By Jay Bhatti — January 15, 2013 Jay Bhatti is an investor and advisor to startups in New York City. Previously, he was the co-founder of the people search engine Spock.com. He also worked as a product manager for Microsoft. In 2002, he received his MBA from the Wharton School. Read more.
The extent of his understanding about MBA is limited by his elitist world view. His main complaints are:
- An MBA won't get you a job as easily as 30 years ago upon graduation. News flash! Nothing will do that, nothing.
- Nor does it help, he commented, with follow on jobs. That's a longstanding fact. Career management 101 says that the farther back the experience the less relevant and pertinent it is to getting hired. Otherwise pre-school would count.
- It is too expensive now to be worth it and you aren't special anymore because so many schools offer them. It used to be that knowledge, titles, degrees and other good things in life were accessible only to the ruling, upper class (example George W. Bush got a Harvard MBA). The playing field is now leveled and much more competitive globally. An MBA from IIM, in India counts the same as Harvard now. And will someone please tell Jay that a Bachelor's degree will now put you in debt for life.
- His bottomline is that you can only justify the expense if you go only to the still special top five schools including his alma mater. Nah, that's desirable but optional and maybe not even necessary. Well, we are all commodities now, even the top five MBA schools. There is no more low hanging job fruit that some special degree get's you in and ensures your ongoing promotion, advancement, and opportunities.
So, why get an MBA? For the network. Yes, the network. Example, UCLA is not in Jay's top five but it has over 30,000 alumni out there to help you with introductions, resources, access to opportunities, and career advice. That network doesn't become obsolete over time, better still, it keep on growing. You are buying a built in database of connections better than whatever Linkedin can do for you. Your fellow alumni are all invested in your success as much as their own as you will reflect back well upon them and the alma mater.
How should you pick the MBA school? By the numbers. How many total graduates are there? How many in the geographical area of your preference. Example, most UCLA MBA alumni are in Southern California. How many are in the field or industry of your preference? Some schools are known for finance and accounting vs marketing and management.
Do not pick an online school and degree as there is not enough connection and loyalty to the school to be good for networking. Pick a big enough school so that you have ample selection. Example, my degree from JFK University in Career Development was so small and niched that I practically know everybody in the alumni pool.
Is an MBA worth it? If you want a career in business, yes, as a bachelor's degree is now the equivalent of a high school diploma for entry into the world of work.