Ten years after receiving her master’s degree in business administration from a European business school, debut author Zanetti explains why the degree is often ineffective and unnecessary.
Zanetti takes readers through her argument point by point, beginning by noting that correlation and causation are distinct attributes: She cites research suggesting that, because the rigorous admission processes at top business schools are designed to admit individuals most likely to succeed, those individuals’ eventual successes are not the result of their educations at those schools. The book also addresses details of the financial tradeoffs students make in giving up several years of income in order to pursue a degree; most will not make up the difference in substantially higher post-MBA wages, Zanetti says. While data and figures support several of Zanetti’s arguments, others are more philosophical—the ethical limitations of business school, for instance, and the ineffectiveness of case studies as a tool for teaching students to manage new challenges. The book does admit that there are useful aspects to a business education, though Zanetti suggests that, in most cases, potential MBA students can more effectively educate themselves in the necessary areas without getting a degree. On the whole, Zanetti presents a strong argument, but it is not necessarily a book-length one; with several of the anecdotes and pieces of evidence appearing in multiple chapters, the text gets repetitive. The book is also hampered by uneven writing, and it is often evident that English is not Zanetti’s first language: “tittle” for “title”; “To create wealth in the west side of the world, it is not necessary to have neither working capital nor land”; “An MBA degree is not conceived to make you rich but to make rich the shareholders of business schools.”
A well-argued but overlong demonstration of how earning an MBA can be a liability instead of an asset.