– It's not piss

– It's not piss

Plumbers may also need a master's degree, says Lars Erling Olsen.

Short version

On Tuesday, Aftenposten published an article titled “A masterpiece is at risk.” A critical look is directed at part-time master's degree programs in management. The case comes in the wake of allegations of plagiarism on the health minister's postgraduate degree.

Unnecessary foreign words. The need to feel validated. Thin curriculum. Some believe that this criticism is valid. Others miss the nuances. One of them works in BI.

Lars Erling Olsson is Dean of Further Education there. Or “Dean for Executive Programs,” as BI calls it. The university has been in the governance game for decades. Thousands of master's degrees have been awarded.

– I have no idea about the technical terms in Kjerkol's thesis and do not want to enter into a discussion of management as a subject. But this case gives the impression that people need to randomly certify their self-esteem. “It's a claim that can be thrown out, but we don't know this at BI,” Olson says.

– Why do people get their Masters in BI late??

– There are various reasons for that. It is part of lifelong learning in Norway. It's about filling talent. The main social challenge in Norway is restructuring. Digitization. Green shift. All these. A lot of expertise will need to be filled in the coming years.

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“so what?”

Olsen points out that people's education today is not as up-to-date as it was 20 years ago. Executive Masters is based on students' work life experience. And it is written in a network with others.

It's easy to underestimate management as a subject, Olson believes.

– But management is also about getting things done. For example, we train people in health management. We believe this is part of an essential overhaul.

About 2,300 people graduate with a master's degree in BI on a part-time basis each year. According to Lars Erling Olsen, students offer the following ideas:

  • 100 percent recommend others take it.
  • 44 percent believe they have been given a higher position.
  • 70 percent said they were paid more.

– 44 percent said they will get a higher position and 70 percent higher salary after studying. Isn't this the crux of the criticism against being rewarded for credits?

– But is it wrong? This means that they have gained increased competence, which the employer believes is worth something. So there may be an element of “self-certification” here. But “so what?” That is my second question. There would have been a problem if there was only the staff and the peacock effect. But we didn't do it for that.

– It's not piss

And quality? There's nothing wrong with that, Olsen assures. At BI, teaching is based on rigorous research, he believes.

As long as you get a certificate in what you want to do, it's no big deal if the content of a management master's is shit, said senior lecturer Karl-Friedrich Tangen on Tuesday.

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– It's not piss. He is angry with students who get this education in Norway and are satisfied with it. Debate like this is childish, and everyone may have their own opinions about whether a field is lean. People have different perspectives, Olson says.

– Many colleges and universities are now paying for this additional education. At BI alone, about 12,000 master's degrees in economics-management subjects have been completed in the last five years. Does it become a block?

– There is tremendous growth. It will grow further.

– Does society need it?

– Yes, because society has undergone great changes.

– Is there no limit to how many people can lift each other up? How many people can be leaders?

– No, you need to define what management is. Not everyone should be Employers, but let something happen. There are thousands of small businesses. The market will supply what it needs. And as we look at it going forward, we will increase the competition for this.

– And it is about professional filling, primarily?

– Yes, but not a professional top-up because you're a peacock. But because you have a need, you have a need to solve the challenges you have. It may be from a plumbing company that requires solid knowledge…

– Are there many plumbers taking a master's degree in BI?

– Yes, of course we have. We have everything from all over Norway. From small companies to top managers. If you are going to become a master plumber, you need additional administration and management skills. After all, you have to lead the plumbers.

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Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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