An opinion from an entrepreneur on masters of business administration

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by 63dot, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #1
    I don't have anything against graduate business education. But I find a lot of it theory as a two year program can have accounting, statistics, operations management, general management, marketing, economics,

    then advanced management, finance, entrepreneurship, human resources management, management information systems, and advanced finance. Those were the classes I looked at in my catalog 15 years ago and little has changed.

    I think to shore up a real life curriculum, I think economics (a class that teaches micro and macro together), statistics, and advanced finance could be tossed out.

    I would favor contracts, torts, and legal writing. This could be an MBA with a "concentration" in law, as opposed to a graduate business major's current option if law were desired which is most often an MBA/JD over four grueling years if one wants to have some substantive legal course work.
     
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

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    #2
    It would seem to me economics and finance are of particular importance for entrepreneurs. The theory of the firm, cost minimization, and profit maximization are pretty relevant concepts to anyone running a business. And anyone running a business should know a thing or two about finance.

    I will agree that law would be a good addition to the curriculum, though. Especially contract law...
     
  3. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #3
    I just wanted to see what I could cut from a 12 course program. I don't see how econ would be as necessary as let's say contracts or product liability in torts, for instance. And finance, just one class in either year seems OK, but advanced finance? Why not roll them into one?

    Don't get me wrong, I especially loved macroeconomics and studying world money systems but it has never really come up outside of scandals via Bush and Madoff. Stats was a lot of fun, but not something I deal with running businesses.

    My path has been to run my businesses, and take whatever relevant MBA or JD courses focusing on my business, so it can be way different for others. Many entrepreneurs, MBA holders, or not, college graduates, or not, are not so impressed with what they see when they work with or hire new MBAs. I don't think it's the people as much as it's the outdated material they are being taught. If you want to teach business at some college, then sure the traditional MBA is good.
     
  4. Tomorrow macrumors 604

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    #4
    Some programs do let you choose a field of concentration for your MBA - I got mine with a Finance concentration. I could have chosen accounting, economics, information systems, management, production/operations management, or a general MBA. This, or you can simply get an M.A. or M.S. in one of those fields, which I also did.

    The MBA is meant to be broad rather than deep. The degree program you're describing sounds more specialized than the intent of an MBA.
     
  5. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I'm trying to decide whether I want an MBA or to go for a Ph.D. in business.

    I'd really like to have "Dr." on my name...really badly :D

    I think a doctorate would mean a job teaching. I'd like to teach, bt I'd like to make more money than a teacher. I'd like to do business consulting, and I think a doctorate would be better for that. If I get a doctorate, it would be in management or marketing. I am getting an undergraduate degree right now in economics.

    What are your thoughts on that?
     
  6. John Jacob macrumors 6502a

    John Jacob

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    #6
    I saw the thread title and jumped right in anticipating a new critique of, or business idea based on, the Mac Book Air. :D
     
  7. Tomorrow macrumors 604

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    #7
    An MBA is the bread and butter of business consulting, and would be all you need. A Ph.D will make you appear overqualified, not to mention it's a lot more work and money to earn it.

    If you really want a doctorate just for the sake of it, you might consider a different field. I once wanted a Ph.D, but I got too old and tired to keep going to school. :cool:
     
  8. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #8
    I wanted both to have a PhD or Doctor of Public Administration, and be an entrepreneur (now making skateboards/clothing), but then I realized I am just one person.

    My guess, from what I have seen, is that PhD in business is good for teaching, and MBA is more for work world and potentially can pay off much more.

    One entrepreneur I know, with little math or computer background, got his MBA, started a software company, and made $14 million in his first year out of grad school. He credits this to luck and paying attention to the two courses which he thought was useful in his MBA (accounting and operations management) and adhered to those principles. Of course, it helps that this was before dot.bomb and that it was San Jose, California. You won't find any PhD with a teaching salary in that range. :)

    The only thing people will say if you have a PhD in business and are an entrepreneur or in a company, is that you are "smart". Smart don't pay the bills. If you are truly a scholar of business, then get the PhD and don't worry about money.
     
  9. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #9
    On this site, MBA means Mac Book Air. I found this out as soon as that laptop was issued. :)
     
  10. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I think part of it us that my dad is a doc and my girlfriend wants a doctorate and if I get an MBA I will feel like the inferior one, and I can't handle that. I have to feel like I am smarter than my girlfriend. If she would go for a masters, I'd be fine with a masters.
     
  11. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    You're underestimating the pay for Ph.D.'s in certain business fields. Finance and accounting are particularly high (over $90k starting for a new higher Ph.D.). Plus, Ph.D. programs are usually free and pay a stipend to cover your other living expenses in exchange for doing research and teaching, while a top MBA program will set you back over $100,000. Granted, you'll probably make it back, but sometimes it takes a while to pay back $100k in loans.

    AACSB 2005/2006 Salary Survey

    The challenge, of course, is getting into one of the programs and having the drive to make it through possible 1-2 years in a Masters and 4-5 years in a Ph.D. program.

    And yes, many Ph.D. professor do some sort of consulting on the side and during the summers.
     
  12. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #12
    Really, can you point me to a handful of these programs? I mean, if I can do it for free and all. :eek:
     
  13. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Pretty much any of them. Seriously. Some of the public schools aren't as good at funding, but even the top public ones will pretty much fund you entirely for four years. I know that Harvard (I know its not public and its impossible to get into, but as an example) covers all of the tuition, health insurance, and gives you a $32,000 stipend for doing a teaching/research assistantship type deal that is supposedly about 20 hours a week. Cornell provides (off the top of my head so don't quote me) full tuition and about a $24,000 stipend and doesn't require any research or teaching assistantship. Emory provides full tuition and around a $24,000 stipend for doing some teaching or research. Most of the schools I've considered are private (thats why all the above are private schools), mostly because the funding is somewhat better (though many public schools will fully fund you as well).

    Business Ph.D.'s, especially in accounting and finance, are really in demand. There aren't enough new Ph.D.'s graduation to cover the amount of professors retiring and more and more students have been going to college (we'll see how that goes with the recession), so consequently schools are paying higher salaries for people with Ph.D.'s and are highering people with only masters and professional certifications (series 7, CPA, etc).

    For many people it's hard to justify earning a Ph.D. in accounting or finance because the pay in those fields with a masters or even a bachelors is already pretty high. You will make significantly more with a masters in accounting or MBA and CPA if you make it to partner in a big accounting firm than you will teaching with a Ph.D. at a college. But, the plus side to the Ph.D. is tenure, vacations, still pretty good pay (is $95k really bad, I guess compared to the $200k+ an accounting equity partner at a big 4 firm makes), slightly less stressful environment, more "defined" work week, flexible scheduling, etc.
     
  14. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #14
    You should get your master's or PhD, or even undergrad for yourself. Given enough time and money, many people who don't appear smart could get a PhD. It's a mindset. One overeducated person said it best, "I would rather have a PhD and get sent to debtor's prison (not here in USA) for not paying off loans on time, than not have a PhD and be rich."

    For the most part, I have met quite a few poor PhDs and I only know of one who was more interested in money than in education. He got his PhD, hated the mediocre pay, then became a real estate lawyer, and didn't think he was getting truly rich there either, so he went into real estate, bought up a whole bunch of property, managed and maintained them all himself, down to fixing broken stoves and windows, and is now what he always wanted in the first place, which is sitting on a bundle of cash.

    Usually getting very rich, as in independently wealthy, and getting a PhD are not the same person. I have met far more people with no college degree who are independently wealthy either through owning a franchise, like a hardware franchise, or owning a hopping restaurant in a high foot traffic area. Those people are stinking rich.

    It's where you put your focus. A good restranteur can make a mint in the eight years that one spends in college for a PhD. My high school friend opened up 19 restaurants while many of his friends were in college. He was a multi-millionaire long before he could drink.

    For 99.9% percent of us, we have to choose for an eight year education, or some other serious endeavor. My cousin chose skateboarding and now he is world class. Doesn't pay well, but he found excellence in his field. I totally recommend "Mr. Holland's Opus" if you want to teach. Amazing movie.
     
  15. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

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    #15
    All of the PhD programs I've looked at do come with a stipend.

    I'd really like to be a doctor, just for me. I'd like to acheive that, would like to write and publish things, would like to do research, but I'd like to make money too :D

    There are other external forces that do somewhat guide what I want to do...but I am getting a degree in econ because I like econ, and I want a phd because Id like to be a doctor, and I'd like to do research, but I do wonder if an mba would help me acheive financial wellbeing earlier or not. I've got all the resolve int he world to get through school, but I would like to get married in a year or two or three, and I don't know how well that will work with things. I am definitely going to look into maybe a reverseable vasectomy if I get married so kids shouldn't be a problem, but I am no longer under my parents healthcare if I get married, and I'd have to pay for my wife's healthcare and stuff too.
     
  16. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Here's the other kicker with an MBA, most of the top programs will require (or expect its not a requirement per say) that you have work experience and most programs seem to have an average of at least 4 years of it. So, you'd likely need to work some before going to on to an MBA. Its also ideal to already be in business when you go on to it. An MBA is really a degree in networking. If you want to take full advantage of it you need to be able to apply it to situations you've already been in at work and, most importantly, use it to meet people you can use to bring in business, work with, get jobs from, etc. Its harder to do most of that when you haven't been in the actual business world, at least thats what the business schools seem to say.

    Many Ph.D. programs don't require a MBA or MS, so that is one plus. However, the average age at entry is usually pretty high and you'll need to show some defined research interests to get into one of the programs. A published study or paper would be particularly helpful, even research credit with one of your professors would be great.
     
  17. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #17
    You're essentially talking about scholarships, which apply at any level, not just doctorate level. When the application and selection process is as exclusive as those you mentioned, then you're not exactly talking about a "free" program.

    I went to two different public universities, not on scholarship for either of them - and the Ph.D programs are not free unless you earn either a scholarship, a fellowship, or a paid position, which are definitely not a given. A handful of students will earn those, but most will not. That's a far cry from qualifying as "free."
     
  18. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    you could get a doctorate degree outside of a Ph.D. Law will earn you a doctorate degree.
     
  19. Tomorrow macrumors 604

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    At many U.S. universities, a J.D. is not seen as a true doctorate degree and is regarded as a Master's level degree. This is not necessarily true outside the U.S.

    In any event, virtually nobody with a J.D. is referred to as "Doctor _____" unless he/she also holds an academic or medical doctorate.
     
  20. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    But they could....

    Titles

    The J.D. is a professional doctorate degree,[127] and some J.D. holders in the United States use the title of "Doctor" in professional[128] and academic situations.[129] In countries where holders of the first law degree traditionally use the title of doctor (e.g. Peru, Brazil, Macau, Portugal, Argentina, and Italy),[130] J.D. holders who are attorneys will often use the title of doctor as well.[131] The J.D. in Japan is known as Hōmu Hakushi (法務博士)[132] and in China it is called 法律博士 (Faat Leot Bok Si in Cantonese, or Falü Boshi in Mandarin).[133] The characters 博士 in Japanese and Chinese mean "doctor" and this is the same title given to holders of both professional and academic doctorate degrees.[134]
    Although persons licensed as attorneys in the United States often use a variety of titles and suffixes, the titles "Attorney," "attorney-at-law," "Esquire" ("Esq.") and "lawyer" must be distinguished from "J.D.". Generally, the designation "J.D." indicates a person who has received the degree from a law school, whereas "Attorney" and the like indicate the person is licensed to practice law. Some states restrict the use of the "J.D." suffix to those licensed to practice law. Arizona, for instance, forbids the use of "J.D." as a title if it is "reasonably likely to induce others to believe the person or entity is authorized to engage in the practice of law in Arizona".[135] (In all states, a person who is not admitted to practice law but who represents or implies that he or she is an attorney may be subject to penalties for the unauthorized practice of law or impersonating a lawyer, both of which are criminal offenses in many jurisdictions.)[136]
    There has been much debate in the United States as to whether J.D. recipients may use the title of Doctor and refer to themselves as "Doctor". (See debate section) ABA Informal Opinion 1152 (1970) and Disciplinary Rule 2-102(E) permit those who hold a Juris Doctor (J.D.) to use the title doctor.[137] Some local bar associations in the U.S. have also released their own opinion papers stating that J.D. holders may use the title of "doctor" in those jurisdictions.[138] The J.D. is not considered by some to be a terminal degree, which causes questions about the status of the J.D. as a doctorate and the ability of J.D. holders to use the "doctor" title. (See debate section below). However, the degree is the highest level professional degree in law in the United States, and is treated as a terminal or doctorate in U.S. academic practice. For example, the highest degree of some university presidents--a position that typically requires[139] a Ph.D. or comparable[140] (i.e. terminal) degree--is a J.D. (e.g. University of California president Mark Yudof, former Harvard president Derek Bok, and the presidents of Columbia and Johns Hopkins universities).
     
  21. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

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    #21
    In Canada a Law degree is an LLB - Bachelor of Law. But since you need prior undergraduate experience to get into Law school, they call it a Professional degree. In fact, most Canadian law students have Bachelors or, in many cases, Masters, before getting their LLB. A bit of two steps forward, one step backwards if you ask me...
     
  22. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

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    #22
    It may be different in engineering, but every single doctoral student in my department at UCSB had no tuition costs and received a stipend, as an expected part of being a researcher. I'm not sure how that would compare with business, of course.
     
  23. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    That's how many Ph.D. programs, including business are. Many schools, including public schools like UCSB (for engineering), offer programs with no tuition costs or guranteed funding. At many schools $0 tuition is guranteed to all incoming Ph.D. students for at least four years. I generally associate "free" as getting something of benefit economically or in various other ways without having to give up any assets, in this instance money, so I'd say the program is "free." Even if a public Ph.D. program doesn't gurantee funding, they generally state that they give it to virtually all of their students. ASU, hardly the $20 billion endowment private school Harvard is, prodives stipends with 20 hours a week research/teaching assistantships at $18,000 to all its students, as well as gurantees tutition remission to instate, and 100% tuition funding for all of its students in its accounting department. So total cost to attend: $0 = free (to you), actually they give you a part time job via the assistantship, so technically you're making $18,000 (nevermind the opportunity cost of the money you could have made if you were working).

    Its not really a scholarship if its guranteed and you don't have to do anything other than get in to receive it. There are barely any fMBA or MS programs that even give out full funding. I'm applying for an MS in accounting at top schools, only one of them fully funds and provides a stipend to its top admittees (Ohio State University). Its far easier to get fully funded at a Ph.D. program if you had enough disipline in your previous studies and work to get into one.

    Regardless, if you consider a guranteed full scholarship or not, it still makes the schooling cost $0, so in essence you're getting free school.
     
  24. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #24
    At my school, in California, USA, I will eventually get a MBA-JD.

    The MBA is a master's degree in business administration, which is usually the absolute minimum required to teach a business class at a California Community College.

    The JD, in California, is the "basic" law degree, which for over 200 years was called the bachelor's of law, or LL.B.

    In 1976, this degree, the basic law degree, was called the Juris Doctor and accepted as such, by name, by the California Bar. It's still a basic law degree and the next degree is the Masters in Law, or LL.M.

    The true PhD equivalent in law is the J.S.D. and those graduates of this program can call themselves "Doctor".

    So to sum it up, a JD is a second bachelor's for practical purposes, the LL.M is the graduate law degree most people go to if they want to specialize and become a scholar or great distinction, and the JSD is a very, very rare PhD level law degree that is not necessary, but is the true PhD of Law. This is how it was when I worked for the California Bar Association, Howard Street, San Francisco, California. Other states have different designations.

    Louisiana, for instance, considers any LL.B or American JD a "doctor". An LL.M is a "master" of law, which is far, far more prestigious, and a JSD is basically a guru in law in Louisiana. They don't go by an American standard of law of statutes, or even a British standard of Common Law (judge made law), but adhere to the Civil Law of Medieval France.

    Outside of that state, I don't think any basic law graduate, with a JD, can call themselves a "doctor" unless they do the legwork and get the LL.M and later the research oriented JSD. A mere JD calling themselves a doctor is considered a conflict of interests. There are some who are an MD and JD and they are lawyers that can truly call themselves a doctor.

    Another name for the American JSD, which is two degrees above and beyond the mere JD, is the SJD (as an alternate degree title).
     
  25. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #25
    At my school, in California, USA, I will eventually get a MBA-JD.

    The MBA is a master's degree in business administration, which is usually the absolute minimum required to teach a business class at a California Community College.

    The JD, in California, is the "basic" law degree, which for over 200 years was called the bachelor's of law, or LL.B.

    In 1976, this degree, the basic law degree, was renamed the Juris Doctor and accepted as such, by name, by the California Bar. It's still a basic law degree and the next degree is the Masters in Law, or LL.M.

    The true PhD equivalent in law is the J.S.D. and those graduates of this program can call themselves "Doctor".

    So to sum it up, a JD is a second bachelor's for practical purposes, the LL.M is the graduate law degree most people go to if they want to specialize and become a scholar of great distinction, and the JSD is a very, very rare PhD level law degree that is not necessary, but is the true PhD of Law. This is how it was when I worked for the California Bar Association, Howard Street, San Francisco, California. Other states have different designations.

    Louisiana, for instance, considers any LL.B or American JD a "doctor". An LL.M is a "master" of law, which is far, far more prestigious, and a JSD is basically a guru in law in Louisiana. They don't go by an American standard of law of statutes, or even a British standard of Common Law (judge made law), but adhere to the Civil Law of Medieval France. At least that's how one Louisiana lawyer explained their sometimes interchangeable titles of esquire and doctor.

    Outside of that state, I don't think any basic law graduate, with a JD, can call themselves a "doctor" unless they do the legwork and get the LL.M and later the research oriented JSD. A mere JD calling themselves a doctor is considered a conflict of interests. There are some who are an MD and JD and they are lawyers that can truly call themselves a doctor.

    Another name for the American JSD, which is two degrees above and beyond the mere JD, is the SJD (as an alternate degree title). But all this is so far from the MBA thread I started, and I should change it to Master of Business Administration to make the distinction from the more well know Mac Book Air on this site.

    EDIT: I changed the title to the more appropriate masters of business administration. Sorry, MBA laptop users for the confusion. :)
     

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