Yes, we must perpetuate the age old debate on whether or not to attend business school and earn your Master of Business Administration, MBA. We are taught to go to school get a good job, work hard, retire, and then enjoy our grandchildren. What we don’t learn about in school is what the wealthiest people in the world have figured out, it’s all about creating residual income streams. We spend millions on higher education as the cost continues to creep up. The United States falls further and further behind the rest of the world when it comes to education, yet we continue to rely on this method of creating a life for ourselves. The cost of higher education has steadily increased yet our rank in the world has fallen in terms of being educated. If education were a stock we would dump it because of the negative return. The Millennials face a life of high student loan debt and high unemployment.
If you have ever listened to some of the wealthiest people in the world they will tell you their education, if they had any, had nothing to do with their education. Read the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill to hear about the men of that era who created their massive fortunes with little more than a grade school education. The book originally published in 1937 walks through the secret to how the world’s wealthiest families created their fortunes through power of will and not so much education. Many of those men turned their wealth into a family legacy such as the Ford, Carnegy and many other names you would recognize.
So if in 1937 Napoleon Hill pointed out education is but a small factor in the creation of wealth why then does it play a major factor in our lives? Why are we still told get an education, work hard, then retire? And why are we told nothing about residual income? Residual income is something you do once and continue to get paid for it for the rest of your life, hopefully. The key to wealth is to create multiple lines of residual income. Where else have you heard this? The Bible says to create multiple streams of income. There are a lot of similarities between what the Bible says and what’s written in the book. Why is that? Maybe because no matter what perspective you view it from, the answer is the same.
Is it important then to attend school? Of course. You need to learn the basics, reading, writing, etc. You can’t be a doctor or a lawyer and not attend college, medical school or law school. Education has it’s place absolutely. There is a significant difference in lifetime earnings for college graduates. Where the system needs some help is creating a better return on investment. The cost to attend college has gone up. If you’re looking to attend a private school versus a public in-state school the difference will be tens of thousands per year. The question is is it necessary to attend the brand name of schools in order to get a decent job? Unfortunately the answer is still yes to some degree. The education system and Corporate America seem to be in lock step here. If you don’t have the brand name school on your resume, it’s harder. It’s harder still if you attend a community college. College is a business like any other. And so is business school.
Business school can be very expensive depending on where you go. If you opt for a tier one school versus and online program again the difference is tens of thousands of dollars per year. Is this investment worth it? You have to figure that out. I attended a tier one school with a full tuition fellowship. In my case, the return on investment was well worth it. I took out loans to pay for living expenses only. I’m still paying my undergraduate loans but graduate school loans are done. Plus I had a huge step up in salary pre and post business school. Also, many jobs today require or strongly prefer a candidate have an MBA. Some companies will only look at candidates from certain schools. This is all relevant if you’re looking to be in Corporate America. If you have other aspirations this may not make a difference for you.
If you’re an entrepreneur do you need business school? This is where you really have to pause for thought. What are you going to learn in business school that will help you create and grow your business? You will learn theory from some great professors. Many of those professors have never owned a business. In fact, you could probably teach a class or two on practical business application yourself. Business school does provide a great networking base. Most people stay connected to their school mates for a lifetime. These turn into valuable business connections down the road.
If you’re considering going to business school you’re in good company. 9.7% of Black women are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program making us the most educated demographic in the United States. My personal opinion is that Black people are in their infancy of having access to education whereas Whites have had access since before settling in North America. We should take advantage of the right of education granted to us under the Constitution. It’s important for young people to attend school to understand the world of options they may have never dreamed existed. The majority of Blacks are still educated in urban areas where their pre-college exposure to life’s possibilities are very limited. In that regard, college is very much worth the investment that one can reasonably afford.
As for business school if it makes sense and the ROI is highly positive then go for it, especially if you plan a career in Corporate America. If you’re an entrepreneur your time and money may be better invested by attending the training courses of others who are where you want to be. Invest your resources in learning practical applications for running your particular business. You will not learn anything that specific to you in business school in general. And EVERYONE whether they are in Corporate America or not should be learning how to create multiple streams of residual income. For some of you, it may be worth doing both while for others it isn’t. At the end of the day having an MBA doesn’t go as far as it used to, you will need something in addition to it to create sustainable generational wealth.
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