School in general has become a much more expected and in my opinioned marketed thing than it was in the past. So it is no surprise that the question of the necessity of business school come up fairly regularly. What does surprise me is that people that are business minded are so easily swayed into believing that formal training in business (the quality of which I often question) is necessary to make it in the fast pace business that comes with a globalizing market and the information age that we live in. The question remains, however, and I want to point out two things that will hopefully answer it. They are myths of business school that are often cited but have little evidence to back them up.
The first is that you receive an education in business school that will prepare you for the real world. It is my contention however that you really don’t learn the bulk of what it takes to thrive in business sitting in a classroom listening to the lecture. What you do learn is the language of business so that you may pick things up faster but is learning the language faster a justification for the time and expense of formal training. I will admit that most people that go through business school have an easy transition into the real world but my contention is still that this is no because they sat through class. The way business schools have gotten away with this is that they require their students to do internships.
This really is a fleecing when you consider that these students are actually out in the real world getting their education, paid horribly, and then paying the institution that requires this slave labor and is taking credit for the education ungodly amounts of money. It cracks me up that the most common complaint especially for those who want to start their own business that they don’t have the capitol. I say, you had the capitol, you just gave it away!
The second myth is that business school is a good training for every type of business and every position within those businesses. My contention is that business school is only smart for those who want to become a CEO of a major company. This is only because of the connections that you gain in business school, that land you the high profile internships, which get you in contact with the right people etc. If you want to run a small business with a unique product I would suggest that you spend more time developing your product and less time wasted in school. You will gain the business savvy in a few years once you are up and running any way and you won’t have wasted a lot of time and money. My number one example of this is Bill Gates, a fine businessman, one of the richest men in the world, and yet does not have a college degree to his name. Chew on that for a while and maybe you will change your mind.