Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Business self-education

with one comment

Cool Tools points out the reading list for a personal MBA. At the link, you’ll find a recommended reading list and links to a forum of people engaged in the enterprise. The web page at the link includes a thought-provoking quotation from Matt Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting:

“You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for a buck fifty in late charges at the public library.”

And Kevin Kelly notes:

I once dabbled with the idea of getting an MBA. After a life avoiding any work in a business, I wanted to start one of my own and knew zero about it. Like many folks, I thought a heavy-duty school program would cure my ignorance and inexperience. But an official MBA degree can easily cost $100,000. I figured out I would learn more spending $500 in self-education. So I devoted $200 for books and the other $300 actually starting a small mail-order business (the fee went for an ad). In two years I learned more about how business really worked than any MBA graduate I had met. No matter what they tell you, an MBA is not essential for landing or handling a good business job. The chief “skill” you’ll come away by your degree is a diploma, and a network of indebted friends in business. The latter is actually useful.

There is another option to an overpriced degree, which is the self-education path outlined above. Pursue your own Personal MBA in tandem with actual experience doing some kind of business. Josh Kaufman has put together an excellent and very hefty reading list which forms the core of his PMBA course. It is downloadable as a free PDF. The recommended readings are wide, deep, holistic, and very good. You could purchase all of these easily available books for $500, and if you combine study of them with actually trying stuff, you’ll be far ahead in the business game.

If you go this route, you need to supplement your self-education with a network of live humans engaged in business (the only part of a certified MBA you’ll miss).

Kaufman has recently updated his annotated recommended reading list. No PDF yet, but his website is chock full of the new material.

Written by Leisureguy

3 January 2008 at 7:48 am

One Response

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  1. There’s never any shortage of people claiming that degrees are worthless. It’s always people who don’t have them.



    3 January 2008 at 8:19 am

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