Skip to comments.Actually, 40 Years Of Data Show The MBA Effectively Does Nothing -- It Has No Impact
Posted on 10/19/2010 9:44:20 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 who had worked as an 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 Kaufman believes that MBA programs teach many worthless, outdated, even outright damaging concepts and practices.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 thats not bad enough, he insists that an MBA wont guarantee anyone a high-paying job, let alone turn a person into a skilled manager or leader.
Business schools dont create successful people, insists Kaufman. They simply accept them, then take credit for their success. With heavy debt loads and questionable returns, MBA programs simply arent a good investmenttheyre a trap for the unwary.
Founder of PersonalMBA.com and the author of the forthcoming The Personal MBA, Kaufman is 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.
Through the economic meltdown, of course, MBA bashing reached new heights. Eager to find a scapegoat, critics happily assigned blame to business schools for teaching MBAs the merits of financial manipulation that led to a global financial crisis.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
Looking at the comments for the article are interesting. It seems some people are pissed off they wasted a whole bunch of money.
other than packing the ranks of C-level executives in all of our companies with people who cannot see any issue beyond short-term profit and their quarterly bonus
I have been in business for 30 years, for the most part one item matters, results. You can be a third grade drop out or have an MBA, it does not matter, if you succeed you will advance.
I would be more interested in his opinion if he had earned and MBA and then decided it was worthless.
As for taking on debt, most of the MBA’s I know attended nights/weekends and their employers payed the cost.
If professors of the MBA programs were any good at what they did in business they would be far more successful than to rely on teaching for an income.
“40 Years Of Data Show The MBA Effectively Does Nothing “
Not true - it keeps a lot of Business School faculty employed.
(Now I’m not saying that’s a *good* thing . . .)
“If that view were true, why on earth would we continue to get nearly 10 applications for every slot, given that more than half of our MBA graduates do not do one of those three things,
The fact that the emperor’s subject line up to praise his new clothes has no bearing on the existence of said clothes.
“I would be more interested in his opinion if he had earned and MBA and then decided it was worthless.”
I know that jumping out of an airplane at 5,000 without a parachute will most likely result in my death. I don’t need to do so to say that is true.
Proves what I’ve said and thought for years. The “MBA of the Streets” - i.e. experience coupled with a natural curiosity and research ability has served me very well. Now people who all hold MBAs hire me as a consultant. I don’t think an MBA is a waste of time or money, all learning has value. It’s just not a ticket or guarantee of anything. And there are other ways to accomplish the same (or better) results.
I just see this as another example where reward comes from exceptionalism, not as an entitlement from having completed the requirements for an MBA degree.
I have known many engineers that have gone back to school to get an MBA. I have yet to see a single one profit from that move. Most companies don’t seem to place much value on that.
I will also say that the single most dangerous creature within the companies that I have worked for is an MBA with no other relevant experience: they are often vested with WAY too much power and don’t know a damn thing about what the company really does.
30 years ago most good business schools would not accept MBA candidates who had not worked for 5 years in industry.
I think I now understand the reasons for that policy!
Now days you can be a powerful MBA in your company without ever really having done anything except go to school!
Please don’t get me wrong. I’ve also worked with a couple of seasoned MBA’s who were worth their weight in gold.
I have a MBA, and I feel it was a complete waste of time and money for me. I have been unemployed for most of the last two years. My sister has a MBA from UW Madison and she is doing pretty good, but she would have done well without the MBA.
The MBA today is probably not worth much. When I received mine in the 1970’s, it was a different story.
The MBA along with my engineering degree pretty much guaranteed me a job interview when I sent out my resume.
I also could feel a certain respect in the interview because of having one and think it was instrumental in landing me a job or two.
Companies like Verizon (at that time GTE) had a program for hiring and promoting MBAs into management positions.
So at one time it was worth something.
Actually, most all undergraduate degrees at “top” schools are quickly becoming a negative economic decision, let alone a MBA.
The cost of most private universities has climbed to a point where someone graduating with a (eg) Harvard piece of paper is packing around a non-dischargable house-sized note, and it provides neither shelter or transportation, and only limited earning potential.
Right now, any kid going to school is better served by investing in trade skills education, eg, welding, diesel mechanic, nursing, plumbing, etc. As the boomers retire, there is a huge void being left in the trades because we’ve brainwashed kids into thinking that they HAVE to get a four-year degree to succeed in life.
This MBA nonsense is just more of the same. More debt, limited earning potential. We have now reached a point where someone has to start telling kids the awful truth.
Now, as to the societal effects of the MBA: I believe they have been mostly negative. A great deal of common sense in business has been supplanted by MBA idiocy.
At least 30 years ago it occured to me that companies used MBA programs as filters: you could get bright ambitious students by hiring MBAs. Not that their “training” added value, it was just evidence of their ability to survive a certain kind of obstacle course, traits that might prove useful in real life.
In general, people who drop out of 5th grade don’t make good executives or engineers, but there are exceptions. Bill Gates got kicked out of Harvard in his sophmore year, a classmate of his who later graduated and then went on to Cornell has the office next to mine.
The inventor of the microwave oven was a grammar school drop out, but he worked for a company founded by a couple of professors from Tufts. It takes all kinds.
MBA right after getting a Business Degree- Complete waste of Money (exception the accounting field which requires an MBA).
MBA after 5 - 10 years of work experience- can be valuable. However, my experience is that you don't have to go to a big name school, quit your job and go into debt. Employers are impressed with people who work and get an MBA at the same time. Exception is snotty companies that probably won't pay you enough to cover your educational expenses.
MBA on top of an engineering or science degree can be very valuable... don't spend a lot and only get an MBA if you want to go into management.
I think western civilized culture is falling out of love with the expensive college education. It is a requirement for the hard skills (medical, engineering, science, etc.) but many of the things it teaches, such as what goes into an MBA can be taught via a good mentor, experience and, frankly, libraries and the internet.
John Stossel is really good at turning “what you know” on its ear. If he hasn’t already, he should do a show on the benefits and pitfalls of getting a college education. The REAL ones.
BTW, on a related subject, it looks like this is just part of the bursting of the education bubble:
I'm one of the best in .NET and SQL.
I'm thinking about it.
I'd hate to waste the tech skills I gotz.
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