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Why MBA education is flawed and how it can be made more useful …

Source |Linkedin .com  |  BY:Nilabh Kumar

Having recently completed a decade in the corporate world, it often comes up for discussions among my colleagues and batch-mates if our MBAs were really worth all the hype?

While a holistic answer will only be possible after another 25 years when I and my peers will be nearing our retirements, as of date, my simple answer is “Yes, it mattered”. Fortunately, for me the answer becomes a bit easier from a financial standpoint, as the fees I paid was not as astronomical as is being paid by the current batch of MBA students. These days even some kindergarten schools charge more per annum than what I had paid during my MBA.

But, was MBA the ideal course for most of us? My answer would be a clear “NO”. For being a really useful course during our formative years in the corporate world, it should have been very different. In this article are some key ideas which can make this 2 year stint (or 1 year in some cases) extremely expedient and which should be considered while designing a course in the future.

A major issue: the name itself

A key challenge is the name of the course itself: “Master” of Business Administration. How can any sane individual become a Master in managing business at the end of a 2 year period just by reading theory, running surveys, solving case studies, doing fringe analysis and creating ragtag PowerPoint presentations when even Jeff Bezos can not be sure if he would still be successful enough to be called a Master in another 5-6 years [I hope he stays successful though, as millions of customers and thousands of employees globally depend on him and b.t.w. he’s not an MBA]. Why not simply call it “Post Graduate Degree/ Diploma in Management” (I know several institutes already do so formally – still, MBA remains the commonly used term).

Keep expectations real & teach us what we need in our initial years

We are always taught in an MBA how a ‘leader’ (CEO, CMO, CFO or you can keep changing the middle alphabet) would behave in a particular situation. Often these situations present one small perspective, which is referred to as a ‘case’. I won’t have complained if this was just one of the multiple perspectives presented. But unfortunately, that’s all what is often taught under case studies.


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