Monday, March 10, 2014

A Really Expensive Piece of Paper & Butt Muscle

a really expensive piece of paper
My really expensive piece of paper!
College & MBA degrees these days seem to be not about learning, but about using your butt muscle to "earn" a really expensive piece of paper.

As some of my readers know, I am currently taking classes towards obtaining my International MBA in Marketing. I started these classes in January, and am on track to finish my first course with 999/1000 points in the class. The hardest part about this class? Sitting down and actually doing the work. This has already led me to be disappointed in the process of earning an MBA, because it is simply that: the process of going through the motions, proving you can pay a bunch of money to get a piece of paper and a new line on your resume. And thats what the 'education' system in the US has started to be: all about buying that really expensive piece of paper.

I've done this once in my life already, and that was during college. During college, I learned pretty much nothing that pertained towards my business degree in Entrepreneurial Management. Before some people claim thats because I wasn't at a good school, let me just say you are wrong. My degree is from the Carlson School of Management (CSOM), which according to the 2013 Bloomberg Top Business School Rankings is the 39th highest ranked business school in the country. The US News & World Report placed CSOM as the 18th best undergraduate business program. So no, the school itself is not an easy one. It is our education system that places more of a focus on proving that students can go through the necessary steps and jump over hoops to obtain a degree, than a focus on actual learning and knowledge building.

One of my friends here in Sweden posed a really great question towards me about my coursework. "Is it more brain muscle, where you have to think and work on assignments, or more butt muscle where you have to sit your butt down and actually do it?" Without a doubt in my mind, the answer to this question was butt muscle. I am taking courses to get my MBA using a lot of butt muscle, sitting down to do the work and jump through hoops to earn this next degree. Not because I am learning a lot, but because it proves I can take this steps that will theoretically help me land that next job.

To be honest, I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. I simply find it unfortunate that I am currently paying money to use my butt muscle to earn an expensive piece of paper for my MBA, not to actually learn anything. College was all about butt muscle, and it turns out an MBA is all about butt muscle too.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think the money spent is worth it in the end? Did you learn useful things from your degree coursework?

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