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双语话题:放弃一个铁饭碗去读MBA,值得么?

来源:天星 更新日期:2009-03-06 点击:

在如今的经济大势下,放弃一份铁饭碗工作去读MBA会不会是一个明智的选择呢?

The Problem

I applied to a leading business school and have been called for interview but I am getting cold feet. If I get in, I would have to leave my job (safe, if a bit dull), would pay a fee of £45,000, and after a year and a half would emerge with no guarantee of a job. Is this one of the worst returns on investment going? Or is it worth it for what I would learn, for the career boost and for the hope that the economy will be better when I graduate?

Professional, female, 31

LUCY’S ANSWER

Yes, it’s a terrible investment: if you get out your calculator and run one of those discounted cash flow calculations that MBAs favour, you’ll find it hard to come up with a positive number. Many people leaving business school now are not only failing to change career, they are crawling back to their old jobs with their old employers.

The odd thing is that MBAs still claim the experience was worth it. If you read the replies on the blog (address below) you will see every single MBA is breathless with admiration: how stretching, how great the contacts, etc.

I find this a bit suspicious. I can think of no other form of education that inspires such fervent devotion from its graduates. Is it that, having parted with so much money, they are obliged to say it was good? More likely it is that being cooped up for 18 months with clever, like-minded thrusters means they all reinforce the others’ belief in the value of the qualification.

Lots of readers suggest you keep your job and do the degree part-time. This may be the most sensible way out, but I can’t sincerely recommend this as I once tried to do an evening MA in economics while working full time, and it was far too much like hard work.

Perhaps you are made of sterner stuff. But if you aren’t, there is another thing to make your cold feet colder: the value of the MBA may be changing. I fancy that the new fashion in business is to rate common sense and experience more highly than Swot analysis. So stay put and bide your time. If you are bored, try evening classes. I’ve always wanted to learn upholstery, and courses near me start at £130.

YOUR ADVICE

Go for it!

Taking a top-tier MBA exposes you to some of the smartest, most confident, most competitive and arrogant people you will ever meet. It has provided me with a framework to be flexible in my career, the tools to keep learning and the confidence to conduct myself in any situation. Oh yeah, I paid off my student loan and my husband’s student loans (way more than £45,000) in three years.

Trader, female, 41

Stay in the job

Forget it, sweetie. A job in the hand is worth 15 MBAs in the bush these days. In addition, you are probably a girl in a man’s world, in which case the glass ceiling will cap any hope of upside from having a business school qualification anyway. Keep your job, work hard, bone up on management skills, and save your £45,000 for something more constructive.

Ex-banker, female, 39

Long-run pay-off

I took two years out for an MBA and got into debt, lost out on income and would do it again in a second. If you are career-minded, you’ll get paid back in the long run. Firms will still be hiring from business schools in the future and they will come to you rather than your having to find them. Also, being able to take months/years out of work to contemplate your future and learn something is a luxury worth paying for.

Trader, male, 42

Vision, phooey

Save the money. Most of the “star managers” at investment banks have done MBAs and look how well their collective strategies have worked. I was toldI couldn’t see the “vision” of the chief executive just months before the MBA- holding turkey lost $50bn through his visionary strategy.

Manager, male

Choice of school

I left a £43,000-a-year job to do an MBA in 2003-04. I now earn about £100,000 a year. Even taking into account the debts I incurred, it is still good value. The only caveats are: do it at a “top five” school, and don’t hope to rely on the alumni network – they are all out for themselves at the end of the day.

问题

我申请了一所顶级商学院,并已接到电话通知我去面试,但我却打起了退堂鼓。如果我被录取了,我就必须离职(这份工作很安稳,缺点顶多是有点枯燥)、支付4.5万英镑学费,而且一年半之后我将面临的情况是:手头没有一份确凿的工作。这会是回报率最差的投资之一么?或者,我从中能学到的、我将得到的职业生涯飞跃以及我毕业时经济环境将好于当前的可能性,使得它值得一试?

专业人士,女,31岁

露西的回答

是的,这是一个糟糕的投资:如果你拿出计算器并运行那些备受MBA们厚爱的贴现现金流计算公式中的任何一个,你都会发现很难得到一个正数。许多从商学院毕业的人现在不仅没能改变职业道路,而且还正在爬回到原来的工作岗位和老雇主那去。

奇怪的是,很多MBA们仍然声称这段学习经历是值得的。如果你读了这个博客(地址链接在下面)底下的那些回复,你会看到每一个MBA都在拼命夸赞:多么大的提升啊,关系网多么美妙啊,等等。

我认为这有点可疑。我想不到任何其他形式的教育可以驱使人们在毕业之后这样大肆吹捧。难道,在损失了那么多钱之后,他们不得不夸它很棒?更可能的一种解释是:与志趣相投的另一些聪明人呆在一起18个月,意味着他们加强了彼此对这份证书价值的信心。

许多读者建议你读在职MBA。这也许是最明智的办法,但我无法由衷地建议你这么做,因为我就曾试图在全职工作之余读一个经济学硕士夜课程,其强度之大远不只是一句“艰辛”可以表达的。

也许你是铁打的。但如果你不是,还有一件事也会让你临阵退缩:MBA课程的价值可能正在发生变化。我想,商界新时尚将是:比起SWOT分析,常识和经验更重要。所以呆在原地,静待良机。如果您觉得无聊,尝试夜校。我总是想学室内装潢,而离我比较近的学校的课程价格是130英镑起。

给你的建议

去念书吧!

去上顶级的MBA课程,这将让你有机会在你生平所遇的最聪明、最自信、最具竞争力以及最傲慢的那些人面前展示自己。MBA课程给我提供了:让我能在职业生涯灵活转型的可能性、不断学习的方法还有在任何情况下都游刃有余的自信。噢,对了,我在三年内还掉了我和我先生的助学贷款(远不止四万五千英镑)。

交易员,女,41岁

暂留原职

亲爱的,别惦记它了。如今,尚待攻读的15个工商管理硕士学位都不如一份捏在手里的工作。此外,这是个男权世界,你可能是一个女孩,在这种情况下,拥有一份商学院的毕业证书带来的希望终将被玻璃天花板压制。留在原职,努力工作,熟习管理技能,并把四万五千英镑存起来以待为更有建设性的东西买单。

前银行从业者,女,39岁

长期回报

为了一个MBA学位我暂停工作两年、欠了债、没有了收入,而如果让我重选一次的话,我还是会毫不犹豫地这么做。如果你是事业心很强的那类人,那么长远来看你必将获得回报。公司们将来仍会从商学院招募人才,他们会来找你,而不用你去找他们。此外,能够离职并用几月/几年的时间来计划你的未来、学点东西,乍看有点奢侈,但绝对值得。

交易员,男,42

远见,呸!

省省你的钱吧。投资银行大多数的“明星经理”都已经有了MBA学位了,看看这个集体的策略多有效啊!就在那个有MBA学位的笨蛋通过他富有远见的策略损失了500亿美元的几个月之前,我还被告之说我看不到这个首席执行官的“远见”。

经理,男

选择学校

2003-04年间,我放弃了一份年薪为4万3千英镑的工作去读MBA。即便算上我为此欠的债,它也是物有所值的。不过要提醒你的是:要就得去“排名前五”的学校读MBA,而且别对校友人际网络有太大期望---说到底他们也是自己顾自己的。

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