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Masters of Business Administration here?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by designs216, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. designs216, Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013

    macrumors 65816


    How many designers/marketing folks here have an MBA? I'm giving it serious consideration to kick start my stalled career.
  2. macrumors 65816

    I use one, not for design work to much, but marketing of course.
  3. macrumors newbie

    You know he doesn't mean a MacBook Air right?
  4. macrumors 65816


    That's my fault for being unclear w/ the original title. Just wanted to see how many of my peers have taken the plunge.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    I don't know...Neither one of my parents are designers, but they both got their MBAs like 3 years ago, and both still work at the same job.

    Maybe get a degree/take some classes in advertising and marketing or something to move into the strategic side of things.

    Just my opinion, but MBAs are pretty commonplace, and don't really make you stand out that much. If you wanted to start your own business, it might be useful, though.
  6. macrumors 65816


    I've got a formal undergrad degree in communication arts and 18 years of broad spectrum design experience that spans advertising, marketing, print, web, motion and event signage. People that move up through the ranks without experience are in the right place at the right time and someone in upper mgmt takes a chance.

    The problem is, how do you get mgmt experience without being given the chance? My logic is, the undergrad opened the door to my first job and the masters will open this door.
  7. macrumors 6502


    MBA here.

    No excuse not to get one since so many accredited programs are available as online courses. It took me ~ 2 years to do mine back in 2003-2005.

    The lowdown is this - if you are an experienced manager (like I was), you don't learn all that much. An MBA teaches you a little about a lot, so that you can manage an organization and have some idea about the different departments.

    If you are not a manager, you will learn a lot.

    Either way, doors and jobs DO open up if you have this degree. To clarify, I am not in the Design and Graphics industry. An MBA will help you no matter what industry you are in - however, more so if you want to be in management. If you want to stay technical and on the "doing" end, it may not. Figure out what your five year plan is, first.

  8. macrumors 6502a

    That very well may be the thing to do, then. By "strategic," though, I meant the ad agency side of things (you might have gotten that, I just wasn't sure). They come up with the campaign, then contract out to designers/design firms to create the material for it. Companies like TBWA/Chiat/Day, Crispin, Goodby, etc.

    It's not necessarily a management position within a design company, but just a normal position in an entirely different field, which may or may not require additional education. You have a lot of experience, so that would probably count for something.

    I'm really not an authority on any of this, but I might just see if I could get into a place like that before getting a master's degree.

    Just as an example, if you we're wanting to go into that field to begin with, this is the sort of degree you would need, though maybe your experience would qualify you for it anyway.
  9. macrumors 65816


    I've been in the "doing" area for long enough and want to build on that -- this seemed like the way to go. I'm also tired of pseudo-marketing types in mgmt taking credit for my ideas/work.

    I really appreciate the feedback from you guys.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    I am not here to knock the value of an MBA... but I am not sure that degree will give you the kind of experience you are looking for if you want to move up in an advertising agency. I know lots of folks at Advertising agencies (TBWA/Chiat/Day, Mullen, Arnold) and Service Design Firms (IDEO, Continuum, Live/work and Second Road) and very few of them have traditional MBAs. It is, perhaps, too general of a degree. Agencies like that want more depth.

    If this type of work is your target, I would push you away from a "b-school" and into a "d-school". You will find MAs in Strategic Design / Design Thinking / Design Management at Pratt, Parsons, Stanford and a handful of other programs. These are more focused on how design and the design process intersects with innovation. If you are looking to move up the ladder at a creative agency I think a more advanced design degree would be seen as more valuable by employers in the know.

    A close colleague of mine has lots of big agency experience and a business degree from Babson and is now getting an advanced design degree. The business degree is great for learning the ins and out of general management, but does not really dig deeply enough into the role of design in business that upper management in agencies respect it.
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Go read Dan Pink's A Whole New Mind and then make a decision. An advanced degree in strategic design thinking as noted in the post above would be better than a traditional MBA in my opinion.
  12. macrumors member

    An MBA is not going to kick-start a stalled career, unless you make contacts with other students and/or faculty that can lead you into new opportunities. An MBA may give you some ideas, but fewer than you'd get by spending the same amount of time in other ways with that purpose. What an MBA will do is give you tools to do whatever you do better, especially in terms of managing, understanding finance and accounting, taking a systematic approach to marketing and planning, and lots of other things - but kick-starting a stalled career isn't one of them.

    So, I'd urge you to figure out exactly what it is you need and pick an activity (perhaps not an academic program) that is targeted at that. It might be networking, developing your professional reputation via blogging or something else, joining a local business group, or something else. It might even be going for an MBA. If you do that, though, do it with a specific objective in mind and an idea of how the MBA will help meet it.

    (For what it's worth, I teach in a business school, so I'm far from negative about MBAs - but I hate to see students who are in my classes for the wrong reasons. Some of them do quite well. I'm fairly sure they learn something, and I hope they find it useful. I still can't help thinking that it's not the optimal use of their time, given their goals.)

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