I was having a conversation with one of my brothers recently, and he mentioned that he was hoping to get an MBA soon. I was a bit surprised by this. Once I finished school, I had no intention of going back. I figured that he thought the same thing… And I’m pretty sure that I enjoyed school more than he did.
Although I majored in a technical area, computer science, I ended up with a consulting gig that constantly forces me to think from a business standpoint. My career path at Pariveda molds me into a business professional who sees problems from an enterprise view and understands how to plug technology into a solution. Along that path, I should learn tons about business administration. Right…? So why the hell should I waste my precious time getting another degree in an area that I am learning along the way. At some point I ought to be able to portray that I have a comparable skill set to that of someone who has an MBA (plus, I’ll have lots of cool technical anecdotes to share). So why bother with spending the extra time, effort, and money to get an MBA?
Once I thought about it, things started to make a little more sense. I’m not sure if getting an MBA makes sense for me, but it could make perfect sense for someone who doesn’t get the administration exposure along their career path. How would you feel if you had been doing purely technical work for years, and all the sudden you were dropped into the unfamiliar land of business administration? You’d probably feel confused, lost, frustrated, etc. Is it too much to ask of your employer to help shape your skill set into what they eventually expect of you? I don’t think so. Maybe if companies realized that their employees are investments, they would put the effort into helping said employees grow their skills into what the career path has in store.
Or… I guess they could just pay for you to get an MBA when the time is right.
I am currently polling my company to see who has MBAs, and why they bothered with them. I also asked if anyone thought having an MBA at our company was useful. I’m planning on writing a follow up to this post where I consolidate some response from within my company (and from you – go ahead and comment).
[Here is a link to the follow-up]