Paul L. Caron

Monday, September 30, 2019

Is An MBA Still Worth It?

Following up on my previous post, WSJ: More Universities Close Their Full-Time MBAs Programs, Shift To Online:  Wall Street Journal:  Is an M.B.A. Still Worth It?, by Andy Kessler:

MBA 2[S]hould you get a master’s in business administration? These days a lot of people are rethinking that question. Applications are down, even at HBS and GSB (that’s Stanford’s Graduate School of Business—get with the lingo). The number of GMAT test scores sent to two-year, full-time M.B.A. programs has plummeted since 2015. Last year 70% of two-year M.B.A. programs saw declining enrollment; in 2014 it was only one-third. Rats deserting a sinking ship?

Before I really pile on, it’s worth mentioning that there are a few decent reasons to go. The first is pedigree. If you want to get a job on Wall Street or in private equity, you pretty much need an M.B.A.—a golden ticket. ... Another reason to go is the networking. ...

But—you knew this was coming—man oh man is it expensive. HBS tuition is now $73,440 a year. Total costs are estimated at $110,740 if you’re single and more than 150 grand if you’re married with two children. That excludes the cost of your MacBook, let alone forgone wages. You’d better get that Wall Street job. ...

All this leaves the impression that, beyond finance, M.B.A. programs are still geared toward an industrial America that is shrinking—much like B-school enrollment.

Here’s a tip that no M.B.A. program teaches: My editor taught me that if you ask a question in a headline, the answer is usually no.

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink


I have an MBA, and a PMP, and a Six Sigma Black Belt. I work in more industrial/manufacturing. No one cares about my MBA. I used it to get my first job outside a lab, I was a Chemistry undergrad. They love that PMP and Black Belt. Both can be had for under $10K - plus a bit of experience.

Posted by: Christina | Oct 1, 2019 8:15:45 AM

I had a client--a successful serial entrepreneur--tell me that he absolutely will not hire someone who went straight from an undergraduate business degree to an MBA. In his experience, they tend to think they know everything they need to know about running a business when in fact they know very little about how goods and services are produced and have less-than-impressive people skills.

Posted by: Baby M | Oct 1, 2019 4:35:38 AM

A lawyer demeaning MBA degrees? The emperor seems to be a little underdressed: Overall J.D. enrollment peaked in 2010 at 147,525 students and has dropped precipitously since then, with just 110,183 J.D. students enrolled in 2017 — the lowest it’s been in over 40 years, and a 25.3 percent decrease since J.D. enrollment reached its height seven years ago. Source:
The only reason it was up in 2018 is that students understand the only way to beat tRump is in court.

Posted by: Robert Chalfant | Sep 30, 2019 3:49:47 PM