Should brokers work toward an MBA?

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It’s not about the letters after your name, it’s about the people you meet, a new guide suggests.

Many of the top performers in the mortgage industry now have this vaunted business qualification framed on their desks. So the temptation to take time out of your career (and a huge sum from your bank account) in the hope of advancing your career can be almost irresistible. But do you really know what an MBA involves? Ed Batista, a Stanford MBA instructor writing in the Harvard Business Review, has spelled out the benefits, and the shortcomings, and MBN has selected the main points.

1. Skills
In the past, management schools taught quantitative analysis of areas like finance and operations. Now, Batista argues, you should expect much more from the top institutions: leadership training, involving soft and interpersonal skills. However these are extremely difficult to teach for second-rate schools. If you do want the traditional quantitative skills, there are far cheaper ways to get these than an MBA.

2. Credentials
People may not be as impressed by your MBA as you are, warns Batista. The qualification is yet to become a gateway to senior business roles, and is still looked down upon by some, particularly if you are yet to prove yourself as a top performer. Some firms are worried about hiring those from elite business schools, mainly in the US, because of perceptions of arrogance.

3. Access to a network
Doing an MBA is not like going back to your university days, insists Batista, but the people you meet can be the most worthwhile thing to come out of this experience. Doing an MBA abroad can form valuable international links, and you’ll be part of a knowledgeable group who you can go to for advice outside normal business relations. Of course it helps to pick a school with a smaller and more communal feel, to really get to know your classmates.

Read the full HBR article here.
 

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