Have Business Schools Jumped the Shark?

Here’s a smattering of recent articles about the true worth of traditional MBA programs:

Just Skip It

Penelope Trunk of the Brazen Careerist shares five signs that the MBA is becoming devalued :

“The best thing you get out of business school is a good job afterward. But how do you know you wouldn’t be able to get that job without business school? … The bottom line is that very few careers today really require an MBA. If you’re getting one for a career that doesn’t require it, you might look more like a procrastinator than a go-getter."

Wall Street and Opportunity Costs

Spending two years in business school used to be cost-of-entry to get a job in the lucrative financial services market… it isn’t anymore. Gabriel Hammond raised $5 million to start his own hedge fund instead of going back to school to get an MBA:

“Like other young people on the fast track, Mr. Hammond has run the numbers and figures that an M.B.A. is a waste of money and time — time that could be spent making money. ‘There’s no way that I would consider it.’"

Heidegger, not Homework

Matthew Stewart has a doctoral degree in philosophy, but spent seven years working as a management consultant and shares his experiences in The Atlantic :

“The strange thing about my utter lack of education in management was that it didn’t seem to matter… the impression I formed of the M.B.A. experience was that it involved taking two years out of your life and going deeply into debt, all for the sake of learning how to keep a straight face while using phrases like ‘out-of-the-box thinking,’ ‘win-win situation,’ and ‘core competencies’… It thickened the mystery around the question that had nagged me from the start of my business career: Why does management education exist?"

Phrase of the Day: “Jumping the Shark".

Read more essays by Josh Kaufman →

Published: October 9, 2007Last updated: October 9, 2007

Books by Josh Kaufman