Was That Harvard MBA Worth It?

Was That Harvard MBA Worth It?

Abby Ellin has written a very interesting article in today’s New York Times that builds on an earlier post regarding the value of a business education. Ever since I highlighted the Atlantic article on my blog a few posts ago, my friends and I have been discussing the nature of continuing education. What is the most valuable education one can obtain in order to prepare for today’s dynamic global economy? Ellin’s article asks these same questions indirectly when she poses the question: Was that Harvard MBA Worth It?

“The popularity of the degrees has surged,” Ellin writes. “In 1970, for example, business schools handed out 26,490 M.B.A.’s, according to the Department of Education. By 2004, after a period marked by an economic boom and heightened competition for top-flight business careers, that figure had jumped to 139,347. But opinion and data appear divided on the tangible benefits of an M.B.A.”

One McGill University professor in Ellin’s article suggests “you can’t create a manager in a classroom.” As evidence, he presents as case studies 19 students who graduated at the top of their class with a Harvard MBA 1990. When examining the data in 2003, he found “10 of the 19 were “utter failures. Another four were very questionable, at least,” he added. “So five out of 19 did well.”

It’s a very interesting read to be sure.

P.S. Charlie Rose is back at his post tonight. Welcome back, Charlie. We missed you.