MBA Certification: Boon or Boondoggle? (Forum on Business & Economics)

By Davis, Charles K. | Phi Kappa Phi Forum, Winter 2003 | Go to article overview

MBA Certification: Boon or Boondoggle? (Forum on Business & Economics)


Davis, Charles K., Phi Kappa Phi Forum


An organization called the International Certification Institute (ICI) of Mocksville, North Carolina, recently made a very big splash in the world of business education by announcing its intention to provide and promote a certification exam for candidates in, or graduates of, Masters of Business Administration degree programs. The idea has been compared to medical boards for doctors or the bar for lawyers, a way of measuring and assessing an MBA's fitness to serve and of holding MBA schools accountable for what they teach. In a world wracked by the Enron, Tyco, and Worldcom scandals, this idea has a certain appeal. But it also raises some hard questions.

THE MBA: BUSINESS BOOTCAMP

First, let's consider what an MBA degree really is. The MBA degree was originally envisioned as a vehicle for providing solid business education to individuals who had earned undergraduate degrees in non-business areas. As professionals in any field rise to positions of leadership and business responsibility they begin to realize that they may not progress much further in their careers without an understanding of the principles and methods of business. This demand first materialized in the engineering professions, and schools of business designed the MBA degree initially for engineers. For example, when engineers became managers in engineering or manufacturing firms, they could pursue the MBA both to gain an understanding of business for their work and to prove to all potential critics that they were prepared and indisputably qualified to manage. Other professions were not far behind -- lawyers running law firms, artists running art galleries, computer scientists running computer companies, even doctors runni ng clinics or hospitals. Most of these people came to the MBA classroom with little or no formal business education. And they had to learn everything from scratch.

So, what is an MBA? The MBA is a business "bootcamp" that crams most of an undergraduate business degree, plus advanced coursework in one's major (often called a "concentration"), into an intense two-year full-time program. The first year of most MBA curricula is similar in that business foundations in each subject area must be covered. The first year or so generally includes basic courses in accounting (financial and managerial), economics (micro and macro), management (including organizational behavior), management science (which includes sophisticated business statistical methods), marketing, information systems, and a basic course or two in business law. All degree candidates take this (or a similar) sequence. In most cases, these foundational courses must be completed successfully before moving on to the upper-level coursework in the second year of the MBA.

Even within this framework, though, the potential for variation is significant because different schools emphasize different areas of specialization. The content of the basic courses can vary importantly and legitimately from school to school. This difference is illustrated by the so-called Techno-MBA degrees that were all the rage a few years back, in which mathematical modeling and information technologies were strongly emphasized across the MBA curricula of some schools.

THE ICI's GOALS AND 0B3 ECTIVES

ICI believes that its certification program, the CMBA, will inspire confidence in an MBA-qualified job candidate's mastery of basic business skills and thus in the candidate's performance potential on the job. The Institute further maintains that the CMBA confirms for MBA students and employers alike that the candidate has a certifiable command of business fundamentals and is "Certified for Success" (their words found on www.certifiedmba.com at the time of this writing). ICI also believes that a certification of MBA graduates can "level the playing field" and make it possible for MBAs from less-prestigious universities to compete with graduates of the top tier neutralizing the effect of graduate-program reputation in hiring. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

MBA Certification: Boon or Boondoggle? (Forum on Business & Economics)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.