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Do you need an MBA to be a manager?

Feb 25, 2022

Many people ask, “do I need an MBA to be a good manager”?  My short answer is “no”.  My long answer is also no. But…


First, what is an MBA? It stands for Masters in Business Administration.


The Pros for getting your MBA are: Statistically you can be paid $20k+ or MORE than someone equal to you but without the MBA. You have a better opportunity to get the job with all things being equal to other candidates (but you have the MBA). The networking. I think this is the biggest PRO. The ability to network and make connections with other likeminded people can be huge!


The Cons for getting your MBA are: An MBA is not a guarantee that you will get the job you want. If you go to lesser-known schools or online schools, they have little weight behind their diplomas. If you go to the more reputable schools, you can incur significant financial costs and finally you need to put in about 2 years of your life.


What can you do if you’re not interested in an MBA, but you want to be a leader/manager?


  • Don’t be afraid to start from the bottom and work your way up. That means the mailroom, or the dishwasher type positions.
  • Never stop learning. Grab books, go to seminars, watch YouTube videos etc.
  • Network your but off! Talk to people, bring value to people. Stand out in a genuine way.
  • Study people in positions you want. What do they do that makes them successful? How do they stand out?


An MBA is a “nice to have”. You will gain a lot of useful knowledge in such a program. BUT do not let it be the end all be all of your management career. MANY people are great leaders without this education.  And many people have an MBA from a reputable school and are brutal leaders.


For more on this, listen to my podcast episode here: Do you need an MBA to be a manager?








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