Tuesday Q&A: Do you need an MBA for a career in management?

It is a dirty little secret...


Question: Are MBAs pretty much a requirement if you’re thinking about a career in management?

Answer: No, they’re not. It is a dirty little secret, that the best talents, the most impressive young men and women do not need MBAs for a career in management. Frankly, they don’t need BAs either. For better or for worse, most people in the business world are promoted regardless of whether they are gifted “leaders,” at first anyway they are promoted because they are good at their own “line” jobs. So you can, absolutely, be promoted in a career in management without an MBA. And the really gifted ones among us do not need the extra edge (or to invest the extra money and time) of an MBA program.

But sadly, that is only true for the .01% of the masses. The rest of us, all of us who are not Michael Dell etc., will benefit greatly from this experience. And when we are competing with our peers for coveted management jobs, an MBA from a top program can and will be one critical deciding factor.

Of course, if there’s a superstar in the mix, he may not even need…a high school diploma. But for the rest of us, the 99.9%, an MBA will go a long way towards helping people to achieve their goals.

– Jon Frank

I Applied to HBS and Stanford GSB… And Got Accepted!