Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Considering a MBA?

Consider this post on Management Issues that states:

Having an MBA boosts your average salary by 18 per cent upon graduation and more than 50 per cent thereafter. But the premium placed on the qualification has fallen sharply.

So here's my question: If you are young, working, and making a good salary, what exactly does a MBA do for you?  I've figured out the following:

  • It gets the 3 letters on my resume that may be the difference between my resume going in a trash can or getting into the second round.
  • If I go to a local university, it gets me more contacts than I have now.
  • If I try to get into a top ten, it gives me the ability to apply to jobs that require a top ten degree and gets me a significantly more diverse group of contacts.

Then the question is whether or not I can afford to not work for 1-2 years to go to school full-time, or if I enroll in an executive MBA, I can continue to work and earn a salary, but have little to no free time and restrictions on how much I travel.

Anyone want to weigh in?


COD said...

I went the night school / part time route to an MBA. It was a top 10 school....top 10 part time MBA programs. Probably not quite as valuable as that other top 10 list :)

I learned a lot and made a few good friends, but I can't say it's had any significant impact on my career. As you mentioned, I'm sure my resume made it to the call back pile a few times because of the magic letters.

Personally, I think the MBA has become a little too common to be as valuable as it was in the past.

Sandy Kristin Piderit said...

If your employer will pay for an Executive MBA, the networking benefits are likely to be more substantial than they would in a regular MBA program. I generally advise my undergraduate students to wait as long as they possibly can to get an MBA, assuming that they have not plateaued in their career advancement in their first few years out, because someone with more work experience is going to get a bigger career boost out of the MBA itself.

And I can't resist asking... wouldn't you only go back to school if you want to *learn* something?

Ross said...

That's an excellent question.

What is the real value of a MBA? When I look at all of the business classes that I took in undergraduate, the curriculum looks extremely similar to that of many MBA programs that I have looked at. In fact, some of the undergraduate classes that I took, though not required for a MBA degree, were heavily attended by MBA students because they were so interesting.

I haven't been out of undergradute school for that long, so I wonder if the value of the MBA is not so much in what is learned (don't get my wrong, I am not saying that I know everything by any means, nor am I saying that I would not learn in a MBA program), but more in the ancillaries.


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