What are Disadvantages of MBA Study & Qualification (Explained)

Studying provides a person with continued personal development opportunities that can have a significant impact on career path & personal growth.

A master of business administration (MBA) qualification & knowledge attained is useful only if you can use it for the goals you want in life, such as a manager or specialist job role in finance.

Each person that studies & completes an MBA will have pros & cons depending on they’re age, stage of work life cycle, career prospects, personal profile and life situation.

11 disadvantages of MBA degree qualification

1. Restrictive course admission Entry requirements for many MBA courses require a GPA or good GMAT score, and 3+ years of work experience.  People in work without relevant experience or new graduates with no experience do regularly get rejected for course admission to study on full or part time MBA courses.

2. MBA value USA and UK courses & universities are not equal, as some have more rigorous assessment and higher academic standards & admission criteria than others.

Con gaining an online MBA or a cheaper cost qualification may not be worth it as the perceived value by employers is low & unacceptable for industry leading executives or senior managers.

Although you can get a junior or middle management job in an organization, low pay & skill management jobs can be done with just applied work experience only.

3. Too expensive to employ MBA graduates that have spent a significant amount of time & money mainly look for a good salary once employed.  Small or highly specific competitive industry sector employers could see you as too expensive to hire or retain for a significant number of years.

4. High cost of tuition fees Price of studying for the qualification is expensive, far more than other similar qualifications, such as Master of Management that’s much cheaper.

5. Generic study A general MBA qualification focuses on management of a business & functional areas, not specific industry expertise or knowledge.

The empathizes is on management & leadership, and if a person has little or no experience in the specific industry, for example engineering they’ll either be ineffective in the job role or not understand what’s going on.

To get a job at an employing organization a candidate requires other specific skills, qualities and industry employment experience. 

6. Opportunity cost of intensive study on an MBA course is lost time away from work or family. I attended business management classes & tutorials and I can assure you its fairly intensive study on campus, and completing work & assignments at home.

You forgo time with family, leisure and extra time at work to complete required course work & study over 2-5 years.

See Can I teach with an MBA at university

7. No applied learning The general MBA classes & lectures I attended were all academic theory based.  Basically, there’s no practical work experience linking academic course study to actual work for an organization.

There’s a total absence of practical or applied learning for the course duration doesn’t provide a student studying on the course how management theory is applied until you complete the course and start a job.

For example; MBA graduates can come up with a business plan in theory, although once implemented, time projections and operational practicalities maybe complex resulting in the plan not working or being operational impractical.

8. Return on investment (ROI) An MBA after 30 years old qualification & learning will only provide benefits of a return on investment of time & money when:

  • Start a business where you manage & operate the company.
  • Middle management or company leadership job position.
  • Employed to work in a specific job role, such as analyst or consultant for a company applying the business management skills you learned from a master in business administration.
  • Receive a large enough salary package increase in a job role as a reward from an employer for the skills & knowledge you bring as benefit to a company.

9. Not use knowledge Unless you’re intending to work in a specialist job, managerial position or start your own company then an MBA won’t provide any benefit. Basically, the qualification or skills gained will not make financial sense, or be of any use as you’ll unlikely not be able to apply or use the knowledge.

An MBA as a second masters degree won’t make any financial sense unless you can secure a job role at a company that offers a significant increased salary package that more than covers any lost hours studying & cover tuition costs.

10. Distance & online learning MBA downsides include no interaction with other students in face to face classes. A significant negative for students studying online is they don’t take part in class tutorials looking at scenarios to come up with optimal solutions, or take part in question & answers sessions in students groups.

Subsequently, after graduation an MBA online could look bad to employers for certain senior managerial role or high profile companies that value learning face to face in class.

11. An MBA qualification at 50 years old may not be worth it, if you don’t secure or continue a role in a higher paying job to pay back the cost of study. 

Being over 50 means you’ve less time to spend working for an employer as you’re far along the work cycle than a younger graduate that could be hired to replace you sooner than later.

As a much older work, life myself you’re much less likely to be offered a middle to senior managerial company position being a new MBA graduate, unless you have significant or unique industry skills & knowledge for the role.

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