When I started university a couple of years ago, getting an MBA after finishing my degree was something I was considering quite seriously. My mind has since changed and this blog post by Bob Sutton (who wrote “The No Asshole Rule“), Why Management is Not a Profession, gives food for thought about the real value of an MBA:
The discussion about the “value” of the MBA always seems to end — no matter where it starts and no matter what nuances are discussed by Pfeffer and others — with a focus on how much money it puts (or doesn’t put) in the recipient’s pocket.
The End of Business Schools? Less Success Than Meets the Eye has two interresting findings:
- Don’t bother if you’re not going to one of the top 10 business schools. You won’t make more money and you will actually lose two years of salary.
- There is no relationship between grades and salary at the top 10 schools. Only the networking that happens there is important.
Business school professors really hate this one, as it means that those students who do as little work in classes as possible, and devote all their time to networking, are acting in economically rational ways.
So that’s the money perspective about an MBA. What about what you learn from getting an MBA:
There is remarkably little conversation about whether it teaches people to do a better job of helping and serving clients, employees, or anyone else. (…) the societal message — and it is often quite explicit — is that the most effective managers take as much money as possible for themselves from their clients.
Getting an MBA is far from my mind right now. I really believe you can make a more than decent living without it happening to the detriment of people around you.
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