Sunday, September 01, 2002

A friend and former classmate of mine in the University of Minnesota MBA program wanted my opinion on THIS MBA CERTIFICATION STORY IN THE USA TODAY. It seems a major testing company is launching a certification exam for MBAs in April. This 300-question exam will take five hours and cost $450. No regulatory body requires this exam. Medical, law, and CPA certifications are regulated by the state, and are required to practice.

This test will fail for four reasons:
1. The top schools are against it. They feel their selection process has picked the highest performers.
2. The cost of the test is expensive compared to some state schools' tuition prices.
3. Testing would take place after the recruiting season. The article doesn't make it clear, but it sounds like the testing would take place in April, and I suppose scores would be available soon after if computers administer this. MBA recruitment usually takes place in autumn. Employers will not wait for the test results to make job offers to students for fear of losing top candidates to other employers who don't care about the test.
4. Regulation doesn't require this test. Passing the medical boards, the bar, or the CPA exam are required by the state, and a condition of employment. The idea that government would require competency testing in business and management is a bit absurd, considering business isn't a hard science and there aren't a lot of rules to memorize. If the government got involved in certifying MBA degrees, they would have to require competency in every degree program in the nation. And once government employees start telling the rest of us Americans whether or not we are competent, America will be in a world of shit.