Is an MBA worth it?

QUICK READ: MBA schools are ending programs because students can’t afford them and they don’t add value in today’s business environment. Is an MBA worth it?

According to Forbes “is an MBA worth it in 2020? It’s becoming more and more clear that an MBA degree is not just a questionable investment—it’s a risk that’s simply not worth it”.  Their rationale is that “Covid-19 has shone a glaring spotlight on just how archaic this type of education is. Almost overnight, business plans have been torn up, the rules we’ve played by scrapped. Executives can’t lean on the tactics they learned from outdated case studies—all of us are learning about our new world in real-time”.

Alas they are missing something.

I do agree that too many MBA programs are dated and rely too much on quantitative data to make decisions but MBA programs also teach students to think and use a process before making important marketing decisions.

While it’s true that a lot of brands who are still using the same marketing they used before COVID-19 are wasting money completely transforming and uprooting your marketing is dangerous. Eventually, this pandemic will subside but the question that nobody knows is “what is the post-pandemic consumer going to look like?”.

If we look at a snapshot of consumers we know they are saving more and spending less. Layoffs seem to have hit the lower middle class the hardest while the upper-middle-class is taking a wait and see attitude.

Some brands are doing well because their products deliver a feel-good experience. Other brands are sucking wind and losing sales to private label and competitors because their products are interchangeable. Can anyone tell me they can taste the difference between boxed pasta?

Now back to the value of an MBA. If you’re just trying to make grades and really not learning anything then you need to ask yourself if the cost is really worth it. If, however, your classes are challenging you to think differently and solve problems that benefit brands as well as consumers then it might be worth it.

The other value of an MBA is that it’s a good way to avoid looking for work for a couple of years while this pandemic and election is sorted out. Employers are not rushing out to hire people.

What’s really more valuable than an MBA? Experience! If you can learn “how it’s done”in the business world and accomplish navigating a complex organization you’re going to have success and be in demand.

If you’re the type of person who is getting an MBA to earn big bucks you’re a fool. Companies like McKinsey hire MBAs at a good salary but you’re going to be working a lot of hours and not have a life. When I worked on a launch brand in pharma I was working 60+ hours a week and answering emails at all times of the night. It’s not worth it.

One thing is becoming more apparent, companies are trying to hire people who care about what they do rather than what degrees they have. Only YOU can determine if an MBA is worth it.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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