Is MBA worth it?, is an online MBA worth it? Should you do an MBA? Is a part-time MBA worth it? Is the distance MBA worth it?
First, you must understand, what is the value of an MBA.
So essentially there are two primary benefits of doing an MBA. The first primary benefit is something called as the network effect. So when you go to a business school like Harvard, Stanford, IIMs, or Wharton, you end up building a massive network. that network keeps on multiplying and these are very old institutes. So the strength of this alumni network is very, very solid.
Whenever you need any help from Institute alumni and if you are an alum yourself, you can reach out to them. You can seek advice, and mentorship, you can ask for your job favors, and you can ask for internal referrals. You can ask for business advice, investment advice, and a bunch of different help.
The second key value of this program is something called a signaling effect. So signaling effect means that, for example, if you graduate from, let’s say, something like IIM Ahmedabad. Now it indicates or signals to the recruiters that, hey, this person is intelligent, they might not even take a look at your resume. But because of the fact that you have an IIM Ahmedabad brand on your CV, it automatically signals to the recruiter that you’re a smart person.
Now if you are deciding to pursue this, you must seriously consider thinking about your goals, you must have a very specific answer as to why is it that you want to do a Master’s in Business Administration.
If your objective is that you want to grow your corporate career, a Master’s in Business Administration is a wonderful degree, be it consulting. If you want to work with firms like BCG, Bain, or Mckinsey, it is almost mandatory that an MBA is required because the majority of these consulting firms actually send their analysts or junior-level employees and ask them to pursue a master’s degree, to be it MBA or MPP.
So from that respect, the entire consulting industry or investment banking industry really respects the MBA programs. Even if you take a look at the leadership of these firms, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BCG, Bain, and Mckinsey, you will clearly see a lot of people who have done their MBAs and are at the top levels of these companies. So if you want to grow into a corporate career, a Master’s in Business Administration is almost a requirement from that perspective.
But on the flip side, what happens if you want to become an Entrepreneur? Is an MBA required or not?
We will understand this from the next point. Now, if you’re an entrepreneur and if you have done your MBA again, this can be a very impressive value for you. The network effect definitely helps. exploring the option of going to the professor, refining the business plan, and getting feedback on it. MBA students can explore if they are exploring entrepreneurship and if they can actually leverage their school’s network, incubation center, or Angel Investor Network to raise funds for their startups.
in addition to these direct benefits, there are indirect benefits of an MBA program for an entrepreneur as well. Many did not have a lot of sense as to how operations work, or how marketing works. By taking courses, taking electives, by taking experiential learning programs. You would be able to build this subject matter knowledge, which helps me now as an entrepreneur on an everyday basis.
Online courses and so many options to pursue a degree like MBA still relevant?
There is a huge difference between Online and Offline MBAs. The signaling effect plays a role here. For example, when you learn that he has graduated from IIM, you might take his words more seriously because you know that it’s coming from a credible person. Online you might not get any network advantage that just because it might not give you access to an alumni network.
There is no other degree in the world besides an MBA that is discussed and debated so much. people like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos who criticize MBAs. At the same time, they go back and recruit those same MBA candidates to run their own companies. So the point I’m trying to establish is that there is so much debate that is
generated on MBA, which might indicate to you that, you know what, it is not that great a degree, but that is not the reality.
You need to do a deeper analysis. You need to keep it goal-oriented. And rather than believing in these generic debates, you must do your own due diligence and ask
yourself how an MBA will benefit you? If your goal is just to learn new things, then probably doing an MBA might not be the right option.
On the flip side, if your ambition is to grow your network in the long term or create that signaling effect and brand value on your CV, which, by the way, is very important, then an MBA might be a very, very useful degree for you.
If you want to compare a Master’s in Business Administration with technical degrees, then essentially we are comparing apples to oranges here. If you want to work as a UI/UX developer and if you want to pursue a Master of Science, that career track cannot be compared with an MBA career track where people usually become product managers or program managers at Google or Amazon.
So you need to understand what role you are aiming for. If you are aiming for technical roles, then MS might be a better degree. If, on the flip side, you are interested in a business-related degree, then MBA is much, much more useful from that perspective.
Now, the personal development angle that an MBA brings, so when you go to a Business school, you don’t necessarily just develop core business skills like operations, finance, and marketing. You also end up building lifelong friendships that impact your perspective. You meet people from across the globe, especially when you’re graduating from outside India. You improve softer skills, for example, the way you speak, the way you debate, the way you conduct yourself, all the corporate etiquette.
These are some of the finer points that are ubiquitous and are applied across any work that you would do going forward in the future. So in summary, MBA is a great option. It really depends on what you want to do next. You should be very clear about your goal. But most importantly, the overall value added to a Master’s in Business Administration comes from the brand prestige that the Master’s in Business Administration program has.
So the golden rule for doing an MBA is that if you can get into really top-notch programs, you should definitely consider doing it because of the network, the brand value, the signaling effect that you will give, it can boost your career. Doing a Master’s in Business Administration from an average college. That is something that might not bring the same links to you as big institution can.