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Argument: MBA teaches you to think like a business person

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Thomas MacKay. "10 reasons why you should get an MBA." CIO.com. July 5th, 2007: "2. It teaches you to think like a business person. As technologists, we're used to thinking in a linear and logical fashion: “If this, then that.” This logical mindset is essential to writing good software, troubleshooting technical problems and managing projects. Business people, on the other hand, tend to think in terms of strategies and value, and human (customers and investors) reactions. The business perspective, by its nature, tends to rely more on estimation and trial and error. The ability to think like a business person is critical for technology managers, especially those of us who wish to position IT strategically within the company. We need to know how to plan, design and build an information architecture that is capable of supporting the business as it adapts to a changing marketplace. Without this business mindset, a CIO is at risk of creating an IT department that is too rigid, too slow or too restrictive to fully support the company’s needs.

An MBA teaches you to look at problems and opportunities holistically. It also provides analytical frameworks, such as risk assessments, cost-benefit analyses and strategic plans, that you can apply to any problem or opportunity you encounter, whether in or beyond IT. The business mindset that an MBA gives you becomes habit because you use those frameworks repeatedly in a rigorous academic environment, and you see how they can be applied in a variety of situations from one course to another.

[...] 5. An MBA better prepares you to solve business problems. We're in the process of implementing credit card processing on campus at Christopher Newport University. When we are discussing the impact credit card processing will have on the general ledger and the reconciliation process, I'm not lost. Because I studied accounting in business school, I can assist with technical and process automation solutions because I know what the university is trying to accomplish, what can be automated, and what needs to be reviewed and audited. Thus, I've made meaningful contributions to this project."

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