Some folks have asked me about whether they should go to MBA school. Well, by no means do I have the end all answer, but I can offer some things to consider. In general, there’s a lot of debate about the value of an MBA. There is no type of certification to signify that an MBA graduate actually knows a set of information. Think about medical doctors (licensing exam, board certification), PhDs (thesis), accountants (CPA exam), and lawyers (bar exam). My advice to replicate a certification like approach is to enter into a business plan competition. A business plan requires one to know a slice of information across most MBA subjects (e.g., accounting, finance, marketing, etc). If you place, wouldn’t you get some street cred? It would definitely help. Next, I am not so certain that an MBA would be very beneficial if a person’s undergraduate degree is similar to that of an MBA degree such as accounting, economics, or business. For sure, a person would learn something, but maybe not as much. Now for the good stuff. Networking is a blast. Imagine being in a classroom with people from all different industries, companies, and sometimes from other parts of the US. Also, sometimes the teachers are industry experts to give you the real world low down. Lastly, people like helping out students period. You can get conference discounts, meetings with people who wouldn’t otherwise meet with you (as a regular non-student person), product discounts, and tons of other opportunities. There are definitely a lot of advantages to be labeled as a student. The conclusion? Only you can control what you’ll get out of an MBA. Sorry, I can’t be of more help.
Sophia Perl is a product manager for a database tool at IBM. She has over 10 years of software development and management experience. Sophia holds a BS in Computer Science from University of Southern California and an MBA from University of California at Davis. She is the creator of iPhone apps PicPredict and Eventabulous.