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Why An MBA May Not Be Worth It - by a Stanford Professor

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New post 21 Jan 2007, 01:28
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/ ... /index.htm


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New post 21 Jan 2007, 02:30
I think the spirit of this article is embodied in the prevailing thought here at GMATclub. An MBA from an ultra-elite is almost a no-brainer; from an elite school it's almost always worth it; from anything else each person must think carefully about it.

The article more or less says the same thing. There are just too many business schools around these days to believe that simply getting an MBA will be good for your career.
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New post 21 Jan 2007, 02:33
Some good thoughts there, but most of that is valid only for U.S. residents. For us third world folks, MBA is a ticket into big business - without it, no one in US would even care to read Ukrainian's CV.
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New post 21 Jan 2007, 07:14
Interesting article.

Setting aside ultra-elites and addressing the "Is an MBA worth it?" question, I think a lot of it has to do with a person's attitude. The types of people who say, "That was the biggest waste of money imaginable," are likely the types of people with negative attitudes that probably entered B-school because their careers were stalling and they thought b-school would be a magic bullet.

Of course I'm hoping to get into an elite or ultra-elite, but I really feel like (and I've said this before in other posts, so excuse the broken-record-ness) you can make the most out of any school, even if it's not in the top ten. I know people who made it into i-banking after undergrad coming out of schools like the University of Louisville (not disparaging U of L at all, just that i-banks typically just recruit at elite schools), and they got these jobs by hustling, by surrounding themselves with a good network, and being positive and just "knowing" that they would make it happen.

I have a feeling that a lot of people expect business school to be this paint-by-numbers thing where you show up and just follow steps 1 through 10 and next thing you're making $150K. So I'm sure there are tons of disappointed people out there, and I imagine those are the types emailing the professor in the article.
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New post 21 Jan 2007, 07:17
I would agree. I think that you make yourself - nothing makes or breaks you. If you can't do it on your own, don't expect something else to do it for you.
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New post 21 Jan 2007, 07:25
I think that's an over simplified view of it. Getting any kind of graduate degree is a deeply personal decision. The ultra-elite and elite schools open up a lot of doors for the upwardly mobile young professional. Especially if you want to make a career change into a field that's MBA-dominated like IB or MC, it's a no brainer. Even switching into another field that's not MBA heavy can help. I personally want to go into entertainment but can't afford to do so because I would be on the undergrad scale and wouldn't be able to pay my rent. With an MBA, I'll be compensated much more highly compared to what I would get if I made the move now.

Getting an MBA from a local or regional school is less of a no brainer - for some people it is and for some people it's not. Because of the way pay scales work in large companies, getting an MBA part-time (usually on the company's buck) can make a lot of sense as you can get a pay bump at the end because you'll now be in the master's degree bracket and it can help when up for a promotion. Most of the managers where I work have MBAs but from local schools that they went to part-time.
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New post 22 Jan 2007, 11:58
People go to B-schools under three circumstances:

1. To make money in post-MBA life (lets admit it)
2. to switch career ( and then make money)
3. with a dream to make it big one day and in the process earn money

I am sorry if my stress on the "money" factor makes many people angry in this forum. However, making money and urge to do so is nothing wrong to confess. Now, the question lies whether making it big or realising the dream is possible through b-school.

I strongly feel that it is subject to following:

1. the talent(better to put the capability) of the individual
2. the feasibility of his/her dream
3. the extent to which the person is ready to fight for it

For many people, b-school is an opening to new world. This is beacuse the workplace or may be the nature of job is not opening that up and will probably never will. It is never accpetable to generalise the concept of " B-school is all b.s. or b-school makes ur dream a reality"

An ultra-elite may give you more opportunitites to start with than many others. But, irrespective of the rankings, the skills (even if it may be possible to learn on job, I feel it depends on the nature of the job), the netowrk that you can possibly make in a b-school (within top 30) is good enough to start your career in post-MBA life.

While I admit that ultra-elites or M7 or whatever admit people with the best brains. But, at the same time, it is also true that like any process in this world, the b-school admission process is not 100% fair. Even with all boxes checked, you may not land up in ultra-elite. I am not trying to be pessimistic but rather optimistic by saying that as long as you have an opprtunity to broaden your horizon and the dream you should go for it.

The struggle may be different for different people. But, if you have it, you will make it one day. The charishma or the failure of not making it to M7, I feel, dies pretty soon, may be as soon as the classes begin. Life is much more than these two years.

For some, an opprtunity is required. People are ready to fight and know that they may have to start from -1. But better to start than to remain forever at -2. Hence, b-school. Hence, MBA, at least for some.

Dream to reality conversion, making it big...may or may not happen. But the means will win over the ends. at least in the postMBA life. need to start the struggle. Hence, need to go to school.

Sorry to have hurt anyone. but just thought of expressing myself.
  [#permalink] 22 Jan 2007, 11:58
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Why An MBA May Not Be Worth It - by a Stanford Professor

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