Saturday, August 20, 2011

Contraction In Financial Careers Long Overdue

I can get pretty darn ornery when the subject of careers in finance makes the news.  BofA's plan for throwing away a big chunk of its workforce gives rise to a whole bunch of discussion on how far it will go.  That article makes me giggle when I read that "anybody who could walk and talk" could have landed a job in the middle of the last decade.  Folks, I had an MBA from a pretty good school and I had to settle for entry-level jobs that paid next to nothing, and I went completely without job offers for several years after getting that now-worthless MBA.  Add "family pedigree" to the walking and talking criteria and you've got a viable MBA job candidate. 

The article is generally correct that hiring in finance has been overdone for years and will now permanently contract to a more sustainable level.  That also means that MBA enrollments should contract, since the workforce won't need so many MBA-certified people to replace existing employees.  The MBA degree will eventually revert to what it was decades ago, when the top 20 programs were a rite of passage for blue-bloods destined to keep publicly held companies under the control of private families. 

Let this be a warning to anyone considering an MBA as a prerequisite for a career change.  Don't do it, people.  You don't need it to get the entry-level jobs of the future that will be available in farming, recycling, and suburban deconstruction.