When I say that I hold an MBA degree, clients at times ask: An MBA in what? The MBA has a difficult stance in Germany. On the one hand, there are few real-economy companies that place value on the anglo-american degree and on the other hand, German academic institutions flood the market with substandard MBA programs.
While there is a fruitful, controversial discussion going on in newspapers and magazines, some of my MBA colleagues bemoan that HR departments hardly know anything relevant about the MBA. At the same time I observe a huge deficit of employed basic management concepts such as critical strategic thinking, leadership and change management at all management levels, specifically in IT.
The culmination of this attitude can be read in an inconsiderate statement of the HR director, Thomas Sattelberger, of one of the biggest German companies, Deutsche Telekom: “Die großen Business Schools sind lebendige Leichen”. Sattelberger sees MBA graduates suitable only for financial and consulting industries. Are his information sources limited to Harvard Business Manager, the germanized issue of Harvard Business Review? It is easy to imagine that this provincial approach cannot fit the requirements of a global ICT industry.
On the other side of the equation are the sprouting MBA programs. 70% of German MBA schools are specialized on topics such as “education management” and “international real estate” instead of general management according to: Das Desaster mit dem Master. Helga Kaindl displays how preposterous the titles get: “MBA in Advanced Management” or my favorite: “MBA in Business Administration”.
I have an MBA in Business Administration. Cheers.
PS: Just to put the statements above into perspective, I have to mention that most of my class have used their MBAs very effectively either to get promoted within their companies or even more so by changing their employer. If you consider completing this exciting degree, I want to encourage you. Go for it, but select a global and accredited school!