I’m always looking for the meaning of life in articles about how to change/manage/find my career, and I just read a good one on Guy Kawasaki’s blog.

Trunk’s advice on advanced degrees is interesting, because it is my (short) experience that an MBA helps you if you want to move up in your current company, gives you the courage and knowledge to start your own business (if you needed any to begin with), etc. In terms of changing jobs, though, you’re just another person in the world with an MBA competing with all the other MBAs for the same small pool of positions. It’s a “check the box” move, not a career path in and of itself (unless you specialize in Accounting or some other such thing).

One of the many reasons I picked Law was that it gives one credentials to perform in the Legal field – similar to the way that an Engineering degree allows one to be an engineer. You can’t have a career in it without the education. A Business degree, on the other hand, is different. Anyone with enough guts, smarts, or savvy can open their own business, and some do extraordinarily well. But not all have or need an MBA to do it. An MBA may help to further your current path, but it is difficult to change course altogether with just an MBA.

I’m glad I went back to get it, though I may never actually use it, mostly because of the ego boost it gave me. I was able to prove to myself on my own terms that I was just as smart as other MBAs. The stigma of getting that first “advanced degree” dissipated and opened my mind to other possibilities I had long since wrote off. All in all, a very good thing.

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