Sunday, March 10, 2013

MBA still a smart investment?

Not according to Dale Stephens who, in a recent WSJ weekend essay, claims that young people can do better investing MBA tuition in other activities.  Stephens shows a misunderstanding of today's MBA education at multiple levels.  He claims that students can get the same educational content through open courses.  There are many great online resources now for many subjects, but they lack opportunities to engage and get feedback from faculty and fellow students. 

Stephens also seems to think MBA education is nothing more than textbooks and case studies.  At NC State, students do research projects, often working with corporate sponsors, in most classes.  Our experience is much more like an apprenticeship, especially in the advanced courses.  Stephens suggests students focus on programming skills as they offer a higher return, and misinterprets MBA salary data in the process.

Stephens claims that students do not need MBA connections to network; I am guessing he must be much luckier than anyone else in getting Harvard and Stanford MBAs to return his emails and voice messages.  Stephens has a book to sell ("Hacking Your Education") and a website that lists educational resources that may be helpful (it is down right now, so I cannot really tell).  He has no college degree, but he is an authority on MBA education -- somehow this does not add up.


  1. Nothing more than a hack trying to sell a book.

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