Any thoughts about getting an MBA?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by calyxman, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. calyxman macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    I've been entertaining the idea of going back to school, perhaps for an MBA. I went to school at the University of South Florida, maintained a perfect GPA, finished a year ahead of schedule, and have been working a little over three years ever since.

    Most people I talk to say that an MBA is worth its weight in gold only when you attend a top school. Any validity to this? Also, what factors are important to getting accepted into a top school?

    Does anyone have an MBA? And if you do, has it been of any value to you?

    The financial aspect is not an issue. I can pay my way through grad school. And if I do apply to some schools, it will probably be by next year, as I still have to study for the GMAT and the extra time would allow me to save more money.

    All input appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Danksi macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2005
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    What do you want to get out of an MBA?

    1) Are you perhaps technically quaified and looking to understand business a lot better?

    2) Or are you expecting a gold ticket to the country club, playing golf with the bigwigs?

    I was number (1) when I did my MBA, 1999-2002, part-time, at DeMontfort Uni in the UK. Perhaps not a 'top' business school, but it was perfect for my needs. I was lucky enough to get sponsership and time-off from my job as well.

    It was hard work, but worth it in the end. I got to study with a varied bunch of people, both in the early stages of their career looking to progress a little quicker up the campany ladder and others in the later stages of their career looking to get past the 'glass ceiling'.

    For me personally it's certainly helped me along, certainly helped me understand business language, ask awkward questions etc... but I don't think it's a golden ticket, no matter which school you go to.

    In a lot of cases, it's who you know, not what you know, so don't go spending a fortune on a 'top' school, unless you're sure you're going to make good contacts.
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    An MBA is only worth it if you go to a school people have heard of. It doesn't have to be a top-flight school, but it should have a decent reputation, especially in the region where you want to work afterwards.

    I don't know much about MBAs, but my stepbrother went to get his MBA at one of the top 2 MBA schools in Canada, and now gets paid 1.5x what he got paid before (which was a lot already).
  4. calyxman thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    My desire is to either work closer to Wall Street or with a well-known, respected banking/financial firm. Competition is obviously fierce with firms such as Merril Lynch and ING. So going to a top b-school would be a bonus.

    I hate to say this, but the Florida economy is predominantly real estate driven. For someone who has studied financial markets and economics, I just find our economy to be very bland compared to places like New York City.

    Bottom line, I want to write my ticket out of here.
  5. CompUser Guest

    My mom has an MBA in business. She hasn't worked in years but the last thing she did was a business consultant for 1.5 years. She did very well considering she had not built herself up the corporate ladder very much (she was a real estate agent before). But here lets just say she was making $70/hr. She quit thought though to take care of me when i was a little child.
  6. Danksi macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2005
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    I suggest you do some research into what schools have a good reputation for this area and try and assess your chances of success. Be prepared to get nothing in return for your time/money - other than perhaps the ability to work in another country/city, which seems to be your biggest driver anyway.

    Of course you could go nuttz and try a DBA! :)
  7. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    Also realize that an MBA is not the only option. I have a few friends who stayed in school an extra year or two and got their Masters' in Finance and they're now doing quite well.
  8. Danksi macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2005
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    That's right, an MBA is a 'generalists' qualification, the main reason I did one.
  9. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I could not disagree with you more.

    An MBA is not worthless if you don't attend a school that people know about. However, I'll concede to the fact that if you have an MBA that is a step up, if you have it from a well-known business school then it is probably another step up. In the long run however, the MBA is an MBA no matter what school you earned it from providing it is accredited in all the areas that a school should be accredited.

    To the OP. For me, the MBA was technically not important to me. For me it is the emphasis that is coming with the MBA. THere are only two schools offering this emphasis at this time and neither of them are top tier business schools. However, it is one of the top-rated schools when it comes to the emphasis part. I have been accepted to a top tier school for a straight MBA, however, I have not accepted and I continue in a less-known school because I need and want that emphasis more so than I need/want an MBA.

    I have compared classes to this top school and they are one in the same. I have a friend who graduated from there with her MBA and we compared the syllabus. There are slight alterations, but none that made me feel cheated in any way. The only difference between me and her is that when I am in an interview, I will have to tell them where my school is, she'll never have to do that.

    At some point you have to ask yourself if you're getting your mba because you feel the need to have a better understanding of business and how it is ran from the ground up or are you getting your MBA and looking for a top tier school because you believe that is going to give you the secret handshake to open any door in the world? Neither of those desires are bad, but I can tell you last week my company fired a person who graduated with top honors from one of the best business schools in the country because he was lazy and lacked common sense. When he was hired the first line of his "bio" slash announcement said "I'd like to introduce ______. He comes to us with an MBA from _____." I was impressed, until I talked to him.

    Obviously his hiring had a lot to do with where he came from. Obviously it did not afford him the ability to keep such a job.

    For me, I am getting an MBA for the following reasons: (probably in this order)
    Earning capacity

    I chose the school I am in now because it will ensure me that I will come out prepared to get two additional certifications that will then afford me to be a person with an MBA, with double the knowledge, double the marketability, and double the earning capacity. It will also mean that even though I am doing what I intend to do forever today...I will be more credible. Once I am there, I intend to pave the way for others to become certified. I believe in my field when you reach a certain level you should be certified. You wouldn't want a doctor to be without a license would you? I feel the same way about my job.

    So the long-winded way of saying that an MBA is worth it is right there. The fact that I do not believe it needs to come from the best school in the country does not make me less fortunate that anyone else. ;)

    Good luck to you. And the GMAT wasn't as bad as I thought it would be--but I did take the crash course just before I was going to take it.
  10. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    From my experience it appears as though an MBA doesn't necessarily mean much. It obviously depends on the industry, and some places won't even hire a person unless they have an MBA, but a large number of companies I've worked with/been involved with don't seem to care what kind of extra letters you have behind your name - more so, they put a higher value on what your actual real-world experience is. Your education should supplement and support your experience, as a strong foundation is important, but from what I've seen the extra time and money isn't always worth it. Many companies put a higher priority on what you've actually accomplished in the business world and want people with that natural "business savvy" and practical knowledge, rather than people who might simply be book-smart and be rely on a bunch of theory which isn't always applicable in the real world.

    Just some thoughts, since you asked. :cool:
  11. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    I was working on an MBA thinking it was a golden ticket it to better things and got 3/4 of the way through it before I realized that I hated it. I hated almost every class I took, finance, personnel management, etc. I did well, but it was through sheer willpower. There are plenty of management positions around in my field and an MBA will open more doors but I found that most of the managers and supervisors I work with don't like their jobs all that much. They make more money but put in very long days and have more stress to deal with. I'm much happier being a worker bee than a queen bee.
  12. calyxman thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    One individual I know at work had mentioned that a good certication to acquire aside from an MBA is the CFA. He said that a CFA designation may indeed carry more clout as opposed to merely possessing an MBA.

    I am open to obtaining a Master's in Finance as well. I majored in finance, and I also have a minor in economics. Math also happens to be a favorite subject of mine.

    If I had carte blanche I would select NYU or Columbia because of location. But I am open to any other quality school. Not to knock the schools in the South, but it seems to me that schools in the North garner more respect and recognition versus schools in the South--except when it comes to college football!
  13. knackroller macrumors regular


    Feb 28, 2006
    i'm thinking of it ... as a good way to take a year out to reconsider my life and career, and maybe spend some time with the kid.

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