Pursuing an MBA degree is the ambition of many young white-collar workers who graduated from university a few years before. They’ve accumulated some professional experience and saved a bit of money – prerequisites for most MBA programs.
An MBA degree is a good springboard for those who want to switch to another career or climb to a higher position. The learning experience can be rewarding and practical.
That’s because MBA programs develop employees’ management skills, while also teaching them basic or even advanced accounting, finance and marketing.
However, before candidates jump into such a program, they should consider a number of points.
Recently, in an article titled “If you can’t get into a top-five MBA program, don’t even bother” on QZ.com, Jay Bhatti, an investor and advisor to startups in New York City, explained his view on MBA programs.
He said it’s important to first ask yourself: “Why do you want an MBA and what schools are you applying to?”
Career experts have repeatedly pointed out that MBAs are not as valued today as they were 30 years ago, both at home and abroad.
Statistics from Stanford University, US, show that from 2005 to 2008, more than 94 percent of MBA graduates had jobs lined up for after their graduation. Since then, however, this has fallen to 75 percent. Conditions are even worse at less well-known schools.
“Ten years ago, I used to tell candidates that an MBA was a great investment, regardless of which program they went into, as long as they had a general idea of where they wanted to take their career,” said Bhatti, who got his MBA from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, in 2002. “Today, I cannot state that belief anymore.”
One reason is that emerging start-up companies don’t value MBAs as much as big firms. Bhatti also cited other factors that make an MBA degree less desirable in the West, such as that fewer companies are paying for their employees’ education and firms are “hiring less and paying less” in today’s economy.
The MBA industry is booming in China. But insiders advise students to get a more realistic picture of what it is like doing an MBA course before they enroll.
Christina Liu, PR manager of Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, said: “Some believe that spending one or two years of their life studying for an MBA will result in decades of happiness, more leisure time and money. This dream may never come true.”