Does an MBA better prepare you for entrepreneurship?
Is it worthwhile to pursue an MBA (and all the costs associated with it) if you are planning on becoming an entrepreneur and launching your own startup or should you focus that time, energy and money directly on building your business? Are there advantages to an MBA that will help you operate better or get more funding?
In short, nope. The curriculum for most MBA programs is by definition 5-10 years out of date. Things are changing so fast in the startup world that whatever you're taught will be mostly irrelevant by the time you get out. That's only going to get worse.
Moreover, most MBA programs emphasize analysis and planning skills, with VERY LITTLE in the way of hands-on management or collaboration, and almost nothing specific to the day-to-day skills required for starting a company. In many ways, MBA programs teach you to think like a big-company specialist and reward deep, labor-and-time-intensive thinking.
Your business plan and pro-forma model and detailed marketing surveys mean exactly nothing when it comes to today's real-time startup marketplace.
An MBA prepares the student to understand and deal with the major elements - finance, marketing, sales, operations, HR, etc. - that he or she would find in a large business. Unless the program is focused on startups, I would say that knowledge is very helpful but not sufficient. Some universities and community colleges offer shorter programs aimed at startups, and the class time plus the involvement with other prospective entrepreneurs would probably be more valuable than a 'standard' MBA (plus get you back in the world faster).
You don't learn how to be an entrepreneur in a classroom. I went to Babson and I learned so much, but the hands-on experience I gained while working at a startup taught me much more about this career than any course did. MBAs aren't necessary in the startup world. If you feel like you need more skills, then look into Boston Startup School. That program was the ideal MBA-alternative for entrepreneurs.
I agree with the the other gentlemen that responded......I would wait on the MBA....get the practical experience
I would never say too anyone not to get an MBA, but if your dream is entrepreneurship I don't think it will be much help. You need to have the basic understanding of running a business like accounting/P&L, marketing , sales, HR, ETC. Even an MBA will not help with funding, funding will come because you have a better mouse trap and the VC's want a part of it. Find the field you want to work in, get a job and learn the business, then go out on your own.
I'd start by selling something and see how it goes. I did my MBA in my 40's, once I had a lot of hands on experience of managing things, and it was useful in helping me understand what had gone on. An MBA without hands on experience leads to dillusional behaviour because it is academic and theoretical; what matters most is how you apply these ideas in the real world and for that you need to have done it for a while. Delay the MBA, sell stufff and see if the entrepreneual things is for you before you invest in an MBA. You can learn a lot for free anyway. Take a look at http://businessgrowthguides.com/landing/free-training and my daily business blog www.markballett.com or invest a few dollars and buy my book at http://www.amazon.com/Ideas-Small-Business-Success-ebook/dp/B009BV78H2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349806116&sr=8-1&keywords=mark+ballett it will give you a much better return on capital than any MBA and actually that is what business is all about, so why not start where you mean to go. Mark