Skip to comments.Meet the enemy of the MBA (Why business schools are a waste of time and money)
Posted on 10/05/2010 7:10:54 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
If Josh Kaufman had gone to business school, he probably would have graduated this year with an MBA from Harvard or Stanford. But Kaufman, a 28-year-old entrepreneur and former assistant brand manager for Procter & Gamble, thinks business school is pretty much a waste of time and money.
MBA programs, he says firmly, have become so expensive that students "must effectively mortgage their lives" and take on "a crippling burden of debt" to get what is "mostly a worthless piece of paper." Kaufman believes that MBA programs "teach many worthless, outdated, even outright damaging concepts and practices." And if that's not bad enough, he insists that an MBA won't guarantee anyone a high-paying job, let alone turn a person into a skilled manager or leader.
In an era when MBA bashing has become almost fashionable, Kaufman is emerging as business school's most unforgiving critic. Founder of PersonalMBA.com and the author of the forthcoming book "The Personal MBA," he's a passionate advocate for what he calls self-education. Instead of paying up to $350,000 in tuition and forgone earnings to go to Harvard, Stanford or Wharton, Kaufman says a better way to learn business is to open the pages of classic business texts and learn on your own.
His epiphany occurred five years ago, when he was working at P&G (PG, Fortune 500) headquarters in Cincinnati as an assistant brand manager for the company's Home Care division. He had joined P&G straight from the University of Cincinnati by virtue of the school's cooperative education program. Almost all of his peers and managers boasted elite MBA degrees.
To overcome his feelings of intimidation and to prepare for the job, he began reading, and reading, and reading, from textbooks, such as the "Essentials of Accounting," to "Competitive Strategy" by Harvard professor Michael Porter
(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...
have become so expensive that students “must effectively mortgage their lives””
I don’t disagree with this at all...but I am still perplexed why these programs (and colleges, generally, including expensive private undergrad colleges) are bursting at the seams. of course easy credit / cash makes it appear “free”...but surely...at some point, the reality of debt has to sink in?
I started my MBA last year and threw in the towel after the second semester.
It was a complete waste of time and rehash of what I had already learned as a manager.
I felt it was a better use of time to actually investigate business opportunities than to have another acronym after my name.
Besides, my PMP is worth more than a MBA in the current market...
The MBA craze was really picking up in the eighties (along with the yuppie culture). Engineers going into management were advised to forget everything technical, and play the game. I was working for a German owned, German run company at the time that specialized in steel mill machinery (hint: no more casting ingots). Management there did not think highly of MBA’s. The president of the company was a Dr. Ing. (Doctorate in Engineering), and contradicted the “conventional wisdom” of technical competence and business sense being mutually exclusive.
now everyone is going to law school because there is such an oversupply of law schools. ANYONE, and I do mean ANYONE, can go to an accredited law school as long as the applicant has a four year degree.
“Schooling” vs “Education”
Having spent 8 years in graduate school working on my PhD I can attest to the fact that universities have become centers of indoctrination. Rather than teach pragmatic learning and open mindedness they promote ideological purity. We need to get back to practical learning and things that are empirically proven to work. Universities have become merely places where professors sit around validating their distorted ideas and ideologies rather than promote the investigation of truth.
That might explain Gloria Allred....
I believe someone who has an MBA that also has a technical BS degree, such as a BSEE or BSME, is still very marketable.
Piled Higher and Deeper.
Since the 1970’s, inflation in college tuition has been growing at about a 7-8% annual rate vs. 2-3% for the average consumer inflation rate. Some of this is cost-driven, I suspect, with the explosion of administrative costs and overhead at colleges and universities, but all of this hyper-inflation is supported in large measure by easy lending, Pell-Grants, etc., that has just pumped more and more money into college programs. Young people were encouraged “you’ll make so much more with a college degree, you can afford to take on the debt” — well guess what: it just doesn’t work that way any more.
Colleges should be ashamed of the debt burden they’ve imposed on their graduates. And those wonderful bureaucrats in Washington should likewise be ashamed of their funneling grants and other programs that have helped pump-up the bubble of college tuition.
Ah, yes, the law of unintended consequences.
I agree and disagree.
I finished my MBA in the middle 90’s, and it did open some doors for me, same as my PMP. For most students though, it’s nuts to think that you will retain all the facts from twenty 1000 page textbooks, and all the assignments. But what it did teach me, as both corporate manager and entrepreneur/business owner, was to look at and understand at the complete business landscape, and make decisions accordingly.
Now the question is whether I could have reached the same level of understanding by self-studying the texts...and I would say that since I keep studying texts and books anyway, the answer would be mostly yes.
You are correct. The ABA continues to accredit new law schools all the time, adding to the glut. This, while there are virtually no legal positions available. The tuition at these schools is astronomical, some at over $40,000.00 per year.
“now everyone is going to law school because there is such an oversupply of law schools. ANYONE, and I do mean ANYONE, can go to an accredited law school as long as the applicant has a four year degree.”
Quite true. There are no prerequisite courses. As you say, any degree will do. Phys Ed., Dance, whatever. Theater would actually be very helpful. Law schools are incredible cash machines for the host university.
I read somewhere that on average now, attorneys only work about two years in the practice of law; one year less than it takes to get the degree.
A law degree can be helpful in many other areas though, in this over-regulated and bureaucratically dominated day and age, but like the MBA - is it really worth the cost and the time?
As long as you need to learn something rather than to have a degree, you can do a better job teaching yourself than by going to a school
Once the school convinces you that you need their certification to be successful, their job is done.
Delivering education is a cost to them, and they will lower it at every opportunity. In short, once they have your money, they don't care if you learn anything.