Skip to comments.Columbia B-school's Glenn Hubbard: Is an MBA worth it?
Posted on 02/11/2013 7:45:57 AM PST by SeekAndFind
If Columbia Business School Dean Glenn Hubbard were to advise his McKinsey-bound son on where to get his MBA, Hubbard says there are only four or five programs that he would recommend. He declines to mention the schools by name, but you can rest assured that Columbia would be on the list along with Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton. That leaves a lot of very good schools off the list.
Hubbard is an economist by training. He joined Columbia in 1988, after beginning his teaching career at Northwestern. He was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George Bush and a top economic advisor to Mitt Romney during his recent presidential campaign.
In a wide-ranging interview with Poets&Quants, Hubbard discusses, among other things, the anxiety in MBA programs, whether Warren Buffett will become a donor, and Columbia's MBA application plunge last year, vastly exceeding downturns at other elite business schools.
Q: Last year, applications to Columbia's MBA program fell by 19%, more than at any other top business school. How are things looking this year?
Hubbard: We are fortunate that our applications are up 9% year-over-year. What was weird about our drop is that it came along all at once. I told the faculty I felt like Wile E. Coyote, where he ran off the cliff and didn't know it yet. We had a couple of years where applications had plateaued and then all of a sudden crashed. But fortunately we are back up.
Q: Your decline was generally attributed to Wall Street's troubles and the fact that Columbia's fortunes are so closely tied to Wall Street. Agree?
Hubbard: Wharton had a similar pattern. And if you were to do a trend line, we are both on that line. Harvard is above it.
(Excerpt) Read more at management.fortune.cnn.com ...
I have an MBA. It hasn’t hurt anything. I would imagine that there are better Master’s Programs out there but at the time, this one worked for me. As long as people are getting an education, I think that is what is most important. It is nice to see that so many people are getting an MBA that it is a problem. That is a nice problem to have for America.
I little self interest going on. So Hahvahd is the best, says the Dean of Columbia, but we’re in the top five, and after that it’s nothing.
A little logic would tell you that if the very high tuition and living expenses of Columbia and the implicit cost of taking leave of absence from work is worthwhile in terms of Return on Investment; that, a low tuition, part-time evening MBA from a decent school could also be worthwhile. Especially if your employer or some other sponsor is picking up the tuition.
Get a job where you make your salary convincing strangers to part with their money to buy something from you.
Do that for 2 years - and you have something better than an MBA.
I worked for a few world class, privately owned (2 of them were at one time the world’s largest in their field) companies, and saw them turned over to the MBA equipped sons of the owners and run into bankruptcy in 3 to 3.5 years. Based on my experience, my opinion of MBAs (and owner’s sons) is, shall I say, less than stellar.
I was in Paris with one of these self involved pukes who had just obtained his MBA a month earlier, and while walking through the city, he marveled at the architecture and said “How on earth could they afford to build this?” . To which, I replied “Easy, this was all accomplished before they had MBAs”. That let the air out of his over inflated chest.
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