Don’t let education stand in the way of achieving your career goals – that’s my motto.
About three months ago I attended my friend’s MBA commencement ceremony in Hong Kong at one of the world’s finest universities.
I also met many return-to-school business professionals wearing caps and gowns, most of whom had attended the full-time programme for the past two years. They were taught the most advanced case studies and business strategies, which are believed to lead to better career paths and higher salaries.
I too considered doing an MBA when my job was eliminated soon after the 2008 Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. It was a devastating period for me, but I gradually accepted that this setback was no reflection of my abilities, attitudes and what I can achieve.
Notably, I stuck to my belief that MBA-style case studies only work in the laboratory-like environment of a business school. After a period of consideration and discussions with friends, I decided to job search, rather than study. Getting back into the workforce ASAP would be better for my career than taking a year or two to get an MBA.
I think it’s important to know your personality and career objectives, before you decide whether or not to do an MBA, especially if you are in your late 20s or early 30s when it’s still possible to change industries or job functions. And I also believe that if you are self-motivated, you will probably find further education irrelevant to help you reach your career goals.
While an MBA can often be a dooropener, especially to the big consultancy companies, I have also seen many unsuccessful examples. Take the case of a certified accountant I know. He had four years of solid audit experience in a big four firm, but left to do his MBA with the aim of breaking into banking. He failed; he’s back in accounting.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of eFinancialCareers. The author works for a financial institution in Asia.