With the number of business successes recorded in corporate America from Microsoft to the much younger Facebook it is exceedingly obvious that earning or having an MBA is certainly not necessary for anyone to start and succeed in business. However, this does not mean that having those three letters written after your name does not come with its benefits. But you might ask at what cost? A very good question and one which has led many to denounce the need for acquiring this degree. The cost in question here refers to both the time spent in earning an MBA degree as well as the amount expended to get it.
This is because a lot of money is spent before you can earn the letters M.B.A. after your name, actually as much as tens of thousands of dollars with a minimum time cost of a year spent in business school. The time cost might not seem important, but when you consider how much this takes away from you regarding starting your own business, then the picture should get a bit clearer. Okay maybe an illustration will even make it much clearer. Just consider a Mark Zuckerberg putting his entrepreneurial dream on hold and attending b-school to earn an MBA before starting Facebook; do you get the full picture now?
Of course what would have possibly happened is that some other person would have beaten him to it. That means a “Dennis Berg” (fictitious name) might have been the one who started what we now know today as Facebook instead of what is the case currently. Besides the fact that an MBA is not required for anyone to start his/her own business, there are even other reasons apart from the time and amount cost that gives an MBA a bad name. Consider some of them below.
How important is good business education
It has been discovered time and time again that many of the people that rose up the corporate ladder to get to the pinnacle of their career before retiring never earned an MBA. A case in point is a BusinessWeek survey that was conducted sometime in 2004. It revealed that not up to half of the total number of the top executives of the high flying companies surveyed had an MBA. Okay so what does this have to do with MBAs starting businesses? Well, if this degree was not deemed necessary for top executives of blue-chip companies to get to the very top of their careers some years back it will most likely not be for a start-up entrepreneur.
A big reason it seems that many MBA grads do not perform well is due to not receiving sufficient practical experience. It doesn’t seem as if enough practical exposure is given during the MBA programs that are running in different b-schools. And, this is exactly what start-up entrepreneurs need. They need to have more and more practical exposure that is more and more similar with what obtains in the real world of business otherwise they will underperform soon after. This is particularly true for those who have never worked or started any kind of business.
Tailor-made for employees rather than entrepreneurs
There are more employee students attending an MBA class than those wanting to start their own businesses. Given, yes some of these people might be considering starting their own businesses, but many more are still working and only considering earning an MBA as a push up the corporate ladder. This is even true if we put into consideration the recent trend where there are now many more people attending MBA classes who are doing so to start their own companies.