For my parents’ generation, the default option for career development was getting an MBA. At one point in the late 2010s, I considered the degree, too. But as much as the brand glittered, a price tag of $200,000 plus two years of lost wages just didn’t seem worth it. And now?
Is an MBA worth it in 2020? It’s becoming more and more clear that an MBA degree is not just a questionable investment—it’s a risk that’s simply not worth it.
Let’s step back: The value of business school has been diminishing for a while. (Just ask Elon Musk, Sheryl Sandberg, or Mark Cuban for their opinion of the MBA or take a look at the declining application rates, even at the top schools.) The model of taking students out of the workforce to study decades-old cases was designed for a different era, when technology didn’t shift entire industries at such a breakneck speed.
Covid-19 has shone a glaring spotlight on just how archaic this type of education is. Almost overnight, business plans have been torn up, the rules we’ve played by scrapped. Executives can’t lean on the tactics they learned from outdated case studies—all of us are learning about our new world in real time.