Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The MBA Riddle

So its been a while since i started working. 4 years to be exact. And i decided it is time i pondered on what kind of higher studies i should pursue. For me learning is not about having a piece of paper nicely laminated,framed and hanged in your house. Its about the learning outcome and the value i get from it. You feel this more when you have to self sponsor your studies and not depend on your parents to fund you. After all i believe they spent more than enough for my undergraduate studies and i do not want to burden them again.

Most people have the propensity to think that your post graduate studies should be inline with your undergraduate studies. Whilst there is some truth to this belief let me say that it shouldnt be a one to one match of your undergraduate studies. At least that is the case with my choice. I had two choices. MSc vs MBA.

I read for my BSc in  Computing and Information Systems as my undergraduate studies, as computers were my passion from younger days. Most people will and actually did suggest that i should read for an MSc in Computer Science saying it will propel my career to new heights. I never disregard anyone's thoughts as a principal so i thought about it long and hard. Here is my analysis on it.

If i were to do an MSc i first would see the available options for me. Coming from an average family the financial feasibility of funding for a foreign education was not realistic. I sure do wish i could have done a degree at MIT. But hey that is life, we do not always get what we want, but i believe God guides us through various paths so that we realize our true potential in ways we could not comprehend at first.

So anyhow moving on, i looked at a few opportunities locally. I must say in Sri Lanka there are quite a few reputed local universities offering recognized post graduate degrees in Computer Science. So my next step was to see what areas are covered within those courses.

Going along each, some were more inclined towards Software Architecture whilst others were more into artificial intelligence, Data mining etc. My passion was Software Architecture so i looked at the course content of those post graduate degrees. Going through it in detail i was amazed to see that most of what it covers had already been covered within my work experience. So i was left with the question as to what possible advantage this will give me. If i were to do a SWOT analysis i would come up with a negative response for sure.

As i stated before i am not a person to do degree just to get the mental satisfaction that i have achieved something great. I would actually want something that would enable me to challenge my self and help to me reach new heights.

An MBA has always been my choice of post graduate studies. I did my research on MSc because various people suggested that option to me and i really wanted to assess that option. So why an MBA you might ask. I am not going to give you obvious answers many people give such as;

  1. I want to start my own business someday
  2. I want to be a manager in my work place
and many more.

For me the world of entrepreneurship has been an interesting phenomena. From my younger days i have been a fan of The Apprentice, following most seasons up-to-date. Some may not like the way Mr. Trump handles business, but i can see his point of view in most cases.Though some may seem harsh, at the end of the day as he says its business and nothing personal.

An MBA for me is a source which will enable me to view the world in a different perspective and to think differently. Take for example what happened with Coca Cola and Pepsi. They were rivals going head on against each other. Though the rivalry exist still, its not as much as before. Its because they identified their true foe which is WATER. So they came up with various stalls on the road to promote the idea that if your thirsty you should drink Coca cola/Pepsi. This is a concept called Game Theory. For me this is a great idea. In the world of business so many interesting cases exists. That thinking pattern amazes me. Though an MBA will not directly provide me the ability to come up with amazing ideas as such, it will surely change my thinking pattern to see things differently at to let go of the limited scope thinking pattern.

Being able to grab hold of all aspects of the business world is very important as i see with the increased propelling of the economies of countries. So rather than limiting my knowledge to one particular field i would like to have the option of widening my knowledge in the business world. Of course one might say that you can learn all that is taught in MBA schools by reading a few books. Of course the theoretical knowledge you can acquire my reading a few good books, but the practical experience that you are taught my visiting lecturers and the various experiences you obtain with outbound training, team work activities etc those you cannot gain by your own as those are experiences you have to live out.

Im not stating that everyone in the field of IT should do an MBA after the undergraduate studies. For me its a passion driven by various aspects as i highlighted above. An MSc will stand you in good stead too given that the course content fits what you are looking for.

And that is how i solved my MBA riddle :) ... I know many will have alot of different views on the same. So pls leave by your view which is highly appreciated.

And to others who are contemplating on their higher studies i hope i shed some light on the subject and i wish each and everyone of you the best in everything.

God Bless....