Entrepreneur: Traditional MBA for me ?

Entrepreneurs are a special breed of businessman or woman. A successful one does not win by following a formula; quite the opposite in fact, they think outside the box, to quote a much hackneyed expression.
Formal MBA courses do not create wheeler-dealing business people, traditionally they have always created someone that can use business jargon and fit into corporate life, as well as use the formulae taught them to continue the upward trend of corporate growth. For those who want to create something new or ride the wave of a new opportunity, they must find a course that will give them the tools to better manage what they build while not constraining their business practice. A new type of MBA is beginning to appear on the market with these types of people in mind.
Throwing away the traditional approaches and course breakdowns such as finance, marketing, human resources, etcetera, a few schools have woken up to the real potential of helping aspiring business people seeking to be sharper at what they do rather than learning the stodge of corporate life. New courses have title such as ‘Raising Money’, ‘Customers’, and ‘Harvest’, and are clearly intent on working with the entrepreneurial mentality of seeking opportunity where no-one else has looked.
There are many rankings out there that analyse A and B list schools; of course Harvard and Stanford sit at the top of this tree but come at a significant price differential. The one thing they do offer is a high quality pedigree alumnus which will always be worth its weight in gold in terms of finding backers and getting into halloed settings the rest of us only dream about. But is that everything? Many graduates of these schools do end up earning large salaries but more and more are less satisfied with the trappings of high salaries – they feel their career has stagnated.
Entrepreneurial MBAs are a little different. As an entrepreneur is by nature a self-starter, is it not uncommon for the first stages of the course to be a home study element, cutting down on the time spent in the classroom, and hence cost. Socratic Method lends itself to this type of degree, making the student think more and take notes less. Additional learning in the form of practical experience on the street, for example, pounding the street selling over-priced goods door-to-door to illustrate market acceptance and pressures, goes a long way towards giving the student a taste of what’s out there and how the lessons learnt in the school can be applied to the real world.
There is a growing trend in most courses of offering elective courses to appease the entrepreneur mentality that is growing in the MBA market. More and more graduates of even the A list schools are foregoing the opportunity to move into high-paid jobs in corporations and moving instead into start-up businesses. More and more professors and lecturers at these schools are expected to have either ongoing business experience or prior business experience; they are encouraged to focus on teaching, not research, and so offering best value to the students.
The golden rule to selecting the right course for your future career path is, as always, to do your research; analyse not only the courses on offer, but their teaching staff, and get a feel as to the post-graduate achievements of their alumni.