Six Reasons Not to Get an MBA
You don't need to earn an MBA to get the expertise you need. Real-world business experience is not only an education, it's a path to learning how to be a leader, James Clark argues.
Thu, July 05, 2007
CIO — James Clark, the CTO of EpicTide, a provider of security software for the health-care industry, has focused on real-world business experience over the MBA curriculum and is satisfied he’s made the right decision. Here are the six points Clark cites as his rationale for why IT executives don’t need the an MBA to get ahead:
1. You don't have the time.
The amount of time required to receive enough credits to get the degree is a big hurdle for me in my current position. Most MBA programs are two-year commitments. If I were to enroll in a part-time MBA program to accommodate my work schedule, the degree would take me considerably longer to complete.
2. You don't have the money.
The average cost of a traditional MBA program is estimated at $40,000 for one year, according to MBAprograms.org. Online MBA programs from prestigious institutions aren't any cheaper. Though I have found some inexpensive online MBA programs, I can't help but wonder about the quality of their curricula. For more information on the cost of MBA programs, check out this link.
3. The subject matter puts you to sleep faster than a Xanax.
Since I was a young kid, I've been interested in technology and consumer electronics. That's what I tinker with. My interests don’t lie in reading The World is Flat, though I have read that book, and understanding outsourcing as a whole is important to me because I outsource to the Ukraine. But I have enough firsthand experience with outsourcing and globalization that I don’t see the need to sit through a class on it, which leads me to my next point.
Ralph Szygenda, group VP and CIO, GM (bachelor of science in computer science from the University of Missouri-Rolla; master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas; honorary doctorate in engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla). Read more about Szygenda's career here.
Rollin Ford, CIO, Wal-Mart (bachelor's degree in business administration and systems analysis from Taylor University).
Gary Masada, CIO, Chevron (bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Washington).
Nicholas Smither, VP and CIO, Ford Motor (bachelor’s degree in engineering from Loughborough University with first class honors, and master’s degree in advanced automotive engineering from Loughborough University in England).