MBA Options

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nickjoy
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MBA Options

Post by nickjoy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:24 am

Hello Everybody,

For anybody who has/is around people with MBAs I have a question. I recently was admitted to 2 MBA programs and a 3rd is pending, I'm asking some advice on where to go:

School #1: Accepted
American University
Online
Cost: 89K
MBA rank: 79
Part-Time MBA rank: 172

School#2: Accepted
University of Maryland
Part-Time
Cost: 73K (this includes an automatic 14K scholarship because I did my undergrad there)
MBA rank: 49
Part-Time MBA rank: 15

School #3: Out for Decision
George Mason University
Part-Time
Cost: 45K
MBA rank: unranked
Part-Time MBA rank: 47

I definitely want to keep working while I do this all. My company has policies where they'll give me 4K/year for grad school, but I'm not sure how that will turn out due to budgets.

I think I should definitely do UMD over American. But, if GMU accepts me, that's where the decision gets tricky. Do I do the worse ranked school but save a cool 30K, or do I go to a really good ranked school.

I've never been a fan of rankings because they fluctuate so much, a school could be ranked #1 when you start, and fall considerably 5 years later. They're more guidelines than rules, but even at that, 49 is better than unranked.

My undergrad is UMD as well, so some will say I'll get a second network if I go to a different school, but I have gotten 0 help from the UMD network so far, so I don't think networks are all they're cracked up to be.

Sorry if this is very open ended

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Pajamas
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Re: MBA Options

Post by Pajamas » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:29 am

Are the programs the same or do they have different concentrations available? If so, pick the one that has the best program in your planned area of study. Don't just accept the rankings as a number, look at what is behind the rankings and at what is important to you. Of course, cost may be a greater concern to you than the exact school.

Networking in graduate school can be very different from networking in undergraduate school, especially with MBA programs. That is certainly something to consider in choosing a school if one has a specialization or a lot more graduates working in your field locally.

nickjoy
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Re: MBA Options

Post by nickjoy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:35 am

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:29 am
Are the programs the same or do they have different concentrations available? If so, pick the one that has the best program in your planned area of study. Don't just accept the rankings as a number, look at what is behind the rankings and at what is important to you. Of course, cost may be a greater concern to you than the exact school.
UMD has no concentrations.
GMU has these:
  • Accounting
    Business Analytics
    Entrepreneurship
    Financial Management
    International Business
    Leadership
    Marketing
    Project Management
    Real Estate
American has similar to those at GMU

I'd mainly use this MBA as a way to get deeper into the finance field. Right now I'm Quality/Payroll. I'm not sure why UMD doesn't have concentrations, I could easily do ACTG, BA, FM, or PM concentrations and do more work at my company.
Pajamas wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:29 am
Networking in graduate school can be very different from networking in undergraduate school, especially with MBA programs. That is certainly something to consider in choosing a school if one has a specialization or a lot more graduates working in your field locally.
Yeah, it could be. My wife has very good friends from her grad school. I'm just hesitant on throwing a lot of weight on that factor


Thanks for the reply!

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vineviz
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Re: MBA Options

Post by vineviz » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:00 pm

It's been a while since I finished my MBA, but when I was making my decisions the research I did led me to conclude that unless you were going to one of the top 10 nationally ranked schools (Chicago, Harvard, Wharton, etc.) the best investment was to find the regional school that (regardless of rank) had the biggest delta between average salary of admitted students and average salary of graduates.

Admitted student data can sometimes be hard to track down, but according the Metro MBA website the starting salaries for grads of UMD and GMU are almost identical.

If the salary advantage of UMD is really only $2,000 per year it would take over 20 years to pay back the extra cost.

I'd say both schools are pretty well regarded in their region, and neither is particularly well know outside of that region. Personally, I'd have a hard time justifying the extra expense of UMD on purely financial grounds.

That said, I suspect one of these schools offers a much better personal fit than the other in terms of teaching style, curriculum flexibility, competitive atmosphere, etc. Only you can know which that is, but my experience is that when schools look close on paper that subjective "fit" is hugely more determinate of what you'll get out of the experience.

JBTX
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Re: MBA Options

Post by JBTX » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:07 pm

I don't know anything about it, but I'd be very skeptical of the online choice, especially at that cost. Part of the value of the MBA is perception, and I'm sure there are people (like me) that would look at an online university that I'd never heard of and generally dismiss its value - whether that is fair or not. For that amount of money, I would want the opportunity to have interaction with people and possibly make some connections.

As to Maryland or George Mason, a primary driver is geography of where you want to go. If you want to stay employed somewhere in the vicinity of MD I'd say go to the state school. I really can't speak to the quality of either program.

As to concentrations - it has been decades since I got mine, but my recollection is often top schools don't have one. You can certainly concentrate your second year of classes on whatever you want though. I'm not sure I'd worry to much about a concentration. Just take a look at the course work and electives that they have in your field you want to concentrate.

47Percent
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Re: MBA Options

Post by 47Percent » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:18 pm

The difference in ranking is significant enough that I think paying up for UMD makes sense.

The value of network in part-time MBA is typically less than a full-time program, and certainly undershoots expectation in general. (Older students who are generally busy with life, already full social life, lack of time, and let's get it over with attitude). That said, UMD seems to have double the number of entering part-time students in the program. So in a sense a bigger lake to fish.

You could be switching employers in a year as the goal is in sight, and may be able to negotiate a better reimbursement for the remainder of the program -- if the new employer is interested in freshly minted MBA.

Unless you are unhappy for some reason from your UG experience, I would go with UMD.

nickjoy
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Re: MBA Options

Post by nickjoy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:56 pm

Thanks everyone for the replies.

But these responses show my dilemma. All three schools are local schools around the DC area and are known pretty well locally. Everybody knows UMD, but I don't have any plans on moving areas due to my wife being locked to this area.

To make matters worse, I'm about to buy a house that is 1.1 miles from the GMU campus. The UMD campus is in downtown DC, I can take the metro straight there. Geographically, there isn't much difference. GMU will be easier, but I don't think I should let a small commute difference affect my decision.

Accrual
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Re: MBA Options

Post by Accrual » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:07 pm

Why are you getting an MBA? Once you answer this question, perhaps we will be better suited to answer yours.

nickjoy
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Re: MBA Options

Post by nickjoy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:15 pm

Accrual wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:07 pm
Why are you getting an MBA? Once you answer this question, perhaps we will be better suited to answer yours.
Money, job opportunities, finding a more fulfilling career.

I have a bio undergrad that I don't use at all. Rather than getting another Bachelor, this is a way to shift more into the business side of things and get me up a level in education.

When I was in quality, I was in all of the senior mgmt meetings and saw their inner workings and liked it, the more broad business solutions that have to be thought out to the very small detailed level.

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gunn_show
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Re: MBA Options

Post by gunn_show » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:36 pm

Cost is obviously a factor - are you going to cash flow pay for this annually, take from savings, or go into debt? Not sure I saw you answer this.

GMU having no ranking.... is obviously worse than having any ranking, especially UMD with top 100 (purportedly). So unless you are truly strapped for cash or have a guaranteed new job or pay increase at the end of this MBA rainbow, and just need "anytown MBA", I would select the highest ranking school within financial reason.

UMD also has a huge alumni network. In my large west coast town, there is a huge Terps alumni club here, I personally know 30+ members that moved out here from UMD/Jersey post grad to live and never left. It is a large school, somewhere it may come in handy. Flip side, I don't know a single person that went to American or GMU, albeit I am west coast and these schools are all relatively regionally east-coast focused in terms of alumni base and where people live. But still, an anecdote is a real anecdote, take it FWIW. If Terps can reach Socal, they can be anywhere! Haha

And ultimately you have not said a peep about your actual MOTIVATION(s) for the MBA. I would think that is #1 question that needs to be answered. Why the MBA, and why one or any of these schools to get it? And why now? The end goal should held decide your path. I went to my local state school (basically my UMD), paid something like $35-40k for my PT MBA, and am unsure if it has actually helped or not. I am in tech sales and largely I am driven and reviewed by my successes and production, not really my education. But it does "check the boxes" that many, many large megacorps, tech and otherwise, are posting on their jobs for "MBA preferred" and that is a large reason I got the degree. You either spend the $$$$ for top 10, or go opposite and try to get value for cost vs. brand/network. I would think UMD is worth the extra cost, but only you can decide that. I know nothing of GMU. If it is a strong regional school with strong network, then by all means it may be worth the cost savings.

Also, I did "specialize" in Entrepreneurship / Marketing, and it makes no difference. Just take as many varied classes as you can, to round out your skill set and get generalized across the board, versus specialized in anything. A couple college courses will never make you a specialist anyway, so get as wide as possible and learn as much as you can.

GL
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

jminv
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Re: MBA Options

Post by jminv » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:43 pm

I would pick the program with the highest reported roi which is likely UMD. Programs raise rates when their alumni can secure high paying jobs (the cost differential between umd and George Mason) but only so much because the roi is a needs to remain high for their rankings.

I wouldn’t do an online one. Most of the value of the program is in the live teaching, classroom interaction, and building your network which includes other students. Plus supplemental reading, ie, books that piqued your interest given class subject matter or at least it was very good for me. Difficult for first three when all online.

You should be aware that the reported salaries at these programs might not be accurate to your situation particularly as they are in the dc area. Ranking groups typically toss out all salaries of those working for government and non-profits which can be misleading both for those wanting to go into private sector and those wanting public/non-profit. You might ask what percentage of their students fit into this group as I would imagine that it is high given that it is the dc area.

Finding past students to talk to probably won’t work because people who graduated from a program have a vested interest in staying positive about it.

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gunn_show
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Re: MBA Options

Post by gunn_show » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:45 pm

nickjoy wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:15 pm

Money, job opportunities, finding a more fulfilling career.
This answer is pretty standard, and I cannot say 7 years ago I didn't have the same answer, so I am not going to personally skewer you over it.

I would just suggest you start thinking of it, and framing it, differently. (at least publicly)

Getting an advanced degree above and over an unrelated undergrad degree... guarantees nothing and doesn't lead to a more fulfilling career by itself. I can count on several hands how many 20-somethings from my MBA cohorts are still sitting in menial sub-100k jobs because they thought the MBA would deliver them to the promised payday land. They forgot you also have to have goals, have solid work experience, and a damn good story why that MBA supports your resume and goals and skills and why you deserve to be "up-leveled" in your next role and career step. Otherwise it is merely an expensive line item on a piece of paper, and OFTEN will get you overlooked if it doesn't fit your story and doesn't fit the pay scale you are applying for. A 25yo with an MBA and only 2 years experience, is overqualified for many jobs, and under-qualified for even more. I hope that makes sense.

Just something to think about....

Also forgot to add in my first response, that if you do the MBA PT while working FT, it is extremely difficult. Those 3 years were perhaps the worst of my life, hands down, bar none. Workload was immense. Working all day, going to 7-10pm night classes, skipping meals, protein bars and red bull for dinner, every Sunday in the library doing homework and group projects.. it is stressful. It puts a big strain on your relationships. I started as a 4yr PT attendee, and got so drained and pissed off, I forced myself to go FT the last year while working as a field sales rep just to get done a year early. It was worth it to take 12-14 units while working, just to save the fourth year. I am still scarred from it..
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

lepa71
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Re: MBA Options

Post by lepa71 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:40 pm

Look at this
https://www.uopeople.edu
MBA program for around $2400. Self study.

grok87
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Re: MBA Options

Post by grok87 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:46 pm

gunn_show wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:45 pm
nickjoy wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:15 pm

Money, job opportunities, finding a more fulfilling career.
This answer is pretty standard, and I cannot say 7 years ago I didn't have the same answer, so I am not going to personally skewer you over it.

I would just suggest you start thinking of it, and framing it, differently. (at least publicly)

Getting an advanced degree above and over an unrelated undergrad degree... guarantees nothing and doesn't lead to a more fulfilling career by itself. I can count on several hands how many 20-somethings from my MBA cohorts are still sitting in menial sub-100k jobs because they thought the MBA would deliver them to the promised payday land. They forgot you also have to have goals, have solid work experience, and a damn good story why that MBA supports your resume and goals and skills and why you deserve to be "up-leveled" in your next role and career step. Otherwise it is merely an expensive line item on a piece of paper, and OFTEN will get you overlooked if it doesn't fit your story and doesn't fit the pay scale you are applying for. A 25yo with an MBA and only 2 years experience, is overqualified for many jobs, and under-qualified for even more. I hope that makes sense.

Just something to think about....

Also forgot to add in my first response, that if you do the MBA PT while working FT, it is extremely difficult. Those 3 years were perhaps the worst of my life, hands down, bar none. Workload was immense. Working all day, going to 7-10pm night classes, skipping meals, protein bars and red bull for dinner, every Sunday in the library doing homework and group projects.. it is stressful. It puts a big strain on your relationships. I started as a 4yr PT attendee, and got so drained and pissed off, I forced myself to go FT the last year while working as a field sales rep just to get done a year early. It was worth it to take 12-14 units while working, just to save the fourth year. I am still scarred from it..
Great post, I agree.
Unless you are doing a full time mba at a top top school I would not do it. Unless say your employer is paying in full.

I have seen so many examples of where a part time mba did nothing for their career.

Do the cfa exams instead!
Keep calm and Boglehead on. KCBO.

Accrual
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Re: MBA Options

Post by Accrual » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:49 pm

nickjoy wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:15 pm
Accrual wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:07 pm
Why are you getting an MBA? Once you answer this question, perhaps we will be better suited to answer yours.
Money, job opportunities, finding a more fulfilling career.

I have a bio undergrad that I don't use at all. Rather than getting another Bachelor, this is a way to shift more into the business side of things and get me up a level in education.

When I was in quality, I was in all of the senior mgmt meetings and saw their inner workings and liked it, the more broad business solutions that have to be thought out to the very small detailed level.
I think you need to be more deliberate. Are you looking to be recruited? If so, doing what? By whom? If money is the sole purpose you need to find better schools. Absolutely no to the online program. Yet, you will be competing with people who are very focused and deliberate with their actions. You shouldn't be entertaining paying $50k+ and not knowing the end goal.

Valuethinker
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Re: MBA Options

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:21 am

nickjoy wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:24 am
Hello Everybody,

For anybody who has/is around people with MBAs I have a question. I recently was admitted to 2 MBA programs and a 3rd is pending, I'm asking some advice on where to go:

School #1: Accepted
American University
Online
Cost: 89K
MBA rank: 79
Part-Time MBA rank: 172

School#2: Accepted
University of Maryland
Part-Time
Cost: 73K (this includes an automatic 14K scholarship because I did my undergrad there)
MBA rank: 49
Part-Time MBA rank: 15

School #3: Out for Decision
George Mason University
Part-Time
Cost: 45K
MBA rank: unranked
Part-Time MBA rank: 47

I definitely want to keep working while I do this all. My company has policies where they'll give me 4K/year for grad school, but I'm not sure how that will turn out due to budgets.

I think I should definitely do UMD over American. But, if GMU accepts me, that's where the decision gets tricky. Do I do the worse ranked school but save a cool 30K, or do I go to a really good ranked school.
That's actually fairly easy. You go for the good ranked school.

MBA is a prestige good - a signalling device to future employers of your intelligence and focus. How your school is ranked will affect how people will see the MBA for the rest of your career*. Northwestern (a marketing school) worked out how to game the rankings in the 80s, put itself right behind Harvard-Stanford + Wharton, and has never been shaken off since. I agree the rankings fluctuate (the people who create the rankings make sure that they will, otherwise all interest and advertising will be lost).

Unfortunately part time MBAs are not rated the same as full time ones in the eyes of recruiters.

MBA networks are useful, depending on how people see their experience at the school.

I wouldn't go for GMU because it is such an unknown quantity. The online MBA we can take off the table.

You should consider alternatives such as the CPA or the CFA, depending on your career goals. For people recruiting in specific areas, these credentials are probably more highly valued than the general MBA.

* to be clear, unlike say US law school, which matters for the rest of your career (apparently), the value of an MBA declines (probably on a decay curve) over time until it is "you have an MBA" -- it becomes about what you achieved in your career. Its value is highest in your first (new) role out of business school.

jayk238
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Re: MBA Options

Post by jayk238 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:27 am

When I was in college recruiters told me unless your MBA is in a top 10 and even then a top 5 your ROI was not good. Getting a job that would justify the expense wouldnt be worth it I was told. This was in 2008.

The same holds today.

None of those schools are worth the expense (tuition + expenses+ lost income if fulltime). I wouldnt do it part time either.

Get an MBA at a local college or online Univ for a quarter or fifth of the price and invest the difference. The returns would be better.

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Re: MBA Options

Post by Boglegrappler » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:38 pm

My undergrad is UMD as well, so some will say I'll get a second network if I go to a different school, but I have gotten 0 help from the UMD network so far, so I don't think networks are all they're cracked up to be.
Networks are over-rated, and misapprehended by those who don't feel that they have one.

But everyone does have a network. It comprises all the people who have daily contact with you. If you work at a bank, or in a government agency, you have a network of people who have formed an opinion of you. They have a viewpoint of where you would rank on a list of people that they might recommend (or not) to fill some position.

The best network is a network of a couple of ambitious, competent and hardworking people who think that you are a tremendous colleague who could help them accomplish whatever goals they set.

Good luck.

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Sandtrap
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Re: MBA Options

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:09 pm

#2
You are already familiar with the school.

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JupiterJones
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Re: MBA Options

Post by JupiterJones » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:43 pm

JBTX wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:07 pm
Part of the value of the MBA is perception, and I'm sure there are people (like me) that would look at an online university that I'd never heard of and generally dismiss its value - whether that is fair or not.
There are those people, but fewer and fewer as time goes on and the "old guard" retires. Incoming generations, who are so used to doing everything online, from shopping to banking to dating (and who are too young to remember the old "degree mills" that used to advertise in the backs of magazines) see little stigma in something being "online".

Heck, I'd imagine that in many cases (depending on what you were getting out of your education) many these days would find attending a bricks-and-mortar program somewhat silly and inefficient. Like faxing. :D

Especially at the graduate level, where it is often more about "just help me learn what I need to know to do x" and less about forming lifelong connections, learning to be a better thinker, growing as a human being, playing frisbee on a grassy quad, and all that other stuff that everyone expects to have covered by the undergraduate experience.

The main stigmas for higher education these days seem to be A) not being accredited, and B) being for-profit.

That said, to the extent that you want something from an MBA program beyond the mere learning--the networking and all that--I suppose you would need to go B&M. The questions to ask them become: Do you really get those things? How useful are they anyway? And are they worth the added cost (in terms of both money and time)?
Stay on target...

msk
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Re: MBA Options

Post by msk » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:35 pm

nickjoy wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:35 am

I'd mainly use this MBA as a way to get deeper into the finance field. Right now I'm Quality/Payroll. I'm not sure why UMD doesn't have concentrations, I could easily do ACTG, BA, FM, or PM concentrations and do more work at my company.
I think you will be wasting a lot of time, money and effort to gain very little. Why do I say that? I used to be a director at a Fortune 10 company and one of my technical department heads did a part time MBA in the hope of getting into "management". If only he had asked me before he started! He was already into management and the enormous effort he put into the MBA ended up wasted. He did mention that it took him 3 years and endless dedication. But he ended up his career exactly where he was headed initially; in technical management. You want to get deeper into Finance. The surest way to do that is to become a CPA. One of my daughters had a BCom from a top school and so an MBA would have largely gone to waste and was advised by her bosses that the only way to end up as a Finance Controller or Director was to be a qualified accountant. So she did that, and promptly resigned from the Fortune 10 company (where I also worked) and instantly became a Finance Controller at a mid size company at 3x the salary. As far as I am aware, almost everyone hates accounting, and that's why companies pay top $ to those who have suffered the burning coals.

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Re: MBA Options

Post by nyclon » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:05 pm

Accrual wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:49 pm
nickjoy wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:15 pm
Accrual wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:07 pm
Why are you getting an MBA? Once you answer this question, perhaps we will be better suited to answer yours.
Money, job opportunities, finding a more fulfilling career.

I have a bio undergrad that I don't use at all. Rather than getting another Bachelor, this is a way to shift more into the business side of things and get me up a level in education.

When I was in quality, I was in all of the senior mgmt meetings and saw their inner workings and liked it, the more broad business solutions that have to be thought out to the very small detailed level.
I think you need to be more deliberate. Are you looking to be recruited? If so, doing what? By whom? If money is the sole purpose you need to find better schools. Absolutely no to the online program. Yet, you will be competing with people who are very focused and deliberate with their actions. You shouldn't be entertaining paying $50k+ and not knowing the end goal.
I agree with this and would take it one step further - you should build out a precise set of plans with various outcomes all based on achieving the goals you laid out. If you're going to invest in the MBA, then create a business plan for it. MBAs in general are a total waste of money if the plan is "I will attend and then get a raise from my employer because I graduated" or "I will attend and then move intra-industry and get a raise because my resume has a fresh MBA on it". I say "waste" because your raise will not be material enough to justify your time and money investment in the MBA.

Exception: if you attend Harvard, Stanford, MIT, etc, yes, less effort is required for more money. But you still may end up with a highly unfulfilling job if there is no plan.

If you're going to do it and you're not attending a super top-tier you need to strongly evaluate your path to making the MBA valuable for you. Because it may not add the value you think it will. And entitlement is not going to get you anywhere, not that that's your angle, but it kind of is.

In my experience, a MBA is not required to achieve any of the things you laid out -> "Money, job opportunities, finding a more fulfilling career." I highly recommend this book to you: https://www.amazon.com/What-Color-Your- ... 039957963X

Ask yourself this question: what will obtaining a MBA guarantee you immediately upon graduation? Has your employer promised a certain raise? Do you have a hiring manager telling you once you get that MBA they'll hire you on the spot? Is there a career you've found that includes a MBA as a prerequisite? Use these questions and similar ones to build your business plan to sell yourself the MBA.
Last edited by nyclon on Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DukeLecker
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Re: MBA Options

Post by DukeLecker » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:36 pm

I agree with the sentiment of many that MBA's aren't really worth it. If you feel the need to obtain more education, I'd highly recommend going into a specific niche graduate program where you could learn a discernible and marketable skill. That or getting a professional certification like a CPA or CFA. Unless you're going to Wharton, or Harvard, a mid-tier MBA program mostly likely won't land a great new promotion.

Many high level universities are actually getting rid of MBA programs because they're finding students aren't getting jobs--or elevated jobs--post graduation.

The idea of spending 73K on an MBA makes me sick. How many years will it take to earn back that investment? Unless you know for certain you'll receive a promotion, or a big wage increase (by no means a guarantee), it could take some serious time.

Not only that, but if you're working full-time you'll spend a lot of the next 3-4 years studying. I got an MBA from University of Colorado, which took 4 years while working full time. Weekends--studying. Holidays--studying. 10-year anniversary trip sitting on the beach at Cape Cod--studying.

If you truly feel like an MBA is your destiny, I'd recommend finding the cheapest possible University that isn't University of Phoenix and getting your degree there. You'll be spending a lot of time on the MBA, no need to also spend a lot of money.

nickjoy
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Re: MBA Options

Post by nickjoy » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:11 am

Hello All,

Thanks for all of your replies, I appreciate all of them.

This discourse kind of reinforces my dilemma.

As for the ROI, I 100% believe I'll get my money back, even if it costs 70K. If I get a 2 grand a year raise, it will take 35 years to pay it back, which means I'll break even at 61 (yeah, I know the whole, if you invest it, it'll be $XXX,XXX). Not the best, but that's if I only get a 2K raise. I'm making 60 right now and I think I'll get a much bigger raise than that. The ROI is there.

This is mainly to help get out of my current menial job path and hopefully dive more into the inner workings of business and finance. For example, right now I'm handstuffing about 800 envelopes. I do this every two weeks. This degree will hopefully check the right box, and teach me the actual skills to get myself in the door of that kind of track I'm going for. My current company isn't caring at all about employee development.

As for the CPA/CFA route, I would have to go back to school for one year anyway to get the education requirement, at that point, why not do one more year and get an MBA? I can always do CPA/CFA afterwards. I figured MBA would open more doors.

I'm not sure what you mean by am I looking to be recruited. The only recruiters I know are at job fairs or staffing agencies in the like. That may be my inexperience showing.

As for the part-time vs full-time comments. These programs would be completed in 20 months for GMU, and 28 months for UMD. And I could accelerate or decelerate either if need be. So there would be no time differential. I also find it hard to believe for a company to look down on me for working through my MBA. People are usually admired for working through a Bachelor's, why not at grad school?

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simplesimon
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Re: MBA Options

Post by simplesimon » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:46 am

OP, I was in a similar situation as you nine years ago. I have a bio degree (pre-med), got an average score on the MCAT, joined a pharma company and worked there for four years before pursuing my MBA. If you want to get a significant bump in pay in a good business role, you need to go to the best school possible.

What I tell everybody who asks about doing an MBA is that the education piece of it - learning accounting, finance, marketing, etc is really the same whether you go to UMD or if you go to Harvard. They all use the same case studies from HBR. The real difference is who your peers are. The more competitive your peers, the better you will be, the better your network is, and the better the companies that recruit at your school are and that is truly what will help you grow professionally and dollar wise.

I don't know how much research you've done beyond Bogleheads, but based on your responses I would wait another year and do more asking around about how to approach this. Talk to people at your work that you want to be like. Go to school info sessions and talk to alumni. You don't get an MBA do-over...go to the best school possible with the mindset of killing it.

NJdad6
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Re: MBA Options

Post by NJdad6 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:44 am

Maryland. Best rated and well known of the 3.

If you are looking to use the MBA to change jobs/careers a higher rating matters. Maryland also probably has the better alumni network. If you just want an MBA on your resume then it really doesn’t matter. If you want a high paying finance, consulting, management position then you need to go full-time top 10.

nyclon
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Re: MBA Options

Post by nyclon » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:37 am

nickjoy wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:11 am
Hello All,

Thanks for all of your replies, I appreciate all of them.

This discourse kind of reinforces my dilemma.

As for the ROI, I 100% believe I'll get my money back, even if it costs 70K. If I get a 2 grand a year raise, it will take 35 years to pay it back, which means I'll break even at 61 (yeah, I know the whole, if you invest it, it'll be $XXX,XXX). Not the best, but that's if I only get a 2K raise. I'm making 60 right now and I think I'll get a much bigger raise than that. The ROI is there.

This is mainly to help get out of my current menial job path and hopefully dive more into the inner workings of business and finance. For example, right now I'm handstuffing about 800 envelopes. I do this every two weeks. This degree will hopefully check the right box, and teach me the actual skills to get myself in the door of that kind of track I'm going for. My current company isn't caring at all about employee development.

As for the CPA/CFA route, I would have to go back to school for one year anyway to get the education requirement, at that point, why not do one more year and get an MBA? I can always do CPA/CFA afterwards. I figured MBA would open more doors.

I'm not sure what you mean by am I looking to be recruited. The only recruiters I know are at job fairs or staffing agencies in the like. That may be my inexperience showing.

As for the part-time vs full-time comments. These programs would be completed in 20 months for GMU, and 28 months for UMD. And I could accelerate or decelerate either if need be. So there would be no time differential. I also find it hard to believe for a company to look down on me for working through my MBA. People are usually admired for working through a Bachelor's, why not at grad school?
Have you considered speaking to a career coach? If your goal is to go from where you are now to a different role, a MBA is not the only way to do that. I'd recommend reading the book I linked to above and perhaps hiring a career coach for a few conversations. Your dilemma may not be the lack of academic knowledge, but rather changing your and others' perception. The MBA option will still be available.

tedgeorge
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Re: MBA Options

Post by tedgeorge » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:39 pm

While you are deciding what to do, make sure you are networking either inside or out of your company. You want others to know you want more. So many people expect that more important people are watching them and noticing all the good things they are doing but that's simply not the case.

If there is a department you want to work in or a job you want to do, go talk to someone in that department. Ask them about the job and what they did to get it. Did they need an MBA to get hired? How close is your resume to theirs? If it's a manager your talking to, ask for advice and be ready to accept it. Show up with your resume and ask for some tips.

Speaking of resumes, how close is yours to any other job listing at your company? What can you do to change it? Be realistic about the jobs you compare with.

Finally, make sure the company will actually give you money for school. Some companies will only do so if it aligns with your current responsibilities or you're in a job that is deemed important enough.

3funder
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Re: MBA Options

Post by 3funder » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:00 pm

Will your employer foot a portion of the bill? Some companies do.

crazygrow
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Re: MBA Options

Post by crazygrow » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:56 pm

You really need to do a strong self-evaluation. If you aren't going anywhere, you are likely missing certain key skills (whether technical or emotional, etc.) or knowledge. Get those things solidified up.

I was one who always told my wife - I'm going back to MBA school and it will be a top 3. I ended up far surpassing my friends who went back to school in earnings by playing my cards right and not being out of the workforce for 2 years getting loaded down with debt. I still find today missing pieces in the equation that I go out and learn through networking, etc.

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unclescrooge
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Re: MBA Options

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:43 pm

lepa71 wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:40 pm
Look at this
https://www.uopeople.edu
MBA program for around $2400. Self study.
Part is the valuee if an MBA is the network and the friends you make.

I would definitely recommend against an online MBA.

Is you're going to stay local, chose the school with the strongest alumni network.

nickjoy
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Re: MBA Options

Post by nickjoy » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:52 am

Hello All,

Thank you all for your help.

I am definitely going to go get the MBA. The sooner I knock it out, the sooner I reap the benefits.

My company has a policy where they will pay 4K per year(Aug-Jul) of schooling. I can technically stretch my degree to get a third year at GMU, or a 4th at UMD but I don't think missing out on that earning potential for those few months will be worth it. But still, 8K is pretty nice.

As for my skills at my current job, the main thing I'm lacking in is technical. All of the senior management likes me and asks goes to my boss and then to me for quick answers and quick turnarounds. I just don't have the technical training, which this MBA won't be a bootcamp for, but will go a long way in getting me there.

I just got married and my wife is joined at the hip to the DC metro area due to her job, so full time MBAs are completely out of the question, not to mention the massive debt accrued during it.

As for other career opportunities within my company, they are there. Last year one person got her MBA and at the exact same time was promoted to a Corporate Financial Manager. Bachelor degree around here are a dime a dozen because we put it on the job req for every single position, an AA degree is required for the secretary/admin. assistant. My company is also trying to rebuild its Business Development team last year after a cleaning of the house. Not the most warm and fuzzies, but there are opportunities. I might be able to get in there before I even complete my MBA.

After all of these comments, I'm starting to lean more towards UMD due to the rankings and just knowing better people/professors will be there.

jminv
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Re: MBA Options

Post by jminv » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:36 am

nickjoy wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:52 am

As for my skills at my current job, the main thing I'm lacking in is technical. All of the senior management likes me and asks goes to my boss and then to me for quick answers and quick turnarounds. I just don't have the technical training, which this MBA won't be a bootcamp for, but will go a long way in getting me there.

As for other career opportunities within my company, they are there. Last year one person got her MBA and at the exact same time was promoted to a Corporate Financial Manager. Bachelor degree around here are a dime a dozen because we put it on the job req for every single position, an AA degree is required for the secretary/admin. assistant. My company is also trying to rebuild its Business Development team last year after a cleaning of the house. Not the most warm and fuzzies, but there are opportunities. I might be able to get in there before I even complete my MBA.
Can you find an educational solution to your lack of technical training? That might be a good step if you are planning on staying with the company as it seems and it's a weakness you're aware of (you could combine it with MBA and if the technical training can be done in something like a graduate certificate period could pay off before the MBA was complete). If it's box checking that leads to promotions where you are and a promotion there is what you're after, then would a technical education do the same thing as a mba would? Sort of aside from this, top MBA programs and their interviewers focus on why mba, why now for a reason and box checking isn't an answer that is viewed favorably.

nickjoy
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Re: MBA Options

Post by nickjoy » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:06 am

jminv wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:36 am
Can you find an educational solution to your lack of technical training? That might be a good step if you are planning on staying with the company as it seems and it's a weakness you're aware of (you could combine it with MBA and if the technical training can be done in something like a graduate certificate period could pay off before the MBA was complete). If it's box checking that leads to promotions where you are and a promotion there is what you're after, then would a technical education do the same thing as a mba would? Sort of aside from this, top MBA programs and their interviewers focus on why mba, why now for a reason and box checking isn't an answer that is viewed favorably.
The MBA could be the educational solution. Yes, the MBA isn't the most technical in nature, but it will be a general coursework and get my foot in the door.

All 3 (not-top) colleges I applied to asked the "Why an MBA, and why here?" question. I gave them an answer and I have acceptances from 2 so far, 3rd is pending.

I don't want this thread to get off topic. This was originally a which of these three, not should I do this.

jminv
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Re: MBA Options

Post by jminv » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:26 am

nickjoy wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:06 am

The MBA could be the educational solution. Yes, the MBA isn't the most technical in nature, but it will be a general coursework and get my foot in the door.

All 3 (not-top) colleges I applied to asked the "Why an MBA, and why here?" question. I gave them an answer and I have acceptances from 2 so far, 3rd is pending.

I don't want this thread to get off topic. This was originally a which of these three, not should I do this.
Fair enough and I don't disagree with pursuing a MBA and have one myself. I did reply earlier that UMD looked like the best choice.

Just pointing out coursework/certification/licenses in conjunction with the MBA could assist with career progression, new roles, etc. When I did my MBA I also obtained my professional engineer license, completed a graduate engineering program, and obtained a technical certificate. This resulted in additional job offers post-MBA, one of which I took.

Enjoy the MBA, it can change your outlook on things and help open doors. I thoroughly enjoyed mine and in retrospect, it was a great decision. I think I would have had a similar experience at any similar program.

nickjoy
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Re: MBA Options

Post by nickjoy » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:48 am

jminv wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:26 am
Fair enough and I don't disagree with pursuing a MBA and have one myself. I did reply earlier that UMD looked like the best choice.

Just pointing out coursework/certification/licenses in conjunction with the MBA could assist with career progression, new roles, etc. When I did my MBA I also obtained my professional engineer license, completed a graduate engineering program, and obtained a technical certificate. This resulted in additional job offers post-MBA, one of which I took.

Enjoy the MBA, it can change your outlook on things and help open doors. I thoroughly enjoyed mine and in retrospect, it was a great decision. I think I would have had a similar experience at any similar program.
Thanks, I didn't mean that specifically at you, a lot of people seemed to get a little off topic. I do appreciate your (and everyone else's) input.

I was already thinking about a PMP license since they're pretty valuable as well. But I will look into more and other certs and licenses.

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patrick013
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Re: MBA Options

Post by patrick013 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:00 pm

It's always nice having BS-Engineering/MBA or BS-Accounting/MBA-Finance
people in the corporate office to compete with. Or if you already had a
business BS degree get a 2nd BS degree in Finance. A couple Finance
courses, Business Statistics, and Linear Solutions course is all it should
take. Not online.
age in bonds, buy-and-hold, 10 year business cycle

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patrick013
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Re: MBA Options

Post by patrick013 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:46 pm

nickjoy wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:48 am
But I will look into more and other certs and licenses.
Also MBA is not your only choice. There is an MPA-Master of Public
Administration and MHA-Master of Hospital Administration that
could fit better with your future objectives.
age in bonds, buy-and-hold, 10 year business cycle

mcxavierdaniel
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Re: MBA Options

Post by mcxavierdaniel » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:52 pm

What was your GMAT score?

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patrick013
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Re: MBA Options

Post by patrick013 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:50 pm

mcxavierdaniel wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:52 pm
What was your GMAT score?
Less than 500. But I took 4 years of math in high school so
it doesn't take me all day to learn something. Some people
have extraordinary high score so bless them. So I got into
an above average local in the city MBA program with a full
corporate tuition reimbursement. I didn't want to get into
any other school.

People think the math part is relevant but the vocabulary
part is stupid. Problem solving and interpretation is problem
solving basically. If I apply myself a bit I do well. I noticed
that engineering students in the MBA courses did quite well.
Had usage of math quite handy due to the usage of math in
engineering all the time.

Some schools don't require the GMAT. Like I said the math part
is good but the other part can be pretty stupid. Some schools
don't require a C average anymore. So some students are basically
auditing the courses. I can't agree with that. Some courses should
require a B grade like courses in your major or concentration. But
you should go to school to please yourself, learn what you want to
learn. So I finished with a B+ average working full time. I don't
think many people did much better. Courses were hard no doubt.
Some engineers probably got an extra A or two in the math intensive
courses but math isn't everything in an MBA's vocabulary. :)
age in bonds, buy-and-hold, 10 year business cycle

nickjoy
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Re: MBA Options

Post by nickjoy » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:53 am

patrick013 wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:00 pm
It's always nice having BS-Engineering/MBA or BS-Accounting/MBA-Finance
people in the corporate office to compete with. Or if you already had a
business BS degree get a 2nd BS degree in Finance. A couple Finance
courses, Business Statistics, and Linear Solutions course is all it should
take. Not online.
I have a bachelor in Biology

Yeah, I could get an MPA instead, but I figured an MBA would do pretty much the same thing and more. I think an MBA is a lot more versatile.

nickjoy
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Re: MBA Options

Post by nickjoy » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:55 am

mcxavierdaniel wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:52 pm
What was your GMAT score?
Didn't take GMAT.

GRE score is 159/154/4.0

Nothing exceptional, floating right around average.

Maverick3320
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Re: MBA Options

Post by Maverick3320 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:22 am

I did a part-time MBA (University of Wisconsin).

+Networking
+Made some great friends
+Learned quite a bit about the business world
+Helped me professionally

-Paid 2/3 out of pocket (around 45k)
-Part-time MBA didn't offer much in the way of specialization

It sounds like I may be in the minority, but I thought it was well worth it. When I started back in 2014 my then-boss thought it was amazing that I was working long days and then going to class at night. I believe that impression alone helped me get my next job (and a large raise).

Will a part-time MBA from UW get me into Goldman Sachs or McKinsey? Highly unlikely, but it's definitely a recognized name regionally. I think it also gave me the confidence to at least look in the right places and ask the right questions if I ever wanted to start my own business or join the corporate world.

Edit: Go to Maryland.

mcxavierdaniel
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Re: MBA Options

Post by mcxavierdaniel » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:01 pm

OP,

Univ of Maryland would be the best ROI of the 3 options. I would go there if they are the options. Even considering you went there for undergrad. I would also look into Georgetown before making your final decision. Maybe see if you are on the borderline or what it would take to get in. Maybe push the MBA off until you do everything you can to increase your odds of getting into the best school possible. The ROI for business school is mostly about the networking and exit opportunities. And note that full time programs give you much better access to this. I would highly consider a full-time program over part-time. Not to be dramatic, but making the right decision could change the course of your career and earning potential. Otherwise, you are relying on some luck and timing. Alot of this depends on your career goals too, though. You have to weigh the cost vs benefit factor based on what you want to do coming out. (I'm an analyst for an investment firm, so my advise is coming from this optic).

AlwaysWannaLearn
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Re: MBA Options

Post by AlwaysWannaLearn » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:10 pm

.....
Last edited by AlwaysWannaLearn on Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nickjoy
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Re: MBA Options

Post by nickjoy » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:17 am

AlwaysWannaLearn wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:10 pm
Congrats, OP, on your admissions!
If I were you, Maryland would be the pick for the reasons you and others already stated.
nickjoy wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:11 am
For example, right now I'm handstuffing about 800 envelopes. I do this every two weeks.
Wow, how do you do that while simultaneously typing out a thorough post on the BH forum? Even if using talk-to-text, you're clearly a talented individual, OP!!

Best wishes to you. :beer
Thanks!

After the first 2000 or so, you start getting really good/fast at it. I feel like Bill Murray in groundhog day throwing cards in a hat, "about 6 months, 4-5 hours a day, and you'll be an expert." Now if only that stupid Pitney Bose machine didn't jam so much.

nickjoy
Posts: 89
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Re: MBA Options

Post by nickjoy » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:19 am

Update: GMU rejected me. So UMD it is. The dilemma is over!!!!!

Thanks to everyone for your help and input/insight!

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