"Is the MBA Obsolete" and SJCME

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Daniel Luechtefeld, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Who was the guy that once said, "Hey, I resemble that remark" when he really meant to say "Hey, I resent that remark" ?
  2. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Norm Crosby, maybe?

    EDIT: After I posted the above, I went and looked it up. It's definitely Norm Crosby. He based an entire stand-up comedy career on those kinds of little "errors." He died in the last year or two, didn't he... or am I thinking of someone else?
  3. JoAnnP38

    JoAnnP38 Member

    Now I'm starting to believe this thread needs to be moved to the politics forum. On the other hand, let's not forget what those three letters stand for -- especially the last two.

    As an investor, while I would much appreciate an ethical CEO not burning my money by indiscretion, I do expect them to be able to see through accounting smoke screens during the purchase of other companies, be able to support business decisions through detailed and well researched business plans, be able to optimize their business by seeing the inefficiencies of their current processes, understand the impact of the money supply on current and future business investments, etc. All of this requires someone adept at (ta ta taaaaaaaa) Business Administration!. So when Gregg twists himself into a New York snack wearing politics on his thinking cap, I think its time for everyone to step back, take a deep breath and go back to studying for your Six Sigma black belt (or something like that.) :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2005
  4. JH50

    JH50 New Member


    Okay I get it :) I'm going back to my seat in the corner!

    And I really like the courses...I swear!


    If you choose this program, I am very interested in reading updates as you progress.
  5. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Ha! :D That's pretty funny.
  6. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    Hmm. I don’t mean to give away my age, but this one I distinctly remember from my childhood.

    The first to use the phrase "Hey, I resemble that remark." when he really meant to say "Hey, I resent that remark." was Curly (Howard) from The Three Stooges.

    The curse of eidetic memory… ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2005
  7. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    Daniel and all -A few random thoughts on MBA programs ...

    I've followed the "MBA Bashing" feeding frenzy for some time. It seems no one is happy with business education - no matter how it is done. SJCME has an interesting approach - but I have to wonder about it.

    The whole "hard skill"/"soft skill" argument seems to me to be a false dichotomy. Also, I believe that the "hard/soft" distinction is really somewhat arbitrary. In my own research I believe there are probably 3 or 4 dimensions, not just 2.

    Who says you can't study both "hard" and "soft" skills? An MBA without quant skills in accounting, stats, ops research and finance is lacking. An MBA without soft skills is lacking too. How to teach "soft" skills and ethics is also a dilemma - I'm not sure that some of this can be conveyed in the classroom.

    Of course when folks are bent on finishing an MBA as soon as possible, you end up with compromised programs - and quant skills increasingly suffer. In my own MBA experience I took 20 three credit courses over two years of full-time study with a healthy balance of quant and qualitative skills.

    I notice that SJCME is RA, but not AACSB or ACBSP. I suspect their curriculum wouldn't past muster with a professional accreditor. To some this may be a "badge of honor", although for perspective students this is one limitation.

    Regards - Andy
  8. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    Actually, I've always envisioned these people as resembling Bill Lumberg from "Office Space".

    "Yeah, Peter...I'm going to need to have you come in on Saturday...ok?"
  9. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Oh, oh. Sounds like we've got a good, old-fashioned, "who really said it" debate on our hands.

    Actually, I'll bet the truth is that neither Crosby nor Howard were the first to say it. It's got a real vaudevillian feel to it, and the heyday of vaudeville pre-dated both of their comedy careers. Er... well... the Howards did get in on the tail end of vaudeville, but it really was just the tail end. Like a tremendous amount of comedy from the early days of radio and television, it may well have been first uttered by some now-anonymous afternoon player, written -- or maybe even only ad-libbed -- in a long-forgotten vaudeville routine somewhere. That, I think, is highly likely.
  10. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Dude, you're old!
  11. gtobin

    gtobin New Member

    For those interested in the more quantitative side of finance, you might be interested in looking at "Math Finance" or "Financial Engineering" MS programs, though none that I know of are DL.

    Some outstanding ones are:

    CMU Quantitative Finance

    NYU Math Finance

    U Chicago Math Finance

    A list of almost all academic programs is here: IAFE
  12. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    It could be a limitation...however last time I checked a PA school tuition was in the ballpark of 40k to 70k...including DL ones. St. Joes is in the vicinity of 12k.....which may not matter to some, but to me it sure does.

    Secondly the PA MBA types are receiving increasing criticism, fair or not, from the press. Within the last week I have read no less than 3 articles questioning the effectiveness of the MBAs in our businesses, the ethics of MBA graduates and what an MBA is really supposed to know. I think that more and more press is being directed towards "traditional" business values as being bereft of any type of humanity...which is a PR nightmare for business and government if it catches on...

    Depending upon how the professional public and media relate to the MBA has a lot to do with its future as a "money making" degree. After all, this is not a professional licensing degree like an MD or a JD and it is not legally necessary in the marketplace. Specializations may be the call of tomorrow, such as MS in Finance or MS in Communication...where you can tailor your specific applicant pool to your needs rather than the MBA one size fits all approach, in which case the PA camp will have to reinvent themselves. And as for executive jobs? Well, most execs don’t have MBAs….go figure.

    Then again, maybe it won't catch on and everyone will continue to look towards the traditional MBA as the most dynamic degree in business regardless of the abuses suffered.

    Time will tell, but I'm placing my bets now.
  13. JoAnnP38

    JoAnnP38 Member

    There are many AACSB accredited MBAs for less than 40k. If you live out of the state of Florida there is a very, very high probability that you qualify for a tuition waiver at Florida State University. In this case your total costs would be about $18,500. If you live in the state of Florida and you are considered a resident and your totals costs are about $17,000. I know of several other examples and I'm not even actively looking for MBA programs!

    In all of the articles I've read, the best alternative presented was for companies to train their own employees. Other than that I was left with the distinct impression that the typical MBA was still the best thing going with no proven alternatives in sight.

    I don't think you are really placing your bets. Concentrating in Leadership/Management is a perfectly legitimate direction which lets you specialize in an area of interest. I think it will prepare you for being a great manager; however, if you don't have other skills you may find yourself lacking the tools you need to address broader issues. Of course, with an MBA from SJCME you'll probably be able to ethically delegate responsibility for these broader issues to someone else. :)
  14. w_parker

    w_parker New Member

    There are plenty of unethical business persons out in the economy, to include lawyers, doctors, police, public administrators, accountants, school teachers, and the list goes on. So do we restructure every program out there? Has the AICPA moved to include ethics training in accounting programs, yes, and they also require you pass an ethics exam in many states in order to get your CPA license, but have they changed the overall structure of accounting degrees? No they have not. I also agree with some on this board that ethics is difficult to teach to college aged students, you have already developed your values, attitudes, and beliefs and a college course is rarely going to have a great impact on your ethical values, though education about ethics is important in my opinion. An MBA is universally understood as containing certain core business courses, any PA degree must contain these core courses, and from the RA only schools I have seen many also have these core requirements. So is an MBA a degree that contains these core courses and what ever electives you choose, or does the name of the degree have nothing to do with course content? I must say though that as some have said, an MBA is rarely a job requirement, so that being the case I would say choose the program that best suits your needs. Is the MBA obsolete? I do not think so. Is it over-rated, probably. Like many other masters degrees out there that are not required for any licensing, it just builds on the qualitative and quantitative skills you learned as an undergrad, or the skills you were required to take for foundation courses. In my case, as a prospective CPA, the MBA courses I have taken to date do build on the skills I will need, and fills the requirements for the 150 semester hours needed in order to get licensed.

  15. Daniel Luechtefeld

    Daniel Luechtefeld New Member

    My take:

    SJCME's approach is fundamentally correct and its curriculum is outstanding; however:

    1. Its quantitative component needs to be strengthened.

    2. Independent study is inappropriate for a leadership program. The curriculum cries out for a collaborative, cohort-based structure.

    3. As mentioned in the article, the leadership-based practica in some other programs demand groupwork that is structured to intentionally create crisis and conflict within the cohorts or teams. DL delivery can serve this objective as well - how many problems at work are created by misunderstanding emails? However, DL is obviously limited here; accordingly, a leadership-oriented program should require more than one resident seminar.

    Reservations notwithstanding, if SJCME went to a cohort format I'd be enrolled next week.

  16. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I agree that a cohort would be neat. I disagree that it would be necessary. After all, as I said before, only someone interested in becoming a leader would take the class in the first place (at least logically) and would therefore take what he/she has learned and apply it to aspects and circumstances in their own lives.

    Leaders come from knowledge, desire and circumstance. How would being in a classroom really change what you learn? If you are doing the coursework as designed, and passing the tests as given and applying this new knowledge to your particular circumstance, then BLAM!!!....you're becoming a leader.

    As for getting into discussions with the instructor or other students, I don't know for sure, but would be willing to bet, that you would be able to call the instructor with any concerns you may have..

    As for being able to "make a leader"...you are right. You cannot do it by independent learning. You can't do it face to face either. A person has to have the will, a little talent and a calling to become a leader.

    Edited to add: Intentionally creating conflict within a group dynamic is wholly unnecessary as I have enough conflict in my personal and professional life in which to apply what I learn. I think most of us can agree that a classroom setting is typically a sterile environment in which REAL conflict is not likely to occur by design. I've attended various LEO Management courses in which the instructors did this type of thing and I have to be honest...it has been NOTHING like a real conflict with a real person.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2005
  17. JH50

    JH50 New Member

    The benefit of a cohort is that you can learn as much, if not more, from the people in your group than you can from the textbook. Chances are there will be people smarter than you in the group who can be a tremendous source of knowledge and bring out the best in you.

    Also, aren't you the least bit interested in the experiences of those outside of law enforcement and how they will interpret the material presented? Running a para-military law enforcement organization is not the same as running a private business.
  18. Tim D

    Tim D Member

    The Issue is IMHO it is not a strong MBA program. It is an excellent leadership program though. That said if you read my previous post(now that I have had a chance to reread it I realize I was all over the place and only somewhat coherent) the point I was trying poorly to make is that if you compare SJCME's MBA to leadership programs out there that SJCME is more closely related to them. If you don't think so see the links in my previous post. As a matter of fact If we look specifically at National University's Master of Science in organizational leadership it is as close,perhaps even closer to an MBA than SJCME.

    Overall I must agree with Andy. There needs to be a balance in your MBA program,between hard and soft concepts. There are some out there.
  19. w_parker

    w_parker New Member

    So what is an MBA?

  20. JoAnnP38

    JoAnnP38 Member


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