Make It

Why an MBA isn’t worth it, according to this self-made multimillionaire Uber investor

VIDEO1:2701:27
Why an MBA isn’t worth it, according to multimillionaire Uber investor...

There are plenty of reasons to pursue an MBA — graduates average six-figure salaries and it can be a head start when making a career change.

But don’t assume the degree is always worth getting, says Jason Calacanis, a Silicon Valley angel investor. Calacanis has backed over 150 companies, including six that have become unicorns with valuations over the $1 billion, like Uber and trading platform Robinhood.

“I don’t have an MBA, but I hire a lot of them and I invest in them,” Calacanis tells CNBC Make It.

Still, “I do think that education has the worst value ratio, " he says.

Angle investor Jason Calacanis boasts being an early investor in six unicorns - Uber, Robinhood, Desktop Metal, Datastax, Wealthfront and Thumbtack.
Zack Guzman

That's because of the high price of the degree, says Calacanis. MBA programs at top tier business schools can cost over $200,000, and then there's the opportunity cost of lost income during a two-year program. Calacanis believes that money could be better spent elsewhere.

“[With] the $200,000 that you spend on your MBA you could probably start eight different projects — $25,000 each — and by the time you get to the third, fourth or fifth, you will probably have a $10 million or $100 million dollar company,” he says.

Calacanis himself learned by doing. He co-built a blogging platform that was backed by Mark Cuban and later acquired by AOL for $25 million in 2005, according to NBC News.

“Be very careful that you don’t just follow the MBA because you think that that’s going to make you a genius. What makes you a genius and makes you effective, is your ability to learn skills on your own,” he says. “How quickly can you become great at some skill, is the skill.”

Don't miss: 3 reasons you should get an MBA (and 2 reasons you shouldn't)

Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!

VIDEO0:4600:46
The number of CEOs with MBAs is quickly falling
make it

Stay in the loop

Sign Up

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

CNBC.COM