MBA Schools Are Out of Touch (New School MBA)


I saw this ad for a local B-school in the newspaper. It’s the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. It’s a really good example of just how out of touch business schools are.

USC_SC_MBA ad001

Deciding to earn an MBA is easy.

Seriously? Deciding to spend all that money is easy? Deciding if USC is better than the thousand other schools is easy? I don’t know many people who make five or six figure decisions easily. If you can, you’re either stupid or filthy rich. I’d be willing to say there aren’t many millionaires who make those decisions lightly. They wouldn’t be millionaires if they did. Anyway, the vast majority of millionaires have already proven that MBA’s are certainly not necessary for success or riches.

It’s staying in the same job for the rest of your life that’s hard.

Who does the school think current MBA students are? What are the demographics? I’m pretty sure they’ve spent thousands of my tax dollars on finding out the answers to those questions. What is a decisive characteristic of current generations who comprise the majority of the student bodies around the world? I’ll tell you. They do not stay in one job or career for very long. It’s not a bad thing either. It’s simply a characteristic.

Here’s the problem with that. The current generation of students are likely to see this and run the other way. They need to. The cost and time of an MBA will hamper them for years instead of releasing them to achieve greatness outside the system. When I Say ‘them’, I mean You.

“You mean if I get an MBA I might be stuck in the same job for thirty years?”

Yes, that’s right. It’s a definite possibility.

Earn a highly ranked MBA without leaving your job, so when you’re ready to move up, you can.

Screw that! It’s a lie. Unless you’re a banker or a finance guy, you really don’t need it. Go get a degree in something you like or something that’s actually useful…if you really need a degree. Or why don’t you find a way to move up that doesn’t require a $100,000+ investment?

Consider working hard.

Become a linchpin.

Innovate, create, or revolutionize something.

I guess if you really want to get ahead, an MBA is really the easy way out. So to speak. It’ll still cost you, but only money. Don’t take the coward’s way out. Go out and do something that gets you noticed. Be a man.

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5 thoughts on “MBA Schools Are Out of Touch (New School MBA)

  1. I think you can do better.

    I don’t disagree with your fundamental assertion, just your method of delivery.

    I think promoting independent thinking is better than criticizing mainstream thinking.

    Your rhetoric is utterly unbelievable based on two things:
    1. You are a Dr– a product of extended educaiton.
    2. Your argument is laced with mainstream buzzwords, not original persuasion.

    • Thanks for commenting!
      I certainly don’t disagree that I could do better. I could spend so much time on this one blog post that it consumes me. It could be near perfect, but I believe I made my point pretty well in the time and space allotted.
      What other method would you suggest?
      I think I handled both pretty well. I certainly promoted independant thinking, but I’m not afraid to tackle the established dysfunctional system.
      Yes, I am a Doctor. This places me in an excellent position to criticize. I am both a product of the system and the successes available outside of it.
      What’s wrong with mainstream buzzwords? There’s a reason they are both mainstream and buzzworthy. As to original persuasion, I’d have to ask my other readers about that. It did persuade you to write back, right?

  2. The problem with your argument is that this is an effective ad that addresses some simple arguments.

    Deciding to earn an MBA is pretty easy. As is deciding you should leave your office to get lunch, using the gym membership you are paying for, and not cheating on your spouse.

    Sarcasm aside, for me, deciding to go after a MBA was a simple decision, but that decision was not the actual act of earning the MBA. With incentives (GI Bill money starting to run out) and the right opportunity (weekly night time in classroom instruction, even if it is from the University of Phoenix), the ability to pull the trigger and put up with the sacrifices that are necessary were easy. Especially since I *really* wanted to go to law school, but couldn’t justify it because I had no desire to practice law.

    Saying that ‘staying in the same job for the rest of your life that’s hard’ is good for a sell, since there are plenty of jobs that look for people who hold advance degrees (whether the degree is relevant or not). Especially in government jobs and other bureaucratic functions. .
    Having a chance to earn any degree, especially something advance like a MBA without leaving your job is a big deal. The problem really comes from what you think you need the degree for. When I finish my MBA, I will be even more overqualified for my day job, but the credential will help in growing my consulting side business. Plus, I needed the mental exercise, and thanks to my Military Service, I made a little money on the deal for a while (GI Bill time ran out with 6 months to spare). People who are in it just for the ‘assumed’ extra pay benefit are banking on a predictable formula for success that doesn’t exist.

    Again, I understand your argument and do not totally disagree, but the ad is effective towards its target audience. Everyone else is irrelevant or bonus coverage.

    • I can completely understand you’re reasoning. I am also a recipient of GI Bill college money. It’s how I started my own college journey. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m certainly not against all schooling or even all MBA schooling. You sound like one of the few that I’ve met that had a plan. College, grad school, whatever type of school…with a plan is certainly not the norm.
      I counsel way too many people who possess the simple plan of go to college, expect a job waiting for them, can’t get a job, go back to grad school, still can’t get a job. All the while, the student loans continue to gain power like a snowball rolling downhill.
      Now, I have a couple of questions…
      What branch of the military? (maybe a chance we crossed paths)
      What type of consulting do you do?

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