March 17th, 2011
Twenty-five years ago, the huge financial institution where I worked in NYC wanted to find out if the premium it paid to hire MBAs was worth it. Did they really perform better? Was it worth the cost? Our PhD research team decided to find out. They carefully identified and studied the top performers who were five years into their careers across our far-flung operations. The results? MBAs did NO better than students with only a bachelor’s degree. Grade point average made NO difference. Education institution made NO difference (the kids from CCNY did just as well as the ones from Harvard). Prior work experience made NO difference. In our study the ONLY predictor of success was an undergraduate liberal arts degree. I think of that whenever I hear about a middle-class kid who wants to go into huge debt to finance an Ivy League education. Yes, the contacts are fabulous. But if you have a fire in your belly, it make no difference where you go to school. Amen.