MBA – Hype or Reality?

Here’s a little fairy tale, a provocative one, to get your mental juices flowing.

After a lot of contemplation, you’ve come to the conclusion that the stalemate in your life can be addressed only by an MBA degree. You bust your backside and crack the tough entrance tests. You get into the dream business school of your choice, graduate with several fantastic career options and live happily ever after.

If you think that’s how the story goes for most candidates, it may be time for a reality check.

Over the past several years, we’ve received many queries from MBA hopefuls questioning whether their efforts would really yield the results that they are (over?)expecting. Many of those who’ve actually gone through the process speak about unfulfilled expectations (during and after the program) and are not sure if the investment was worth it.

Several experts share that feeling.

– Prof Mintzberg from McGill University says ‘Conventional MBA programs train the wrong people in the wrong ways with the wrong consequences.’

– Gary Hamel from London Business School raises eyebrows at the ‘best practices’ that b-schools impart to business students without questioning its relevance or value in an ever changing corporate world.

– Prof Pfeffer from Stanford, based on a detailed research on the benefits of an MBA degree, says there isn’t any influence of the degree itself on salary or career in the long run.

There are several others as well. Each of us would have our own views based on the stories we’ve heard from friends, colleagues and acquaintances. This is a post to discuss and debate specifically the following aspects:

– Relevance of the MBA degree in today’s corporate environment
– Effectiveness of entrance tests in evaluating managerial potential
– Practicality of the lessons that b-schools impart
– Alternate ways to reach an individual’s professional/personal goals (more money, more knowledge, launching your own business venture etc). How many have you considered and discarded?

In short, do you think that the MBA is becoming more hype than reality?

This is an introspective post, to question your general assumptions (not to discourage your efforts), before you actually take the plunge. If you’ve been struggling with the demons in your mind, use this post to get them out and understand if your fears are justified. Comments?

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Sameer Kamat //
Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin
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