Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The value of an MBA, con't

I've talked about the value of advanced degrees before (see "When education trumps experience" and "Part-time vs. Full-time, Online, and my Harvard whine") but the Feld Thoughts blog has stirred things up with advice to prospective MBA students:
IÂ’m 40. I don'’t believe that the degree I have has ever had any material impact on my "career" during the last 20 years. I can'’t think of a single situation where it came up in a conversation about anything that I was considering doing. ... While many people wear their degrees as badges of honor on their chests, I prefer to let actions speak for themselves (and - rather than look at the badges people have, I look for the actions.) ...

... Recognize this will cost you $100k plus two years of opportunity cost, so make sure it'’s worth it to you. There are many careers where you generally (but not always) need the MBA badge to advance to the next level. If you are an investment banker or a management consultant, it'’ll help. If you are looking to be a VC, it might help, but it probably wonÂ’t, as the population of people being recruited into the VC business continues to be very small. Don'’t be misguided by the idea that doors will now fly open to you since you are a newly minted MBA ...
Feld's reader comments are interesting -- the MBA students and grads are adamant that MBAs lead to opportunities that otherwise would not have been available to them. Harvard B-school grad Chris Yeh is one of them.

And then there's this response to the pro-MBA camp from Matt Weiser:
Personally, if I couldn't get into Stanford, Wharton, MIT or Harvard, I'd take the cash and join a country club. No joke - the contacts you'd make would be better than you'd get at the 2nd tier or below schools, and you can keep working and reading to further your skills.

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