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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2011
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    904

    Default Did getting your M.B.A. pay off?

    I'm 26 and looking into going back to school in the fall.

    I've been working full time since I was 21, and am currently quite happy with the company I am with and my current career trajectory. All of my experience has been in Consumer Goods. An area that I do quite enjoy.

    But looking at the bigger picture, it looks like a I am a long way off from being a dual income household and want to make sure I am doing all that I can to support myself (and not eat mac and cheese til I'm 40).

    The company that I am with doesn't have high education standards or expectations, but will pay a small portion of tuition. Essentially, I would garner $25k in debt to get my M.B.A.

    It's daunting, but I am wondering if it is beneficial and/or necessary?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
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    6,929

    Default

    Depends on where you live and what market niche you are in. My sister and BIL both only have high school degrees and have out earned me for years. The live in the Houston area. Here is DC, every third person has an advanced degree and to be competitive, two degrees is a plus. I got my masters after working 10+ years. It's actually in health care management but a business degree. It's kind of like a specialized MBA; in retrospect, I should have done the more generalized MBA, I would say getting an MBA is not a bad idea. If you can get some tuition assistance from your work place, then great. Everything helps. The bottom line is that you are likely to change careers a few times in your working life and an MBA can come in handy in a variety of fields.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2013
    Posts
    409

    Default

    Do you see opportunities from your current place of employment happening if you get an MBA? Do you need the MBA to take the next step up? Are you going to try to get it done in the shortest time possible or expand it out over a few years?


    Where are you interested in doing the program at a prestigious school, local university or for profit? If you can get into a top program you're better off doing it in one full swoop and getting it done quickly, a local university is very conducive to work and school, and I'd be very wary of a for profit.

    If you're committed to it, I would suggest getting the required core MBA courses done first and then sit down and having a discussion with your boss on what is opening up, and with an advisor at the school.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2007
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    44

    Default

    There was a pretty convincing study a few years ago (never going to find it now, alas) that found that if you're going to quit a current job and take out loans for a traditional MBA program, it had better be one of the top ten schools or you'd never make back the lost salary/tuition/loan interest. However, if you could keep your current job, take classes at night, and get tuition assistance from your employer, things looked a lot more favorable.

    My BIL was ordered at one point to go get any crappy online diploma mill MBA so his employer could promote him. That obviously worked out fine.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
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    NYC=center of the universe
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    2,087

    Default

    Absolutely I think $25k for an MBA will pay for itself if you're doing it while retaining your current employment.

    In many areas and fields, an advanced degree is a requirement for many positions. It will open doors and pay for itself.

    I got an MPA and owed maybe $60k just for grad school. It was a top school and it has paid for itself. And I have paid it off entirely. If I could do it over, I would get an MBA. $25k for an MBA - assuming it's an accredited university - is a bargain!!! Go for it!!!
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2008
    Posts
    395

    Default

    In my experience it really depends. I got mine and it paid off immensly. Having said that though, I was a dual major psych and bio in college and decided not to go into that field so had to do something. I have only seen it really make a difference when you go to a really good school. The degree for the sake of a degree isn't going to do anything for you. Nobody cares. It's more about the connections you make while attending and having the opportunity to learn a lot of stuff to really figure out where you want to go and where your strengths and weaknesses are. With that said, at your age, I would go to a full time program unless getting the MBA with your company is going to really advance you there. If you're 100% sure though on what you want to focus on in your career then I don't think full time is worth it. I know for me and most of the people I know that went to a full time program learned so much about different roles and types of jobs that we just wouldn't have known before. I work for a consulting firm. Having an MBA is really good for that. The connections I made through alumni at my school is what got me my first two jobs out of school. It really just depends on what you're trying to accomplish.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2011
    Posts
    904

    Default

    Some extra info:

    I do not need an MBA to get a promotion in my current company. There are many people here with Associate's Degrees of no degrees. But I think it's safe to say I won't retire from here, so I want to be prepared.

    I would not quit my job, I would do the executive MBA (1 night a week for 2 years).

    I would like to go to a middle of the road private school. I am not Harvard material, but want something with a little more weight than an Online MBA.

    Also - it is not a $25k MBA. That's how much I would be in debt (so what would be remaining LESS what my employer would pay, and what I would be able to pay).



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2013
    Posts
    409

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fatappy View Post
    Some extra info:

    I do not need an MBA to get a promotion in my current company. There are many people here with Associate's Degrees of no degrees. But I think it's safe to say I won't retire from here, so I want to be prepared.

    I would not quit my job, I would do the executive MBA (1 night a week for 2 years).

    I would like to go to a middle of the road private school. I am not Harvard material, but want something with a little more weight than an Online MBA.
    Online MBA's are actually not a huge problem assuming you go through a school with a good reputation. A lot of well regarded state schools are starting to expand into the online MBA program.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2008
    Posts
    395

    Default

    I don't think that will pay off for you in the long run honestly. Getting your degree for only $25k is a great deal but I don't think that's the ROI you're going to get if you're going to a middle of the road school. If you're making $50k now and in 2 years leave your company with your MBA, It's unlikely you'll be getting $75k. That's just my opinion though and I definitely am no expert. We have to interview candidates for my company and I really don't care what their degree is if they have experience. I do care though if they don't have a ton of experience. That's just my 2 cents. Good luck!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2011
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    904

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Show boots View Post
    Online MBA's are actually not a huge problem assuming you go through a school with a good reputation. A lot of well regarded state schools are starting to expand into the online MBA program.
    Point taken and I understand the difference.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2002
    Location
    NJ, USA
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    2,357

    Default

    Ironically I've done enough MBA coursework to have 1.5 MBA's by now but never actually completed the degree (I kept getting disrupted by major promotions to 24x7 job positions)

    I may finish it in my 60's just to finish what I started lol.

    IME, the fact that I was studying for it did help earn some of my promotions, and having it on my resume as "in progress" helped get some positions.

    But I'm earning over 6 figures in a financial position without ever having actually earned the degree.

    I wouldn't go into debt, I'd just start taking classes, if I were you, and try to save enough to pay what the company doesn't cover on your own.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2001
    Location
    Fairfax
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    1,986

    Default

    Not knowing your particular employer, I can't say if it is worth it. However, with most employers it is. My only advice is do not stop work. Do it at night and on weekends. In my experience, the degree by itself is only marginally helpful. The degree coupled with your continuing work experience and reputation as someone who can buckle down and get the degree and work, is priceless.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
    Posts
    3,480

    Default

    It did for me. I have an computer engineering degree and an MBA, dual focus on Finance and MIS. When I got my MBA, the job market was awful, and it was double whammy for me since I had only one year of practical training (no green card). It was extremely difficult for someone like me to get a decent job but one of my professors got me into the door, and the company sponsored me to get green card. They paid all fees including hiring an immigration lawyer. I think that was why it was smooth sailing in the process, certainly easier than getting my practical training. My computer engineering degree plus understanding of finance and accounting were one main reason that company hired me,and why I was hired by my current employer.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2003
    Location
    Iowa, USA
    Posts
    2,961

    Default

    I didn't get one, and have done very well without it, continually advancing upwards over the past 25 years. From time to time I've thought about going back, but I think the longer you wait, the less likely you are to get the ROI. By the time you're well into the heart of your career, your prior experience and results will do more to drive salary than educational creds.

    THAT SAID, lately I look around at my colleagues and I do think there's a bit of a ceiling for those without an MBA (or JD, which I think is another valuable degree for business). My colleagues with MBAs typically have much more detailed knowledge of, and comfort with complex investment financing than I do. I mean, yeah I can talk NPV, ROI, depreciation tables, etc with the best of them, but in my industry we're doing mid-9-figure financing deals. You need heavy-duty finance credentials to play in a top-level management role. And that's true in nearly every industry.

    Not that I resent it. I report to the top level, and get to participate in a lot of those decisions, and if that's where I end up hovering until retirement, that's ok with me. We don't all have to be The Boss, and I make a comfortable living and we're in solid shape for a relatively early retirement.

    Had you asked me in my mid- to late 30s whether I thought my lack of MBA was a limitation, I'd have said no way. Just something to consider.
    Try to break down crushing defeats into smaller, more manageable failures. It’s also helpful every now and then to stop, take stock of your situation, and really beat yourself up about it.The Onion



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2000
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    1,815

    Default

    It completely depends on a lot of specifics that only you can answer, but for me, I think it 100% paid off. I ended up getting a promotion and significant raise while I was in school (unrelated to being in school), so I didn't necessarily graduate and then start making more money, but I have since left that company and gone to work for a major multinational corporation. It is amazing (and kind of ridiculous) to me what doors open because of that degree. I don't think it is so much that I make more in salary because of having it, but I am far more employable - when I was looking for this job, I can say without a doubt that many of the interviews I got I would not have gotten without the MBA. And I don't think I would have found a job at my current salary level without a masters degree. At your age, you have a lot of working years left, and your education is something you can't ever lose, so I would go for it.



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