Are Podcasts Worth More Than An MBA?

Mitch JoelPosted by

How you learn may not be as important as where you learn.

There’s this meme-like image that resurfaces every now and again online that features a quote from me. The truth is, that I don’t think it came from my mind (I may have stolen it), but I truly can’t remember where I first heard it. I never graduated university. I started it. I did about a year. I dropped out. I was publishing music magazines, and had to make the tough choice of dropping out and moving forward as an entrepreneur. Candidly, I was never very good at school. Candidly, I was struggling along with my studies while my business began to blossom. I thought to myself that I may never get another chance to see if the business would be a success, but that I could always go back to school if it didn’t work out. I also didn’t love to read the books and assignments from teachers in school (this dates back to high school as well). Still, I love to read. I love books. Oh yeah, that quote…

“I won’t let school get in the way of my education.”

As with everything that technology has brought, it has never been easier to get an education (even a formal one). If you have access, you have the tools to be educated. Yes, I am still – primarily – learning the most from non-fiction books and longform content online. Still, the power of podcasting has opened up an entirely new (and amazing) way to learn. Earlier this week, Inc. Magazine named my podcast, Six Pixels of Separation – The Mirum Podcast, in an article titled, 19 Podcasts Worth More Than an MBA. Very flattering… and, of course, it’s good for the ego, but I started thinking about why this established publication was making such a brash statement like that. Podcasts are worth more than an MBA? It’s hard for me to defend the merits of an MBA (never got one), but I have a deep respect, admiration and – if I’m being honest – slight jealously for those that have one. They have put in the time. They have worked with peers, been exposed to case studies and worked on the process of learning about business… for a long and extended time under the highest of scrutiny. Respect. Still, I do think that podcasts have a tremendous level of value that most business professionals have yet to latch on to. I’ve been podcasting for over a decade (not a typo). With Six Pixels, I have produced over 500 weekly episodes since 2006 (also, not a typo). Why? I love radio (I appear on CHOM FM every Monday am at 7:10, if you ever watch to check in), but I love what podcasting has done, in terms of allowing media creators to experiment with audio. My podcasts are long, deep conversations with people who are thinking differently about business. I learn so much from those conversations. With that, I learn so much from listening to other shows that take the time to deep dive into topics, with guests who inspire.

The 19 are strong, but what else?

With that, I thought that the Inc. Magazine article listed a bunch of shows that I know and love (so, I won’t repeat them here), but it also didn’t get a few that have really helped me push my own education forward. Again, these are not for the faint of heart. They require dedication: time, effort and thinking to get the true value out of them. Plus, they’re not short (in terms of length and value).

Want a real education? Check out these podcasts too… 

Also, feel free to check out my other shows, Groove – The No Treble Podcast and Metal Wraps. What listening are you learning from?