Thursday, May 24, 2012

Article Discussion: From Banking to Gaming

I stumbled across this article today: From Banking to Gaming: The Changing Face of MBA Jobs.

I bring it up because it is relevant to my situation in two ways. First reason, and it's pretty obvious, is that the video game industry is starting to see the value of the MBA - which is highly relevant given my desired career path. The second reason, which I feel is more relevant to everyone else (especially those curious about Tepper) is the following comment:

"So the focus now is on graduates who are skilled in analytics. “It’s being able to take the numbers and create a story and communicate that story,” says Ms Rawson."

Tepper's reputation is that it is a program based in analytics. I find this to be true - there are a LOT of analytics-type courses available and numbers permeate throughout all of our education. However, knowing the numbers is one thing; being able to communicate the message behind them is another, and I have noticed that there is an great emphasis in the program on doing so as well.

I have been educated in the case method as an undergraduate at QUT (my first undergrad degree). It had relevance at the time, although most of the teaching was in an academic manner (i.e. full reports and papers with references and bibliographies as opposed to class discussion and reading questions). We do some case work in class also here at Tepper but I have noticed that the cases in class are designed in a manner as to lead the reader into the answer. These are Harvard cases, by the way. Lastly, like I said earlier, analytics is a focus on the class and there is a fair amount of data analysis and drawing conclusions from the data involved.
I have found the case method to be the least helpful in terms of education - the answers aren't that simple and there is a lot of chaff in real-life decision making. The academic case method that I experienced as an undergrad was infinitely more helpful because then it was up to me to sift out the chaff from the wheat. But, I noticed throughout my career so far and into the program that it's really the data that is important. Gut feeling is all well and good, but it leads to poor decision-making. This particular article really solidifies the desire for analytics and decision-making based on data and hard facts. Tepper is in a great position to capitalise on this shift in attitudes, and I know that the brand image of my degree is going to greatly help me in my career than anything else.

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