It seems like an eternity since I started my MBA program and I’ve just completed another semester, at this rate I should be done in 2013 but I can already tell you that having completed about 70% of the program I clearly understand why the global economic crisis arose despite having more Ph.D’s, MBA’s and undergrads in the world today than ever in the history of humanity.

Problem #1 – Normal Distribution fantasyland – Academic professors preach normal distribution theory as the solution to all problems.   There hasn’t been a financial class that I haven’t taken where normal distribution formulas are used to guesstimate what will happen next which is completely absurd when it comes to financial instruments because those numeric valuations are based on human thinking activity, prejudices and greed not innate characteristics such as height, weight, hair color, etc.

Problem #2 – Head in the sand  attitude – Academic professors are under constant pressure to make a name for themselves and their university by coming up with some new theory that will transform the world so the obvious net result is the head in the sand problem where academic theory is justified and rationalized despite the clear and apparent failure of such theory (see problem #1 for example).   I took an international finance class whereby the professor insisted that stock charting, technical analysis, fundamental analysis, etc really worked.   I argued helplessly for the entire semester and ended the argument with a simple question:  if these systems work well for making money then why aren’t you a wealthy billionaire baron?  (Discussion ended).

Note: I’ve read a few articles where well known egghead Ph.D’s were brought in to devise these bundled crap mortgages and if you haven’t guessed by now, normal distribution was used as a basis to guesstimate the default rate.  Hmm…it ended up being completely wrong, how did that happen? (for answer see Problem #2).

Problem #3 – If everyone else is doing it, it must be right.  My biggest criticism and complaint of my MBA program is that it isn’t unique.   I checked around and the curriculum is pretty much the same as most other universities and I think this is a huge failing.   We need to get to a point where more “niche” education is taking place around specialization around certain fields of study but there is wide reluctance to do so and I’m assuming because it’s probably viewed as too risky.  I would love for each university to develop “ecosystems” around specialized learning just how Apple built their iTunes model for music, video and entertainment then simply build on it.   Here are three areas universities should build niche’s around:  energy, health care, technology.

I am personally debating hard whether the investment in time and money has been worth it.   On the one hand, the MBA program has validate much of what I already knew and the confirmation will be the piece of paper I get at the end of the program with “Degree” stamped on it.   On the other hand, I spent a great deal of time doing pointless research largely so professors can find the next big thing (I have no doubt some professors skim off of their students) research and ideas and made too many sacrifices along the way.