That's a good point, and one thing it illustrates is the issue of branding vs value add. Harvard is of course the top brand in business schools, but does it add all the much value ?Albert's numbers might imply that business schools do not represent an attractive ROIHowever, as a headhunter as well as someone who has had a real job, I know that some people look a lot better on paper than in real life, and some people find their careers faltering through some mix of bad luck and bad judgement.Therefore an MBA might represent a reboot that hikes you up when you were headed down or stagnating.That model fits rather well with the fact that a Harvard MBA is a serious chunk of time and money. If things are going well for you, why lose a year and a wad of cash ?Also, any education represents a reduction in earnings risk, and I do mean any education even though obviously some education has greater risk reduction than other types.Thus I'd like to know the shape of the distribution of earnings, not just the median. It's reasonable to pay a bit of cash to dramatically reduce the chances of ending up stacking shelves, and it is plausible that an MBA does that for you.But I don't know that for a fact. As I've said elsewhere I believe strongly that the most cost effective insurance against the worst case scenarios in your career is to seriously master Excel. No it won't make you head of prop trading at GS, but it can keep you from having to take a job in local government.Given the time and money budget of an MBA you could become a Jedi master of Excel, not just exotic formulas and VBA, but modelling, sucking data in from every kind of data source, being a guru at "what-ifs", optimising anything that has a maximum, producing exquisite graphs that compel customers and management to believe anything you say and drilling down to the critical factors that drive any business.I'd bet real money that an Excel Master would average a lot more lifetime earnings than the quoted figures for a Harvard MBA.
Last edited by DominicConnor
on June 13th, 2011, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.