MBA programs have been much maligned recently, especially in tech circles. The prevailing thought is that business schools push you through a cookie cutter program that doesn’t prepare you especially well for the types of challenges that you’ll find in modern businesses.
Peter Thiel famously became the face of the anti-MBA movement recently when he unveiled his “20 Under 20” program, which aims to radically advance the tech industry by enticing great, young thinkers away from college. Thiel says “The Thiel Fellows will change the world and call it a senior thesis.” Brilliant.
Startups Care About Skills, Not Degrees
The startup industry is focused solely on results and growth. For this reason alone whatever degrees and letters attached to someone’s name on a resume don’t matter much. If you have the skills necessary to do the job then there’s a great likelihood that you’ll get hired. Even in a “hire slow” company skills should be the single biggest factor in hiring decisions.
Business Schools Need to Evolve
An undeniably large transformation has taken place in the business world in the last 10 years, thanks in large part to the lowest barriers to entry for new businesses ever. Companies are so ridiculously easy and cheap to start now than everyone is thinking about it. Business schools have to embrace this changing business landscape and start producing a larger proportion of entrepreneurs.
Harvard (and I’m sure a few others) is starting to take notice and focus more heavily on entrepreneurship. They’ve recently created an Innovation Lab program and promote their entrepreneurship program more prominently. They say that by 2008 50% of graduates had become entrepreneurs by their 15th reunion, but that timeframe should be much faster. 10 years from now 50% of graduates should be on their way to entrepreneurship as soon as 5 years after graduation.
What do you think? Do business schools, as they are currently constituted, provide enough value for students that they make sense? How do you think business schools should evolve?
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