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Old 02-13-2012, 09:56 PM
 
176 posts, read 287,322 times
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I've occasionally looked through the (very expensive!) textbooks used in MBA courses and found them light reading. I do not understand how a field that is so easy and intuitive can be considered an academic pursuit. The finance ones use math no higher than a sophomore level mathematical major would encounter.

One could easily just read the books used in the MBA and pass the exams just on one's own, without any struggle.

So what is the purpose of the institution of the MBA? Clearly, at least in top programs, people get paid a lot of money for getting the degree, but I am not sure why as there is no intellectual merit in having gotten a degree in such a field. Sure, one will have new facts I suppose, but it's not at core mentally enhancing in the way that a science or liberal arts degree typically is; there isn't a rigorous and abstract body of knowledge which one has to grasp.

The MBA strikes me as little more than outsourcing for corporate HR, networking, and business enculturation.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Atlanta & NYC
6,620 posts, read 11,893,033 times
Reputation: 6605
Quote:
Originally Posted by df175 View Post
I do not understand how a field that is so easy and intuitive can be considered an academic pursuit.
It's not.

MBAs are just overpriced degrees for people who want to get ahead in the corporate ladder. Not for entrepreneurs, but for employees. Everyone who's gotten an MBA that I know of said that it's basically two years of reading overwhelming textbook passages that say simple things in more difficult ways. Then again, when it comes to business, I guess all college business textbooks are this way.

MBAs are supposed to be pursued by people who've been in business for several years, but the problem is that too many who get these degrees are college students who just complete a Bachelor's degree without any work experience.

I've never thought Master's degrees were good for anything except maybe teaching.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:15 AM
 
141 posts, read 282,243 times
Reputation: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by df175 View Post
I've occasionally looked through the (very expensive!) textbooks used in MBA courses and found them light reading. I do not understand how a field that is so easy and intuitive can be considered an academic pursuit. The finance ones use math no higher than a sophomore level mathematical major would encounter.

One could easily just read the books used in the MBA and pass the exams just on one's own, without any struggle.

So what is the purpose of the institution of the MBA? Clearly, at least in top programs, people get paid a lot of money for getting the degree, but I am not sure why as there is no intellectual merit in having gotten a degree in such a field. Sure, one will have new facts I suppose, but it's not at core mentally enhancing in the way that a science or liberal arts degree typically is; there isn't a rigorous and abstract body of knowledge which one has to grasp.

The MBA strikes me as little more than outsourcing for corporate HR, networking, and business enculturation.

What are your thoughts?
As an engineer who is getting an MBA I can tell you their merit:

1. They teach you how to read, understand, and utilize financial statements to your advantage. More than you will learn out of a textbook. You get a thorough overview of accounting, finance, supply chain, marketing, management...etc.

2. They teach you how to run a successful large corporation

3. They teach you how to identify new opportunities and utilize them effectively.

4. They allow management in large companies to easily see who is actually ready to move into the higher ranks

It has always seemed useless to me for business undergrads to get an MBA... However, as an engineer-- I have already done my fair share of advanced "mathematics" and "design." I need to know the business side of things.

And yeah, any good MBA program won't let you in without work experience. Preferably with a Fortune 500 company.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:11 AM
 
1,359 posts, read 4,430,628 times
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Most of the value of the MBA comes through the name of the school and the quality of its alumni network. It's not really about the material, although as the previous post notes it still can be useful.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:07 AM
 
Location: down south
514 posts, read 1,446,788 times
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Brand and alumni. That's the point. Indeed, that's the most important point for any high-level education. Stuff could be learned outside the classroom. But the IMMENSE benefit you reap out of the school name and more importantly alumni network makes the so called expensive tuition pale in comparison. The worse mistake anybody could make is to underestimate others' intelligence, such as those who claim Harvard is no different than their local community college: people ain't stupid when it comes to their own interests, it's dangerous to dismiss the choice so many people make....
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:26 PM
 
5,507 posts, read 9,383,528 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e_cuyler View Post
Most of the value of the MBA comes through the name of the school and the quality of its alumni network. It's not really about the material, although as the previous post notes it still can be useful.
This
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Newton, MA
409 posts, read 1,197,541 times
Reputation: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by df175 View Post
So what is the purpose of the institution of the MBA? Clearly, at least in top programs, people get paid a lot of money for getting the degree, but I am not sure why as there is no intellectual merit in having gotten a degree in such a field. Sure, one will have new facts I suppose, but it's not at core mentally enhancing in the way that a science or liberal arts degree typically is; there isn't a rigorous and abstract body of knowledge which one has to grasp.

The main reason Grads from top MBA programs get paid well right out of the gate is because the MBA program did the recruiting for the company.

Getting through MBA admissions is one of the most tedious, annoying experiences. They look at a data point (the gmat) that can be compared over an international pool of applicants. They look at your soft skills in detail through your essays. They judge your communication skills, your work ethic, motivation, humility... hell everything. Top consulting/Banking companies just dont have the resources to do that...

So, when a company gives a H/S/W top salary, its because they know due to pre screening, that they'll be getting the best of the best.

I'll be applying to MBA programs for the fall of 2013, and know the main metric to look for in schools is on campus recruiting from companies that I want to work for. I'll make sure they've hired for the positions I'd be interested in.

This simply means that BCG, or P&G or Google values that MBA programs screening process. Sure I hope to gain knowledge while in a program, but if that was the only thing I'd get out of it, the price tag just wouldnt be worth it. I expect a good opportunity to land the job I want, and to form connections with intelligent people who are in or will create great companies.
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