.

      Unless you can back that statement up with data, it doesn’t belong in your story.