10 Reasons Why You Should Get an MBA

An MBA education provides communication skills and training in pragmatic, analytical thinking, argues Thomas MacKay.

By Thomas MacKay
Thu, July 05, 2007
Page 5

9. You'll polish your written communication skills.
Because the MBA is a master's-level academic program, you generally have to produce a 20- to 30-page report for each class subject. In my program, the classes were only six weeks long, so every six weeks I had to demonstrate academic mastery of a given topic with each paper I wrote. The ability to research business topics and develop written comprehensive analyses quickly has been enormously helpful to me in my role.

10. You'll learn standard tools for organizing business activity and managing business processes.
Before working on my MBA, I looked at IT as a services organization that executed requests or commands rather than as a function that needs to position itself strategically inside an organization. The MBA gave me the tools, techniques and resources I needed to run IT like a business—things like risk management plans, performance plans, project management methodologies, steering committees, process maps and marketing plans. Since I obtained my MBA, I manage the IT function in a far more disciplined and strategic manner. I understand that my responsibility is to make IT a strategic asset to the business, and I’ve seen that once you start putting those tools and techniques into practice, the business starts to recognize IT as a strategic asset. It’s like a job promotion: You don’t get recognized for the work you’re going to do—you get recognized for the work you’ve already done.

All of these benefits can be attained through other means, other training or other experiences. While the MBA is expensive, requires a big emotional investment and can distract you from your day-to-day work, only the MBA can provide all of the above benefits in a relatively short time frame, in a comprehensive framework and with a lasting credential. I strongly recommend it to all aspiring CIOs.

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