A Case for Business School

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A recent piece at Forbes.com argued that because business schools focus on succeeding in large financial institutions, they tend to ignore some of the issues faced by would-be entrepreneurs. The article concluded that business schools need an overhaul to be useful for entrepreneurs. But is this really the case?

An article published several days ago in Tech Crunch says that it is not. The author, Professor Vivek Wadhwa, explains how his MBA helped him move up through the ranks as a programmer and ultimately succeed as an entrepreneur. My MBA classes seemed to fit our business needs like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Even obscure topics like corporate finance came in handy, in IPO discussions with investment bankers and later, in raising capital for my own company, he writes.

In another insightful blog post, entrepreneur Steve Blank says the decision to go back to school is a little more complicated. He argues that at the beginning an MBA might not help you as much, but as a company matures, it becomes an essential tool for running a business smoothly. He writes, as startups grow, []the skills people need at each step of a company’s growth evolve and change. The skills required when they were an 8-person startup trying to ˜search for the business model’ wasn’t the same set of skills needed now that they were a 70-person company ˜executing the business model.’

Wadhwa ends his article explaining that The point is that education is the best investment that one can make. Unlike stocks and bonds, education never loses value; and when you add experience, it gains even more value. Perhaps he has a point.

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