Feb 25 2011
This is the original version of my article sent to be published in MBA Edge Quarterly magazine January 2011 issue. The edited version published in magazine might be a little different. Your feedback is much welcome.
Our education system is to be blamed. It is very exam-oriented. Students are trained to remember facts and slides for the exam week and unlearn everything afterwards. It emphasizes too much on technical skills at the expense of problem solving, teamwork, presentation, communication and other soft skills.. Why require MBA students to memorize case laws to write in exam when they should be trained in apply principles in law in business situation they are facing? Why years after years we produce profesional students who can study well but not work well in real world? There is a clear mismatch between what are required in the education system and those in marketplace.
The teaching of MBA is to be blamed. Why teach the very quantitative Managerial Economics as a core subject when it is not directly applicable in business world? Why not teach Entrepreneurship when more and more young people nowadays do not know what it means by working for people but starting their own business? Why not teach how to write business plan when this is one thing most expected out of MBA graduates? Why not teach and test students in soft skills for at least 50% of total assessment when these skills are the most wanted ones in marketplace?
Business schools are to be blamed. They are business entities and have to be market-oriented. They have to offer what the market want (read: not need). Students want to get MBA quickly, and so they come up with one-year intensive MBA programme and compromise on their quality. Students don’t want to think and do assignments, and so they choose to spoonfeed them and test them in exam. Students don’t want to study, so they come up with seminars for students to sit in and get the qualification without proper assessment.
Students are to be blamed. Frankly, how many are here to really study? Most just want to finish the course quickly, get the paper, land a good job, and live happily ever after, as if this is reality in life. Many are really not qualified and experienced enough to enrol into an MBA. The result – garbage in, garbage out.
Are employers to be blamed? Yes, they can be blamed. But they are the “final customers” of MBA programmes, as they are the “end users” who consume the expertise of MBA graduates for their company. In politics, don’t blame the voters for not voting your party. Check yourself. In business, don’t blame the customers for not buying your products. Check yourself. Don’t blame the employers, but produce the kind of business leaders and managers they really need to help them bring their companies to another height.
Sorry to disappoint some people. But more and more people in marketplace are paying less respect on MBA graduates. Unless something is done, I can’t imagine what the brand equity of the name MBA will be like 50 years from now.
About The Author
Ricky Soo personally has no respect for the title of MBA, as he has seen undeserving chaps graduating as MBAs but end up being laughingstock. It is not the paper and grades we acquire that earn our better future. It is the kind of person developed out of the learning process with the set of knowledge, skills, experience and character that illuminates our bright future. Support or argue with him at http://www.facebook.com/rickysoo