Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Interesting look at MBAs

Is an MBA worth it? The NY Times reports on an interesting look at this question. (NOTE: it does not prove anything and is not scientific, but it is interesting!)
"The popularity of the degrees has surged. In 1970, for example, business schools handed out 26,490 M.B.A.'s, according to the Department of Education. By 2004, after a period marked by an economic boom and heightened competition for top-flight business careers, that figure had jumped to 139,347. But opinion and data appear divided on the tangible benefits of an M.B.A."
On one side:

""The M.B.A. is the most versatile degree out there — most of the others are very field specific, but you can apply an M.B.A. to any field," said Rachel Edgington, a research director for the Graduate Management Admission Council, a nonprofit group in McLean, Va., that is overseen by leading business schools and administers annual admission exams."

And on the other side:

""M.B.A. programs train the wrong people in the wrong ways with the wrong consequences," said Henry Mintzberg, a management professor at McGill University in Montreal. "You can't create a manager in a classroom. If you give people who aren't managers the impression that you turned them into one, you've created hubris.""

The article overall centers on the Harvard class of 1996 and a film project (interview the graduates every five years).

Overall the evidence is mixed, but having an MBA myself, I have to agree that it was a worthwhile degree to get (even though I really do not use it much) and as Ms. Malone concludes:
""It's this big safety net; it's a credential that makes it easier to get a job later,... Maybe life shouldn't be that way, but it is what it is." "

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