This question confounds a lot of people wanting to get ahead in the corporate world or those who prefer to improve their entrepreneurial skills. And it has no easy answer.
Will there be a pot of gold at the end, should I take it? Or I can get by without it? These are some of the questions that need good answers.
A cursory survey was done on a controlled group of young men and women on their thoughts of going into business schools. Their answers generally fall into the following:
– Yes, to improve my job prospects, pay or career satisfaction;
– No, I’ll get by with on-the-job training and networking;
– It’s a good idea, but there are now too many people with an MBA.
Far from giving a clear answer for people lost in their thoughts, the above further murk the issue of the importance of an MBA to get ahead with one’s professional and personal aspirations in life.
Some people, hoping to make better sense of the question, paraphrase it into:
“What do I want to gain from an MBA?”
It is not for everyone:
MBAs are particularly designed for professionals with long-term career goals and are willing to work on it. It is a deliberate decision to carve out one’s destiny. It is not for those who “hope” that a three-letter prefix with their names will open doors of opportunities as if they are royalties.
It requires considerable expense, time and study – things not many people are capable or willing to spend. The rewards are long-term, if there be any. There is no guarantee of success, only a promise.
That being said, one must put in a lot of thought and time to weigh the pros and cons before coming to a decision. A full-time MBA is no laughing matter.
By the way, the moment you decide to get into a business school, be prepared to start working on it immediately. You have lots of ground to cover just to apply for admission.
Why take an MBA?
Taking an MBA is purely an individual and personal decision. Understanding the motivation behind the decision is as difficult for a non-better to understand why people bet on the lotto.
I have had numerous encounters with people who took it with no clear reason but to say “for a better future.” Well, the future ain’t ever going to be better except for those who create it themselves.
Thus it was a breath of fresh air to meet one whose reasons for taking an MBA are:
Get more education:
People go through several transitions in their careers. For example I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and retired as an engineering manager for, Far East operations. What we are right after college will definitely not be the same us, a few years down the road. This transition cannot happen without the acquisition of knowledge through experience, self-study, and seminars or through post graduate courses.
Whereas experience and other modes of learning can get most people by, but they lack the focus, the structure and specialization of a business school curriculum.
We are currently operating in what is called a knowledge economy. This is a nerdy way of saying that the brains have taken over the brawns in a lot of things we do. And harnessing this new source of power cannot be left to experience or self-study.
Learn soft management skills:
Ask any manager and they will all agree that the most difficult aspect in management is the management of people. I would rather spend an entire day pondering over a technical problem than deal with one related to people
Although it is possible to learn people-handling skills in the workplace, but discussing them in an MBA working group provides instantaneous and honest feedback.
Most business curricula are loaded with organizational dynamics and behavioral subjects on top the regular mainstays of decision making, negotiating, communications and many other management soft skills that are difficult to get hold of in the workplace
Ever heard of the term Ivy League? Never mind what it is, but what it connotes. It connotes a network of people graduating from any of the eight most prestigious universities in the U.S., which, incidentally, are also among the leading business schools in the country.
Can you imagine being a part of that network? Pretty cool isn’t it?
Ivy League or not, network building is one of the most important results of an MBA degree. It provides a very strong influence on your career.
Your classmates will be from all over the world giving you an unlimited horizon of career opportunities, their annual reunions a gathering of unlimited possibilities.
Is an MBA worth it? Yes, it is, if used properly