If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I don’t just recommend doing anything because it is trendy, especially when it comes to spending a lot of your money and even more importantly, a lot of your time. The MBA is a great tool for your career; that is, if you use it correctly. If you don’t have an MBA, you may be asking yourself “how do I use the MBA?” Well, it’s more than the degree we are talking about here. Let’s look at this in more detail.
The GMAC 2014 Prospective Students Survey Report states that the MBA provides three key benefits: skills, networks and brand. Were these in your initial thoughts? They weren’t in mine. I thought education was about learning those quintessential skills that make you valuable to the business world. Of course, I didn’t graduate from a top tier business school, where the mentality is quite different. According to many top tier graduates I’ve worked with over the years, networking and branding are major subjects that are studied and perfected during the program. Grades are not as important. So, you can learn from the top tier programs that the “MBA Experience” is very important to future success. If you just enter your MBA program with the intent of only learning new skills, you’ll miss out on two-thirds of the overall benefit of the MBA Experience.
We’ve looked at what MBAs do with their degree. Take a look at our presentation. If you’re a basketball fan, you’ll love it. It’s March Madness and the MBA_2015.
Naturally, not all MBA programs are equivalent when it comes to the experience. Top tier programs will be more organized and geared towards the networking and branding aspects. Most every other program will suffer in these areas. And some programs won’t provide anything at all. I would dare say that most MBA programs are in this category. Sure, you can read a few articles that say MBAs are in high demand but economics would beg us to understand the supply side of this before making a decision. The problem for MBA aspirants is that it is difficult to truly assess the supply and demand side of the MBA. So, your only choice is to gather as much information as you can and make the best decision possible.
But where do you go for such information? Often, aspirants seek information from the MBA programs themselves. This is a good place to start but it shouldn’t be your only source of information. After all, the problems you’ll run into with the MBA will be post-program issues. Universities will have limited experience in this stage of your career. For example, I’m a father of three kids and I’ve seen the birthing of each child but I can’t tell you what it feels like to give birth. You have to go to the source for that; that is, the mother. Well, if you want to know the impact the MBA has on your career, you need to ask someone who has had that experience. In other words, ask the MBA graduates. After all, they are the ones who are trying to build their career with the MBA degree. Wouldn’t that be a good source of information?
Before you make any decisions about the next two years of your life and the destiny of a whole lot of your money, take the time to understand the impact the MBA has on your career by reading the stories of MBA graduates from around the globe. Their experience will enlighten you and give you insights that will help you maximize the return on your personal investment.
We’ve taken the time to capture the knowledge of MBAs from around the world on many topics that affect MBAs directly. These topics aren’t the kind of issues that get addressed during your MBA program (and never will be) but they are REAL WORLD issues faced by MBAs every single day. Click below to learn more about What MBA Graduates Know.