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EmpressPixie's avatar

What do you think of the MBA?

Asked by EmpressPixie (14760points) March 17th, 2009

What is your opinion of the MBA and its place in today’s economy? Obviously we’ve got a ton of MBA-educated Wall Street men who have us so mad we could spit, but what do you think the effect of that is on the degree as a whole? Does it mean we need to retool our schools and MBA programs?

I am particularly interested because I am finishing my applications for grad school this week. I’m applying to MBA programs. At this point I’m not sure if I should be aiming for what has traditionally been a “big name” in schools or a smaller program. It all leads back to the MBA and how people are going to look at it during and after this recession.

Of course, depending on where I get in, I may not have a choice but you know, assuming I’m awesome and could go anywhere I applied.

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12 Answers

bythebay's avatar

I’m not sure that my opinions are rooted in anything other than what I read & hear – but here’s my 2cents.

It used to be an MBA was a golden ticket, perhaps not so much anymore. Many top career professionals have forgone the MBA route and taken the dive right into working. Entrepreneurs have made so much money out of the gate, they’ve never stopped long enough to even consider going back for their MBA.

I still think a big name/top tier MBA holds some clout and I think even more so when you’re a woman. Womens applications to MBA programs have been declining for the past several years. Did you see the articles about Harvard changing it’s pre-reqs to accommodate women with less experience?

There’s no guarantee as to how individual companies will view an MBA in the future, but I also don’t think it can hurt you. Consider your time; consider your finances; and consider the field of expertise you want to engage in.

All that aside; I’m positive that you are awesome and will get in everywhere that you’ve applied!

marinelife's avatar

Let’s hope that the programs of the future include corporate ethics.

Mr_M's avatar

I’ve never been a big fan of basketball.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@Marina: The smallish, not well known program I’ve applied to has a HUGE emphasis on ethics.

bythebay's avatar

Ethics? What does ethics have to do with good business? jk jk!!!

cwilbur's avatar

My opinion: the MBA alone is a worthless degree, primarily useful only to impress other MBAs. The main reason the Harvard etc. MBAs are useful is because you have to be reasonably smart and driven to get into Harvard in the first place. (This is a criticism that is often justly leveled at the undergraduate school I went into, so I know how it works.)

However, the networking you do while you’re pursuing your MBA is extremely valuable, and if you want to be an entrepreneur, having funding to support you while you ruminate on your ideas and business school by day to keep your thoughts on profit & loss statements can be useful.

So my advice would be to pursue the MBA only if you want to take courses in the subject area and network—the degree is not a magic ticket.

Jack79's avatar

It’s an issue of supply and demand. An MBA is as rare today as the ability to read 50 years ago. There are so many people that have it that it no longer offers a significant advantage in the job market, even though it is probably a prerequisite for certain jobs.

wundayatta's avatar

I think the MBA is most valuable to folks who want to work in large corporations. I’m not a big fan of large organizations, but if you want a reasonable ticket to a relatively high salary, the MBA can get you there. It can also help you be entrepreneurial. Every year, around here, we hear of another MBA from Wharton who has started a successful new business in something like shoe recycling, or ant farming, or something like that.

suzannevancleve's avatar

The value of an MBA depends on what you do with it. I’ve met plenty of Ivy League MBAs who wield their degree badly, largely as an entitlement. I’ve met other MBAs for whom you don’t even know they have the degree unless you ask them—and these are generally the people who are leveraging what they learned wisely. I got my MBA 20 years ago from my state university—it was the toughest thing I’ve done intellectually, and taught me the most important thing in my career: learning how to learn. So, if you’ve got the ambition to slog through B-school, and the humanity to apply what you’ve learned with humility, not arrogance, then go for it.

charliewarhol's avatar

You will get a chance to think through a wide range of business problems in a wide range of industries. You will gain the skills needed to perform a variety of specific job functions. I think MBA is good for make a bright future.

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