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Is The MBA Useless Or More Than Useless?

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  • View Poll Results: MBA - Useless or ????
    The MBA Is Worth Every Penny
    26
    36.62%
    The MBA Is Useless and So Are Most of Its Graduates
    15
    21.13%
    The MBA Is Useful For Showing Off To Anyone Who Doesn't Know Better
    16
    22.54%
    The MBA Is Useful As Something To Put After Your Name Eg NAME , MBA To Make You Look Smarter
    24
    33.80%

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    A friend sent me a link to a twitter which in turn led me to this site with articles and commentary on the MBA degree.

    There are some harsh articles there - some of them quite convincing - about the merits of spending more than a dime on the MBA.

    What's the verdict?
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    The consensus is that an MBA is useless WITHOUT at least 5/6 years of industry experience. This is bourne out by the fact that the average age of MBA students is around 30.

    Getting an MBA is also a costly business; especially if you're self-funding and are uncertain about the returns. The only sensible way of going about getting an MBA in my mind is to work for a company that will sponsor you (e.g. top management consultancies) and guarantee an executive position afterwards.

    If one goes about it the right way, an MBA can give substantial returns and pay for itself very quickly.
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    If one goes about it the right way - ie never pays for it - and is in the 1% of MBA grads who will actually be able to benefit sure. The others should ask for a refund.

    Take a look.

    Take another look.

    What exactly could an MBA do that an experienced bookkeeper with powerpoint skills learned at a community college or CA not do?
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    I have thought about it, but not sure that it would be worth the time or money. It can cost an absolute fortune and I know people who have done it but it has done nothing for their career prospects at all. There are a few dedicated graduate roles for MBA graduates, but these are just generic "leadership programmes" i.e. you land straight in a management role, with no knowledge of the business or its staff. Fail.

    You see all these high flying CEOs and corporate VPs who have MBAs, but did they get there because of the MBA? No, probably not. They got there by networking, working hard and kissing ass - anyone can get to the top by doing that, no MBA required.
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    Is it the MBA in particular? Or is most of business school, with its gender studies in business. management voodoo, marketing 101 and other obvious wikipedia like subjects the real problem?

    What does MBA mean in 2011? The greatest money maker for "universities" in history - made off suckers who don't know any better?
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    I guess it is useless or the MBAs would come out and defend their worthless pieces of paper.

    Otherwise, why would they spend 50k - 200k on an MBA?
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    it depends which MBA and where.. For example an MBA from London Metropolitan University or from University of Westminster does not worth but the MBA from London Business School or UCLA, Columbia is worth every penny !!!
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    Given your inability to ask an unloaded question and your ability to make stupid assertions, I would strongly advise you to avoid an MBA or any other course requiring rational thought.

    TBD

    "I guess it is useless or the MBAs would come out and defend their worthless pieces of paper.
    otherwise, why would they spend 50k - 200k on an MBA? "

    "
    The MBA Is Worth Every Penny
    The MBA Is Useless and So Are Most of Its Graduates
    The MBA Is Useful For Showing Off To Anyone Who Doesn't Know Better
    The MBA Is Useful As Something To Put After Your Name Eg NAME , MBA To Make You Look Smart"
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    (Original post by TBD)
    Given your inability to ask an unloaded question and your ability to make stupid assertions, I would strongly advise you to avoid an MBA or any other course requiring rational thought.
    How is this degree, or spending money on it, an act of rational thought?

    Here's some more reading and some more reading for you.
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    (Original post by Ilios_Lampros)
    The consensus is that an MBA is useless WITHOUT at least 5/6 years of industry experience. This is bourne out by the fact that the average age of MBA students is around 30.

    Getting an MBA is also a costly business; especially if you're self-funding and are uncertain about the returns. The only sensible way of going about getting an MBA in my mind is to work for a company that will sponsor you (e.g. top management consultancies) and guarantee an executive position afterwards.

    If one goes about it the right way, an MBA can give substantial returns and pay for itself very quickly.
    this exactly.

    My Dad is one of those people whose employers funded it, and he ended up getting quite a considerable pay increase because of it.
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    I don't know very much about MBAs, but I do know that my dad has one and he's doing pretty well for himself, working in the UAE in a high managerial position and earning a lot of money.
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    (Original post by Ilios_Lampros)
    The consensus is that an MBA is useless WITHOUT at least 5/6 years of industry experience. This is bourne out by the fact that the average age of MBA students is around 30.

    Getting an MBA is also a costly business; especially if you're self-funding and are uncertain about the returns. The only sensible way of going about getting an MBA in my mind is to work for a company that will sponsor you (e.g. top management consultancies) and guarantee an executive position afterwards.

    If one goes about it the right way, an MBA can give substantial returns and pay for itself very quickly.
    This.

    After University I want to go into Management Consultancy. From what i've heard, asking my parents' friends who are involved in that field, you're often expected to have an MBA after a certain amount of experience. I've been told that having a MBA can be the difference between being a senior consultant and an associate.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    this exactly.

    My Dad is one of those people whose employers funded it, and he ended up getting quite a considerable pay increase because of it.
    Different era, didn't pay for it. Most people enrolling today have zero experience in the workplace, zero undergrad applied knowledge with their business degrees (exception being the accountants), and pay for the privilege of earning an MBA, sometimes even from horrendous schools (eg to many employers, the LSE doesnt cut it in the US or Asia/Pacific who want locally focused degrees).

    That said, for your dad it may have been perfect. He is an employee. nuff said. He goes from being a junior slave to a senior slave. Most people who have their own businesses would laugh at most MBAs and their degree. Gates, Zuckerberg, Jobs, Iaccoca, etc never wasted their time getting one, even when it was last considered valuable - more than 20 or 30 years ago.

    Even the mainstream media recognized the futility of the MBA.
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    Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg didn't bother getting ANY degree.

    In fact this thread is no different from any general 'is going to university worth it' one. Some degrees at some universities are very worthwhile, and many aren't. The same is true of MBAs.

    Incidentally, LSE doesn't offer an MBA, and no half reputable university accepts anyone with less than 3 years work experience for an MBA. Care to give a source for your claim that most people today enrolling in MBAs have zero work experience?

    (and no, I don't have one and no intention to, because general management stuff bores the crap out of me. But I do know people who have done exceptionally well directly as a result of their MBAs, admittedly most of them in the US.)
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    (Original post by sj27)
    Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg didn't bother getting ANY degree.

    In fact this thread is no different from any general 'is going to university worth it' one. Some degrees at some universities are very worthwhile, and many aren't. The same is true of MBAs.
    Exactly, except that compared to any applied degree, the MBA more worthless.

    People are successful in spite of their MBAs. The links and the articles there (many dozens of them) have a variety of opinion and thought on this. Perhaps you can study them as part of an MBA.

    The rest of society moves on an ignores MBAs. Any doctors, lawyers, engineers, dentists, military commanders, astronauts, pilots etc would laugh at the so called "rigor" in an MBA, and the pseudo science of management.

    But if you want to be a senior slave instead of a junior slave and your slave driver demands it - then by all means - get one.

    Read this before you do, and be aware that the general public may not see it exactly the way you or guys like this do.
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    ....did you not read my post? I have no interest in one. I am a specialist and enjoy what I do, with no desire to get one...but I do know people who have done very well as a result of them. And no they are not all "slaves"; one is 2IC at his company and worth somewhere north of 50 million dollars...and he got entry into the company as a direct result of an MBA, admittedly from one of the very top schools in the US though.

    Fwiw I agree with you on the rigor aspect...there is a reason that, DBA aside, MBAs are not accepted as masters degrees for the purposes of a PhD. And GMAT scores of MBA candidates tend to be lower on average than other graduate programs. If you read my post properly you would see that I am not ra-ra MBA. I don't see the point in being one-sided though...
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    (Original post by Ory)
    That said, for your dad it may have been perfect. He is an employee. nuff said. He goes from being a junior slave to a senior slave. Most people who have their own businesses would laugh at most MBAs and their degree. Gates, Zuckerberg, Jobs, Iaccoca, etc never wasted their time getting one, even when it was last considered valuable - more than 20 or 30 years ago.

    Even the mainstream media recognized the futility of the MBA.
    Using famous business owners and entrepreneurs (Gates, Jobs, Sir Alan Sugar, etc) as an example of why someone should not get a degree is flawed at best seeing as they are a strict minority of people. Particularly your example of Bill Gates who studied at Harvard before he dropped out.

    Not everyone can just start a business, most people don't have the money or the skills for it, so most of us have to stick with being paid slaves for our lives and the fact that some employers auto-filter out applicants without a degree is proof that it's a neccesity in some cases..
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    (Original post by sj27)
    ..one is 2IC at his company and worth somewhere north of 50 million dollars.
    At that level, I doubt that the real reason for him doing so well was his MBA, unless he earned his MBA in 1961.
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    (Original post by Threxy)
    Using famous business owners and entrepreneurs ... as an example of why someone should not get a degree is flawed at best seeing as they are a strict minority of people.
    MBA grads with good jobs as a direct result of their MBA and not other more important factors is another strict minority of people. In fact, most MBAs today are well below any standard of excellence. An employer cannot tell whether an MBA is going to be worth employing because practically anyone can get one.

    That's not exclusive or useful, except to the business schools who sell them.
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    The MBA is useful because other people think it is so. An interesting economic phenomena is that when people place an inflated value on the productivity (or lack thereof) on a group of people (MBAs, Asians, Harvard grads, etc.) it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, which engenders more of the same but now for good reason.

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