Before you attack former Wall Streeter-turned-writer Laura Hemphill for her recent
article published in The New Yorker, which advises young women to opt out of getting MBAs, you should seriously hear out her argument.
While Hemphill tells women specifically to skip B-school, her advice should be geared toward any 20-something professional. Not just women.
She argues that your 20s are vital and getting an MBA during it will only waste your time. She says this is especially true for women, citing a Harvard study that found that 13% of women weren’t working compared to 1% of men a decade after earning their MBAs.
Career interruptions happen to women around this time because they either decide to have children or they “actively choose jobs that are family friendly and avoid jobs with long hours and greater career advancement possibilities,” she writes.
“Given this possibility, isn’t the most important thing for a woman to work as hard as she can and advance as far as possible while she’s still in her twenties and her life is as uncomplicated as it’s going to get? That way, by the time she’s a decade or so along, she’ll have more savings, more job experience, and more bargaining power — all of which translate into more options.”
The truth is, no matter your gender, your 20s are a crucial time of professional exploration and career advancement. When things don’t work out right away, many young people turn to graduate school with the false assumption that another degree will make them more legitimate. But this isn’t necessarily the case. If you’re not going to school for the right reasons and haven’t done your research, you may find yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, having lost time that you could’ve spent advancing your career. And this is true whether you’re a man or a woman.
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