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I am struggling with the question of whether I should get an MBA. I
got a B.S. in eletrical and computer engineering from a good
university about five years ago, thinking I wanted to be a circuit
designer. I was wrong. After working for the last 4.5 years, I realize
I would like tp have an Internet/Web-related career. I do not believe
a graduate technical degree (e.g. MSCS) would be valuable. I can teach
myself what I need to be successful in Internet/Web field without
formal education. However, I have none of the information that I
assume would be taught to me at an MBA program since my undergrad
education and work experience has been technical/high-tech oriented.
I would like to hear your comments on the value of an MBA. Is it
completely worthless? Will it give me more control over the direction
I want my career to go? Thank you.
-- Todd Melnick, July 14, 1999
James Fong below makes some good points. I think I could generalize what he said a bit, though. There are benefits to leaving your limited world (perhaps you're in a cubicle farm with other circuit designers) and associate with a dynamic and fluid group of new people. It doesn't really matter what the dynamic and fluid group of new people is called and the credential isn't all that important these days. So what really goes on at Harvard or Stanford B-school is that they assemble a large number of bright young people who enjoy thinking about business problems and doing semi-creative stuff with business. I'm sure that you'll as much or more from your classmates as from the profs (most of whom can be presumed to be extremely risk-averse since they are working in a credential-based bureaucracy rather than operating a business).
As part of ArsDigita.com's business, I spend some time hanging out with people from Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, and Andersen Consulting. Also with people from the strategy units of big companies and with plenty of start-up founders. The tech PhDs at the consulting firms and the MBA-less entrepreneurs are just as business-savvy as their MBA counterparts. So clearly the MBA per se isn't worth much. However, all of these folks have been able to immerse themselves in a social environment where they are constantly exposed to new business ideas.
Note that simply running an Internet business isn't a great way to learn MBA-type stuff. ArsDigita.com is a $6 million company. So you'd think that my job as CEO would teach me something. I've learned a little bit about management and organization. But because our business is doubling every six months I don't have any time to mix with other business folks (except on customer projects). So I remain narrow in my perspective. The two year vacation of MBA school will give you time to be broad, time that you wouldn't have if you were actually operating the kind of successful business they supposedly prepare you for.
-- Philip Greenspun, July 19, 1999
What do you want to do in the Internet industry? Where did you work before, and at what position? A lot of times a MBA will just open the door, but this doesn't matter as much if you're joing a start-up; as long as you can work on a team and lead a team -- something that "a MBA" doesn't necessarily teach you.
A lot has to do with what kinds of jobs you want to have in the future. If you know of a place where you can get the kind of job that you'd like, I suggest going for it and perhaps taking an online MBA course from a reputable university...Getting in now is more important that waiting a year or two for a degree that's really just a piece of paper; if you're an engineer you can assuredly read through the MBA course material with no problem.
-- Michael Edwards, July 15, 1999
I would go further and say that an MBA may actually make you stupider about business.
The sharpest people I have met so far in business did not have MBAs. MBAs spend a lot of time worrying about things that are not essential. MBAs get hired by large companies because it is expected that they meet a certain minimum level of understanding - that is all. It's an expensive certification process.
The only things to need to understand to be successful in business:
1. You need to have a customer (more than one is better). Do something that the customer finds valuable.
2. Produce a product or service that is what the customer wants.
3. Keep your costs as low as possible. Low-cost producers always win. Look at Dell and how they force all the expensive inventory costs onto their suppliers.
4. Always remember that the customer is not an idiot. This is easier to forget than people think. It is especially a problem in technical fields where the guy who is paying may not everything the supplier knows - there is a tendency to think that you "know better". You don't.
-- Patrick Giagnocavo, July 17, 1999
I was in a similar boat about 2 years ago. I was an aerospace/computer systems program manager and realized one day that I was no longer enjoying my job...I think I got sucked into management...you know the story.
Anyway, I finally decided on getting an MBA from a top 10 B-school because I didn't know what I wanted to do. Being in aerospace really isolates you from the rest of the world and I needed to broaden my horizon. So, from my perspective, getting an MBA was the best thing I had done for myself. However, if you already know you want to be a web designer...etc, then why waste your time? Going to B-school means paying lots of money for two years AND giving up your current income and options.
On the other hand, if you do go to a top-tier B-school, you will find yourself in huge demand as consulting firms and other tech companies such as Microsoft and Sun are all clamoring for people with tech skills AND business acumen. Furthermore, lots of VC firms visit B-school campuses looking to fund business initiatives. Several of my friends received funding while they were in school. Another bonus is that the school's alumni network can really help you hook up with VCs...etc.
Please consider your decision carefully as spending two years of your life in school and not enjoying it is rather painful. Some of my thoughts on B-School...
Some benefits of an MBA:
- Broaden your perspective on what else is out there - Bulit a valuable network of associates and friends (remember how Scott McNeally and others got started...) - A summer internship to explore a career field, risk-free! - Increase your business knowledge from a corporate perspective...many B-schools claim to teach entrepreneurship...etc, but the schools are still primarily hunting grounds for corporate, banking and consulting HR departments - Two years to pretend you are an undergrad again! - A chance to discover and pursue your academic passion
Some negative aspects of an MBA
- Be trapped by the herd mentality and become a consultant or banker! - Be trapped by the almighty dollar and become a consultant or banker! - No income, unless you are running a profitable e-commerce business on the side! - Two words: student loan - Have to pass classes that teach you things that you know you will never use
Good luck Todd!
-- James Fong, July 19, 1999
I have an MBA (1975) and an MSIS (1995). If I were younger, I'd be in demand as a new "techno-MBA". But I'm not younger and the experience I do not have in information technology is experience I seriously miss. If you have a specific career opportunity, and you have an employer that will pay your way, by all means get an MBA. You learn skills and perspectives you will use in any of your multiple future careers.
If you think that the piece of paper itself is valuable, you're wrong. You would be better off spending the next two years getting great IT experience AND reading your way through a carefully selected set of business books. (See if you can get your employer to buy the books.)
My MBA was a good thing for me to get back then, but I bet I'd be a lot happier if I'd spent the time actually PRODUCING things.
-- Jeff Polaski, July 19, 1999
I agree with what Philip said about B-school...I thought I was pretty bright when I got there, but quickly realized that I was pretty much an idiot who got really lucky and sneaked past the admissions folks. The caliber of the students and the experiences that they bring to campus are the most enriching part of B-School. I am in the process of starting up an on-line community and can comfortably tap into my fellow classmates who are I-bankers for CSFB, consultants at McK, marketing gurus at Sun, VCs at Hummer Winblad...etc. Pretty cool!
The most important lesson that I learned while in B-School is to follow your passion and not be tempted by prestigious firms and/or the almighty dollar. This is not an earth shattering discovery (like I said before, I was the lucky idiot who sneaked past admissions), but for me it has made all the difference.
Another bit of data point for you...I had a chance to speak to several VC partners prior to leaving school. I asked them what do they value when they look at entrepreneurs...they responded by saying that in hi-tech there are basically two important functions. One, can you sell your products (marketing, customer management, channel partners...etc)? Two, can you deliver your products (design, code, proj management, customer needs...etc). All else are secondary. If you are interested in tech, and can already fill one of the two shoes, then you might want to really think of a compelling reason why B-School is the way to go (trust me, this is important, because you will have to write that compelling reason in you b-school app...and they will be looking at that reason really carefully, I ought to know...I was an admissions interviewer and application reader at school!)
Good luck Todd...
-- James Fong, July 20, 1999
I earned an MBA about four years ago. My opinion is that it will definitely open some doors for you and also can give you a pretty high starting salary, depending on the field, the employer and the school you attended. Those with technical backgrounds seemed to be the most in demand (which I lacked unfortunately); many are now consultants. You have to really love business or at least want to be really good at it, to make it payoff. Basically, I went back to school to get an MBA to get a better job, not because I am the business type. I am seriously considering giving up my marketing career in a few years to go into photography (God help me) or travel (God help me again), or I might decide to stick with it. If you really are interested in the business side of your field, then there are other options, such as a part-time MBA program or taking individual courses somewhere. Look for a school that offers specialty courses that fit your particular needs (a good entrepreneur course perhaps; and marketing is always good). If your goal is to make yourself more marketable as a technical manager and perhaps make it easier to get a big job, then I would go for the MBA. The MBA can be a negative though on occasion - it can make you appear overqualified for many jobs in which you may be seriously interested. Think about what you will actually do with the MBA. Look into starting salaries, think about what you would have made in the two years you will be in school, and see if it is worth it. The bottom line is: the MBA impresses potential employers (though not as much as experience), but if you just want to learn more business skills, there are other ways.
-- Dan Woodlief, July 21, 1999
Sorry to bring this up from the dead but...
I'm facing the same exact difficult decision. But *MY* reasons for going to an MBA (or MSCS, for that matter) is purely to immerse myself with the bright people, just like Philip mentioned in his reply above..
I live in Jersey, and always wanted to move out to Silicon Valley and do my own thing. I'm afraid if I do so, I won't know anybody, and school (MBA/MSCS) makes this much much easier... because not only do you get to know people but you meet people who are like-minded with similar interests...
I must say I have ZERO interest in moving up the "corporate ladder" or getting a higher-paying job! I just quit an $80k/yr first job as software developer so I can concentrate on my own ventures !
I've been struggling with this decision for 6 months now... and deadlines are approaching. Would I be making a mistake ? Are there easier ways of connecting with the right atmosphere/environment/people in the Valley to start/join ventures ?
All help is greatly appreciated!!
-- Romy Maxwell, May 11, 2005
DO NOT GET ONE! I received one about a year ago. Stupid me! I'm $45,000 in debt and I cannot get a job. When I have actually received some honest feedback (usually having my resume sent by third party) I am told that an MBA is completely worthless! Not only that, there was a study done by a Stanford Business School Professor who came up with the same conclusion. Want another opinion? See Jim Roger's Investment Biker. In the beginning of that book he states that the best thing to do is to take the money that you would spend on an MBA and start a business. Even if you fail, you will learn more in the first 6 months than in your entire MBA program. The MBA is the biggest fraud ever implemented by our colleges and Universities. DO NOT GET AN MBA!
-- John Philips, December 30, 2005
I am in the same boat and I'm glad I am not alone. I was recently accepted into ASU's W.P. Carey MBA program. I have been trying to figure out if it would be worth the time and money for me to go. I would have to leave NYC and put my career on hold for two years. ASU's program is in the top 40, but is that good enough to be of any value? I have been working for a top Wall Street firm doing trade support for the past two years. I'm not exactly sure if I want to stay in this industry. I do know the most money is is this industry but will I be happy..? I can picture myself being involved in a more creative atmosphere, possibly product management, entrepreneurship, etc but I'm not 100% sure. I just think that obtaining the MBA degree will allow me more options in my career as well as give me the opportunity to learn and grow. Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated!
-- Chris Aliott, November 8, 2006
if you can get into a TOP TIER program, then an MBA is definately worth it. otherwise, i agree it is a waste of time.
a TOP TIER program can open A LOT OF DOORS, but just going to Arizona State or some other crap school like that is not worth your time or money.
either go to a great school or take that $ and time and start a strip club.
-- Larry Leno, November 14, 2006
I've attended both state schools (University of Colorado) and top tier schools (Emory University). Let me give you all some advice. It doesn't matter who the teachers are or who your classmates are. The learning is only limited by your ability to learn and willingness to apply yourself (people on average are all about the same intellegence, it has nothing to do with wealth or how much you pay in tuition). In my experience the students at the top tier schools are just spoiled brats with no experience and no brains. I think you will be served well with an MBA. I have been. Educating ones self is never a useless venture. The only regret you will ever have is not doing it.
-- doc holliday, November 18, 2006
I HAVE A BS AND AN AS ONE IN BUSINESS/FINANCE AND ONE IN COMPUTER PROGRAMMING. I HAVE COMPLETED AND ENTIRE MBA PROGRAM EXCEPT 1 CAPSTONE CLASS AND GUESS WHAT......I HAVE BEEN LAID OFF AND UNEMPLOYED FOR OVER A YEAR!!! DID I WASTE MY MONEY...YOU BE THE JUDGE. I HAVE 6 YEARS FINANCE/ACCOUNTING EXPERIENCE AND CANT FIND A JOB FOR SHIT. NOW I AM IN MISSOURI #2 IN THE NATION ON JOB LOSSES SO THIS IS PROBABLY NOT HELPING. HOWEVER, I ASSURE YOU THAT EXPERIENCE,EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE IS ALL THAT MATTERS!!!!!!!!!!! A LOT OF IT!!! SAVE YOUR MONEY AND TIME AND START A BUSINESS OR GET SOME EXPERIENCE. EMPLOYERS GIVE LESS THAN A DAMN ABOUT DEGREES...TAKE IT FROM ME. SIGNED--STILL UNEMPLOYED -MRCOLEM
-- M. Cole, January 18, 2007
I would say don't do it. I could not even get a summer internship because I don't have a tech background. I interviewed with 4 employers and all they asked about was prior experience - they did not ask one question about my MBA or coursework. I would have been better saving my money.
-- Steve M., April 30, 2007
I was trying to search for the same answer as well and I bumped into this website. Too many negative opinions around though. To add to the question, what if we can't get into those top-tier B-school? Is it really not worth a cent to pursue an MBA? But, on the other hand, what will be the other alternative to switch career path if not with an MBA cert? Those banking/consultation/managerial companies may not even consider candidates without those background. Btw, I'm trying to change my career path and I'm still like Todd a design engineer.
-- Wai Keat Tai, May 15, 2007
I am one class from my Bachelor's degree!!! What a waste of time!!! I should have been out in the real world getting work experience instead! Who the hell needs a degree??? I know a guy who didn't get his BA and he is now a multil millionaire. Nobody in corporate America cares about a degree, they just want someone with experience..... so don't get your BA or BS degree, just start working and getting that experience. Hell, I even think a high school diploma is a waste of time. What the hell do I need to know Algebra for??
-- asdfeee dfdfdddd, July 21, 2007
LOL thanxs for the advice. I am just going to get assoc. start working and earn mba.
-- Joe Dirt, August 3, 2007
"a TOP TIER program can open A LOT OF DOORS, but just going to Arizona State or some other crap school like that is not worth your time or money."
I am attending ASU as an MBA student, but in retrospect I should have worked harder and applied to a more elite program. I think this perception of ASU is making it more difficult for graduates to get a good job.
-- Ken Highpointer, October 8, 2007
What is most interesting about this thread is its endurance. The original post that got it started was in 1999, with the most recent in 2007. Clearly, this is a topic that continues to vex prospective MBA students, as well as the alumni of such programs.
In my opinion, the decision really depends on one's goals. For example, if your goal is to become an investment banker or consultant working for one of the top-tier firms, then you really do need to get your MBA from one of the top 20 B-schools in the country, as other posters have already pointed out. Oh yeah, and you better be less than 35 years old when you graduate. But if your goal is a more modest one, like just moving into a managerial position at the company where you already work, a degree from a local state school may be sufficient.
The key to success is careful planning and research. Make sure that an MBA will actually help you get into the kind of job you are seeking, and that the institution where you propose to get your degree will be acceptable. Say for example that your goal is to advance within the ranks of your current employer. Then it would behoove you to speak with the managers there. I think their opinions should carry far more weight than any anonymous opinions you might read on a web site like this one. If you're looking to get a job at some other company in a different industry, then you need to reach out to the people who work there.
As for the folks who are considering entrepreneurship, I would agree that higher education is not a prerequisite for success. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur suffering from MBA envy, I would advise you to stop agonizing over your apparent lack of preparation and get on with business. All you really need is a flair for selling and a good product or service that you believe will sell. You can pick up the rest of the knowledge and skills you need along the way. Here again, it pays to do your homework. Talk to prospective clients. Research your market. Don't just assume that your brilliant idea is a winner.
I would like to address one more consideration that none of the other posters addressed. Do you have the kind of personality that plays well among executives? This is particularly a concern for those of us who come from a technical background. Remember that many of us were attracted to technology in the first place precisely because our "social skills" were lacking. Don't make the mistake of thinking that an MBA will somehow transform you into a high-powered executive. If you've always been a social misfit, then you will simply become a social misfit with an MBA. Your own personality may preclude a career in management. That is what happened in my case. I earned an MBA at my employer's expense, and thought I was lucky at the time. Since then, many people, including those who know me well and like me, have told me that they will not put me in a job that would require to work directly with customers and/or executives.
After the experiences I've had in recent years, I have to ask, "What's wrong with being a design engineer?" As long as you keep your technical skills current, you can probably make a good living. What's wrong with that?
Good luck to all of you who are deciding whether or not to go for the MBA.
-- Mark Mywords, December 2, 2007
Question for all of you! I am an elementary school p.e. teacher. I have 2 years work experience and lots of other things that sound really great for a resume, but I'm not sure where that gets me unless I stay in education. I've always dreamed of starting my own business and had thought about getting an MBA, but I think I'd rather just go for starting a business. However, I have no idea how or where to start. I was thinking of starting a gym, but I've had many ideas. Any suggestions??? Thanks
-- Jared Jeffcoat, January 18, 2008
I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Information Systems. I currently work for a company that provides tution reimbursement. The opportunity has presented itself to earn an MBA over the next two years.
I discussed with the vice president of our company and she indicated that earning an MBA would be a step in the right direction in order to advance within the company. Also, I researched on the company website for higher positions that exist. Most of all of those positions indicate that an MBA is perferred as a pre-qualification.
I say, research your current position within the company. Talk to your supervisors and even human resources. They can give you the cold hard facts that exist. More often than not (especially if the employer covers cost), what else do you have to lose? At the very least, doors will open to you that were previously closed.
-- Average Joe, January 24, 2008
Something to think about, though perhaps not if you are planning to stay with your current company; Check your company's reimbursement policy and see if you are required to stay with the company for some length of time after you are reimbursed. My company has a very generous education policy, but it requires two years of work for the company after the last reimbursement date. I would have to pay some prorated portion of that money back to the company if I left before two years was up.
Now, two years isn't so bad, but if you have a longer requirement it's worth taking into account. Especially if you consider the potential for new doors (outside your company) opening to you through your MBA.
I'm looking at whether or not to get an MBA myself and even though I'm not planning to leave my current company, this is still a consideration for me as I'm wary about limiting any potential options in the future.
-- Ogden Sawyer, January 28, 2008
I was recently accepted into a part time MBA program at a top 15 school with a yearly tuition of $30,000. I am a software engineer and my current employer is only willing to reimburse me $5000 a year. Can somebody please provide a list of companies that offer full tuition reimbursement for MBA's?
-- Jack Mandon, February 6, 2008
I am also struggling with the decision whether or not to pursue an MBA .I am an Electrical Engineer by profession (Bachelor eng.). In 2005 I earned a graduate degree in Computer Info systems have been job hunting since then ...Granted I migrated to the USA in 2001 and only got my permanent residence 2 years ago got married and pregnant in 2006 and stayed home after that. My son is 1 year old and I need to get into the work force . Is my best option to obtain an MBA? during my stay at home I have been job hunting both in the energy sector and IT to no avail ...
-- suzgo kumwenda, February 14, 2008
Why not get an MPA (Master of Professional Accounting) first... the classes that you take make up about 70% of an MBA, and you can work in the field of accounting as an accountant, auditor, or other related field once you graduate. Then if you want an MBA later then you only have a few more classes to go!
I'm doing just that at James Cook University in Australia. OK, so JCU is not a top tier school - who cares. Once I become chartered or certified it won't matter so much where I went to school.
-- Shan Fr, April 29, 2008
I am hitting 39 next year with 16 years working experience in a variety of industries in a South East Asian tiger economy. I am running a company as a professional manager and wonder if anyone feels that I am too old to pursue an MBA at Harvard, INSEAD, Wharton, MIT or Kellog? Marketability internationally is my rationale as the world gets flatter and flatter and whether I learn anything from the actual programme, the networking and brand name recognition is what I feel are the main pillars of a decision to get an MBA.
Anyone in the same boat?
-- Farez Hassan, October 8, 2008
An MBA is definitely worthless if its not from a top school. The acid test is if it won't get you a position as an investment banker, consultant, or venture capitalist, it's an expensive waste of time.
-- brad palmer, November 25, 2008
In regards to the responses of "don't get an MBA, start a business instead", I started a business in 2006, I failed, and the bankruptcy took care of the 'educational expense' (and wiped my credit score out). I believe I failed because I did NOT have the knowledge I might have gotten through having an MBA. The problem with just starting a business is that the lessons you will learn have no organization to them. You just have to deal with whatever unexpected issues and problems pop up. I honestly don't feel that I can take the 2 years of experience I put into that dead business and say "OK, now I'm ready and well equiped to succeed in my next business". Using this "start a business" logic could take decades of failed business to learn everything needed to succeed. SO, since I can't file a BK for another 8 years, meaning I can't afford to have another business fail in the name of educationm, if I DON'T get the MBA, WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GAIN THE NEEDED BUSINESS ACUMEN?
-- Elon BE, November 30, 2008
I am in a MBA program in which everyone gets A's and over half of the class should not have even received a Bachelors Degree. Some of the students have gotten at least 4 C's yet they remain at the school. Some of these adult courses at night are a complete money maker for the college. Many of us have voiced our concerns to the Dean however they seem uninterested. I have been trying to get a better job for over four years and I have had two interviews with over 500 applications. Do your self a favor and get into a trade school or something with a marketable value, MBA's are worthless.
-- Nate G, December 1, 2008
Nate G. - Does your MBA program teach a course in logic? - Does "everyone get A's"? Or have some of the "students gotten at least 4 C's"? - Does making money from courses make them bad? - Are all MBA's worthless? Or did you voice concerns to your dean because your school's MBA program is a sham? - Should you "have not even received a Bachelors Degree"?
-- James Thornton, December 2, 2008
Like Average Joe above, I have a BS in Computer Information Systems and work for a company that has tuition reimbursement. I make a decent living at this company and hold a respectable position. My CIO tells me a MBA is a valuable asset and was fairly impressed with my education thus far. Requirements for one position above mine is a BS/BA, but above that is all Masters level.
This all does depend on where you want to go with your MBA. This is by no means your ticket to a 6 figure salary, but may put you on the track.
If you are currently out of work, clearly you want to find a job first. Preferably one that pays a portion of your tuition as they tend to be rather expensive. Online and Evening MBA programs are available. This my be your next step.
Do the research and find a field you want to get in, then see what portion of that work force have a MBA. A good site is www.salary.com. They will show you what percentage of people in your field have MBA degrees. It is a good indication of whether or not you need one.
I graduate with mine in December 2009. Good luck!
-- Jay From_Buffalo, December 31, 2008
hi actully i have done degree from hindi medium so i dont know how to learn mba its very difficult for me can u plz suggess me &and i am also very week in english
-- surya prakash rao, January 5, 2010
This string of replies certainly has had a long life of 10 years! I started a part-time evening MBA program myself in 1995 and stayed until 1999. I have often considering going back and pursuing this, but my life situation is much different now, with kids, etc. Also, I worked in the Financial Services industry from 1995- 2008 and have been searching for work for over a year now. I am also pursuing PMP certification though I don't have it yet.
Did you end up pursuing your MBA since it's been 10 years since your post? If so, are you glad that you did?
-- Darryl Forbes, January 11, 2010
I think the most important factor is what do you expect to do in 5 years, 10 years or further out. I have been thinking about going for MBA since 2003, but due to one reason or other, i was not able to attend a program till now. Today, I am at the same place where I have to answer why MBA? Why Now? I believe this thread will be relevant for a long, long time!
-- Abhi Bhan, January 14, 2010
I am currently enrolled in a MBA program in the Bay Area. I don't really like it. I am unhappy, broke, and have found the time spent at the university to be rather dull. Unfortunately I still have another 1 1/2 years of school before I earn my MBA but truthfully, I am considering dropping out. I would like to work in media and I do not think a MBA will serve much use. I went back to school because I got laid off and thought business school would be a good way to make myself more marketable. The truth is I have no idea what I want to do with my life. Why am I in business school??? I honestly do not know.
-- Frank Millhouse, January 20, 2010
ANYBODY SHOULD NOT TAKE AN MBA LIKE A UG DEGREE, BECAUSE IT'S A CAREER,THOSE WHO ARE WANT TO DO MBA ,THEY SHOULD LIVE IN THIS CAREER NOT AS A ORDINARY ,THEY SHOULD PREPARE THEIR ABILITY AND SKILLS DAY BY DAY,ONE DAY THEY WILL WIN,ALL THE BEST ,GO AHEAD ,ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.......................
-- amirtha raj, February 9, 2010
Does anyone have an opinion on environmental MBA's? If I would like to join this growing sector of the economy, should I pursue one of these programs as opposed to a traditional MBA? Or will most employers see a program like this as probably having been an MBA that has been softened so-to-speak with classes/subject matter outside of traditional MBA course-work?
Any input would be much appreciated. Thank you. -Joe
-- J Doe, February 10, 2010
The MBA will open doors as well as close some. I obtained my EMBA "Executive MBA" After years of working. Depending on what region you're planning to work and what company. This is where you should start looking at schools. Going to a top ten college and paying huge amount of money can lead to unhappiness if you live in Kansas. But going to a accredited school in Kansas and spending a smaller amount of money could be more rewarding. Why - investment banking nor Wall street do not exist in Kansas but other good paying opportunties do. The MBA offers tremendous flexibility and instant crditability. The MBA do not promise a lifetime of employment with a company, but dose offer a strategic plan for a lifetime worth of employablility. The MBA is International Marketable. It will not depreciate over its life, but appreciate with experience. It designed to give people a solid foundation. A format.
-- Ron C, March 11, 2010
I am 27 and ready to make a splash. Debating between trying to buy a stake in the 10 employee operation I work for, venturing out onto my own, or getting either an MBA or law degree.
Forget the job prospects, is an MBA going to help me better build, run, and manage an employee benefits consulting business?
-- Wes Steele, April 1, 2010
I started reading this to see if there were any entrepreneurs who have made money while doing the MBA and am amazed at the negativity of the thread. Ron C.......I totally agree with you. It is a foundation and it is entirely up to each individual to make what you want out of it. Studying is not for everyone and business in my opinion is mostly about people and how you interact with them. As already pointed out, if you don't integrate well with people in general and are more comfortable behind the scenes, then why do an MBA? My situation is this; I qualified as a Building Services Engineer 14 years ago (Diploma, not BA)and started working in the construction side of the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. After 10 years of that I became quite bored and decided to leave my country and work in another, where I could not speak the language, building shopping centers. Since I did that, my world has opened up. I started my own PM business 6 months ago and have saved more money in those 6 months than I grossed in the 12 months prior. I am starting an MBA this fall and look forward to the learning experience and meeting people from all over the globe in the process. I'm not following the herd to the top tier schools, instead am heading to another country to increase my global contacts list. What will happen after the MBA? Who knows, but I'm not one to sit back and complain about the decisions I made in life. It is an opportunity to learn, meet like minded people, get one gold nugget of info from a good faculty and take a break from my 7 day a week career to see if an MBA will inject an extra boost taking me to the next level. Ultimately drive and ambition will get you to where you want to be not an MBA but the MBA does add credibility. I don't have a degree, yet I earn 25,000 Euro currently per month in one of the worst recessions the world has seen AND I work in the construction industry. I see the MBA as adding to my already well established resume. Is the MBA worth it? Absolutely! Do I need to do it? Probably not but it may help jump a few rungs on the ladder. Not that I'm on the corporate ladder but you get the drift. My advice.........Do it. If you don�t, you may always wonder "what if". And as a great business man I know says to me all the time "it's like this mate, do it and shut up about it or don't do it and shut up but what ever you do, just shut the F...up". Complaining gets us nowhere, action and positivity yields results! My situation is this; I qualified as a Building Services Engineer 14 years ago (Diploma, not BA)and started working in the construction side of the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. After 10 years of that I became quite bored and decided to leave my country and work in another, where I could not speak the langiuage, building shopping centres. Since I did that, my world has opened up. I started my own PM business 6 months ago and have saved more money in those 6 months than I grossed in the 12 months prior. I am starting an MBA this fall and look forward to the learning experience and meeting people from all over the globe in the process. I'm not following the herd to the top tier schools, instead am heading to another country to increase my global contacts list. What will happen after the MBA? Who knows, but I'm not one to sit back and complain about the decisions I made in life. It is an opportunity to learn, meet like minded people, get one gold nugget of info from a good faculty and take a break from my 7 day a week career to see if an MBA will inject an extra boost taking me to the next level. Ultimately drive and ambition will get you to where you want to be not an MBA but the MBA does add credibility. I don't have a degree, yet I earn 25,000 Euro currently per month in one of the worst recessions the world has seen AND I work in the construction industry. I see the MBA as adding to my already well established resume. Is the MBA worth it? Absolutely! Do I need to do it? Probably not but it may help jump a few rungs on the ladder. Not that I'm on the corporate ladder but you get the drift. My advice.........Do it. If you dont, you may always wonder "what if". And as a great business man I know says to me all the time "it's like this mate, do it and shut up about it or don't do it and shut up but what ever you do, just shut the F...up". Complaining gets us no where, action and possitivity yields results!
-- Rory Edward, April 13, 2010
I started reading this to see if there were any entrepreneurs who have made money while doing the MBA and am amazed at the negativity of the thread. Ron C.......I totally agree with you. It is a foundation and it is entirely up to each individual to make what you want out of it. Studying is not for everyone and business in my opinion is mostly about people and how you interact with them. As already pointed out, if you don't integrate well with people in general and are more comfortable behind the scenes, then why do an MBA? My situation is this; I qualified as a Building Services Engineer 14 years ago (Diploma, not BA)and started working in the construction side of the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. After 10 years of that I became quite bored and decided to leave my country and work in another, where I could not speak the language, building shopping centers. Since I did that, my world has opened up. I started my own PM business 6 months ago and have saved more money in those 6 months than I grossed in the 12 months prior. I am starting an MBA this fall and look forward to the learning experience and meeting people from all over the globe in the process. I'm not following the herd to the top tier schools, instead am heading to another country to increase my global contacts list. What will happen after the MBA? Who knows, but I'm not one to sit back and complain about the decisions I made in life. It is an opportunity to learn, meet like minded people, get one gold nugget of info from a good faculty and take a break from my 7 day a week career to see if an MBA will inject an extra boost taking me to the next level. Ultimately drive and ambition will get you to where you want to be not an MBA but the MBA does add credibility. I don't have a degree, yet I earn 25,000 Euro currently per month in one of the worst recessions the world has seen AND I work in the construction industry. I see the MBA as adding to my already well established resume. Is the MBA worth it? Absolutely! Do I need to do it? Probably not but it may help jump a few rungs on the ladder. Not that I'm on the corporate ladder but you get the drift. My advice.........Do it. If you donﾒt, you may always wonder "what if". And as a great business man I know says to me all the time "it's like this mate, do it and shut up about it or don't do it and shut up but what ever you do, just shut the F...up". Complaining gets us nowhere, action and positivity yields results!
-- Rory Edward, April 13, 2010
Hi, I am thinking of an MBA and know that it will help me personally but unsure of the kind of career options post the MBA.
I have about 7 years of experience in training where I have designed learning solutions for various organizations. I enjoy analysing the business problem and figuring out how training can help.
What could be the possible growth paths for me, post an MBA?
-- Brinda Mahindra, June 16, 2010
please help me guys.........i am engg and a mba too, but after completing my mba i realize that it better for me to stick to technical job........i m employed in an software firm but in sales profile which i dont like...i want to do some technical job ....please help me how i can shift my job profile......i m now 25 years old only and i have enough time to settle myselfi n a good technical profile........but i m confused to get a technical profile............i just want to sit and work with my computer no public dealing no crm no customer support.........please suggest me some good profile so that i can make a successful career...........
-- ankit cool, September 28, 2010
I think the best way to sharpen your skills an reenter the engineering field would be to fix your keyboard. I believe your "." key is stuck and clearly your shift key seems broken (though surprisingly it is not stuck).
-- Jeff Davis, September 28, 2010
Through many channels of life, we grow up, we take side routes and we either learn from our experiences or we don't. The Question of an MBA is an ADDITION to who you are, it adds to the overall picture, make up of who you are and what you can offer to a new team or better yet to a team that you might have been planning on developing for years. In my case I have a BA and a MA already, I have had a number of career direction changes, but a solid track record in the Tech Industry in SF/SJ bay area, the skills and abilities I have learned on the job had made all of the difference to me, knowing people, being open to new projects, meeting like minded people in business events, putting in the time and effort to move toward my larger goals in life. We are all going toward these goals and we certainly can do a better job of it if we were to have a group of people from various backgrounds and ages and experiences level working together, studying and striving to grow as individuals and to contribute to the collective experience of the MBA program. The Answer is YES, if you don't know where to go = go back to school, regardless of if you get in the top ten or the local state school - I know people that have taken the route of going to night classes, while working full time and some of them are in executive positions in F500 companies others are owners of their own companies, and others yet are no better off for the experience because they did not really apply them selves. Similar to the often told story of one many immigrates to US with little money and ends up owning a multi Billion Corporation vs. another guy born in the US, goes to a top ten school for his MBA, gets a good job, gets a divorce looses half, stagnates does not get another lease on life because they did not strive for more favorable options - you get the drift, THE MBA is what you make it, we can live great lives, not all of us will. Investing in your self, at any program, regardless of if it is top ten or not is still an investment in your self in a a group of peers all striving to improve your selves and make something better = That is certainly time and money VERY WELL SPENT!
-- Ivan BayArea, October 17, 2010
Most online posts are negative. People who have gained or are currently successful rarely take the time to post in online forums. It's mostly an outlet for dissatisfied pessimists or ignorant optimists looking for guidance/reassurance. Put it this way: how can further education and attaining an MBA hurt you? Surely you will be able to find SOME kind of job post-graduation to pay off that loan.
Like many posters have mentioned, an MBA isn't a direct route to the top. It takes discipline, personality, and ability. An MBA will get you through the door- what you do once you've entered that door is up to you.
For me, getting my MBA allows me to immigrate to a new country, meet new people, work while studying, participate in internships, and most importantly.... LEARN! I've run our successful family business for the last 15 years.. there's probably a lot of hands on information I've learned that won't be taught in the classroom. But there will be a lot of management and theoretical info that WILL be taught. Combined together and I will be a valued addition to any company. If I decide to go on my own again, I will have that much more knowledge.
-- john calvano, October 24, 2010
Believe it or not, I've read all of the comments within this thread. One reply mentioned that most browsing the topic will either be the disappointed, or the guidance-seekers, and I guess I'm the latter.
A little about my background: I'm an electrical engineer with 2 yrs experience, working full time in a fairly large company, and thinking that I don't always want to stay within the technical side of the business. I'm also young enough not to have many familial obligations, and want to take advantage of that opportunity.
That's what led me to looking forward to an MBA. I'd started one in my prior place of residence, but had to move for my job, and would like to continue the MBA. But, and I suppose I should be happy with this, I now have significantly more options as to the paths that I can take.
1) I can continue my degree with one of the top 25 schools in the country, but would have to pay a very significant amount over 3 years.
2) I can choose another non-ranked school, and pay significantly less, but not get the name/resume recognition
3) I can avoid the entire ordeal entirely for fear of the ever-existing (but minimal) risk of getting laid off in an area away from home.
Currently, I'm leaning towards the first option, simply because I'd like to finish this degree, and am being told that MBA school name recognition matters. What do you think? Is that true? Is it worth the ridiculous financial investment? (about 75k over 3 yrs)
Or, should I continue to acquire technical experience within my field, and risk gaining additional obligations which would stop me from pursuing the degree altogether... but avoid a possible-but-improbable situation in which I invest a large sum of money, and then lose my source of income?
Pretty important life decisions there... so help!
-- M X, December 16, 2010
Thats a long discussion. Whether a MBA or not a MBA blah blah blah.. Is it worth doing a mBA? blah blah blah......
Too much information is confusion and manipulation. Every B-school says they are the best. Every survey ranks different B-schools by different criteria & different ranks. And every B-school keeps on adding programs and programs
Sounds like Education itself is a very large money making industry, maybe black money can be converted into white through B-schools. hmmm. No wonder many of them are owned by business man and company CEO's trust funds.
But the biggest factor controlling almost many things is the government. Because only Government decides and frames policies for banks, education, business, trade etc and that affects us all in our daily lives and our decisions indirectly.
A degree to join Government then for a higher post, with less responsility, less work, more bureaucracy, more pay per hour, union protection, time to paralleley run side business and yes indulge in frauds... amazing, government jobs then guys !!!
-- Andhaa Kanoon, February 18, 2011
You need to clearly know your goals for pursuing an MBA degree. An Internet or Web related career is too wide a term and may encompass several jobs. What�s your specific interest within this industry? Do you want to start an Internet company or are you looking for a business role in such a set-up?
That being said, you will learn many sought after skills if you complete an MBA course. I�d suggest instead of giving up your job and joining a classroom-based program, consider getting an online MBA degree. Independence University offers a good program in general business that may suit you well!
-- Eric Moore, March 16, 2011
I have completed my B.E (Rlectrical & electronics) in 2001 in a local college. I was offered very less salary for a site supervisor kind of role, and also for a electronics engineer trainee kind of role in a local company as a fresher. Both I ignored. I was not able to get into a software company as a coder bcoz of my slowness in coding & strength in knowledge.I was able to do a MBA in a local college from 2004-2006 . I took Marketing & systems as specialization since papers were easy to clear.But I dont find that an MBA was useful for me to smoothen my career, it took the reverse way. Now I am suffering from Business development /Business analysis pressure from these private companies. If you are an MBA graduate in Marketing , please be careful, as companies are simply utilizing us more thinking that we can generate some great revenues!U will get employed for sure but u r life is horrible than a technical graduate.Either go for HR & Finance or if u can start u r own business and run it successfully, i feel my MBA wud be deserving. But for this I am sure, that u need not carry an MBA!!
-- sathish s, May 19, 2011
definitely a question many are strugggling with, including me.
- know what you want to use the mba for - don�t get yourself heavily indebted for it - choose a top 30 school � if you feel you �belong� to a certain school - even better - if you have a technological background, it is an advantage - the more established you are in your career already, the more value it will bring you
Hope this helps!
-- t t, June 16, 2011
When it comes to making decisions in life the first question anyone should ask is �why?� This is as true for education decisions as it is for any other decision in one�s life. Before pursuing an undergraduate degree or returning to school for a graduate level degree, individuals should ask themselves why they are doing this. Business professionals considering a Master of Business Administration (MBA) might be struggling to decide whether or not the investment of time and money are worth it for them in the end. The following are just a few reasons for them to consider earning an MBA. Earning an MBA has multiple benefits when it comes to one�s career. It can help open the doors for advancement within a current industry, train an individual to move into a new career field with greater possibility for advancement, and it can all be accomplished without having to leave their current career to study. Of course, everyone�s experience will vary, and experience in their field of study is an important factor as well. http://www.aiuniv.edu/Student-Life/Blog/October-2012/Why-Get-An-MBA-Reasons-To-Earn-An-MBA
-- Louis Patrick, November 30, 2012
When it comes to making decisions in life the first question anyone should ask is �why?� This is as true for education decisions as it is for any other decision in one�s life. Before pursuing an undergraduate degree or returning to school for a graduate level degree, individuals should ask themselves why they are doing this. Business professionals considering a Master of Business Administration (MBA) might be struggling to decide whether or not the investment of time and money are worth it for them in the end. The following are just a few reasons for them to consider earning an MBA. Earning an MBA has multiple benefits when it comes to one�s career. It can help open the doors for advancement within a current industry, train an individual to move into a new career field with greater possibility for advancement, and it can all be accomplished without having to leave their current career to study. Of course, everyone�s experience will vary, and experience in their field of study is an important factor as well. Four Reasons to Earn an MBA
-- Louis Patrick, November 30, 2012
I am a 59 year old female in the USA with a technical degree from a top 20 school and a professional designation from Wharton and another from the College for Financial Planning. I have been self-employed in financial services for 31 years. I am starting a low-ranked online MBA this April. I picked this school because I wanted a low-cost school and because I wanted the flexibility the MBA I picked offers. The head of the business department has experience in an area I have no experience in and I am excited to be able to speak with him.
The school I have picked is pretty unheard of, but it is accredited. I will also have the opportunity to do a project of my choice in an area of interest.
I looked at many schools and since I have some name schools on my resume and professional designations I figured this one is "for me". I am looking forward to the social interaction with fellow online students and speaking with other people who have interests in business.
For me I am looking at my MBA as a broadening of knowledge. I am relieved that my program is not in the top 10. I have spent my life surrounded by people with top 10 degrees and have felt (at times) they are just "too much" to take. I want to be around "regular people".
It took me a long time to decide to "do it this way" but I feel good about my choice. The whole thing will cost just under $20,000. After I got my undergrad I took a lot of classes at the California junior colleges. I asked myself if the education I received there was any less superior to that I received from the Nobel prize winners at my undergrad school.....the answer is NO. The junior colleges were excellent. So here I go.
-- Karen Lee, March 3, 2013