You are a pretty good guy, and I definitely agree with a lot of what you preach. However, sometimes you are just wrong. When you said that an MBA was unnecessary and basically a waste of money, well, that was pretty bad tunnel vision.
Just because you don’t require an MBA to hire someone, doesn’t mean that an MBA is pointless. Let me give you some reasons why I believe an MBA may be a smart decision for some people.
For many MBA students, school is the opportunity to change careers. I’m not talking about just a job change but a career change. For example, I may be working as an assembly line superviser but what I really want to do is be a brand manager. An MBA is a way to leave my current job, learn new skills, and be offered opportunities that wouldn’t have otherwise been afforded me.
So an MBA is an exit strategy for some people. I expect that you’ll now make the debt argument and tell me that there are other ways to change careers. Earning a good MBA doesn’t always mean paying $100k. There are good, inexpensive schools as well as financial assistance. So yes, I’ll incur some debt, but the years of higher pay afterwords certainly overcompensate for the debt.
As per other options for changing careers, you are right. There are other options. What I recommend people considering graduate school do is create a list on the left side of a paper outlining each goal they hope to accomplish by going to graduate school. On the right hand side, make a list of ways you can accomplish the same goals without attending graduate school. At the end of this exercise, you may find that graduate school isn’t the right option. Though, you may find that it is still the right path.
The point is, an MBA is sometimes the best way to get out of a bad or dead-end situation.
Certain jobs or positions require having a graduate degree. You may not like it or agree with it, but that’s just the world we live in. For example, to get past mid-level management in many large corporations, you simply have to have an MBA.
One of the jobs that I am interested in pursuing requires an MBA to get in. What you have to understand with a good MBA degree is that it combines work experience with knowledge. This combination is what a lot of employers look for in job applicants.
And I really don’t care whether you think the job I want is worth having or not, because I want it – and that means getting an MBA.
I already alluded to better pay earlier. Nothing is a sure thing in life and you therefore aren’t guaranteed better pay by obtaining an MBA. However, the odds are in your favor. Statistically, people with MBAs make more money. If you have reached a salary cap, then an MBA can help you get a raise with your current employer or switch to a different firm that will pay more.
There isn’t much more to say about this point.
A lot of people are very concerned about the current unemployment rate in the US, as well they should be. However, the unemployment issue does not evenly affect all sectors of society. If you look at the 2010 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you’ll find that the unemployment rate is noticeable lower for the more educated.
So not only do you earn more money, but you are much more likely to be employed. If you want to get into more specific detail, then you can check out the numbers by clicking here.
The point is, Dave, that getting a graduate degree pays in more way than one, including job security.
This last point may be the most important for some people, despite me putting it last on the list. Studies have shown that your IQ will increase with each year of graduate school. It has also been proven that people with higher IQs have more sex. So if you feel that your love life is lacking, then grad school may be a good investment.
Though, it will be a delayed benefit since another study showed that frequency of intercourse drops during grad school (probably due to work load). So this benefit, like the others, comes after you graduate.
What I’m saying is that you can’t make a blanket statement opposing grad school. Earning an MBA makes a lot of sense for some people and no sense for others. So be a little more open minded.
Still a fan,