"Treat the MBA like a gamble, and then play accordingly."
On this episode, Micah reads Part 2 of his book "Rethink the MBA", where he unpacks the hidden assumptions that students have about the MBA degree, and encourages listeners to view the MBA as a "gamble" instead of an "investment", "unemployment insurance", or a "permanent calling card".
This episode includes the following chapters from Micah's book, Rethink the MBA, Why Business School is Riskier Than You Think:
PART 2: WHAT'S AN MBA?
Chapter 4: It's Not an Investment
Micah explains why it's a bad idea to think of an MBA as an "investment", since this term has many hidden assumptions that are not true. Specifically, the cost of an MBA may not have a positive rate of return, the value of an MBA decreases over time, and there are many ways to "invest" in your career, besides getting an MBA!
Chapter 5: It's Not Unemployment Insurance
Micah explains how MBA graduates are not immune to economic cycles or industry downturns anymore than other higher education graduates. Despite views to the contrary, people with MBAs from any school of any age can and do become unemployed from time to time.
Chapter 6: It's Not a Permanent Calling Card
Micah highlights how students completely overvalue the "alumni network" after graduation, and completely undervalue the "alumni network" before graduation.
Chapter 7: It's a Gamble
Micah is not accusing b-schools of acting like casinos, where every student player loses. However, some students DO LOSE, and it's important to keep this fact in mind when considering whether or not to get an MBA. Viewing the decision whether or not to get an MBA as a "gamble" helps you "feel" the level of risk necessary to make the best decision for you and your career.
Thanks for listening!