I'm a generalist and my MBA has not done much for me. I'm beginning to think that I would have done better if I had specialized. I have noticed that the generalists are passed over for more specialized skills in different areas. And even I'm finding it hard to decide the best jobs for me.
Beth, I'm in the minority here, but I think the HR/Recruiter mentality is all wrong. The best people to hire are generalists, not specialists. Over the past 15-20 years, companies in every industry think they can specialize their way to optimality, but this is an illusion.
Over my career, the best people I've worked with have been generalists. They know how their job fits into the company's strategy. And they know WHY they're doing what they're doing. Specialists don't -- they may be experts at some tiny area of expertise, but God forbid they should be asked to try to figure out a better way to do it.
I'm lucky enough to have been hired by a company that values my knowledge of a wide range of things way outside what they hired me to do (write a software manual). Let me ask you this: Does Jacque know what a data analyst does? Has she ever had that job? Almost every technical recruiter I talk to knows little or nothing about the job they're "recruiting" me for. That, I submit, is no way to make a hire. And someone who only knows how to do one thing is not the person you want to hire. (Oh -- and I'm going to finish my MBA. But thanks for the advice!)
So funny this came up today. A manager of mine asked me if she should finish her MBA. My response was why? You already have the job. The only things I learned from an MBA was how to work in groups and how to speak in public. Sorry but everything else had little bearing on real business skills.
Specialization does seem like it offers a good option for job seekers. But I would imagine deciding to pursue a specialized advanced degree is a bit more daunting than seeking a general one, like MBA, that might provide more career flexibility... no matter what the recruiters are saying. In terms of time required and money spent, neither is trivial.
Indeed i have this impression that specialization is starting to gain its own appeal. For instance while previously you would find MBA project management in a university, now you'll also/only see Master of Project Management.
The MBA does seem to be the go-to choice for professionals in any number of fields looking to advance their careers. I wonder whether what Jackie sees today in business analytics is reflective of a bigger trend among business professionals today.
The MBA has always seemed a bit too general to me. Unless one is seeking a promotion in an administrative/commerce related job. Yet i see BScs in computing practice take the MBA. Maybe just to diversify knowledge...who knows.