MBA - Hype or Reality?

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Here's a little fairy tale, a provocative one, to get your mental juices flowing. After a lot of contemplation, you've come to the conclusion that the stalemate in your life can be addressed only by an MBA degree. You bust your backside and c...
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Interesting observation Van Dijk. When and where was this published? Any reference link that you can share?

That point was made by somebody else i was just quoting(ok i didnt put it in italics) and justifying it


Not too sure about that buddy. The MBA degree is essentially a US product. HBR generates a huge amount of case-studies (which are used across the world). And going by GMAT stats, most GMAT scores are forwarded to American bschools and domestic students form the biggest chunk of the incoming class. So I'd say the MBA craze transcends borders and isn't just an India phenomenon.

Thats just my opinion, western labour markets are more flexible which is why one doesnt always need an MBA , plus i checked the profiles of graduates on the companies website and also linkedin , quite a few dont have an MBA.
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Van Dijk Says
Even in US, only about 10 to 15% of the CEOs of Fortune 200 companies have an MBA degree and the ROI of these companies is lower than the ROI of companies managed by people with just Undergard or less qualifications like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs etc etc

Interesting observation Van Dijk. When and where was this published? Any reference link that you can share?

MBA is not required in the western world to go at the top.There are many other factors which are evaluated like your experience,diversity of your experience,ideas more than your degree
As for India , with all the media hype and cultural pressure employers have started saying MBA is a must to break that glass ceiling and go to the top
Not too sure about that buddy. The MBA degree is essentially a US product. HBR generates a huge amount of case-studies (which are used across the world). And going by GMAT stats, most GMAT scores are forwarded to American bschools and domestic students form the biggest chunk of the incoming class. So I'd say the MBA craze transcends borders and isn't just an India phenomenon.

On a related note, I have updated the original post. Scroll to the end of the post to read about a recent development.


- Sameer
Founder | MBA Crystal Ball
Founder - MBA CRYSTAL BALL (mbacrystalball.com) | Twitter www.twitter.com/mba_cb
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Even in US, only about 10 to 15% of the CEOs of Fortune 200 companies have an MBA degree and the ROI of these companies is lower than the ROI of companies managed by people with just Undergard or less qualifications like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs etc etc

MBA is not required in the western world to go at the top.There are many other factors which are evaluated like your experience,diversity of your experience,ideas more than your degree
As for India , with all the media hype and cultural pressure employers have started saying MBA is a must to break that glass ceiling and go to the top
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While we are on the topic of hype, quite a few voices on these forums felt that the online CAT process was hyped as well.

Also, for many the story doesn't end there as many applicants felt the results and the decisions weren't in sync with general expectations.

Founder - MBA CRYSTAL BALL (mbacrystalball.com) | Twitter www.twitter.com/mba_cb
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I would say its both :)
hype bcoz lot of people follow the crowd not really knowing what they want to get out of an MBA except hefty salaries.
Reality bcoz it is the single most degree that provides one the opportunity to reinvent himself/herself and still earn insane amount of money 😃

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The message is loud and clear dude, " Do what your heart says." But we dont "get it" when an unknown soul writes it on a PG forum but are ga ga over it when Steve Jobs says the same thing in the Stanford convo. :SAD:

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Wow!
I rarely came across a post like this on pg.
It is very very demanding on my intelligence and ability to comprehend!
It makes me jump through mental loops, which I am not used to!
I am still not sure whether I understood the message properly!

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This thread caught my eye and I had a pleasant read skimming through the discussions. With a few sidetracks for the GMAT v CAT, I think the thread has brought out some pertinent points which people consider when planning for the MBA; I agree with a few points and have my reservations on a few others, but will like to comment on the train of thought that previous posters have left with respect to school choices and metrics for judging programs that matter. To judge whether the MBA is worth it, I think it is important to first define what you are likely to take away from the experience?

Let me put forward my opinions in terms of certain points I feel are important for deciding to do the MBA and also from a career perspective. Since I am in the mood for some football, I will take a few footballing analogies and mix them into the argument to make it less boring ;)

Disclaimer: This is an idealistic post.

1. Rationale for an MBA and Social perceptions

Who are we to judge the rationale behind a person choosing a top 10 or top 100 or top 1000 school? Just as we aren't born the same, there are differing constraints or motivations for making career choices. The same goes for a "top" business school or an "average" business school. What would be an average business school for someone looking to become the CEO of a Fortune 50 company might well be a medium for someone else to go from an INR 3L salary to INR 5.5L which might be his goal which is met. So, I find comparisons to be non-essential and we really shouldn't be looking up or down upon different schools or its graduates. How does it matter what the person next to you is doing? Perhaps the third person in your group has a similar opinion about your motivations. Will that matter to you?

Case in point: People in India look up to cricketers. But if you do a pure monetary and fame analysis, a non-international football player in the top division of even a small country's club makes much more than what our cricketers do. And they have a fan following all across the world. Eg. Clubs like Boca Juniors, Fluminense, Gremio have players that true football fans all over the world follow and they make good money, even though most people in India haven't heard of them. Does that make Indians stupid because they don't usuall follow football and don't understand its reach? Everyone has their tastes, right?

2. Network

I know someone who gave two hundred and fifty job applications, failed multiple lucrative interviews for positions in Sydney, Hong Kong etc. and ended up landing a dream job in India when he exchanged ideas with a common friend of a friend about a new opportunity at the second person's firm. The two people were not from the same school and had connected in very trying circumstances when their common friend had a family emergency. The opportunity came up four years after they had been keeping in touch.

I have it on record from a student at one of the schools (lets call it U) I applied to that the alumni network at his (undergrad) school (lets call it Z) sucks.

Now, Z is considered a top, top F school, but are applicants really aware of its reputation for the network that so many people have stressed on? How many people are you going to know when you graduate? How well? What are the chances they will help you? Is your career completely dependent on this aspect? Are your perceptions of the worth of an opportunity (career/MBA/school) defined by your own touch points or by those around you?

Case in point: Top Champions League clubs poach the best players from little known clubs in Europe, South America and from around the world. These clubs send scouts to view the players before signing them. Not even a great player can send out a message to these clubs to say: "Hey! Take me" and be taken. The scouts word is the starting point. I personally feel if you are good at what you do you will have value. You don't need to hang onto some one's coat tails to go forward.

3. Salary, Prestige and Career focus

Does your salary define you? Will you be happy with USD 150k+bonuses v USD 100k+bonuses? The former is around the average salary at a "top" business school and the latter is around the average salary at an "average" school. Do you already know what you will do with the extra 50K USD per year or are you just assuming that more is better? Do you know what sacrifices you will need to make to earn that extra 50k USD in the short and long term? Do you know how gruelling it is to shift constantly and setup seven homes in two years working as a consultant? Do you want to be in-flight more than you remain on-ground? Are you going to be happy coming back to an empty home night-in and night-out? You cannot put a dollar value to these questions and their answers, but I will bet you ten dollars today that you will ask yourself these questions one day.

What does "success" mean to you? What is the use of "prestige" in your life? Can you live off your "prestige" if you are not realizing your true potential?

In business speak, do you want to get a better paying job with financial and social perks or do you want to become an independent businessman?

Case in point: With an eye on the World Cup, footballers on the bench move from high prestige clubs to lower clubs in the hope of getting the necessary playing time to convince their national coaches that they are capable of performing in games? Why? National team football doesn't pay much, if at all anything. All they get is a trophy at the end, but you only get one chance to win the World Cup every four years. Does winning the World Cup mean something to you or does getting USD 100k per week mean more to you? What is the legacy you are leaving?

My point: I personally believe the MBA is a very relevant degree for the world system and for an individual.

System view: There is no perfect system but the business degree brings into the system trained individuals who take up positions in different kinds of firms dependent on their motivations, skills, training and aptitude. However imperfect the system or the individual, you need a match stick to light your home stove more than you need a spaceship maker even though the needs of both functions might differ. So, every person and industry function has its takers and relevance. So it is with schools and the people who go to them. Everyone is equal.

Individual view: If a person wants to understand "business" or any other field for that matter, an education never hurts. The chances that an education will help you become more aware are quite high. Combining this with a basic understanding of ones motivations, goals and things that matter can undeniably give you a great set of skills and confidence that lasts a lifetime.

My personal thought: Step back, shut out the sounds, forget the dollars, forget the clapping. Look into the mirror and ask your heart if you are going the right way and if you will be happy.

You will get your answer.

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MBA : Was a reality in past but a more of Hype now !
Everyone wants do be a manger/CEO. I can see a society where everyone wants to manage ppl but one day there will be no one to get managed. A country full of only managers and CEOs who can just plan and define the ways to work but no1 will be there to work 😛 Apologies for being sarcastic !
The value of MBA has really degraded! There was a guy from my Eng college who just did MBA for the sake of name.. after 3 years one day I got surprised when I saw him sitting at roadside at a sale-stall of some new low-grade product. One should always do something which he is good at! Should not move with crowd and hype..
As mentioned in some of the above posts, even managing ppl doesn't require an MBA. I totally agree to this and we have a lot of examples for that from our country and outside !!

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Hi everyone,
I really liked the above posts. Good work!!!

I am an MBA aspirant presently pursuing BBA. I did a extensive preparation for cat09 from oct 2008. MBA is a reality or hype? I would say its a hype.I would like to bring forward few points.

1. How Mr A(scoring 99.00%) is better than Mr B( 90.00 percentile): Is that Mr A has more risk taking ability,creativity,practicality,pragmatism,vision,leadership quality etc etc than Mr B.?
2. Being from technical background and being from humanities background: Is that all the qualities of a manager is in a technical background student and not in a humanities student ( because of B school preference)
3. Academics : Example: A boy has a concept ,ideas and enthusiam to create something new, he has the capacity to motivate people and take responsibilities.But he has average academics.Hence that guy wil not be able to get into a top b school.


A manager has to be logical, creative and pragmatic, well organised and the same applies to an entrepreneur. Essentially if someone has enthusiasm to work and has capabilities to come up with new ideas......then he /she don't needs a MBA from a top B school,that person will become successful neway. One has to have "interest" to do an MBA and a long term goal with it.One thing i agree with is that India is a developing country and it needs a lot of educated human resource.But that does not mean every one should go for an MBA ( with the dream of becoming a CEO). There is so many other option in India. India has Land,Population,Physical resources. So students of India can go for diverse career options some are Fashion Designing,Media Management, Advertisement ,Animation, Flim Making, Product Designing,Social work,Disaster management , Biotechnology, Mechanical field etc etc.So i believe one should go with their interest and passion .I am not telling MBA is not important. It is important. But one should think whether a MBA will help him in his career ,whether he is good enough to take responsiblity and where it will lead to.

regards
adi

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