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Author: sfcorb One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 2818  
Subject: Re: MBA Degree- Right path...? Date: 10/19/2000 8:03 AM
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<<Are MBA's destined to be highly educated paper pushers? Perhaps the question is more correctly, how can MBA's avoid becoming highly paid paper pushers, and how does one get to the point of making real decisions?>>

I would say that only a small minority (though maybe I'm just an optimist) of MBA become paper pushers. From what I have observed those who join large companies for long periods of time and become complacent in their job/company/industry largely end up becoming the dreaded paper pusher. Of the MBA's who I'm closely acquainted with few even join large corporations (IMHO the home of the paper pushers). Some of the more popular career paths company out of MBA programs, at least in this area, are investment banking, management consulting, accountants (largely CPA's), ect. A way to avoid ever becoming a paper pusher would be to join a small company. I have been involved in a couple of start-up, and I can assure you that you'll find no paper pushers there. I guess that I would most directly and simply answer this question by saying those who actively manage their career in a way to avoid boring work can easily do so, however many people fall into the lure of a high paying, low work, position that many others would consider paper pushing.

<<They also had some good things to say about knowing where you're going with it before jumpping in- which is the state of my explorations currently. The big thing I've been seeing is focused MBA's, such as IT Management, eCommerce, International Business. I need to figure out my interests more before even considering any of these...>>

I would have to disagree with needing to know exactly what you want to do before starting an MBA. When I started my program I wasn't sure specifically what I wanted to do, but after taking the first half of the classes (none of which where concentration specific) I found the area that interested me most, so I decided to concentrate in Financial Information Management. This of course is a very specialize area of study, but I found it as a result of taking many classes across disciplines and discovered that I prefer finance and IT. I definitely wouldn't enroll in a program if I wasn't confident that I wanted to pursue a career in some area of business and that I could find something that I liked after taking classes in many different areas in the first year. However, and MBA is just a Master's in Business Administration, thus is generally designed to be a very broad degree. I believe that many people feel a concentration in necessary to get the most out of the education, as previously noted, as the introduction level classes are both easy and boring. I would say only about half of the MBA I know have a concentration, but those that do tend to get more out of there education.

I hope I addressed your questions directly enough. I do think both questions have more to do with personality and personal goals more than a specific degree though. Avoiding becoming a paper pusher has much more to do with career management and pursuing a job that you'd enjoy more than obtaining specific degree. Likewise finding the discipline that you'd like to focus in certainly doesn't have to be done before you start a degree, but you have to know yourself well enough to find something that you like within a year or so.

Sam



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