4/11/2008

What's Your MBA Worth?

I enjoyed this analysis of the MBA curriculum and how it has been changing at particular business schools. Apparently, Yale recently shifted the emphasis of its program from functional to thematic--offering coursework covering customer, employee, investor, and so on. In the past several years MBAs have been the focus of much scrutiny, specifically the degree of coursework relevance for real world applicability and resultant unscrupulous activities of MBA grads in the business world (see Jeffrey Skilling of Enron and, depending on your perspective, President G. W. Bush). Many practitioners suggest that most MBA curricula still has some ways to go, in terms of career preparedness, before it gets to where it needs to be. Also, ethics doesn't seem to be so easily taught. Business grad students rank highest amongst other schools with regard to dishonesty with 56% admitting to cheating at sometime during their academic career. The article has a rosier picture to paint though; come graduation, we're not all deceitful first year cub scouts. Maybe I'm naive, but I've enjoyed the MBA curriculum so far and I think SUU offers a unique experience. Surely, there could be improvements here. Is our education meeting our expectations and if so, are our expectations in line with what lies ahead?

4 comments:

Emma said...

An MBA creates great opportunity for making extra money in life. It should be no surprise to students that MBA curriculum has had to change. The business world is always changing and, along with that, schools are providing better education to meet the business world. To me an MBA program just begins the long process of education. The real experiences in life are what truly educate us. The MBA at SUU I think creates a great entry into the business world and keeps up with current events. If the curriculum was not changing it would worry me because I would know that the education system was not keeping up with modern developments.

Dr. Tufte said...

Boy ... the silence is deafening. Is everyone else afraid to express their opinions about our program?

Trinity said...

I have something to say. I recently finished an MBA from SUU. While I thoroughly enjoyed my education while there. I feel an MBA is almost a bad thing when you leave school and look for entry level jobs. Most employers see you as over-qualified and only looking to advance as soon as possible. I think experience is 10x more important when looking for your first career job than an MBA.

Dr. Tufte said...

I think you're absolutely right.

But ... students typically don't ask this question. Professors would be more than willing to tell you that the best way to leverage an MBA is to have experience first before you go back to school.

Of course ... that's the traditional MBA model. Many people do an MBA as a 5 year program - at SUU and other places - and I don't know of any evidence that this really helps your job prospects.

Lastly ... in southern Utah, a degree doesn't do much for you, and an MBA does even less. We are still developing a culture - particularly in St. George - where education is valued.