Checkboxes

I have an ongoing debate with a good friend of mine.

Right now he’s in the middle of grad school, getting his MBA. He’s always been a go-getter, so it’s not surprising he’s getting an advanced education so young (he had to extra-apply to get into what is traditionally an MBA program for older professionals). His big argument is that soon, the MBA will be viewed like the bachelor’s degree in that you’ll probably need one to get in the door, and certainly need one for executive positions.

My problem with this is that he’s describing a checkbox–something to ensure getting past HR filters and the like. It’s not about a desire to learn and change as much as it’s a desire to get in the door, and then, I suppose, do something magnificent.

Perhaps what’s most discouraging is that he’s right–at least in the short term. Companies already have lots of filters designed to catch outliers, and it certainly makes sense that the MBA thing will work its way more and more into the forefront.

And while I wholeheartedly endorse the pursuit of higher education, this mindset is a hindrance.

Organizations built to fill checkboxes aren’t going to change the world. And likewise, I’m concerned that individuals focusing on addressing the filters are missing a bigger picture.

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