We investigate the value of graduate business education in learning tacit knowledge and achieving professional accounting success. Archival (n = 5,932) and survey (n = 2,941) data from managerial accountants employed at 2,525 North American companies in three industries (publishing, paper, and chemical) indicate that job performance evaluations (JPEs) of those who hold either a Master's of Accountancy (M.Acc.) or M.B.A. degree are generally higher than non‐master's (NM) degree accountants. We find some evidence that professionals with master's degrees, as compared to NM professionals, have higher levels of two forms of tacit managerial knowledge (TMK): self and others. The results also suggest that M.Acc. and M.B.A. degrees contribute to success differentially throughout the professionals' careers. Specifically, a M.Acc. degree provides greater benefit than a M.B.A. degree in the early and middle career years, while an M.B.A. degree provides greater benefit than a M.Acc. degree in later career years. The results indicate that M.Acc. and M.B.A. degrees contribute to success by increasing specific types of knowledge and enhancing ones' ability to learn.

This content is only available as a PDF.