Masters of what?

THE hype surrounding the Masters of Business Administration long ago reached its cresendo.

Much like various management theories that do the rounds of the consultancies many MBA graduates work for, there is danger that people put too much store in such courses as a cure-all – in this instance for their career path rather than their company’s problems.

The MBA is generally regarded as a tough course that offers a breadth of management knowledge which is difficult to gain without years of hands-on experience.

Companies like Wesfarmers regard such graduates highly because they have passed many of the tests of a seasoned manager.

But, with hundreds of courses in Australian and overseas, potential students should consider the implications of such commitment, both in terms of time and money.

They must weigh up factors such as reputation, location and cost to determine whether they will get their money’s worth.

They should have a good idea which field they want to end up in and how future employers view the MBA they have in mind.

Without a goal in mind, the potential MBA risks wasting their fees and the opportunity cost of a salary and a social life.

Perhaps it is a case of adopting a few of those MBA-style decision-making skills before committing to a particular course, or indeed, studying an MBA at all.

Decision looks a bit sick

KIM Beazley took Australian politics into dangerous new territory last week when he used his daughter’s experience with the shambolic health system as example of what was wrong with the sector.

Local politicians have mostly had their families protected from the media glare.

It is a fair arrangement that allows those who govern to get on with the job at hand.

Of course some indiscretions – such as the Reith telephone saga – have have rightly turned on the media spotlight when necessary.

But Mr Beazley may have made a strategic mistake using his daughter’s treatment as an example in this heated period of political debate. As a once off it makes a great story: “Politician experiences real person’s problems”.

However, by raising the bar with his father’s tale of woe, the Labor leader is exposing himself to calls that he has exploited his family for political gain.

Turning on

IT is interesting to note that business programs are attracting more of the mums and dads as viewers.

Apparently, they are seeking investor information as Australia develops into a nation of shareholders.

Television is a powerful medium, but a poor one for relating complex messages like business performance.

The medium has been blamed for creating politicians more adept at the glib one-liner than being able to generate a policy of substance.

With the masses using television to get business information, will we see a new breed of slicker shallower CEOs emerge to take advantage of this development?

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