I am a firm believer that education is very important. If not, there would be no reason to write this article. Though, I must tell you that having a MBA, contrary to popular belief, when it comes to compensation, does not matter as much as one would think. Actually, a very, very good grade point average will do the trick every time. This is regardless of what school you graduated from.
I run a firm which is an executive level recruitment agency specializing in sales and marketing placements. All the jobs which we are working on begin at around $80,000 (minimum base salary). We jobs in every industry from sales at a hedge fund to doing marketing for a hair care company. In the five years I have been doing this, not one single employer requires a MBA. Some, like the hedge funds, want a GPA of 3.6 or higher, but no MBA required.
Personally, I know two Harvard MBAs, one UC Berkeley, one UPenn and one Cornell MBA who are having trouble getting jobs. Are these people indicative of the entire crowd? No, they are not. However, they all had two things in common: they are very smart and they went to get their MBA right after college. If you’re thinking you can hide behind a MBA your entire career, well please don’t, you will be really, really disappointed.
I have a close family member whom I will not mention who never went to get his MBA and is one of the more influential and famous hedge fund managers who currently exist.
A MBA is sort of like a one shot, one kill type of situation. You have to do it correctly. For instance, when I graduated college, I had no idea what I wanted to do and I am very thankful that I did not get my MBA. Trust me, I thought about it. The main reason is that I still can get it. If you were to tell me that I would own a recruiting firm while I was in college, I would not have believed it. This is because I didn’t know the industry existed.
I am only 29 now, however as my career has progressed, I have come to find myself and decipher what and what does not interest me. I would have majored in accounting or finance and I’m so glad I did not. In all sincerity, I’m also glad because I make more money than a lot of accountants. Not all, but many.
There is no experience like a real-life career. You need it. There are a few reasons as to why I feel strongly about this:
1. MBAs are expensive and I can promise you that they don’t always provide an immediate ROI. Too many students think that they can only make money if they have a MBA. Not true. Just like anything in your career, it is only true if you make it true.
2. Again, I have not had one client in the five years which I’ve been doing this who has required a MBA. These are all requisites for jobs paying 6 figures.
3. A MBA does not determine success. You determine your own success, not a piece of paper.
4. For the time being, the education that you have is more than good. I find people jobs for a living, please trust me on this one.
5. For most people reading this article, I can tell you that you don’t know what your passion is yet. I didn’t mind mine until about a year ago and I’m 29. Getting a MBA before you’re 100% passionate about something is like buying a Ferrari (may cost less than a MBA) without having a driver’s license.
6. If you go get a MBA and find out you don’t like the subjects you are studying, your grades are going to suffer which lowers the ROI you will see from the degree.
7. When you get to the executive level, almost all resumes have the applicant’s education at the bottom. See the connection?
About the Author:
Ken Sundheim is President and Founder of KAS Placement KAS Sales Recruiter