MBA Worth It?

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aspiringlawyer
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MBA Worth It?

Post by aspiringlawyer » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:56 pm

My spouse just got into five different MBA programs and we are currently weighing whether she should attend. Three schools offered $35k in scholarships a year while two didn’t offer anything. In this current environment, what do y’all think about getting an MBA? Spouse wants to change industries. Does anyone have an MBA and if so, do you regret it?

Thanks!

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willthrill81
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:58 pm

Here's a post I wrote not long ago about this question.
willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:54 pm
Having taught in multiple MBA programs myself and being in on many conversations on both sides of the fence, I can tell you that there are only three types of MBA that still have significant added value for a large proportion of those get them: (1) an executive MBA from a solid program, (2) a 'general' MBA from one of the top B-schools, and (3) a specialized MBA.

Executive MBA programs at good B-schools really can improve students' knowledge and skills in the workplace, and networking is a huge benefit as well. Be prepared to cough up at least $70k for a good one.

A general MBA from a top B-school still tends to carry significant weight in many, perhaps even most, industries. Networking is a big feature here as well. The cost can be obscenely high though, easily $200k.

A specialized MBA that focuses on a relatively new, 'hot' area can provide students with both good skills and connections in a niche area, where the connections tend to count the most, and may be valuable to many companies interested in expanding into the new area, although this added value can degrade rather quickly if the industry quickly moves past that area or it becomes saturated with similar graduates.

A general MBA from a typical university is, in my experience, not usually very helpful from a career perspective, although you can find many instances where they were. Mine was useful to me simply because it showed me that I wanted to continue my education in a different direction, and that new direction completely overhauled my career for the better.

YMMV.
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WJW
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by WJW » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:00 pm

No MBA here, I am a business owner though and never felt the need to attend more school. I don't think an MBA will hurt but what is her end goal career wise? Will the MBA help in that regard? Have others without an MBA already taken the same path she wants to?

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by fabdog » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:01 pm

What field does she want to change into? If consulting, then an MBA from a top tier school may be helpful. If just general management, not so sure.
I volunteer with an MBA program. The competition for excellent female candidates is quite fierce. I wouldn't take the $35K as the last word on assistance.

So depending on what she wants to move to, and the school(s) in play, the answer is maybe

Mike

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Count of Notre Dame » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:05 pm

Only if it's an elite MBA program that will get her into a high paying job. I have a lot of coworkers with MBAs and they essentially wasted the money - they don't make any more than I do and it did not change their career trajectory.

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aspiringlawyer
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by aspiringlawyer » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:09 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:58 pm
Here's a post I wrote not long ago about this question.
willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:54 pm
Having taught in multiple MBA programs myself and being in on many conversations on both sides of the fence, I can tell you that there are only three types of MBA that still have significant added value for a large proportion of those get them: (1) an executive MBA from a solid program, (2) a 'general' MBA from one of the top B-schools, and (3) a specialized MBA.

Executive MBA programs at good B-schools really can improve students' knowledge and skills in the workplace, and networking is a huge benefit as well. Be prepared to cough up at least $70k for a good one.

A general MBA from a top B-school still tends to carry significant weight in many, perhaps even most, industries. Networking is a big feature here as well. The cost can be obscenely high though, easily $200k.

A specialized MBA that focuses on a relatively new, 'hot' area can provide students with both good skills and connections in a niche area, where the connections tend to count the most, and may be valuable to many companies interested in expanding into the new area, although this added value can degrade rather quickly if the industry quickly moves past that area or it becomes saturated with similar graduates.

A general MBA from a typical university is, in my experience, not usually very helpful from a career perspective, although you can find many instances where they were. Mine was useful to me simply because it showed me that I wanted to continue my education in a different direction, and that new direction completely overhauled my career for the better.

YMMV.
Very helpful insight!

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aspiringlawyer
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by aspiringlawyer » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:11 pm

fabdog wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:01 pm
What field does she want to change into? If consulting, then an MBA from a top tier school may be helpful. If just general management, not so sure.
I volunteer with an MBA program. The competition for excellent female candidates is quite fierce. I wouldn't take the $35K as the last word on assistance.

So depending on what she wants to move to, and the school(s) in play, the answer is maybe

Mike
She wants to do consulting and the five programs she got into are in the top 10. I’m thinking if she goes we will likely go with the one with the highest scholarship, but have been trying to convince her to negotiate as well.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:19 pm

I've seen a few examples where it appeared an MBA was a great idea.

1) Someone wishes to move into management and the company is encouraging her to get an MBA towards that end. Usually part time and with tuition help.

2) Someone with a completely different area of expertise who finds themself leading a group. What I've seen are engineers who become (bad) managers. An MBA is often a nights thing and tuition is picked up by the company.


From the OP's wording, I sense that this is being considered to make her more marketable or to better qualify her for a different job as a manager. I do feel that things that stick to a resume (degrees, patents, publications) can be worthwhile. Not sure I'd spend non-re-embersed money on one, however.
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by magicrat » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:26 pm

aspiringlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:11 pm
fabdog wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:01 pm
What field does she want to change into? If consulting, then an MBA from a top tier school may be helpful. If just general management, not so sure.
I volunteer with an MBA program. The competition for excellent female candidates is quite fierce. I wouldn't take the $35K as the last word on assistance.

So depending on what she wants to move to, and the school(s) in play, the answer is maybe

Mike
She wants to do consulting and the five programs she got into are in the top 10. I’m thinking if she goes we will likely go with the one with the highest scholarship, but have been trying to convince her to negotiate as well.
If she wants to do consulting she should go to the school that will maximize her chances of getting into one of the top firms. That does not necessarily mean the highest ranked or the one with the most consulting recruits, but the one that is best for her. For example, I went to B school at one of the smaller programs, then McKinsey. Good ranking (top 10), but not right at the top. Good consulting numbers, but not the best. Given my profile and personality, I felt that I could shine more in a smaller pond.

I would not factor in scholarships at all in this case. She will be sorely disappointed if she takes the money, goes to a suboptimal school, and doesn't get the job she wants.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:32 pm

aspiringlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:56 pm
Does anyone have an MBA and if so, do you regret it?
I have an MBA.
No I don't regret it.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:37 pm

aspiringlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:56 pm
My spouse just got into five different MBA programs and we are currently weighing whether she should attend. Three schools offered $35k in scholarships a year while two didn’t offer anything. In this current environment, what do y’all think about getting an MBA? Spouse wants to change industries. Does anyone have an MBA and if so, do you regret it?

Thanks!
My wife has an MBA. For her the personal growth in getting the MBA was well worth it. Also there are folks on here who have trouble with spouses who aren't Bogleheads. The MBA gave her investing knowledge that has helped her appreciate the low fee index funds that Bogle recommends.

Others have said that a book is cheaper than an MBA but I know a number of people who don't feel confident enough in investing to do it themselves. I know of someone with maybe 800K in investments with roughly 2 percent plus in fees and loads on that 800k. So we are looking at 16 thousand a year in lost investment growth. The wife and I have way more than paid for her MBA with improved investment results.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by alex_686 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:39 pm

This would be a great time to get a MBA.

To determine the worth of a MBA you need to consider 2 paths.

The first is to not only consider the cost of the MBA, but the lost wages. Then estimate the increase in income from the MBA.

The second is to consider the current path.

I am semi-assuming that lots of people are going to either get laid off, have hours reduced, or otherwise see their current and futures salaries reduced. If you see recession for the next 2 years, this would be the best time to go.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Bfwolf » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:57 pm

magicrat wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:26 pm

If she wants to do consulting she should go to the school that will maximize her chances of getting into one of the top firms. That does not necessarily mean the highest ranked or the one with the most consulting recruits, but the one that is best for her. For example, I went to B school at one of the smaller programs, then McKinsey. Good ranking (top 10), but not right at the top. Good consulting numbers, but not the best. Given my profile and personality, I felt that I could shine more in a smaller pond.

I would not factor in scholarships at all in this case. She will be sorely disappointed if she takes the money, goes to a suboptimal school, and doesn't get the job she wants.
I partially, but not fully, agree with this. The scholarships should be factored in. Tens of thousands of dollars this early in life matters. But don't let it blind you into making a very sub-optimal decision if the money wasn't a factor.

All of the top 10 MBA programs will position your spouse well for consulting. But some are better than others. And there may be some that you prefer from a "personality" or location standpoint. Factor it all in.

But back to the OP's initial question, if your spouse wants to go into management consulting, this is the way to do it.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by galving » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:00 pm

No MBA here.
Also in the firm 'why is it needed?' camp. . . though I fully admit my bias.

Understand that it might be a lever to change industries.
If that's the case, then I'd take the least expensive approach possible.

Alternative to a scholarship, is there a way her current company could fund the degree?
If the target to is to be in a different industry and you're targeting schools in that industry I understand why that might not work.

Good luck.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by magicrat » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:02 pm

One other thought - Does your spouse have good reason to believe she will be competitive for top consulting firms? I've seen countless people go to the top top programs wanting to do consulting and get left out in the cold, and often they never really had a shot.

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aspiringlawyer
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by aspiringlawyer » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:07 pm

magicrat wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:02 pm
One other thought - Does your spouse have good reason to believe she will be competitive for top consulting firms? I've seen countless people go to the top top programs wanting to do consulting and get left out in the cold, and often they never really had a shot.
Good question. I think she would be competitive for consulting, but honestly I’m not sure. She’s moving from investment management and is targeting the DFW area for consulting. What would you say would make her competitive?

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:31 pm

aspiringlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:07 pm
magicrat wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:02 pm
One other thought - Does your spouse have good reason to believe she will be competitive for top consulting firms? I've seen countless people go to the top top programs wanting to do consulting and get left out in the cold, and often they never really had a shot.
Good question. I think she would be competitive for consulting, but honestly I’m not sure. She’s moving from investment management and is targeting the DFW area for consulting. What would you say would make her competitive?
What would she be consulting in? Anything she is currently working in?

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by ucj11 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:04 pm

aspiringlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:56 pm
My spouse just got into five different MBA programs and we are currently weighing whether she should attend. Three schools offered $35k in scholarships a year while two didn’t offer anything. In this current environment, what do y’all think about getting an MBA? Spouse wants to change industries. Does anyone have an MBA and if so, do you regret it?

Thanks!
I'll chime in as someone with an MBA...while I don't regret it I wouldn't have done it if my employer didn't pay for it. As others have stated, I'd advise having an end outcome in mind. An MBA does not guarantee anything, so I'd try and be crystal clear of where I wanted to end up afterwards.

For me, my objective was to get accepted into a megacorp leadership development program (which required an MBA or CPA) so it worked out, but I've seen many others complete an MBA without any tangible payoff.

I'd recommend having her check out the below site before making a decision. The book and reading list are great resources...from a learning perspective I think I've gotten more value out of this compared to my actual MBA.

https://personalmba.com/

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by whodidntante » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:33 pm

I completed an MBA on a part-time program that my employer mostly paid for. It was from a private school that has a good reputation locally, but most of you would have to Google it. In my case, it paid off fantastically, but I had a reasonable plan for it to pay off. I was already on a career path where it was a sensible step. It enabled me to reach a difficult to reach level in corporate Donkey Kong, pretty close to the gorilla throwing the barrels, but just short of rescuing the girl. And I still have to jump over barrels for a living.

No one is going to give you the keys to the kingdom just because you have an MBA. If you don't have a plan, skip it. I know a few MBAs who just wasted their time and money. Well, unless they are one of those lifelong learner hippies. Then they still wasted their time and money, but they're happy about it.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Kaizen Soze » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:39 pm

I moved around a lot in my 20's bouncing between jobs. Five countries and many more stories later I came back to the US with a 4-digit NW and started a low paying sales gig in financial services. I couldn't drink the kool-aid but I didn't know what else to do. I thought the best (if I'm being honest, quickest) path to a higher income and better job was to get an MBA. I was a horrible undergrad student, constantly on academic probation, so I didn't apply to my above avg. undergrad school. I played it safe and applied to a local MBA program ranked 50-100 where my undergrad grades were well below the minimum but my GMAT score fell on the high side. Choosing a local school was a wise financial decision, however I found my undergrad business degree was more challenging and enlightening than the MBA program.

The fundamental differences that made my MBA worth it was that I became a much better student after having several years of full-time job experience, I was engaged in the program, and I was focused on networking with both students and faculty. During my last semester I met with the dean of the school and talked about what kind of job I wanted, we already had a good rapport. She initiated contact with several alum on my behalf to see who was hiring. She landed me an interview with an alum for a medium-sized company I never heard of. There were 14 applicants interviewed and I'm sure having the same alma mater with a referral from the dean gave me the edge. I'm now three weeks away from my 7yr. anniversary with the company and am still happy with the job.

Looking back I spent somewhere between $160-200k getting a decent 4yr. undergrad degree and it didn't get me very far, discounting the actual education. I spent $30k on a 2yr. MBA and immediately increased my salary by much more than $30k/yr.

I frequently see this board poopooing on the idea of an MBA from a typical university so I think the answer is, it depends... YMMW

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by JDonaghy » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:45 pm

Finished my full-time MBA a few years ago at a top 10. It worked out for me financially, but I don't think I would do it over if I had the choice. Its a lot of money, time and sweat for some general knowledge and boozy weekends

It can be a good way to get into consulting, but as others have mentioned, there are no guarantees you'll get hired. If the economy turns down, consulting firms will hire less and start to do layoffs.
Consulting is a grind, and after 2 years many people are looking for the exits, burned out from editing PPT late into the night.
Plus in time your priorities change, you don't want to devote your entire existence to work
For the corporate world where I work now, the MBA skillset is so general, work experience is more valuable than an MBA.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Tjb » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:59 pm

Lots of good advice here. I have an Engineering Degree, and ended up in operations running various business units and factories without an MBA. At this point, that experience would far outweigh any MBA if I were to look for a new job. That being said, access to that experience may not be available, and if not, an MBA could give a person access to those types of jobs, so as has been said, it sometimes depends on the path. My wife is and Engineer, with an MBA but never got into operations but did get into technical sales and marketing. The MBA helped make the transition out of pure engineering and to a more business like technical sales position.

I know lots of people with MBA'a that just "have" an MBA and have not used it to diversify (interesting word among the users of this forum). If your wife has an idea of what she wants to do, it would be wise to think about how the MBA will help her get there. If it helps, then it's worth it, if it's just to say I have an MBA, then maybe not.

Hope this helps

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:07 pm

I have two master's degrees, in different subjects, earned at different universities years apart. One is a terminal degree. Neither is an MBA.

My general advice is for nobody to go to graduate schoool in any subject they aren't intensely interested in. Without intense interest it's a losing proposition. With it, one can succeed.

What is the purpose for considering an MBA attempt? An intense interest in how business management works? OK. So one can make more money? Maybe. So I can show Alex over in Accounting I'm better than him? Not by any means.

Graduate school is a long and difficult journey. Do it if you care so much nothing else makes sense.

Should something else make sense, I'd suggest going for that instead.

PJW
Last edited by Phineas J. Whoopee on Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

simas
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by simas » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:09 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:31 pm
aspiringlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:07 pm
magicrat wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:02 pm
One other thought - Does your spouse have good reason to believe she will be competitive for top consulting firms? I've seen countless people go to the top top programs wanting to do consulting and get left out in the cold, and often they never really had a shot.
Good question. I think she would be competitive for consulting, but honestly I’m not sure. She’s moving from investment management and is targeting the DFW area for consulting. What would you say would make her competitive?
What would she be consulting in? Anything she is currently working in?
This, above. what is her expertise? what she wants to consult in? it is domain knowledge that matters as well as having the network of partnerships if you want to make living as (independent consultant). no, MBA would be a waste of time and money to most of the scenarios I know.

She may be better of
- getting the credentials common to that industry
- become active and visible in that industry (conference speaking , local interest/user groups, presentations on topics of interest). people hire people they know and who they think know the subject. that is awesome marketing and networking.

polyphasic9
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by polyphasic9 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:16 pm

Top 3 MBA here. Absolutely worth it for me. But I'm not your spouse.

Respectfully, I suggest a lot of introspection around the "why" question, because that drives much of the decision-making around the "where" and "how much should I pay" decisions. Seeking employment with a white shoe consulting firm is very different than seeking employment with a respectable regional IT consultancy.

I do not recommend forgoing two years of income plus tuition just to get the degree. There's just too much pain. Moreover, as others have correctly observed, literally everything that one learns at a top-ranked MBA program can also be learned at an unheralded (and far lower cost) program. There are many great institutions with solid programs that teach an ambitious student all that he/she might need. Frankly, one can learn most of it from a dozen books, though there's no resulting credential.

Best wishes to you both.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Bfwolf » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:33 pm

I am surprised at how many people are cautioning against doing it.

If your spouse is making big money already, then maybe not.

Otherwise, if she wants to do management consulting for a top company, this is the way, and she'll be paid handsomely. If she's got a decent resume and works hard at the job hunt, she'll probably find something at those firms.

Consulting is very tough work, and she may not want to do it forever. But having worked at a top consulting firm, she'll have lots more options in "industry" after.

Getting your MBA at the 50th ranked school is usually a mistake unless your company is paying for it and there's a direct pay-off associated with it in terms of promotion. This is not the OP's situation. His wife is talking about going to the Harvards, Stanfords, etc of the world. This is where the big consulting companies fish.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Lookingforanswers » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:42 pm

I have an MBA from a top 10 school, went into consulting afterwards, and have done a *ton* of MBA recruiting in my career since living school. Have also stayed close to my classmates, and currently am going through the "should I/shouldn't I" decision process with one of my kids.

I think that in your wife's case it would be a good bet:
1. She got into several top programs.
2. She wants to switch industries
3. She wants to go into consulting (one of the industries most aggressive about looking for MBA's).
4. She got some good scholarships.

Getting an MBA is a good educational experience, but it's also like a two-year-long job fair. Recruiting events start early in your first year. Before you know it, you're working on a resume to get a summer internship, interviewing for internships, then deep into your internship thinking about whether that is what you want to do after graduation or not. Then your second year you're comparing your internship experience against what you want to do after school.

If you're switching industries, it's ideal. Especially if you enter with an open mind, and willing to consider something other than what you think you want to do before you go through the job exploration described above.

If you are already in the industry where you want to stay (at least for awhile, you are making good progress, and making good money), then an MBA would make less sense.
Last edited by Lookingforanswers on Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

magicrat
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by magicrat » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:18 pm

aspiringlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:07 pm
magicrat wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:02 pm
One other thought - Does your spouse have good reason to believe she will be competitive for top consulting firms? I've seen countless people go to the top top programs wanting to do consulting and get left out in the cold, and often they never really had a shot.
Good question. I think she would be competitive for consulting, but honestly I’m not sure. She’s moving from investment management and is targeting the DFW area for consulting. What would you say would make her competitive?
I left consulting 5 years ago and graduated from b-school ~10 years ago, so I might be a little dated. But, for example, to get an interview with the McKinsey/Bain/BCG tier of consulting firms, you had to have a 700+ GMAT. Not strictly, but unless there was something truly unique about your background (entrepreneur, military leader, professional athlete, etc), it was pretty tough without a 700+. 750+ and you would get interviews almost automatically. I knew lots of people who didn't really understand this until they were in school.

That's just one example and food for thought. But the point is that just being in a top school does not necessarily make one competitive for top consulting jobs. And being able to pass the resume screen is critical, as that is what gets you invited to recruiting events and gets you on the interview list.

LeftCoastIV
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by LeftCoastIV » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:44 pm

You mentioned consulting as a desired career path. A few things to think about: Be aware that it's a pretty terrible lifestyle. Makes more sense IMO when you are single. Also, as you move up it becomes more sales-focused, versus project delivery focused.

I would also note that moving into consulting isn't really a discipline change (e.g. going from Marketing to IT for example), unless you are talking about specialized consulting (e.g. Operational turnarounds, Marketing specialists, etc...).

FWIW, I have an MBA and value the education, experience, and "pedigree". My school generally bounces around between #25 and #30 in the rankings, so not considered elite. But I got my MBA pretty young (I was still 25 when I graduated), so the lost income was minimal.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by RomeoMustDie » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:06 pm

aspiringlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:11 pm
fabdog wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:01 pm
What field does she want to change into? If consulting, then an MBA from a top tier school may be helpful. If just general management, not so sure.
I volunteer with an MBA program. The competition for excellent female candidates is quite fierce. I wouldn't take the $35K as the last word on assistance.

So depending on what she wants to move to, and the school(s) in play, the answer is maybe

Mike
She wants to do consulting and the five programs she got into are in the top 10. I’m thinking if she goes we will likely go with the one with the highest scholarship, but have been trying to convince her to negotiate as well.
This is a great life achievement, not many people in this world have the opportunity to study business at an excellent school. I would go and not think about it from a financial or ROI perspective. Congratulations on the admissions. :sharebeer

refurb
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by refurb » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:00 pm

I got an MBA and it was well worth it, but that isn’t the case for everyone.

My MBA allowed me to change jobs, and it was a job I had zero chance of getting without an MBA. I was pretty much capped out in terms of salary in the old job, but the MBA allowed me to triple my salary and I still haven’t capped out.

Keep in mind that MBA applications have actually gone down quite dramatically in the past few years. My program usually accepted 8% of applicants, now it’s 20%. It’s a combination of a great economy (until now) and the belief that MBA programs don’t offer as much value.

I would say an MBA can be a good move if you have a specific career path in mind where an MBA is a requirement or highly desirable (investment banking, consulting, etc).

If you want to be an entrepreneur? I would say no. An MBA is a great business education if you’re working at a huge corporation, not at a small business.

Oh, and in terms of which school to go to? Definitely the most prestigious (yes, it matters). Some school are closely ranked, but if it’s a decision between Stanford and Colombia (with scholarship), Stanford all the way.

Rf

manuvns
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by manuvns » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:07 pm

aspiringlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:56 pm
My spouse just got into five different MBA programs and we are currently weighing whether she should attend. Three schools offered $35k in scholarships a year while two didn’t offer anything. In this current environment, what do y’all think about getting an MBA? Spouse wants to change industries. Does anyone have an MBA and if so, do you regret it?

Thanks!
it just depends on what you are doing right now and what you want to do after MBA , is the school you are going to have like minded poeple/network to help you get there . if you don't have answer to most of these questions don't waste your time and money .

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geerhardusvos
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by geerhardusvos » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:15 pm

aspiringlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:56 pm
My spouse just got into five different MBA programs and we are currently weighing whether she should attend. Three schools offered $35k in scholarships a year while two didn’t offer anything. In this current environment, what do y’all think about getting an MBA? Spouse wants to change industries. Does anyone have an MBA and if so, do you regret it?

Thanks!
It depends on the industry, but I believe that unless you go to a top10 school it is not worth it. Or if you go to a state school that has good jobs in town, that can be great depending on the cost and industry. In general, unless you fall into the two prior mentioned options, it is close to worthless. I have hundreds of connections and have recruited top talent, and I take experience over mba any day. Transitions can happen through certifications and training programs that cost 10% of a graduate program and take less time to help shift.
VTSAX and chill

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by manatee2005 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:18 pm

geerhardusvos wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:15 pm
aspiringlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:56 pm
My spouse just got into five different MBA programs and we are currently weighing whether she should attend. Three schools offered $35k in scholarships a year while two didn’t offer anything. In this current environment, what do y’all think about getting an MBA? Spouse wants to change industries. Does anyone have an MBA and if so, do you regret it?

Thanks!
It depends on the industry, but I believe that unless you go to a top10 school it is not worth it. Or if you go to a state school that has good jobs in town, that can be great depending on the cost and industry. In general, unless you fall into the two prior mentioned options, it is close to worthless. I have hundreds of connections and have recruited top talent, and I take experience over mba any day. Transitions can happen through certifications and training programs that cost 10% of a graduate program and take less time to help shift.
I went to a top 5 school and it's still not worth it.

Lookingforanswers
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Lookingforanswers » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:10 am

LeftCoastIV wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:44 pm
You mentioned consulting as a desired career path... Be aware that it's a pretty terrible lifestyle. Makes more sense IMO when you are single.
i enjoyed my 5 years as a consultant, sometimes I think I should have stayed a bit longer. However, the best debate while on the road with my teams was whether it was worse to be married or single.

Married people: terrible strain on marriage, miss too many things with your kids.
Single people: I'll never get married because I'm not in town long enough to meet anyone.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by mroe800 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:46 am

JDonaghy wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:45 pm
Consulting is a grind, and after 2 years many people are looking for the exits, burned out from editing PPT late into the night.
:annoyed :annoyed Every night.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Cruise » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:03 am

Lots of interesting responses here.

One question I have is why isn’t your spouse here asking the question and following up?

I got my MBA after my Ph.D. I was in a consulting role without any background in business or organizations. My MBA was an attempt to remedy a skill deficit. Turns out that in one of my first classes, taken in the evening, I met an influential businessman who needed someone with my technical expertise. Meeting this person and completing my MBA altered my career trajectory and enabled me to reach FI well before my peers without MBAs. Went to a mid-level school. Paid for it myself. It was a grind completing it at night, but I didn’t have the money for an EMBA or full-time studies.

Aside from the financial benefits due to my MBA, I became a better-informed citizen by taking the classes and talking to my classmates. Very valuable to me, but I like to learn new things.

Good luck to your spouse.

DarkHelmetII
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by DarkHelmetII » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:16 am

1) Would not let current environment influence this life decision.
2) If a "top" school give serious consideration but still no automatic decision. If not "top" generally would tend to take a pass.
3) I don't know how to define "top." Some are obvious like Harvard. But you get the idea.

There are some people I've worked with that have gone way past me and MBA from a top school was probably a necessary, however not sufficient (by itself) factor. Plenty of people from "top" programs and certainly non-top that are not really that strong.

My 2 cents

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stickman731
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by stickman731 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:50 am

Now retired senior director from a major chemical company. I started in R&D, then QA than sales, marketing, businesss development all with my BS in Chemistry. Never had a plan but was always told by senior management - it will be "good for you" and it was. My mentors were outstanding in helping and directing me.

We had a tuition reimbursement program and many of my reports would pursue / utilize it, those seeking a MBA, I would ask the following:

Why the MBA? Career advancement, money, self-satisfaction?

Do you have a plan on what you want to do and how to get there? I was always surprised my how many had no plan or strategy - they thought that if they had a MBA they would get a better job and better pay.

Does the plan include you staying or leaving the company? Many did not know how to answer this question, if you are leaving why should we pay for your education. If you are staying, who have you talked to about potential roles and assignments in the company? How will it benefit the company?

I would simple say that you do not know if it is worth it until you have taken the journey - have a written plan and timeline with goals for what you want to achieve? and what is the initial job you want? The journey is not a straight-line but guided and directed by others.

As a director, I never cared about the degree but the personal drive, aptitude and goals of the individual. My goal was to motivate and develop them for the benefit of the company. The better my team did - the better I did.
Last edited by stickman731 on Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rus In Urbe
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Rus In Urbe » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:51 am

*
I founded and ran a graduate program for a decade (but in journalism, not business). So I'll weigh in here on a few other points:

HERE is what a masters program can do:
----Update skills in specialized areas and introduce you to the latest programs and technologies (if it is a good school)
----Show your willingness to learn and invest in your career
----Put you in touch with a network of new contacts (depending on the university)
----Give you a year out of an industry (useful during a downturn)
----Give you a "fresh start" when you re-enter an industry
----Allow you the opportunity and resources to publish in your field (can be useful on an executive level).

HERE is what a masters program cannot do:
----Fix psychological issues that keep you from getting along with co-workers and authority figures
----Instill in you a great work ethic (you have that or you have to get it on your own)
----Guarantee you employment
----Give you a certificate that magically opens doors
----Give you a list of people who will automatically vouch you are terrific (you have to earn that reputation)

The best candidates for success in a masters program have specific goals in undertaking a masters, and work their tails off to achieve those goals.....but then, those are the kinds of people who succeed anywhere.

Hope this is helpful.

:beer Rus.
I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money. ~Pablo Picasso

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by tvubpwcisla » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:52 am

I think it is worth it, as I have never seen anyone suffer or have an MBA hurt their career. Most, if not all, employers respect that type of degree. I also think if there were two candidates applying for the same job and one had an MBA and the other did not, the employer may in fact choose the candidate with the higher degree. I do think it also commands a slightly higher salary. I see roses all up and would go for it!
The secret to building wealth is to have a plan, keep expenses low, become an expert in your craft, consistently buy the market, diversify, establish multiple income streams, and always smile.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Chris001122 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:59 am

It's worth it if it is worth it to her. I have an MBA from a good state school. Was offered a scholarship to attend a top-20 MBA school, but I decided that the two years of lost salary was too much to walk away from.

It was difficult and I spent a lot of nights and weekends in class and studying that I could have been relaxing. I had a full time job and only took 2 classes at a time so it took like 7 years (2 years of pre MBA undergrad.).

I joke around that it was a waste of my time, and indeed it did not seem to increase my salary, get me into a corner office, etc. However, it has made me a more valuable employee. I can talk to accounting better and I have a lot more tools to get my work done. I think it has also given me more value to my company and made me a lot harder to lay off or fire since I have more value. I already made more salary than some managers, so it is hard to complain about that. (I'm in engineering).
"It's always been a mistake to bet against the United States since 1776." - Warren Buffett

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by virginiabirdie » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:09 am

I don't have an MBA. But I paid for my husband's. :D (I was a small business owner, which turned out to be a great route for us.)

He's done very well. We've both noticed, though, that many of the senior folks at his Fortune 100 company do not have MBAs. They often came in from undergrad and risen through the ranks. His prior employer was a Fortune 300 company, a relatively new bank, and it was the same story there. Yes, they hire a lot of MBAs, but plenty of people without who started out as analysts with just undergrad degrees. They did a great job and steadily rose. No ceiling seems to exist as half the board-level guys have undergrad degrees only.

"A rising tide floats all boats" seems to be a good observation here. Finding a great company to work for might work out as well as an MBA, without all the debt.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by Isabelle77 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:35 am

My husband is a VP of marketing for a large company and does not have an MBA. He's worked his way up and has had a lot of MBAs work for him. We married and had our kids in our late 20s and were just never in a financial position to pay for an MBA when it would have made sense. Now in his forties, it doesn't make sense.

Not having a top tier MBA has definitely left some jobs and companies out of reach, Proctor and Gamble isn't calling :) And even some smaller companies are looking for pedigree. For a long time, my husband would often have bosses with fancy MBAs, but there are plenty of companies that look at his resume and admire his career progression without it.

My friends who are/were consultants are never home and work crazy hours. I would just make sure that's something that both of you are prepared for if your wife decides to go that route.

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aspiringlawyer
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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by aspiringlawyer » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:42 am

Thanks for all the advice thus far! In regards to some of the questions:

1. She has a plan and timeline. The goal is to get into management consulting at MBB or a 2nd tier in the DFW area.
2. We understand that consulting is a grind - if she goes to get her MBA, we will be living apart for 2 years due to my job in Biglaw (also a grind, but likely not that much travel). She wants to do consulting for a few years and then move into a company role. I’d like to do the same thing as well in 4-5 years.
3. With a look at schools, does anyone have advice on going with a school with a scholarship vs. one with no scholarship but maybe slightly more prestigious? School is Chicago Booth (scholarship) vs. UPenn Wharton (no scholarship).

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by magicrat » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:54 am

aspiringlawyer wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:42 am
Thanks for all the advice thus far! In regards to some of the questions:

1. She has a plan and timeline. The goal is to get into management consulting at MBB or a 2nd tier in the DFW area.
2. We understand that consulting is a grind - if she goes to get her MBA, we will be living apart for 2 years due to my job in Biglaw (also a grind, but likely not that much travel). She wants to do consulting for a few years and then move into a company role. I’d like to do the same thing as well in 4-5 years.
3. With a look at schools, does anyone have advice on going with a school with a scholarship vs. one with no scholarship but maybe slightly more prestigious? School is Chicago Booth (scholarship) vs. UPenn Wharton (no scholarship).
Chicago and Wharton are similar enough (IMO) that I think it's fine to consider the scholarship. Though if she has a preference for Wharton she should ask them to match. Most people would probably say that Wharton is a very slight tick above Chicago, but it is a distinction without a difference. They are both big, urban, top programs and crank out MBB grads.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by polyphasic9 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:58 am

"3. With a look at schools, does anyone have advice on going with a school with a scholarship vs. one with no scholarship but maybe slightly more prestigious? School is Chicago Booth (scholarship) vs. UPenn Wharton (no scholarship)."

Consulting firms recruit from both of these superlative programs. The schools' web sites provide a sense of who's hiring from where.
https://statistics.mbacareers.wharton.u ... y-choices/
https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employment ... 9-employer

The scholarship offer is not unimportant, but given that the sign-on bonus alone is ~ $30K (Wharton/consulting), I wouldn't over-weight it.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:00 am

manatee2005 wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:18 pm
geerhardusvos wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:15 pm
aspiringlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:56 pm
My spouse just got into five different MBA programs and we are currently weighing whether she should attend. Three schools offered $35k in scholarships a year while two didn’t offer anything. In this current environment, what do y’all think about getting an MBA? Spouse wants to change industries. Does anyone have an MBA and if so, do you regret it?

Thanks!
It depends on the industry, but I believe that unless you go to a top10 school it is not worth it. Or if you go to a state school that has good jobs in town, that can be great depending on the cost and industry. In general, unless you fall into the two prior mentioned options, it is close to worthless. I have hundreds of connections and have recruited top talent, and I take experience over mba any day. Transitions can happen through certifications and training programs that cost 10% of a graduate program and take less time to help shift.
I went to a top 5 school and it's still not worth it.
My best friend graduated from Wharton 3yrs ago (I think). Maybe his mind will change in 5yrs, but when we last hung out he spent most of the time talking my wife out of considering getting an MBA. He's in commercial banking, pretty certain he'd be in the same position (at least right now) without grad school at all. Other good friend did Yale, he's doing amazing but he's an entrepeneur so not sure it made a difference at all. Both of them will plainly state that they learned nothing that they couldn't have with a library card.

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by MBB_Boy » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:16 am

aspiringlawyer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:11 pm
fabdog wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:01 pm
What field does she want to change into? If consulting, then an MBA from a top tier school may be helpful. If just general management, not so sure.
I volunteer with an MBA program. The competition for excellent female candidates is quite fierce. I wouldn't take the $35K as the last word on assistance.

So depending on what she wants to move to, and the school(s) in play, the answer is maybe

Mike
She wants to do consulting and the five programs she got into are in the top 10. I’m thinking if she goes we will likely go with the one with the highest scholarship, but have been trying to convince her to negotiate as well.
Former MBB consulant here. Definitely worth it if this is what she wants, it's essentially the only path in. Just be aware that like 40-50% of every class starts as aspiring consultants. It's very competitive, and more than half typically don't get a slot

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Re: MBA Worth It?

Post by MBB_Boy » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:23 am

aspiringlawyer wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:42 am
Thanks for all the advice thus far! In regards to some of the questions:

1. She has a plan and timeline. The goal is to get into management consulting at MBB or a 2nd tier in the DFW area.
2. We understand that consulting is a grind - if she goes to get her MBA, we will be living apart for 2 years due to my job in Biglaw (also a grind, but likely not that much travel). She wants to do consulting for a few years and then move into a company role. I’d like to do the same thing as well in 4-5 years.
3. With a look at schools, does anyone have advice on going with a school with a scholarship vs. one with no scholarship but maybe slightly more prestigious? School is Chicago Booth (scholarship) vs. UPenn Wharton (no scholarship).
Go to Booth. There's no difference for MBB chances, and school personalities are similar enough (neither is a "fun" school). I'd have a lot more to say if you said Booth vs Kellogg, or Stanford vs Wharton haha

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