Like almost anything in life, there is no right answer to that question. It is not simple to come to a conclusion and before you tell what I think, it pays to understand what an MBA is, how it came about, and a host of other things.
What is an MBA
MBA is the acronym for Master in Business Administration. As you just read, in its original meaning, the MBA has (or should have) a master's degree. It emerged in the United States at the time of industrialization as a way to bring science and knowledge to the development of managers.
Here in Brazil the MBA does not have the master's degree, being considered a Lato Senso training course (specialization courses). There is a basic difference between these and Stricto Sensu courses (masters and doctorates), which are more geared towards scientific deepening. If you want to understand more of these differences, see this post which explains well. Another modification that occurred in Brazilian lands was the fact that a series of specialization courses disguised of the MBAs appeared in the most diverse areas.
These courses have become very popular in recent years leading to a belief that they are essential for the job market. But before you understand the reasons for it helping you or not in the job market, let's see what the motivations are for making one.
Possible Motivations for an MBA
In general there are 3 reasons that I consider valid:
- When you want to reposition yourself to a job other than your training
- When you need a very specific knowledge that is only given in this type of course
- When you want to upgrade after many (many) years in the market
It all depends on your career moment, but if you look at one of these 3, it may be your time. There are still several other reasons that I do not agree with so much, but that may lead someone to take an MBA:
- Networking and relationship - you do not need a class to meet people
- Improving curriculum - professional experience is much more important
- Increase pay - not a certainty nor an absolute truth that will happen
These motivations come from living in a culture that values diplomas and degrees too much. Understand, I do not say that it is wrong to have diplomas and degrees (I am myself graduated in two colleges) and we have Excel courses available on our platform that offer certificates, I just think they do not prove anything. It is professional experience, your results and what you have achieved throughout your life that will give you credits to be a good professional or not.
Just a quick example. Would you prefer to hire an executive who has a college education and a history of taking your company from an annual turnover of R $ 100.000 to R $ 10.000.000 or a recent graduate of a good college with 6 months of experience in a company and MBA? Despite being a featured example, what matters at the end of the day is the result that you can consistently deliver to your business. Whether an MBA, course, read more blogs, read more books or anything else really help, will bottom.
Current problems with MBAs
All these motivations lead people to the main problems around MBAs. To begin with, it is worth remembering that this degree has now been devalued by the surplus of students who are getting younger (new graduates), with no experience and no trained career plans, joining classes just to "improve" the curriculum.
Another problem is the fact that it has become one more business opportunity (and of making educational institutions bill more), making the quality of many programs quite questionable. Speaking specifically of MBAs geared to key areas of management, you'll get tired of seeing teachers with little market experience going through fictional case studies and talking more of it.
I do not want to generalize, but the criticism is for you to reflect on your moment and the reasons that lead you to join one of those classes. Does it make sense for your career? Are there other ways to get the knowledge you would have there? A simple example is our blog, I already talked with colleagues who were doing MBA of Business Management that had as subject many of the posts that we have already placed in our categories of management concepts or management in practice.
Worksheets that count towards an MBA
As I was saying, what you should seek is not the title, but the knowledge. So I decided to separate some spreadsheets that we have already developed and which in my opinion are worth almost by an MBA (because they encompass many of the concepts in a practical and highly applicable in their day to day as a manager).
- MBA Finance - Cash Flow with Financial Projection ou Economic Feasibility Study
- MBA Business Management - Cash flow, SWOT Analysis ou Business Diagnostics
- MBA Marketing - Customer Prospecting, CRM ou Marketing plan
Anyway, what I want to say is that before you disburse rivers of money, you need to be very sure that it is what you need and that is the ideal path for your pretensions.
If you are going to do an MBA, what you should know before
If you're really determined to take an MBA, there are a few things you need to be aware of so you do not regret your next move. Let's face it:
- Analysis of the educational institution
Find out her ranking. To give you an idea, Brazil did not appear in the Financial Times Global MBA ranking in 2015. In the 2014 version only 3 institutions had appeared.
- Faculty Analysis and Disciplines
You can join the best MBA, but if you do not know the teachers and the disciplines you will have the displeasure of not liking what you will learn. So call the institution, talk to teachers, see if you can attend a class as a listener to see if you like and do not forget to talk to students as well.
- Choice of specific courses
Look for a course that really will propitiate you to know new and specific things related to your work.
- Investment to be carried out
Have you considered the cost you will have to pay? Do you have the 12 to 24 months available? You know you're going to have to invest a lot of your time to study right? It's no use doing an MBA and not striving to get the best out of it. You will end up spending more time than just the dedicated classes for reading and producing texts, solving exercises and work.
- Knowledge of Languages
Are your languages sharp? It is quite common for most references to be from books or sources in English (or even Spanish and French). If you do not handle any of this, you may have trouble learning the important things you are paying for.
Ask yourself if the knowledge you seek only exists in an MBA. If that's the best way possible.
I say this because the internet, blogs, magazines, books are there and often what you learn in a classroom is exactly the same thing that is written in some of these materials. Have you ever struggled to learn before you put it into your head that you need an MBA?
If you liked the post and are wondering if MBA is even for you, it is well worth reading the MBA book: No, Thanks! of Mintzberg.
Although the criticisms are directed toward the American system, they also apply in a certain way to the Brazilian model and make you reflect on several aspects that involve the theme.
And you, do you think it's worth doing an MBA?
In my opinion the practical experience is worth much more than an MBA. It is not doing case study or reading texts from 20 pages that a manager will be more prepared for your day to day. You might even argue that this is a step for you to be a better manager in the future if you are not already in that position, but still, I think you can take on a managerial role, of autonomy without the need to hold a position or have a diploma
While the MBA does not nullify the practical experience (you can have 2 at the same time), I am against this modality of doing an MBA for anything or as soon as you leave university. I am only in favor (but still with restrictions) in very specific cases or as I said up there, if it is to make a change of direction in the race.
What do you think? Divide your opinion with me here in the comments and if you really want to be a better manager, know our ready-made worksheets.