We often hear this question from entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs who are trying to decide if getting an MBA, or getting one from Acton is the right next step. Acton alumnus and guest writer Chase Pattillo (’12) comments on the question and explains the value that Acton presents beyond a simple degree hanging on the wall.
“Should I Go to Acton?”
Having graduated from Acton, I’m often asked about the program by prospective students. Typically, this person will–either directly or indirectly–ask me, “Should I go to Acton?” My response is always, “It depends on what your goal is.”
I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal . In essence, the author argues that a degree is of little value as compared to true marketable skills, such as computer programming for example.
I disagree. A plaque on the wall is everything if you’re attempting to obtain a job in an industry that demands it. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and other top investment banks have well established recruiting pipelines at elite MBA programs. Simply put, if you don’t graduate from one of their pipeline schools and receive the accompanying degree, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be hired.
But what if you want to be an entrepreneur? The minute you open for business, what you are–the plaque on the wall–typically means far less than who you are–your marketable skills. Sadly, it’s too late when many entrepreneurs discover that the world doesn’t care that they went to XYZ school. The world cares about them providing a solution to a problem it has.
Acton provides marketable skills, or, at the least, it provides a pathway to begin obtaining those skills. Students are instructed on how to create value for customers and how to create value within an organization. Value is created by mastering a skill– such as sales, programming, or operations–and subsequently attracting, serving, and retaining customers–not adorning a wall with plaques
So, what’s your goal?