Business School is a Waste of Time and Money

October 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Money and Behavior

I have ranted plenty about MBA grads and MBA programs. Just recently, I learned of someone who is trying to do something about the MBA problem. Josh Kaufman, founder of, puts it straight out there:  Business school is a waste of time and money.


If you or your kid is contemplating entering one of the gazillion MBA programs available, read the article (link below) first.

I know some of you will assert that you needed that degree to get your job. That may be true, but it has little to do with the value of the education you received. I like this quote from Kaufman:

If you want to work in an industry that uses the MBA as a screen, you are effectively buying yourself a $150,000 interview.  If you want to do anything else in business, if you want to start your own company, get a job in another field, you don’t have to have an MBA. It’s better if you don’t because of the debt.

Like law schools, MBA programs are cash-cows for the colleges that run them. Of course they promote the value of what they provide, to keep those tuition dollars rolling in.  There may be a few programs that have meaningful ROI for those who attend, but not many. If you have the talent to get in and complete one of those elite programs, learn on your own and start your own business with the money you saved.

Save your money and the b-school blues. Learn how to build or sell something instead.

Why business school is a waste of time and money

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5 Responses to “Business School is a Waste of Time and Money”
  1. Doctor S says:

    I have always been of the thought that I would love to quit work and do a full-time MBA program. I read the link you posted and this guy is spot on. You get the top tier MBA to put you in a network or opportunity for big firms/companies.

    However, I think the point of the time and money invested in this, correlated with the number of people who DONT get those big time jobs, is astounding. I don’t want to work for some big corporation, I want to work for myself and build my own ideas up. This piece is eye opening because, in reality, it shouldn’t take joining a program to open up a damn book and read. I can’t tell you the last time I read an entire book on my own, I just recently bought a business book and haven’t gotten through much of it yet.

    I guess that’s why my career has been so stagnant? Good find Mr. TML. I am writing this date down as a kick in the butt for me.

  2. Melissa says:

    As a regular reader of the Personal MBA, I appreciate the word getting out that grad school is not a good solution to scoring “the job”. That being said, I’m in an MBA program right now. The difference is that I am employed with a Fortune 500 in a challenging job with potential for upward mobility if I put in my time, work my ass off and catch a bit of luck with higher profile projects. Being an accountant, I am pursuing my MBA to qualify to take the CPA exam. Plus, by getting the job first and the MBA second, my employer is helping defray the costs of school. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pursuing a higher degree, but don’t do it because you’re expecting to score 150k per year. Do it because it makes sense for a career you’ve already started.

  3. Rick Beagle says:

    Two things:

    1) Isn’t it ironic that the sponsored ad for this site (at least for me) was from George Fox MBA program?

    2) I bet it is equally ironic that the people reading this and other abuses concerning our “privatized” centers of education would still find “charter” schools to be a better option that public schools?

    Rick Beagle

  4. MasterPo says:

    That quote may be factually correct.

    The key being “If you want to work in an industry…”. Wish he had expanded on that because there are MANY industries (and more accurately, many POSITIONS across nearly ALL industries) for which an MBA or other Masters degree in a business field is a requirement.

    But so what?

    If that’s the field you want to work in, or, that’s the position your strive to achieve in your wokring life and an MBA is a defatco requirement that’s that.

    Otherwise you sound like a kid crying that he has to go through advanced training and years of experience to be an airline pilot when he already does real well on MS Flight Simulator.

  5. Darren says:

    Glad you posted this. I follow Josh and his site, and started my blog because of it.

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you wrote this: “Save your money and the b-school blues. Learn how to build or sell something instead.”

    That’s what I’m trying to do.

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