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In these post meltdown days it is evident that the "finding an MBA provider to suit you" idea seems a little flippant if not totally redundant. Now it is not just a question of where to look for a 'respected' MBA provider, perhaps only a secondary consideration, it is a more engrossing question of, do I actually need to invest in an MBA at all? To quote a European writer (pre 2008) on the topic 'since MBA's first became available at European institutions in the mid-1960s when there were only a handful of providers, the number and specific content of courses have increased dramatically and each European country has many different schools offering an MBA.' The writer then goes on to say... "For someone contemplating beginning an MBA course, choosing which school to take the MBA at can be a daunting task." Well those where perhaps the days of innocence (or guilt) in light of the 2008 debacle. Headlines such as: "The MBAs of the Meltdown - Where Did Those Bankers Go to Business School? - Harvard Business School, NYU Stern, Cornell... What are they teaching at these places?" Deborah Barrow (of wow0wow & The Daily Green - Hearst) and MBAs: Public Enemy No. 1? - The debate over business schools' culpability in the financial crisis rages on, with no clear end in sight - Business Week - May 20, 2009, point to the potential tarnishing of an MBA's value overall.

The same writer then goes on to say... "Fortunately there are a number of tools prospective MBA students can use to help them make the right choice. A good way to make a general assessment of the quality of an institution is to check the annual rankings published by The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, or The Economist"... "so you get an idea about which providers are going to look best on your CV" (or resume if your in the US). Well now its more... again from Business Week: "Philip Delves Broughton, who received an MBA from Harvard and wrote about his experiences there in, Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School (Penguin Group, July 2008), calls the three-letter acronym "scarlet letters of shame," and suggests they stand for "Masters of the Business Apocalypse." Ouch!

Now I and many much more esteemed and notable people such as Jack Welsh (and of course many of the commentators in the publications mentioned above) have been critical of MBA's for some time, however even with what is said above, on balance if you pick a good provider it is still probably better to have one on your resume than not. How about this for a laugh "The Jack Welch MBA - Online, straight from the gut and politically incorrect" (The Economist Jun 23rd 2009) - "HERE is a qualification to conjure with: the Jack Welch MBA. At last, you too can manage like Neutron Jack, thanks to the legendary former General Electric boss's $12m investment in Chancellor University in Ohio, which will offer the degree through its newly named Jack Welch Management Institute."

So you're pondering the blank spot in your resume form which letters, an MBA, LLB, BEng or even a "I-O psychology", isn't business about people?

Copyright Orglearn - Richard Townsend 2008=2014