Why are “exclusive” expensive Master and MBA not worth the money

Each day I get about 5-7 adverts on Master, MBA and even DBA programs advertised on various social media. The universities and business schools claim that those programs will help to bring my career to a totally new level after the corona crisis. Luckily, I already have a fancy M.Sc. degree in a program recognized and supported by the European Commission worth EUR 16.000 + travel expenses (scholarships available), only 20 students being selected per year. But would I pay this money in 2020 – or would I prefer a local German university with a semester abroad? Let’s see.

  • MBA and Master programs advertise brilliant practical projects as a part of the curriculum. Students get an opportunity to work abroad practicing their skills in real companies or research institutes. However, none of the employers in the last 5 years recognized my project in China as work experience. The mains reason: “Because it belongs to the curriculum”. Minus 6 months work experience in my CV.
  • Program ranking does not add value to your CV in many countries. Let’s do a simple calculation. Please calculate the price of your dream MBA + living expenses + travel. Now be realistic for your country and calculate the salary difference between you with that fancy MBA and somebody else with a local Master degree from a good university. Now subtract the 1 or 2 years which you did not get any salary. How many years should you get this MBA-based salary difference in order for your MBA to pay off?
  • Case studies from MBA programs are, from my personal perspective, poorly adapted to the new fast-changing environment. Only few universities managed to change the way they educate future Managers – the others just named the old subjects in a new way.
  • Expensive Masters are often related to future-related subjects. However, such programs often don’t possess the necessary network to provide their graduates with the jobs in such sectors as AI, Virtual Health, Robotics for Banking etc. Therefore, you find yourself graduating from an expensive program which no innovative companies really know about, without the connections to the potential employers hiring experts from your educational niche. Been there, done that!
  • Cheaper skills are available online. Nowadays, when every university can put exciting educational programs online to the resources like Coursera, edX etc., there is no need to pay EUR 18.000+ + accommodation to study in the best universities of the last era in UK or US. The knowledge became available and cheap making professional growth affordable for any employee.
  • Networking with “elite” companies is now possible both offline and online outside of closed MBA circles. The recruiting changed a lot. Due to resources like Meetup or Internations, one can meet executives in a relaxed café/bar/sailing lesson atmosphere. The elite networking events of “top business schools” become a dream of the past XX century.

As this is a very hot topic, your opinion is highly appreciated! Just post your comment below.

Kindly yours,


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