MBA worth it?

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willthrill81
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by willthrill81 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:03 pm

Tdubs wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:33 pm
The discussion has, logically, focused on whether an MBA was "worth it" professionally. Did anyone find it intellectually "worth it"?
Most of my MBA courses were intellectually stimulating. While I aced my finance course by ignoring the course textbook and reading through the manual of a BAII-Plus calculator and working through all of the examples, it was an extremely valuable experience nonetheless. My marketing research course required us to do a real research project, and my experience was so positive that it led to me getting my Ph.D.
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Bobby206
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by Bobby206 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:10 pm

There are a ton of MBA grads out there. I'd have a plan before I got the MBA just because. It doesn't add much to a resume in my opinion and I hire people.

JBTX
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by JBTX » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:36 pm

Tdubs wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:33 pm
The discussion has, logically, focused on whether an MBA was "worth it" professionally. Did anyone find it intellectually "worth it"?
We are talking decades ago, but I had undergrad in accounting and got a top 20 MBA, and I'd say mostly no. Much of the content was the same as undergrad business, just perhaps more rigorous. I was lucky enough to have a couple of professors who were fairly well renowned and I certainly did learn some new things.

It probably is more so worth if your background is non business

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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:37 pm

DoctorPhysics wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:00 am
Hi there, just like the title says.. is an MBA worth it? They look very expensive, 75k/year to 200k/year if I read what I browsed correctly.

So is an MBA worth it? As in a worthwhile investment on future career growth and likely income?
Yes.
But, it depends on what "you" do with it.
Maximize the possibilities or squander the opportunities.
There are a lot of wasted degrees out there.
j
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

JBTX
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by JBTX » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:48 pm

Is an MBA worth it?

Definitely if you are shooting for investment banking, consulting (must be "top" rated program) some large company corporate marketing or finance and/or it you are shooting for C suite jobs of larger companies. There is a difference in how top programs and average programs are viewed. I would say on online obscure MBA is of little value as a credential, but may or may not be helpful broadening your horizons.

For me, the MBA opened a few doors, probably helped my earnings scale early on for the field I went into, and in a couple of cases as an added credential probably helped. For me it was probably worth it. But I'd be hard pressed to spend 6 figures plus lost wages unless I was shooting IB or consulting or something similar.

An executive MBA could be worth it if company paid.

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patrick013
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by patrick013 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:08 pm

MBA worth it ?

For your own personal edification ? You betcha.

For a company in different growth, ownership, buyout phases...maybe not.

OK
age in bonds, buy-and-hold, 10 year business cycle

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whodidntante
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by whodidntante » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:11 pm

I would only pay 75k to 200k of my own money for a degree where I had a strategic plan to dramatically improve my career earnings potential, doing something I would enjoy. Even then, there is a risk that you just waste a lot of money.

Full disclosure: I have an MBA.

naveen
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by naveen » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:06 pm

Is MBA worth it for someone with the following attributes?

- Current age 23
- Current comp package $215/yr
- Cost of MBA - $200K (Tuition) + $450K (Lost income) = $650K

I think it makes sense to do from top 10 college otherwise don't go for it.

Thoughts?

Vanguard Fan 1367
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:21 pm

naveen wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:06 pm
Is MBA worth it for someone with the following attributes?

- Current age 23
- Current comp package $215/yr
- Cost of MBA - $200K (Tuition) + $450K (Lost income) = $650K

I think it makes sense to do from top 10 college otherwise don't go for it.

Thoughts?
Nice compensation package. If the MBA would help improve that great

stoptothink
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:27 pm

Vanguard Fan 1367 wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:21 pm
naveen wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:06 pm
Is MBA worth it for someone with the following attributes?

- Current age 23
- Current comp package $215/yr
- Cost of MBA - $200K (Tuition) + $450K (Lost income) = $650K

I think it makes sense to do from top 10 college otherwise don't go for it.

Thoughts?
Nice compensation package. If the MBA would help improve that great
What is a 23yr old doing to make $215k/yr?

bernoulli
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by bernoulli » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:34 pm

Based on my own observation, getting an MBA is "worth it" only if one of the two is true:

(1) you get into a top 10 program
(2) your employer pays for it.

ncbill
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by ncbill » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:45 am

naveen wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:06 pm
Is MBA worth it for someone with the following attributes?

- Current age 23
- Current comp package $215/yr
- Cost of MBA - $200K (Tuition) + $450K (Lost income) = $650K

I think it makes sense to do from top 10 college otherwise don't go for it.

Thoughts?
Can you get your employer to pay for an evening/executive at a non-top 10 program?

In your situation that's what I'd do.

dcabler
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by dcabler » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:57 am

I work in tech. I know at least 7 engineers who got an MBA while working. All but one of them are still individual contributing engineers. The one did move into the first tier of management, but it's still a technical management position.

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DoctorPhysics
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by DoctorPhysics » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:29 pm

OP here, thank you for all your replies.

To answer a few posters, yes - I have a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from a top 10 school.

A little background on me and why I asked the question - "Is an MBA worth it?"

I initially started in corporate R&D, transitioned with the project into a product division to help with the tech transfer, and then transitioned into another R&D group once that project got off its feet. All very cutting edge, and very cool "stuff".

I run physics simulations, tolerance critical parts and complex assemblies, perform subsystem and system trade studies, build tests stands, characterize tests stands, interact with suppliers and management, mentor and guide new people (even senior folks new to the organization)
I often work alongside and guide other scientists, mechanical/electrical/software engineers on the project. I've even lead a small team as a "technical lead" and completed that project on schedule.

Probably the thought that crosses my mind the most... is that my title has not changed for 7 years. Despite the many hats I wear, or nearly doubling my salary in 7 years, I'm concerned with career stagnation.

I know I have more to offer and want to figure out the next step for my career. I've expressed my desire to move into management, but to date, this has not happened - thus the question "Is an MBA worth it?" Would this help open those doors? It seems to be way more of a human/organization-specific variable than I thought.

You guys are right though...

I shouldn't make an investment in an MBA unless I know exactly what it will be for and the end goal.
From the responses so far, it seems that it is a mixed bag, but quite possibly worth it if the company is willing to subsidize or cover it, but first I have to get into the situation where they would want to cover it.

For now - I've signed up for management classes to help improve my skills and to explore this potential area of growth.

naveen
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by naveen » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:56 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:27 pm
Vanguard Fan 1367 wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:21 pm
naveen wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:06 pm
Is MBA worth it for someone with the following attributes?

- Current age 23
- Current comp package $215/yr
- Cost of MBA - $200K (Tuition) + $450K (Lost income) = $650K

I think it makes sense to do from top 10 college otherwise don't go for it.

Thoughts?
Nice compensation package. If the MBA would help improve that great
What is a 23yr old doing to make $215k/yr?
Data Science/Machine Learning

naveen
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by naveen » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:56 pm

ncbill wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:45 am
naveen wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:06 pm
Is MBA worth it for someone with the following attributes?

- Current age 23
- Current comp package $215/yr
- Cost of MBA - $200K (Tuition) + $450K (Lost income) = $650K

I think it makes sense to do from top 10 college otherwise don't go for it.

Thoughts?
Can you get your employer to pay for an evening/executive at a non-top 10 program?

In your situation that's what I'd do.
I think that evening/executive MBA is not really worth it.

anthonyphamy
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by anthonyphamy » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:25 am

Interesting question and responses. I've actually found myself in a similar situation.

30yo staff pharmacist (salary ~165k/year) with options of:

A. Online MBA school (definitely not ranked highly) fully funded by company, includes some days off to "study". My thoughts for the MBA would be for personal intellectual stimulation, potential career switch in the future out of pharmacy (either due to interest, burn out, or other reasons), or moving upwards in pharmacy management.

B. Pharmacy supervisor position (salary ~180k/year +/- bonuses). Ineligible for full funding for MBA by union because no longer part of union. However does get about 3k education stipend per year that could be used to pay for an MBA program if I still wanted. Of note, the supervisor position would be more hours put in (approx 50 hours/week) and more stress managing a team of approx 20 members. Versus my current position is 40 hours/week.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

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Watty
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by Watty » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:56 am

DoctorPhysics wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:29 pm
Probably the thought that crosses my mind the most... is that my title has not changed for 7 years. Despite the many hats I wear, or nearly doubling my salary in 7 years, I'm concerned with career stagnation.
Someone like a dentist or surgeon might work 40 years and not have their job title change. Some career paths are like that.

I retired a few years ago after working as a software developer for about 35 years. Early in my career I had a few chances to dabble in management and I hated it and realistically I was not good at it. The problem was that I have a "techie" mentally and did not have the right personality to be a people manager. I intentionally stayed on the technical since and still had a good career even though I did not make as much as someone that was able to work their way up the management ladder.

Some aspects of the technical challenges of being a software developer were also enjoyable. Occasionally I have heard comments by managers that they had some regret that they were no longer doing the "fun stuff".

One possible downside if you get a MBA is that you might be seen as being on a management career path and be less employable in a technical role. The problem is that if an employer needs a good hands on "super geek" for a project that will get the job done, they don't want to hire someone that is more interested in managing the project instead of actually doing the work themselves. Some managers might also be reluctant to hire someone with an MBA in a staff roll because they are concerned that they will second guess their management decisions.

One thing to be careful about is that in IT I saw a number of technical people try to make the switch to management and after about five years it was clear that they were not very good managers. At that point they were in a bind since they could not easily go back into a technical roll but they also did not have good prospects as a manager either. It was not uncommon for them to end up leaving the IT field altogether.

That is not to say that an MBA might not work out well for you if you want to get into management, it really depends on what you want to do and what you are good at.

StandingRock
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by StandingRock » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:24 am

Watty wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:56 am

One thing to be careful about is that in IT I saw a number of technical people try to make the switch to management and after about five years it was clear that they were not very good managers. At that point they were in a bind since they could not easily go back into a technical roll but they also did not have good prospects as a manager either. It was not uncommon for them to end up leaving the IT field altogether.

That is not to say that an MBA might not work out well for you if you want to get into management, it really depends on what you want to do and what you are good at.
The disturbing trend I have noticed over the past few years is that people with no background in IT at all get a quickie MBA and jump into IT management. It's pretty bad. Not saying that someone couldn't do that and be OK (or at least not screw up too badly). But basically you're just getting a babysitter/politician and many times it's in a front-line management role where you need more of a coach type figure.


I'm confident that out of 10 or 12 software developer types you could pull at least one that could be at a minimum better than a history major that got an MBA and a PMP certification and never had any experience with software or enterprise IT before that. There is such a shortage of talent that many companies take the shortcut, desperation approach of hiring the "babysitter" types instead of developing leaders and promoting people with vision and a propensity for strategic thinking.

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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:10 am

StandingRock wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:24 am
Watty wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:56 am

One thing to be careful about is that in IT I saw a number of technical people try to make the switch to management and after about five years it was clear that they were not very good managers. At that point they were in a bind since they could not easily go back into a technical roll but they also did not have good prospects as a manager either. It was not uncommon for them to end up leaving the IT field altogether.

That is not to say that an MBA might not work out well for you if you want to get into management, it really depends on what you want to do and what you are good at.
The disturbing trend I have noticed over the past few years is that people with no background in IT at all get a quickie MBA and jump into IT management. It's pretty bad. Not saying that someone couldn't do that and be OK (or at least not screw up too badly). But basically you're just getting a babysitter/politician and many times it's in a front-line management role where you need more of a coach type figure.


I'm confident that out of 10 or 12 software developer types you could pull at least one that could be at a minimum better than a history major that got an MBA and a PMP certification and never had any experience with software or enterprise IT before that. There is such a shortage of talent that many companies take the shortcut, desperation approach of hiring the "babysitter" types instead of developing leaders and promoting people with vision and a propensity for strategic thinking.
In my experience, the history major with the MBA generally has more “vision and propensity for strategic thinking” than the 10-12 software developers put together. If the devs had that talent, they would already be in management or would have become entrepreneurs.

What engineers often miss about good strategy is that it does not start with the technology and product, but rather starts with customer needs and market dynamics. Hmm, I wonder if there is a degree program for that sort of thing... 🤔

StandingRock
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by StandingRock » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:41 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:10 am
StandingRock wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:24 am
Watty wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:56 am

One thing to be careful about is that in IT I saw a number of technical people try to make the switch to management and after about five years it was clear that they were not very good managers. At that point they were in a bind since they could not easily go back into a technical roll but they also did not have good prospects as a manager either. It was not uncommon for them to end up leaving the IT field altogether.

That is not to say that an MBA might not work out well for you if you want to get into management, it really depends on what you want to do and what you are good at.
The disturbing trend I have noticed over the past few years is that people with no background in IT at all get a quickie MBA and jump into IT management. It's pretty bad. Not saying that someone couldn't do that and be OK (or at least not screw up too badly). But basically you're just getting a babysitter/politician and many times it's in a front-line management role where you need more of a coach type figure.


I'm confident that out of 10 or 12 software developer types you could pull at least one that could be at a minimum better than a history major that got an MBA and a PMP certification and never had any experience with software or enterprise IT before that. There is such a shortage of talent that many companies take the shortcut, desperation approach of hiring the "babysitter" types instead of developing leaders and promoting people with vision and a propensity for strategic thinking.
In my experience, the history major with the MBA generally has more “vision and propensity for strategic thinking” than the 10-12 software developers put together. If the devs had that talent, they would already be in management or would have become entrepreneurs.

What engineers often miss about good strategy is that it does not start with the technology and product, but rather starts with customer needs and market dynamics. Hmm, I wonder if there is a degree program for that sort of thing... 🤔
Well, at a minimum if they can learn to spout buzzwords they can stay employed for a while at least.

PatrickA5
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by PatrickA5 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:47 am

I remember years ago that the CFO of my company (Fortune 100) only wanted advanced degrees from the Top 10 … or Wichita State. Guess where he went to school? So, if you're looking to advance at your current employer - find out where the people that make the advancement decisions went to school. Only half kidding here...

Personally, I'd probably just forget the MBA. Mine did me no good. My CPA didn't help much either. They probably helped a little during the many layoffs the company's I worked for had. Never got laid off in 30 years.

Happily retired and glad I'm not worrying about that kind of stuff anymore.

PeterParker
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by PeterParker » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:58 am

DoctorPhysics wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:29 pm
OP here, thank you for all your replies.

To answer a few posters, yes - I have a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from a top 10 school.

A little background on me and why I asked the question - "Is an MBA worth it?"

I initially started in corporate R&D, transitioned with the project into a product division to help with the tech transfer, and then transitioned into another R&D group once that project got off its feet. All very cutting edge, and very cool "stuff".

I run physics simulations, tolerance critical parts and complex assemblies, perform subsystem and system trade studies, build tests stands, characterize tests stands, interact with suppliers and management, mentor and guide new people (even senior folks new to the organization)
I often work alongside and guide other scientists, mechanical/electrical/software engineers on the project. I've even lead a small team as a "technical lead" and completed that project on schedule.

Probably the thought that crosses my mind the most... is that my title has not changed for 7 years. Despite the many hats I wear, or nearly doubling my salary in 7 years, I'm concerned with career stagnation.

I know I have more to offer and want to figure out the next step for my career. I've expressed my desire to move into management, but to date, this has not happened - thus the question "Is an MBA worth it?" Would this help open those doors? It seems to be way more of a human/organization-specific variable than I thought.

You guys are right though...

I shouldn't make an investment in an MBA unless I know exactly what it will be for and the end goal.
From the responses so far, it seems that it is a mixed bag, but quite possibly worth it if the company is willing to subsidize or cover it, but first I have to get into the situation where they would want to cover it.

For now - I've signed up for management classes to help improve my skills and to explore this potential area of growth.

I don't know much about MBAs, I'll grant you that. Although I have a few friends with them, mostly in consulting.

Sounds like you know what you want, which is good. A more management/ executive role or the "next step" in the career latter, and that hasn't happened at your current company (Have you expressed the desire to your superiors?)

From my vantage point, a degree -- any degree - has two purposes.

1: Actual focused learning and actual skills/ knowledge
2: the "credential" to persuade people to hire you. 'Theatrics' even

Sounds like its unanimous among everyone here that an MBA have very little practical knowledge (this is true of most degrees). I mean, how could it? It would be difficult to focus on everything there is to know about "business". But again, I don't have experience in it. Could you absolutely immerse your entire degree in a specific study, like Supply Chain economics, or Ad spend, or something like that? Doesn't sound like it..

So the main value of the MBA is 2: the credential that may or may not open career doors.
My counterpoint would be maybe consider a Master's in applied stats, financial accounting, I/O psychology, because you'd still have the "masters" but in something far more interesting/ useful than a generic MBA. But -- you already have a Ph.D!

Yeah ... tough question. I guess it's a question of personal branding and is there an easier way to achieve your goal? Hard to say.

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patrick013
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by patrick013 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:00 pm

StandingRock wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:24 am

The disturbing trend I have noticed over the past few years is that people with no background in IT at all get a quickie MBA and jump into IT management. It's pretty bad. Not saying that someone couldn't do that and be OK (or at least not screw up too badly). But basically you're just getting a babysitter/politician and many times it's in a front-line management role where you need more of a coach type figure.
So what computer languages would do the trick ? Most MBA's are MSOffice literate and possibly could set up a small office LAN. Mine was all pencil pushing...not even a calculator allowed.

HTML, C+, Java ? Somebody's got to draw the flowchart and might as well write the program syntax as well.
age in bonds, buy-and-hold, 10 year business cycle

StandingRock
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by StandingRock » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:31 pm

patrick013 wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:00 pm
StandingRock wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:24 am

The disturbing trend I have noticed over the past few years is that people with no background in IT at all get a quickie MBA and jump into IT management. It's pretty bad. Not saying that someone couldn't do that and be OK (or at least not screw up too badly). But basically you're just getting a babysitter/politician and many times it's in a front-line management role where you need more of a coach type figure.
So what computer languages would do the trick ? Most MBA's are MSOffice literate and possibly could set up a small office LAN. Mine was all pencil pushing...not even a calculator allowed.

HTML, C+, Java ? Somebody's got to draw the flowchart and might as well write the program syntax as well.
It depends on the situation... if I were a .NET shop I would recruit someone with that background and who has leadership experience or potential. If you needed someone more on the UI side of the fence you could get an HTML/Javascript guy. Etc., etc.


My point is, there are some huge gaps in organizations these days and it's not helping at all to try and fill those gaps with people who have random letters behind their name. They need to either develop people or recruit people with solid experience and a background in the project work in question.

COInvestor1989
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by COInvestor1989 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:53 pm

I’ll throw in my $.02.

-Graduated summa cum laude with degree in Finance from a top 50 business school.
-3.5 years later total comp of $100k at Fortune 500
-Employer paid 75% of part time MBA program at Top 25 school. Would’ve been 100% but I left shortly after finishing and had to pay back the portion subject to a claw back agreement.
-$160k total comp package at Fortune 500

It was tough balancing school, working, family life, and friends but for me it was definitely worthwhile. I had greater than 100% return for my out of pocket portion the first year.

-COInvestor1989

SavageAmusement
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by SavageAmusement » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:48 pm

I have a CPA and an MBA. They required significant effort and sacrifice to obtain. Both paid dividends a thousand times over intellectually and financially.

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FIREchief
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by FIREchief » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:51 pm

Prahasaurus wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:07 am
I think it’s practically useless, even anachronistic.

I have an MBA. I think 20 years ago it was a good career move, especially for someone with only an engineering degree (like me). But I’m very skeptical there is much value in 2019 in getting an MBA.
Nice post from somebody who walked down that path. I never felt any desire to layer an MBA on top of my STEM degree back at Megacorp. My only cost would have been time....but life's too short. Many of my colleagues/direct reports/subordinates obtained MBA's, but I can't recall a single instance where it became a meaningful discriminator at raise/promo time. Some of the more seasoned ones were fond of saying "here at Megacorp, MBA's have led to more divorces than promotions."
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

Topic Author
DoctorPhysics
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by DoctorPhysics » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:41 pm

PeterParker wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:58 am
DoctorPhysics wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:29 pm
OP here, thank you for all your replies.

To answer a few posters, yes - I have a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from a top 10 school.

A little background on me and why I asked the question - "Is an MBA worth it?"

I initially started in corporate R&D, transitioned with the project into a product division to help with the tech transfer, and then transitioned into another R&D group once that project got off its feet. All very cutting edge, and very cool "stuff".

I run physics simulations, tolerance critical parts and complex assemblies, perform subsystem and system trade studies, build tests stands, characterize tests stands, interact with suppliers and management, mentor and guide new people (even senior folks new to the organization)
I often work alongside and guide other scientists, mechanical/electrical/software engineers on the project. I've even lead a small team as a "technical lead" and completed that project on schedule.

Probably the thought that crosses my mind the most... is that my title has not changed for 7 years. Despite the many hats I wear, or nearly doubling my salary in 7 years, I'm concerned with career stagnation.

I know I have more to offer and want to figure out the next step for my career. I've expressed my desire to move into management, but to date, this has not happened - thus the question "Is an MBA worth it?" Would this help open those doors? It seems to be way more of a human/organization-specific variable than I thought.

You guys are right though...

I shouldn't make an investment in an MBA unless I know exactly what it will be for and the end goal.
From the responses so far, it seems that it is a mixed bag, but quite possibly worth it if the company is willing to subsidize or cover it, but first I have to get into the situation where they would want to cover it.

For now - I've signed up for management classes to help improve my skills and to explore this potential area of growth.

I don't know much about MBAs, I'll grant you that. Although I have a few friends with them, mostly in consulting.

Sounds like you know what you want, which is good. A more management/ executive role or the "next step" in the career latter, and that hasn't happened at your current company (Have you expressed the desire to your superiors?)

From my vantage point, a degree -- any degree - has two purposes.

1: Actual focused learning and actual skills/ knowledge
2: the "credential" to persuade people to hire you. 'Theatrics' even

Sounds like its unanimous among everyone here that an MBA have very little practical knowledge (this is true of most degrees). I mean, how could it? It would be difficult to focus on everything there is to know about "business". But again, I don't have experience in it. Could you absolutely immerse your entire degree in a specific study, like Supply Chain economics, or Ad spend, or something like that? Doesn't sound like it..

So the main value of the MBA is 2: the credential that may or may not open career doors.
My counterpoint would be maybe consider a Master's in applied stats, financial accounting, I/O psychology, because you'd still have the "masters" but in something far more interesting/ useful than a generic MBA. But -- you already have a Ph.D!

Yeah ... tough question. I guess it's a question of personal branding and is there an easier way to achieve your goal? Hard to say.
Yes, I have expressed the desire to management.

Another thought is that while an MBA might open doors, would it also make people take me more seriously? I mean - after all, like you said I have a Ph.D... I have a few examples where I've made suggestions or proposals, but the organization did not consider it. Sometimes these mistakes take years to play out, increase product cost and risk, and eventually, nobody remembers why. It gets frustrating, even maddening and it does result in many thoughts for how to improve my situation... e.g. an external or internal change, I chose the internal change first for now.

Like I mentioned before, I think there are quite a few human/organizational roadblocks in the way. There was a very good post by someone regarding this.. something along the lines of being able to "align" with upper management interests regardless of the merit of the idea in order to enter the club. It may have nothing to do with technical aptitude in the field, more EQ and less IQ. Anyways... I digress, I need to find that post.

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ClevrChico
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by ClevrChico » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:31 pm

I'm very pro-education, but I've been shocked how MBA programs attract some of the most incompetent colleagues in leadership I've ever known. And it's not just my opinion, one of them openly talked about how bad they were! Maybe it's a way to try and improve?

I have seen it as a way for graduates to progress from an individual contributor to middle management, with all the pitfalls that entails. Some of our c-level execs do not have MBA's.

I'm sure top tier programs and their alumni are in a whole other league beyond my experience.

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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by Nathan Drake » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:42 pm

ClevrChico wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:31 pm
I'm very pro-education, but I've been shocked how MBA programs attract some of the most incompetent colleagues in leadership I've ever known. And it's not just my opinion, one of them openly talked about how bad they were! Maybe it's a way to try and improve?

I have seen it as a way for graduates to progress from an individual contributor to middle management, with all the pitfalls that entails. Some of our c-level execs do not have MBA's.

I'm sure top tier programs and their alumni are in a whole other league beyond my experience.
The engineering colleagues I know that have MBAs all scoff at the degree in retrospect. They learned very little that they could directly apply to their jobs. A lot of the material being case work fluff and a walk in the park compared to the rigorous technical studies.

As I mentioned before, unless you’re getting the MBA to get into a industry that directly requires it, there may be little benefit. You’re probably better suited working more at your current job.

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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by Gnirk » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:43 am

My granddaughter would give you a “yes”, at least for her situation. She earned her BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and will complete her Masters in Data Science in December through a 4 +1 program, where during her 4th year of undergrad school she takes Masters level classes, so earns Bachelor of Science and Masters in 5 years. She is completing a summer internship with a well-known company, and she’s accepted a written job offer from them which will start right after she completes her Masters, with a starting salary in the 6 figures.

She feels the investment in time and money has been worth it for her. But then she is a go-getter!

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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by bampf » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:21 am

naveen wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:06 pm
Is MBA worth it for someone with the following attributes?

- Current age 23
- Current comp package $215/yr
- Cost of MBA - $200K (Tuition) + $450K (Lost income) = $650K

I think it makes sense to do from top 10 college otherwise don't go for it.

Thoughts?
Get a masters degree. Its two year of your life and it lasts a lifetime. You don't need to do it full time, at the best schools or pay $200K. Get a masters.

jb1
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by jb1 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:50 am

Nope. I feel you’ll truly learn how to run a business by actually starting one yourself.

MBA is greatfor networking and knowing how to do useless reports and graphs that you’ll never need in real life

Cyanide123
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by Cyanide123 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:10 am

Only worth it if it's from a brand name institute. Otherwise, the marginal benefit is fairly limited.

A harvard, yale, princeton, stanford, wharton, Northwestern, MIT, UIC and a few more places, their MBA take you to the next level.

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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:21 am

Cyanide123 wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:10 am
Only worth it if it's from a brand name institute. Otherwise, the marginal benefit is fairly limited.

A harvard, yale, princeton, stanford, wharton, Northwestern, MIT, UIC and a few more places, their MBA take you to the next level.
Princeton MBA. Yes an MBA from Princeton is an extremely rare & valuable commodity. I would encourage any interested reader to apply.

UIC? Do you mean Booth i.e. U of Chicago? (now named after a founder of Dimensional Fund Advisers, I believe).

In Europe you would add London Business School + Insead ("MckInsead" ;-)) to that list.

There are some schools that are lower ranked but have very loyal alumni. Tuck (Dartmouth) comes to mind. Also Darden (UVA). Berkeley used to be a name, but I am not sure it still is (same problem with UCLA). A lot of NYU grads work on Wall Street (back, middle & front office roles). Columbia should certainly be on that list.

USC seems to have "reach" in southern California, I think because a lot of professionals and business people in that region went there either for undergrad or for professional training (law, medicine).

There are other strong regional schools but I would not necessarily know of them.

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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by remomnyc » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:34 am

bernoulli wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:34 pm
Based on my own observation, getting an MBA is "worth it" only if one of the two is true:

(1) you get into a top 10 program
(2) your employer pays for it.
(2) is not true if it's not from a name school and you stay at your current employer, unless the MBA is required for a promotion. I know people who got MBAs paid by their employers but were unable to use them to launch into better paid jobs, so it ended up being a waste of time (versus money).

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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by cutterinnj » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:01 am

I'm a urologist, doing an MBA mostly for "fun", and do find that the intellectual stimulation is "worth it."

I'm doing it through the University of Massachusetts Isenberg Online, in association with the American Association for Physician Leadership.

It will not help my current job. Any job that I would potentially obtain from having an MBA would very likely lead to a significant drop in salary compared to what I make now. That alone should probably have them kick me out of a business program for massive incompetence. :D

I have been doing one (online) class at a time for the past 5 years, and enjoy it. It allows me to do things largely on my own time, and explore interesting topics further. For example, one of the classes was Economics; as it was the only class I was taking, I was listening to audio lectures on more advanced microeconomic topics while driving to work, and listened to some MIT Gametheory podcast as well.

The whole cost will be a bit under $30k; ammortized over 6 years and making it largely tax deductible makes it very doable. The nice thing about this program is it has been 100% online; I have not had to give up any work or vacation time in order to do this "hobby."
I've had medical friends go to schools like Wharton, paying close to $200k and having to sacrifice work/vacation time to attend, with a similar outcome- same degree, no change in salary.

I have one class left, and will miss the intellectual stimulation when it is over.

Maybe one day when I'm done practicing urology it could help lead to a consulting gig, but I consider this a hobby.

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stickman731
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by stickman731 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:46 am

remomnyc wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:34 am
bernoulli wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:34 pm
(2) is not true if it's not from a name school and you stay at your current employer, unless the MBA is required for a promotion. I know people who got MBAs paid by their employers but were unable to use them to launch into better paid jobs, so it ended up being a waste of time (versus money).

Agree 100% as I witnessed this in my company. For my direct reports, I asked them for a plan before I would approve it (and that included benefits to the corporation). The best course I ever took and the most worthwhile was a continuing education credit course "Finance for Non-Finance Majors" that helped me professionally and personally immensely.

Kaizen Soze
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by Kaizen Soze » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:38 pm

I went to a mid-tier MBA program. I found the core courses easier and covered less than my undergrad courses. I found the electives very useful. I took courses on six sigma, leadership, and negotiation that I still reference today.

The value of my MBA came from networking. I attended the events and got to know the professors and staff. During my last semester of the program I met with the Dean and discussed a career change. At the time I was messing around as a salaried FA but wanted to move out of sales. She invited me to one of the social dinners and during the dinner we discussed my interests. The next week she reached out to an alum and landed me an interview. I got the job over 15 other candidates that interviewed.

So getting an MBA was worth it to me. Total cost of the program was ~$25k and my starting compensation was $35k higher than my previous job. About 2 years ago the Dean reached out to me with a student looking for a job and I was able to get her an interview.

I've run across multiple organizations where salary is very structured and having an MBA automatically increases your salary. An MBA is worth it if the price is reasonable and you get involved. But big pass if it's $50k/yr and not top-tier.

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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by abuss368 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:45 pm

Depends. In accounting the question never arises. The question that does arise is “Are you a CPA”?
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by DesertDiva » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:50 pm

Vanguard Fan 1367 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:57 am
My wife got an online MBA from Webster University. I don't know what the fees are currently but I am thinking that they may be less than 75 to 100K yearly. I am glad she got the MBA because they taught her Boglehead ideas so that she will go along with self directed investing and low fee index funds. So for us it was worth it.
"Boglehead ideas" can be learned for a mere fraction of the price of an MBA. Did the MBA help her professionally?

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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by JackoC » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:31 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:13 am
DoctorPhysics wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:00 am
Hi there, just like the title says.. is an MBA worth it? They look very expensive, 75k/year to 200k/year if I read what I browsed correctly.

So is an MBA worth it? As in a worthwhile investment on future career growth and likely income?
You need to think about what your career goal is.

MBAs are used to 1. make contacts 2. add prestige to your CV (many CEOs for example are Harvard snobs) 3. learn something. Once you are over 30 the utility of a full time MBA to your career diminishes sharply.

You can change career, change level, change location (country, typically) - it's hard to do all 3 in your first post MBA job.

1. if you want to work for a top flight employer and it's a career switch, then a top 10 MBA is worth it (providing you are under 30). You will at least get access to interviews with investment banks, consulting firms etc. -

The "top 10" vary but include:

2. if you want to work in the trading side of Wall Street, probably better to try to get a job directly with a bank. Approach headhunters that do quant recruiting, read every book you can find on quant in Wall Street (Derman, Bookstaber etc. but also the technical ones). CFA is useful as a "know the jargon" qualification so you could start on that too (it's not hard, but the volume is enormous - you are going to have to commit 9-5 every weekend now to December for Level 1, and tbh I'd probably shoot for June 2020 for Level 1, even though it means you would take 3 years. Unless you have a lot of free time Level 1 & 2 between now and June 2020 is just a brutal amount of work).

Read all the popular books about flash trading as well.
It definitely depends what your career has been and whether you want to change it. Really whole different situation if you want the MBA to enhance basically the same career where you've already got you foot in the door than if the opposite.

1. There's been lots of name mentioned but the summary is: the 'top 10' is really a lot more than 10. It's really important for career changers, and for the more prototypical changes, as to Wall Street, management consulting etc. The concept that the entree to those employers drops off sharply at a certain point is true. It's just not really 10. It also varies with time, varies with for example (front office even) job category on Wall Street for one thing.

2. I question this advice, frankly. If somebody gets a job on WS on front line or with plausible internal path to front line (depends on position and firm) right out of college, their foot is in the door. They might find that in their particular job or firm, the firm pretty much kicks them out at some point saying they have to get an MBA to move further (corporate finance, very likely), or maybe they manage to move far without an MBA (more likely in sales/trading). But if a person is undergrad they are looking at what *job* to get; top MBA programs now pretty heavily frown on going straight from undergrad to B-school. Somebody considering an MBA has probably worked for at least a year or two, maybe more, after college. If they already have their foot in the door on WS they don't need disembodied voices on the internet telling them how WS firms work: they know. But if looking to break into front line WS having done anything other than that for a few years after college, even 'banking' more generally, the odds of doing that without going to a top MBA program are extremely long. Nothing is impossible, but that's close. It's just not how it works. WS is pretty credentialist but very credentialist for people who didn't get a WS job out of undergrad college.

There is a category of exception to this, namely hard science PhD>WS, which can work out as quant, or can lead to being a trader. And other cases, I knew a 'middle office' IT person who later became very successful with automated trading, became essentially ($$$ wise) a front line person. Once your foot is in the door, you can do all kinds of things with all kinds of backgrounds. But undergrad>non WS job>front line WS job is extremely difficult. Undergrad>non-WS job>MBA>WS front line job is a well beaten path. Again the odds vary with B-school, declining all the way from the very top places, but the good news is not a sharp cliff after a handful or even 10 schools. An objective measure is whether and which firms formally recruit at the school. They don't generally come to make a show and never hire anybody. If they don't come, that's over the cliff.

Note, I'm not dismissing what you might learn at B-school and apply to a front line WS job. Foot in the door is just practically speaking at the top of the hierarchy of needs for WS, IME. And I'm just going off on the particular subtopic of MBA/WS because I know something about it. People have all kinds of other purposes in mind for getting MBA's, and it's impossible to cover those all.

SilverGirl
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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by SilverGirl » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:04 pm

I just read a whole chapter in ‘Personal MBA’ with a lot of convincing data showing the answer is no, it’s not.

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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:08 am

DesertDiva wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:50 pm
Vanguard Fan 1367 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:57 am
My wife got an online MBA from Webster University. I don't know what the fees are currently but I am thinking that they may be less than 75 to 100K yearly. I am glad she got the MBA because they taught her Boglehead ideas so that she will go along with self directed investing and low fee index funds. So for us it was worth it.
"Boglehead ideas" can be learned for a mere fraction of the price of an MBA. Did the MBA help her professionally?
Not so much help professionally.

It is like pulling teeth to get her to look at Boglehead ideas on this forum, in a book or elsewhere. So yes it was more expensive to get the ideas that way but she got them and we save a bundle by not going to an advisor loaded with various fees which way more than pays for her MBA cost. It also made her feel significant and important to get an MBA.

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Re: MBA worth it?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:22 am

Income pre-MBA: $120k
Income two years post-MBA: $260k

I'd say it was worth it!

Also, if it wasn’t for my MBA, I probably would not have launched my Excellent Adventure.

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