Is An MBA Worth It? After Covid-19, Absolutely Not.

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by TEKMAN, Jul 9, 2020.


    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Seylan likes this.
  2. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    "As CEO of an education startup." I don't disagree, and honestly don't have the data to form an opinion, but the article is obviously written from a certain perspective.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    And she refers to MBAs costing $200,000 as if that's what they all cost.

    Nothing to see here, move along.
    chrisjm18 and JBjunior like this.
  4. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I recommend, on the very few occasions anyone asks me, that the potential graduate student in business consider earning the Masters degree in some particularly useful subject matter area such as tax (ahem), accounting, IT, or human resources. Of these, I think the M. Acc. is probably overall the most salable. If the questioner has a Bachelors degree in some hard science, such as chemistry, I recommend investigating the new "Professional Masters" programs instead of the pure science M.S. or the M.B.A.

    Factoid: Taft University charges $495/semester hour for its online Master of Science in Taxation degree but only $225.00/semester hour for its online Master of Business Administration. Proves nothing but I think it's a telling anecdote. The tax degree is worth more in the marketplace.
  5. nomaduser

    nomaduser Active Member

    You'll become a home-based business CEO during this pandemic.
    So an MBA degree is overkill for that.
    Johann likes this.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes - the Pandemic has been a real game-changer. Unfortunately, it's being a bankruptcy-generator, too. A good chance to observe which companies have / had the savvy to adapt quickly and which didn't. I was going to say that the companies with successful transitions would likely be good investments. I amend that: Soon, they may be the only investments available.

    One company that really impressed me was my new (and first) ISP - a still-small Canadian Company. Early May - pandemic in full force. Everybody worked from home - total coordination! I'd never have known that from the phone service! Totally remote install. Fully orchestrated by them - including getting a Cable co. guy (They're re-sellers) to fix the outside box. Fantastic service, under C-19 siege.Don't care who has what degrees -- the product is superb.

    I think from here on in the prizes, (i.e. money and jobs) will go to the people who demonstrate that they can do things best - and that includes leading and managing. Not necessarily those who went to the best schools. That's where we're headed.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    One academic route that might be profitable to take in these times - learning to become a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner - (Bankruptcy Trustee). Always work available... bad times are your best friend.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It's a complex concept and it acts like a hologram. What you see depends on (a) where you stand and (b) what you're looking for.

    You can look at these things from an ROI standpoint, if you choose. But there are many other reasons to pursue a degree (any degree) besides a return on your (financial) investment. I like to call it an ROE ("return on expectations.)

    Did you get what you sought?
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I think that's 100% true about many / most degrees. MBAs may be somewhat different - at least as I see them. I believe that by far the largest number of MBA aspirants have traditionally sought that degree as a ticket to a job, a better job or advancement at the one they have. Some, like yourself, may seek it for other reasons - but not that large a proportion..

    Confession: I worked in the business world for 30 years - but I don't hold an MBA. Best I got during work years was a professional diploma. After I retired, I did take some College and University business courses. Maybe 8-9 of them in total. Nothing, right?
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I think getting an MBA for non-work-related reasons (including self-employment) is a paradox. It's like qualifying as a carpenter if you don't want to work with wood. Or going to dental school if you hate the idea of fixing teeth. Now an English or History degree --- you have to love the subject. Work prospects are known to be precarious.
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    That's 8 or 9 business courses, after retirement. Total courses more like 75+ last time I counted.
  12. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    First question is, do we always need to evaluate education based on ROI? Is the value of everything based on what I could sell it for? That being said, if the school gives you the right network, it "can" be worth the $200K. However, the knowledge can be had for far less. One can self study, of course, but there are formal studies at a far lesser amount... and it does provide structure. I've worked with Harvard folk, middling MBAs, and lesser schools... we all seemed to discount cash flows the same ways and everyone seemed to believe that a debit equaled a credit. A "cheap" MBA may be worth the cost, for the knowledge obtained.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Do we ALWAYS need to? Of course not - but the MBA (and some other degrees, firmly oriented to specific occupations) are special cases. They're normally entered for the ROI so that type of analysis is, in most cases, mandated. Other degrees ... different analysis.

    And indeed, a "cheap" MBA can often provide basic business knowledge as well as a more expensive one. But there might be a non-MBA path that'll do the same - for even less. I seem to remember taking one of those paths myself. :) There's more than one correct answer on this test.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    And on that alternate path, we all remembered "your debits must equal your credits - or your assets in jail," too. And how to discount cash flows etc. :)
  15. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    A couple of thoughts; one of many failures of business is seeing everything in terms of "profit or loss". Cannot business be a calling, worthy of study on its own accord? With respect to the other, of course it is possible to win the Olympics on your own. However, most have coaches. That is what formal study is about.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  16. Courcelles

    Courcelles Member

    An MBA only costs 200 grand and two years of income if you want it to anymore — and if you can get in to one of those programs, and if you want the life that comes with paying back all that debt.

    Mine will cost around 10k, and is not the cause of my current unemployment. If I had told my wife it was going to cost 120k like Michigan’s or Duke’s online MBAs, I’d have been laughed at and asked if I was joking. But I also don’t want that high pressure Wall Street life. I’d like to prove I’m capable of graduate work, and get in to a decent but not-elite Ph. D. (The chances of a top-tier doctorate have sailed for me.).
    For my purposes, I decided the best option would be RA, AACSB, and doable by scrimping the budget for a year rather than taking out loans that are more than our mortgage.

    If that doesn’t work out, well? I’m a Southerner in a smallish city. Not many MBAs here at all, much less the elite ones. It’ll make me stand out enough in this market to be we’ll worth the 10k over a few years.
    heirophant, Johann and Maniac Craniac like this.
  17. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Business education is a concentrated intersection between social science, data science, critical and creative thinking, information literacy and a whole host of other valuable lessons and skills. It's a good course of study for anyone.
  18. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    Duke does not have an Online MBA. They do, however, have an Online Master of Science in Quantitative Management: Business Analytics...I know that since I was admitted to it. Also, while cost is still high, it is not $120K like UMich Ross or CMU Tepper. It is $67,000 which includes the orientation and a 2 night stay at the hotel on campus.

  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I don't think there's such a thing as a "good course of study for anyone." For one thing, people's abilities and inclinations differ. This belief might deprive the world of some potential cellists, physicist, historians - even some sorely-needed welders, electricians and mechanics.And only because of wildly successful credential inflation are MBAs and some other business degrees as invasive in our landscape as certain undesirable plants.

    There may be more than one reason to earn an MBA. I think the only valid ones - for that degree - are:

    You like the study of business
    You think you could be good at it
    You feel you need the academic discipline of the degree program - and ABOVE ALL
    You expect your study will pay off handsomely afterward. (ROI, ROI and more ROI)
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes, it can start with a calling. But if the money aspect doesn't work - there goes the calling - and the entire building, likely. ROI and more ROI. Coaches are essential in Athletics - more optional in business school, I feel. Lots of people study successfully without them. Coaches - if you want. But does every darn one of them have to work for a University?

    I still say - there are more routes to business knowledge -and skill than an MBA. And a big danger is that the lure of ROI - often illusory - drains people away from fields where their talents would be better utilized and rewarded.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020

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