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Don't Pay for Your MBA: The Faster, Cheaper, Better Way to Get the Business Education You Need Paperback – November 2, 2017
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Who needs a mountain of debt?
Each year, the nation’s top business schools are flooded with applications from people eager to pursue their MBA dreams. But those aspirations come at a steep price. According to U.S. News and World Report, the average debt load for graduates of NYU’s Stern School of Business, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and other top business schools exceeds $100,000.
Like most, author Laurie Pickard couldn’t shoulder that. But she faced a dilemma: despite two degrees and a Peace Corps stint, she needed a business education to land her dream job in international development. She decided to take her education into her own hands, and found that some of those same prestigious business schools offer MOOCs (massive online open courses) for low or even no cost. By picking the right classes from the best schools, she gained the skills—without all the debt.
In Don’t Pay for Your MBA, Pickard shows self-starters, career changers, and budding entrepreneurs how to navigate the expanding universe of online education. Building on her popular No-Pay MBA blog, Pickard reveals how to:
Define your goals and tailor a curriculum that works for you • Master the language of business • Build a strong network • Choose a concentration and deepen your expertise • Showcase your nontraditional education in a way that attracts offers
Self-directed learning fills gaps in your training, positions you for promotions, and opens up new opportunities. Why pay exorbitant tuition when you can MOOC your way to success?
From the Back Cover
While an MBA can accelerate your career, the cost is formidable: for traditional business schools, two years of lost salary and $100,000 in tuition. Few people can shoulder that load. Fortunately, no one needs to anymore—not when schools such as Wharton, MIT, and Stanford offer courses online for 1/100 of the cost. Don’t Pay for Your MBA shows you how to get a world-class business education by tapping into these no-cost and low-cost MOOCs, or massive open online courses.
Author Laurie Pickard is a pioneer in online education. Her quest to piece together a business education while working abroad has been featured in national media—and inspired enthusiasm among people seeking MBA-level schooling, but without the six-figure price tag.
In this helpful, insightful guide, Pickard delivers hard-won lessons for successfully navigating the vast array of offerings, selecting the best options, and filling gaps in your nontraditional education. Packed with stories of self-directed learners in every field, the book reveals how to:
Define your goals and chart a career course • Build fluency in the language of business • Develop a core curriculum, with a focus on skills • Choose a concentration and deepen your expertise • Create a strong in-person and online network • Showcase your education to attract job offers • And much more.
An MBA degree is notoriously expensive, with very few free rides. Whether you want to prepare for your next career move or tackle a complete MBA curriculum from scratch, Don’t Pay for Your MBA opens up valuable online alternatives—at a fraction of the cost.
Laurie Pickard founded the No-Pay MBA website, which has been featured in Fortune, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, CNNMoney, Financial Times, and Bloomberg Business. She also works as a business and entrepreneurship development consultant, most recently at the U.S. Agency for International Development in Rwanda.
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In other words, this book is appropriate for every literate person who isn’t a juvenile or independently wealthy.
Everyone needs to know about finance, ethics, storytelling, persuasion, decision making, and everything else that goes into modern life. This book will show you how to learn these things for free or cheap whether you think an MBA is the ticket or not.
I got an MBA for a silly reason: In the early 1980’s some idiot with MBA turned me down for a job because I didn’t also have an MBA even though I could have easily done the work.
So, I enrolled in NYU Stern and for five years I destroyed my bank account and social life going to classes at night.
By the time I was awarded my paper sheepskin I was already well established in the world of Wall Street making vastly more than the median starting salary of a graduate. For years afterward I seldom mentioned that I had an MBA to anyone, and even then only when someone would try lording their education over me.
How did this happen?
To pay for my MBA I started a software development company. My clients included Morgan Stanley, Chase, and Merrill Lynch. To succeed I needed to learn a lot about finance and business ASAP, not when NYU got around to offering a class with room for me. By the time I was sitting in a class I either already knew the subject matter or I’d never need to know it. What a waste of time and money! (And back then I paid about 15% of what NYU costs today.)
This book shows you how to do what I did 30 years ago, except that today the Internet and MOOCs make it is so much easier.
After three decades working in finance I’ve learned something about how crashes occur. They happen when price and value are out of alignment, when everyone knows it, when everyone knows everyone knows it, and when there is an alternative. When a stock market crashes the alternative is cash and that’s why prices can drop 23% in a single day, as happened in 1987.
Why hasn’t the MBA crashed already?
After all, the price of schooling has never been more expensive and the cost of learning has never been cheaper. Not everyone knew that but now they do. A degree signals very little. Not everyone knew that, but now they do. You don't need a good school to get a good education. Not everyone knew that but now they do.
And yet, the MBA hasn’t crashed... yet.
Because not everyone knew how to put together an education on their own for free or cheap.
But now, if you read this book, you do.
I predict that soon having an MBA will signal that you are a chump incapable of learning on your own. And if you go into debt to get that paper sheepskin it will mean that you make unwise decisions with your own finances and future and therefore shouldn’t be trusted with anyone else’s fortunes either.
Do you really want to drain your bank account, gut your parent’s retirement saving, or mortgage your future to support some institution whose time has come and gone?
Instead, read this book, do what it suggests, and see how it goes. An MBA can always be the Plan-B that you’ll never need.
Your future has never been brighter.
(P. S. If you want to learn how this happened and how you might roll your own education in areas other than business, I also recommend: https://www.amazon.com/DIY-Edupunks-Edupreneurs-Transformation-Education-ebook/dp/B005GLMAQA)
Wonderfully written with a blend of helpful practical guidance, interesting citations and inspiring case studies. In today's churning labor market this book is immensely helpful in assisting you to get the education you need, when you need it, for a tiny fraction of the price of a traditional MBA program.