MBA: Master of Bitterness and Anxiety
For the past 10 years or so, we have all been told that the MBA (Master of Business Administration) is the Holy Grail of Master’s programmes. We have been told that if we obtain it, our worlds will change; doors would be open to us that would be shut to others, we would earn higher incomes, and would be well-respected throughout the land!
And that’s just it…we were told that. All of us.
Within the last 2 years or so, more and more people have been enrolling in MBA programmes all throughout Canada. It seems as though every second person you meet has an MBA, and is probably still looking for work within the field. Companies began realising that they can offer much lower salaries to highly qualified individuals and get away with it because if one MBA grad didn’t accept, there was always another, waiting in the wings, willing to take the offer. How does that phrase go again? Oh yes…Supply and Demand. Somehow, I think that it aptly applies; the higher the number of MBA grads, the lower the number of jobs available, and (by proxy), income potential.
The MBA is no longer the graduate degree of an elite few. It was only a few years ago that those who had the drive and dedication to complete it were highly revered. Unfortunately, it has now become such a popular degree that even Facebook has offered up an online MBA programme with a partnering university. Yes, you heard me right…Facebook.
So was/is it really worth it to complete an MBA?
Well, I think the very fact that you can complete an online MBA programme through a social media venue devalues the MBA somewhat (even though I’m sure the trend will continue through other programmes). And, in regards to whether or not enrolling in an MBA programme is financially worth it, Statistics Canada stated (September, 2010): “At the graduate level, the most expensive programs were the executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) with tuition fees of $28,773, and the regular MBA program, at $21,118”. An MBA grad is immediately saddled with a debt-load greater than any other Masters level programme. Universities have certainly capitalised on student’s desires to complete the programme, but what of the employment rates of graduates from said programme?
Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto states that in 2008, 90% of their graduates found work within the first 3 months of graduating, while in 2009, only 83% of grads found work within 3 months of graduation. A 7% drop is quite significant when you think of how often we’ve been told that an MBA will open doors…I mean, shouldn’t the employment rate be rising for those graduates instead of declining?
The John Molson School of Business at Concordia University had an even lower percentage of only 77% of MBA graduates who found work 3 months after graduation. You may be thinking right now, “Yeah, but those are still pretty good odds!” Well, have you thought about what if you were a part of that 23% that graduated from Concordia and couldn’t find work and had a $21,000+ to $28,000+ loan student loan hanging over your head?
Doesn’t sound so good now, does it?
So, although you may be thinking of obtaining your MBA, it seems as though there are now many others thinking the same thing. There has been an influx of MBA grads over the past 2 years in Canada, therefore causing fewer jobs to be found (especially in this economic downturn). According to Statistics Canada, the number of degrees awarded to Business, Management, and Public Administration at the Master’s level was more than double any other number of Masters degree programmes in 2008.
Just a suggestion to those of you out there who have not yet decided on a graduate programme: explore other options.With so many Masters programmes out there (if you really feel as though you need a Masters degree), take the opportunity to check around and see what else is out there instead of just going with the flow, and winding up bitter, frustrated, and anxious…and laden with debt. If you simply seek further education, you may also look into other programmes offered at colleges or career colleges.
However, if you do decide to go for your MBA, the online programme found on Facebook just may be credible enough. After all, I hear that if you get enough of your friends to “Like” the page, you can graduate magna cum laude…
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Tags: business, Canada, College, Concordia University, debt, Degree, Education, Facebook, Master of Business Administration, Masters, MBA, online degree, Statistics Canada, University, University of Toronto