The Best Argument for Business Education…

… is having a better idea of what’s going on.

  • It isn’t about making more money.
  • It isn’t about becoming entrepreneurial.

No. It’s about having a reasonable idea of the whole business, rather than just the specific function. If business education works — and I think we have to admit it doesn’t always — then you have some idea of what’s supposed to go on in finance, sales, marketing, product development, and so on. You avoid tunnel vision. You’re more likely to see the whole forest, not just a few specific trees.

I don’t think the MBA made me “entrepreneurial.” I do think that it made being entrepreneurial easier, because as I struck out on my own, I had at least a general idea of the various functions, and what was supposed to happen. I didn’t have to guess what the buzzwords meant. The knowledge was enabling.

More money? Maybe, more likely if it’s one of the top few schools, but even there, a good opportunity costs analysis usually shows that people are not better off, on pure money terms, quitting good jobs to go back to school for two years.

More entrepreneurial? I doubt it.  It’s easy to argue that another two years of schooling is the opposite of entrepreneurial. And also that the qualities of entrepreneurship are hard to teach.


  • Casey Cheshire says:

    A better view of the bigger picture is an extremely well made argument. Do you have any links to the opportunity cost analysis for b-school that you speak of in your second to last paragraph?

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