5 Skills That MBA Programs Don’t Teach You

MBA programs, often pursued either to boost one’s career or to make a successful career transition, can leave alumni praising the connections they made and the opportunities they may explore in the future, rather than the information they learned. It is important to note that business school is an excellent step in many people’s careers (including mine), offering access to networks of people and upward mobility at their current positions. While it certainly has its merits, here are five things that MBA programs won’t teach you.

1- How to build a business.

This one seems like it should be a joke, but the reality stands that Business programs don’t provide you with the practical knowledge to begin and build a business. Sure, you’ll have developed enough insight to find people who know how to do this or do online research. And sure, MBA programs can teach you the basics of entrepreneurship, business strategy, and cooperate growth, but the academic and theoretical knowledge imparted upon business school students generally do not lend to the full practical know-how of how to build a business from A to Z.

2- How to run the day-to-day aspects of a business.

Along a similar vein, MBA programs don’t teach you how to complete the critical everyday aspects of running a full-time business. While business programs can teach you the basics of marketing, operation, and organizational culture, generally they don’t teach recordkeeping, sales, hiring or how to grow your startup without venture capital. You will learn academic theories and some practice that assist you in some ways, but you’ll be left to understand those practical skills on your own.

3- How to manage people at work.

Dealing with employees and customers can be very challenging, though dependent on the type of work you do. While your networking skills will be strengthened from your time in a business program, they won’t specifically teach you how to handle clients, customers, your company CEO, your team and other peer-executives who are working with.

4- Human psychology.

One of the best things that you’ll learn from real-world experience is how people’s minds work. Human phycology is very crucial to deal in any working environment and Business school won’t teach you about the human brain or why people act in specific ways, how to persuade a customer to buy your product, how to build an magical offer that your client can’t resist, or how to enter the conversation that already exists in your client’s mind, a skill that you’ll pick up with practical experience and a very focused self-education, either by focused reading in psychology books or taking few focused online courses.

5- Business instincts & Entrepreneurial Mindset.

In general, a traditional program won’t replace the necessary real-world experiences that come from actually working in a particular field. The theories taught in school will provide a tremendous contextual element for those who already have significant work experience but won’t teach you to build the instincts vital to business success.


Before taking the path to business school, do your homework and look at the different options that you have. Make sure that it is the only way to get to your dream job. Business school does offer wonderful experiences and information. Still, it is a few steps ahead toward your next career transition, while you need to build on that through your own practical, real-world job experience and build your focused scheme of courses that only can suit you and your unique case.

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