Here is an excerpt from an article written by Penelope Trunk by BNET, The CBS Interactive Business Network. To read the complete article, check out others, and/or sign obtain a free subscription to one or more of the BNET newsletters, please click here.
MBA applications always go up during a bad economy. That is because business school generally attracts people who are lost, and more people who feel more lost when the bad job market is lousy.
But let’s be clear: This is not the type of recession where there are no jobs [click here] for young people. This is a recession where there are no GOOD jobs. McDonald’s is hiring in management. There is a bank teller shortage and a shortage of actuaries. There is a shortage of insurance agents. It’s just that people don’t grow up dreaming of these jobs. So they don’t take them. Instead, people who are early in their career – in that time when an MBA sounds like it might work – those people are determined to have only a good job. And if they can’t have that, they get an MBA.
The problem is that an MBA makes it worse.
There are seven reasons why you should take a bad job instead of getting an MBA.
[Here are three.]
1. Business school won’t help you be a good entrepreneur.
There is no correlation between being a good entrepreneur and going to business school. In fact, according to Saras Sarasvathy, professor at University of Virginia’s Darden Business School, the most important skill for an entrepreneur is that you know your weakness and you can find people to fill in your gaps. [Click here.] So you pay a bundle to go to school to learn what you don’t and how to find people who can do stuff you can’t? Sorry, that doesn’t add up. The ultimate irony: entrepreneur programs are booming at business schools [click here].
2. You likely don’t need an MBA for what you want to do.
There are some jobs, very few, where you cannot land if you don’t have an MBA. These are mostly high-level officer-type positions in the Fortune 500. Even then, though, you probably don’t need an MBA. In fact, Forbes reports [click here] that CEOs without MBAs bring more value to investors than CEOs who went to business school.
7. Business school puts off the inevitable.
Look, it’s really hard to be an adult. You go to school for twenty years being told what to learn and what to think and when to show up, and then you get tossed into adult life and there is no one telling you what’s right for you. You have to figure it out, but you didn’t go to school for that. In fact, school is the opposite of that. So it looks fine to be lost in your 20s. This is when everyone is taking time to figure things out. It does not look fine to spend $150,000 to go back to school just to put off the hard knocks of figuring out where you belong in the workforce. Face reality. Join the workforce.
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Penelope Trunk is the founder of three startups — most recently, Brazen Careerist [click here to sign up for a subscription to a fee newsletter] a social network to help young people manage their careers. Her career advice appears in more than 200 newspapers. In a review of this blog, BusinessWeek called Penelope’s writing “poetic.”