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Worth it? MBA (Masters of Business Administration)
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Cold Warrior
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Jan 30, 2011, 11:30 AM
 
I'm considering going back to school for an MBA after 8 years professional work experience that followed my 4-year B.A. I'm interested in breaking into senior management and think an MBA would help (in addition to being intellectually engaging, which is important).

I'm curious if you all think an MBA is worth it, either through personal experience or as observed through friends or family.

I would have grants to cover tuition, fees, and housing.
     
bstone
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Jan 30, 2011, 12:42 PM
 
If you got the grants then go for it. Would you have to abandon your current job? Cause there is no promise that with an MBA you'll get a job. I know a bunch of folks who recently completed a MA/MBA program and are completely unemployed.
     
finboy
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Jan 30, 2011, 01:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
I'm considering going back to school for an MBA after 8 years professional work experience that followed my 4-year B.A. I'm interested in breaking into senior management and think an MBA would help (in addition to being intellectually engaging, which is important).

I'm curious if you all think an MBA is worth it, either through personal experience or as observed through friends or family.

I would have grants to cover tuition, fees, and housing.
So you're going back full time. Wow, that could be great. That's the best way to do it.

The only MBA that isn't worth it is the eMBA or 'Professional' MBA, some of these online, where you don't have to work for it. It's pretty clear that the "easy" programs are useless.

I encourage you to do it. If they let you "major" in something, make it quantitative, finance is probably optimal. If they discourage from "majoring" then that means they have their heads on straight; an MBA is a generalist degree, it's really a degree in corporate strategy or strategic management, with a minor in financial analysis. Or that's what it's supposed to be. The expectation when you graduate is that you can read a balance sheet and P&L and use them to make decisions. So even though you may not "major" in finance, you'll still be expected to be fluent in it. And analysis (numbers) in general.

A good part-time program is OK too if you can hack it. That way you won't have to give up the day job.
     
ghporter
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Jan 30, 2011, 05:10 PM
 
An MBA is a management "union card." Upper managers like to know that new managers have "solid grounding" in the basics of business overall. But it helps to have an "emphasis" on something that works in the field you want to be in. These "emphasis" areas are typically the "minor" of the course of study. And there are lots of 'em.

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freudling
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Jan 30, 2011, 06:33 PM
 
Good question. Only you really know for sure if it will be worth it. At this stage in your life, you should know. Benefits of it are that it's intellectually engaging, and you're going to learn some things you never knew before that will make you better. How much depends on you.

But if you are doing it just because it's intellectually engaging, don't.

You won't learn how to be Steve Jobs, etc. in an MBA program. So here is why I question you going back after all these years. Why couldn't you advance after all this time? There are too many successful people in business without MBAs, why do you have to go and get one an they don't?

Sorry I'm just challenging you a little.
     
Cold Warrior  (op)
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Jan 30, 2011, 06:47 PM
 
I didn't say it had anything to do with me not advancing while others did. In fact I've advanced faster than others and would like to set the conditions for greater success later. Hence kicking around the MBA idea.

I'm not really interested in challenge-response or introspection at the moment. Plain metrics and opinions from those with first- or second-hand experience would be more useful.
     
freudling
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Jan 30, 2011, 06:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
I didn't say it had anything to do with me not advancing while others did. In fact I've advanced faster than others and would like to set the conditions for greater success later. Hence kicking around the MBA idea.

I'm not really interested in challenge-response or introspection at the moment. Plain metrics and opinions from those with first- or second-hand experience would be more useful.
Whatever, you're always touchy. You come on here and ask for advice... if you don't like what I'm saying, ignore it.

My point is that I am giving you advice based on experience. I know and work with many people who are upper management without MBAs, some without any University at all. Understand?
     
Cold Warrior  (op)
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Jan 30, 2011, 08:24 PM
 
I asked for experiences, not advice. Your observation is that there are many in upper management without an MBA. Your advice is that it doesn't matter. And your experience is...?
     
Phileas
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Jan 30, 2011, 09:34 PM
 
I personally think MBAs are vastly overrated. We get to see a fair number of MBA holders and have yet to hire one.

I am aware that this is anecdotal, but I've found them to be too cookie-cutter for my liking. Resumes that look the same, sound the same, say the same and not much in the way of original thinking to be found coupled with a huge sense of entitlement.

Again, this is just a personal opinion, but if you want to go back to study I see far greater value in a PHD.
     
Big Mac
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Jan 30, 2011, 10:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
I personally think MBAs are vastly overrated. We get to see a fair number of MBA holders and have yet to hire one.
What field are you in, Phileas?

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
freudling
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Jan 30, 2011, 10:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
I asked for experiences, not advice. Your observation is that there are many in upper management without an MBA. Your advice is that it doesn't matter. And your experience is...?
It's obviously advice based on experience. My experience is that there are many people without MBAs in upper management. Some of the best I've worked with have no University.

I wonder how you have time to post so much on here?
     
Laminar
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Jan 30, 2011, 10:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
What field are you in, Phileas?
Seriously? You've been on the same board for 8ish years and you still haven't picked it up?

Originally Posted by freudling View Post
It's obviously advice based on experience. My experience is that there are many people without MBAs in upper management. Some of the best I've worked with have no University.

I wonder how you have time to post so much on here?
Keep your whining in the PL and Tab threads.
     
ghporter
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Jan 30, 2011, 10:55 PM
 
My experience is that a dipstick with an MBA is still a dipstick. But he will probably wind up in a management job-at least for a while-because of that MBA. Someone who knows what he's doing will go farther in management with an MBA simply because he can use that whole education thing to demonstrate why his plans and suggestions have merit, avoiding the potential of a dipstick boss just blowing him off because he doesn't like the suggestions...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Big Mac
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Jan 30, 2011, 11:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Seriously? You've been on the same board for 8ish years and you still haven't picked it up?
I'm not particularly well acquainted with Phileas's professional background, no. Plus, he doesn't list anything in the occupation field of his profile, so please excuse me for not being more observant of such details.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
turtle777
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Jan 30, 2011, 11:11 PM
 
Considering that in a few years, you'll need a Master degree to flip burgers, YES, a MBA is a good investment for the future.

The remaining population that doesn't have a Masters degree (about 50%) will make up 95% of the unemployment rate.

-t
     
Laminar
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Jan 31, 2011, 10:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I'm not particularly well acquainted with Phileas's professional background, no. Plus, he doesn't list anything in the occupation field of his profile, so please excuse me for not being more observant of such details.
Next you're going to say that you're not aware of Shaddim's living situation.
     
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Jan 31, 2011, 10:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Next you're going to say that you're not aware of Shaddim's living situation.
Or that besson likes poo.

I'd do an MBA if the company that I worked for was paying for it. I wouldn't take the risk of quitting a job and doing one. Of course doing an MBA part-time is a pretty serious undertaking, but IIRC you can get some of your professional experience counted towards the qualification.
     
turtle777
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Jan 31, 2011, 10:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Next you're going to say that you're not aware of Shaddim's living situation.
Shaddim is LIVING ?

-t
     
Dork.
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Jan 31, 2011, 11:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
I personally think MBAs are vastly overrated. We get to see a fair number of MBA holders and have yet to hire one.

I am aware that this is anecdotal, but I've found them to be too cookie-cutter for my liking. Resumes that look the same, sound the same, say the same and not much in the way of original thinking to be found coupled with a huge sense of entitlement.

Again, this is just a personal opinion, but if you want to go back to study I see far greater value in a PHD.
Interesting. In my field (Engineering/Technology), a PhD can be beneficial, and certainly leads toward more fulfilling work, but limits your employment potential to organizations willing to pay more to hire PhD's. If you're willing to move to the better labs/universities where PhD jobs can be had, you're golden. Bit if you want to stay generally "employable" and don't really care much about doing original research, stopping at a BS or MS is a better move.

My experience is that technical folks who want to move into senior management have an easier time of it after (or while) getting their MBA, especially if they are looking to move to a new organization, where they only have the strength of their resume to get them in the door. An MBA is a certification that you can effectively manage business issues (or, at least, that you were taught how to do so), so that owners and shareholders can be confident you're not going to chase nifty technical solutions without business justification (which is what many techies do when you first put them in charge of something).
     
Cold Warrior  (op)
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Jan 31, 2011, 02:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dork. View Post
My experience is that technical folks who want to move into senior management have an easier time of it after (or while) getting their MBA, especially if they are looking to move to a new organization, where they only have the strength of their resume to get them in the door. An MBA is a certification that you can effectively manage business issues (or, at least, that you were taught how to do so), so that owners and shareholders can be confident you're not going to chase nifty technical solutions without business justification (which is what many techies do when you first put them in charge of something).
Excellent comment, thanks.

It'd be in a part-time MBA track but at a top 10 program (inasmuch as rankings count for anything), and my work trends technical. I'd like to move into the business and management side of things, so technical + MBA as you described could be useful.
     
freudling
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Jan 31, 2011, 05:47 PM
 
Here's an idea Cold Warrior. Instead of spending all this time hanging out on MacNN, moderating and such, how about actually getting out into the world?

Then maybe you won't need to insulate yourself with education, and actually work and be out there progressing and making money.
     
Laminar
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Jan 31, 2011, 05:52 PM
 
     
The Final Dakar
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Jan 31, 2011, 05:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Here's an idea Cold Warrior. Instead of spending all this time hanging out on MacNN, moderating and such, how about actually getting out into the world?

Then maybe you won't need to insulate yourself with education, and actually work and be out there progressing and making money.
This looks like the internet forum version of the chick on the Jerry Springer show going, "I think you need to get off yo ass and getta job!"
     
Cold Warrior  (op)
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Jan 31, 2011, 06:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Here's an idea Cold Warrior. Instead of spending all this time hanging out on MacNN, moderating and such, how about actually getting out into the world?

Then maybe you won't need to insulate yourself with education, and actually work and be out there progressing and making money.
You first brother, at least for 6 days 23 hours.
     
sek929
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Jan 31, 2011, 06:14 PM
 
As retarded as that was, I sincerely hope he wasn't banned for that alone...
     
turtle777
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Jan 31, 2011, 06:22 PM
 
It sure looks like it. All of his posts today were in this thread.

But what we don't know is how many infractions he already accumulated.

-t
     
Cold Warrior  (op)
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Jan 31, 2011, 06:22 PM
 
No, it was cumulative from PWL.
     
sek929
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Jan 31, 2011, 06:27 PM
 
Indeed, nevermind.
     
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Jan 31, 2011, 06:44 PM
 
Since you have a clear plan what you expect to do with your degree (as opposed to feeling the need to `search for answers'), by all means, go ahead if you think it brings you closer to where you want to be. If your biography backs your desire to switch to a management position, I'm sure it'll impress whoever has invited you for the job interview.

Amongst my friends, though, people who have studied something technical tend to learn the business end on the fly. After cracking an opening, it seems that working experience is enough and nobody expects or requires an MBA.

If I may venture a guess, it seems to me that you have already made the gut decision to go ahead and to the MBA. I'd listen to your gut.
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The Final Dakar
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Jan 31, 2011, 06:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
As retarded as that was, I sincerely hope he wasn't banned for that alone...
If you've read any of his posts, you know that wasn't the only reason.

Edit: I look forward to the Feedback thread upon his return.
     
Big Mac
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Jan 31, 2011, 06:53 PM
 
What was with that deranged reaction from freudling to Cold Warrior? Really weird.

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The Final Dakar
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Jan 31, 2011, 06:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
What was with that deranged reaction from freudling to Cold Warrior? Really weird.
Didn't you hear? Samsung lied about the Tab numbers. Was more than he could bear.
     
Big Mac
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Jan 31, 2011, 07:00 PM
 
Hahaha.

Anyway, what are your top schools if you decide to go for the MBA, CW?

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Cold Warrior  (op)
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Feb 6, 2011, 01:09 PM
 
It'd be a state school, I'd rather not name it. But I don't keep up with the latest rankings, just going by what's on their page, so that's subject to change and probably some marketing spin.

Thanks Oreo. As for my gut, I don't trust it. I'm far better at careful, unemotional analysis — even when it comes to choosing things that are emotionally fulfilling.

The downside is opportunity cost: time in an MBA program (even part time) means time lost from getting ahead in the day job, particularly those technical skills some of you have mentioned.
     
Chongo
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Feb 6, 2011, 01:44 PM
 
As with most companies, "It's not what you know buy who you ...know" During my 28 years with Motorola/Freescale I've seen experienced, degreed people get passed over for newly hired highscrool dropouts because they made the right friends or mom/dad had pull. One woman(not fat, ugly, or a b*tch) with an MBA (that Freescale paid for) is working as a flunky in document control. She gets "courtesy" interviews because company policy requires it.
45/47
     
OreoCookie
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Feb 6, 2011, 01:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
Thanks Oreo. As for my gut, I don't trust it. I'm far better at careful, unemotional analysis — even when it comes to choosing things that are emotionally fulfilling.
Funny enough, with 95 % of the things I'm a rather analytic person myself (as a physicist/mathematician), but there are certain decisions I take intuitively. There are some things you need to stand behind 100 % and I find it necessary to stand behind it with all that I have.

I had an offer to go to Chile to become a researcher (a tenure track position) there last year and after much thought, I declined. I am rather flexible, I enjoy traveling a lot and before spending four weeks there, I thought I'd go for sure. Even though the conditions were great (very good pay, especially relative to the cost of living, good facilities, nice country, etc.), my gut said no. It looks as if I'm going to Japan and I'm a lot more worked up for the prospect of going to Japan
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
The downside is opportunity cost: time in an MBA program (even part time) means time lost from getting ahead in the day job, particularly those technical skills some of you have mentioned.
Absolutely.
In principle, you need to take into account that the time you spend on your degree is time `lost' in working on your career on the job (I should rather write `you choose to invest the time in a degree rather than gathering additional working experience').

If I were in your position, I'd think about whether getting an additional degree instead of additional work experience on the job helps you achieve your goals. I'd probably look around at the vitas of people who are in a position that you aspire to be in: did they get an MBA? Or were they promoted after studying something technical? How did they get where they are, did they rise through the ranks or were they hired externally?

But I'm glad I'm not getting the vibe `I'm somehow dissatisfied with my job and I want to spend time studying to find what's right for me.' from you. If that were the case, I'd clearly advise you against it.
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Ω
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Feb 7, 2011, 04:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
You first brother, at least for 6 days 23 hours.
Whether or not it was for this or more, that you choose to post your overlord smugness of the temporary banning in this thread makes you look like an arse.

I used to help in an MBA program. Looks like you would fit right in.
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Big Mac
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Feb 7, 2011, 04:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Ω View Post
Whether or not it was for this or more, that you choose to post your overlord smugness of the temporary banning in this thread makes you look like an arse.
You take a rather simple, innocuous comment far too seriously.

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Feb 7, 2011, 07:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Ω View Post
Whether or not it was for this or more, that you choose to post your overlord smugness of the temporary banning in this thread makes you look like an arse.

I used to help in an MBA program. Looks like you would fit right in.
Interesting how easy it is to jump to the wrong conclusion. Disruptive posts in one thread are sometimes accompanied by disruptive posts elsewhere. As was the case here. Flippant statements don't count as "vendetta."

Now, care to clarify your second paragraph? All the masters programs I've had contact with (including my own) have been professional, specialized programs rather than more traditional programs, so I can't comment on traditional programs. I can point out that some people in my profession have gone forward with MBAs to accompany their professional credentials, enhancing their ability to build new businesses.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Feb 8, 2011, 12:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
I'm considering going back to school for an MBA after 8 years professional work experience that followed my 4-year B.A. I'm interested in breaking into senior management and think an MBA would help (in addition to being intellectually engaging, which is important).

I'm curious if you all think an MBA is worth it, either through personal experience or as observed through friends or family.

I would have grants to cover tuition, fees, and housing.
Not worth it. Go do something else... that you KNOW for sure you will enjoy.
blabba5555555555555555555555555555555555555
     
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Feb 8, 2011, 05:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Now, care to clarify your second paragraph? All the masters programs I've had contact with (including my own) have been professional, specialized programs rather than more traditional programs, so I can't comment on traditional programs. I can point out that some people in my profession have gone forward with MBAs to accompany their professional credentials, enhancing their ability to build new businesses.
I was a janitor at a University - like it really matters....

Do the MBA. It will make you heaps smarter. Jobs will fall in your lap and you will make mucho money.

Or not. I don't care.
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Feb 8, 2011, 08:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Ω View Post
I was a janitor at a University - like it really matters....

Do the MBA. It will make you heaps smarter. Jobs will fall in your lap and you will make mucho money.

Or not. I don't care.
Exposure to various university programs does matter. Especially if you weren't in the academic department. A lot of professors are prima donas and jerks toward their students, but many aren't that way among their peers. Noticing how the instructors behave away from their students matters because it provides insight into how these people are in real life. Which does make a difference to how the department really runs and how students can expect to be treated.

A reasonably valid university program can make the student heaps smarter if the student applies himself. As for jobs and money, that may not have any bearing on the program or the diploma. But finding a good program and working hard at it will pay off-and maybe even in terms of jobs and money.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
   
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