Should you go to business school?
Business Schools have gained increasingly popularity the last decade, perhaps because the millennials (myself included) are now entering graduate level educations. One of the trends influencing a great deal of the Millennials' actions is the fear of unemployment, which could explain the increasing number of business student.
In many countries the youth unemployed is up to 20%, with Spain as a worst case scenario with a youth unemployment of 56% (The Guardian). In the meantime, Business School are the only form of education explicitly promising wealth to the extent that the legal limit will allow. But what exactly will a business education get you and what is merely myths.
What you CANNOT expect from going to Business School
- I will get a job right away - If you are searching for a job within accounting, finance or marketing, many companies will value a business education. Having a business education, it is for many recruiters a given - it is a minimum requirement. But a business education standing alone, will not get you a foot in the door - even less a job. You are competing with tons of other applicants for the position, many of whom might have better grades than you. Even if you are a straight-A student, you will most likely also compete with straight-A student who also have acquired professional experience.
- I will get rich fast - Your first job in an industry will most likely be very unfulfilling. You will work inhumane hours, and you better be grateful just to get the opportunity to work. You might advance quicker with a business education than without, but you will not be relaxing on a yacht with a freshly printed business degree in your hand.
- I will know how to start my own business - Many start a business education to learn how to start a business, which seems logical. But business school is not about starting a business. Its about how to be a part of a big corporate operation. Much of what it teaches is, unfortunately, outdated theories, as much of what is relevant today is too new to have been studied properly.
What you CAN expect from going to Business School
- I will get job opportunities - While you may not get your corner office right away, many employers offer special student position to students from specific universities. Some universities even have job banks only available to students of that particular university. Furthermore, there is often free job-consulting for the students, and you can participate in case competition to position yourself towards future employers.
- I can build a future network - Of course you do not need an education to expand your network. But working with a group of people over an extend period of time is often much more effective than handing out resumes at a career fair. And networking doesn't have to be limited to your class - many universities have a ton of student organization where you can find like-minded people with competence in different fields. Look for universities with a healthy student environment, to build a network for the future.
- I will learn certain skills - You will definitely walk away from you 2, 3 or 5 year of study, with a richer mind than when you came in. You will have feel and understanding for your area of expertise, much like when you have practiced for your driver's license - but as we all know, you learn more once you get your license.
Before you apply for business school, think about what you want to use that education for.
Are you trying to impress future Fortune 500 employers, building a network of likeminded individuals or, most importantly, you have a genuine interest in the subject, business school could very well be the answer. But if you are trying to get a job quickly, become rich fast or start your own company, you are most likely better off by trial-and-error, finding a mentor to show you the robes, and get to work fast.
Is business school worth your time, effort and money after knowing this?