MBA and your experience

541hunter

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A bit of a random thread, but I am currently looking at going back to school to get an mba. This is not to switch careers, but to advance my current career path. I’m considering a few completely online programs. What are some your experiences or advice with going back to get an mba while working? If you don’t feel like sharing publicly, please pm me.
 

Zak406

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I have my business degree and was in the same boat as you. I thought about going back. However I ended up going back to nursing school. It was one or the other for me (at this time). At the companies I have worked at (2) since I graduated the first time no one in higher positions had their mba. Not saying it won’t help but a lot of people who are higher up at my company (fortune 75) have engineering degrees or finance degrees. Furthermore I’ve noticed that a lot of people in sales get promoted.

I think MBA’s have become to easy to obtain and don’t hold as much weight as they used to. However I would never discourage anyone from furthering their education. Best of luck in your journey and decision

I also would encourage you to have your company pay for it. Mine was willing to do so. I believe they would give me around 6000 per year. I ended up not taking any money from them as nursing doesn’t apply to what we do.
 
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541hunter

541hunter

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I have my business degree and was in the same boat as you. I thought about going back. However I ended up going back to nursing school. It was one or the other for me (at this time). At the companies I have worked at (2) since I graduated the first time no one in higher positions had their mba. Not saying it won’t help but a lot of people who are higher up at my company (fortune 75) have engineering degrees or finance degrees.

Thanks for the response. The company I currently work at about half the executives have an mba. My bs is an engineering degree. I have heard from a couple people though about lower mba ratios in higher positions.


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Zak406

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Thanks for the response. The company I currently work at about half the executives have an mba. My bs is an engineering degree. I have heard from a couple people though about lower mba ratios in higher positions.


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If you have an engineering degree currently I am going to respectfully change my position and say it may benefit you to go back. This is one situation (like I said earlier) that may benefit you.
 

JD Jones

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I will preface with the fact that I went 15 hours on my own MBA before I decided that my time was more valuable. At the time it was the right decision.

I may go back I may not. My personal preference is to do it in person after doing those 15 hrs online. I feel I get more from in person modalities than a blended/completely online.

I think going after education is not a bad thing if it works for you and it moves the mark down the field for your career. I’m my industry it counts for something but so does attitude work ethic and experience. For as far as I’m looking to go, it’s not likely to stop me. If I sought EVP ranks, it would.
 

SWOHTR

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I cannot provide insight on an MBA, but can provide insight on completing an online master's program while working. I did it between 2015-2018, taking 6 hrs/semester and 3 hrs/summer semester. This was based on work and university limitations. My Master's is in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho. I am also completing online master's level courses at present for the Navy (online Joint Professional Military Development...think of it as professional continuing education).

Pros:
-Online programs are flexible. If you can't balance priorities and rely on someone else to manage your time, don't do it. Otherwise, go nuts and have fun.
-You'll get out of it what you put into it. I still remember a lot of what I studied, even though I do not apply it in my career. I found the material interesting and was genuinely engaged throughout the program.

Cons:
-Relying on discussion boards is not easy. Common problems are people not posting in a timely fashion or posts lacking substance.
-bbLearn (Blackboard Learn) is a preferred online platform...it is not very good.

There's more. On the whole, I'd recommend it. Go into it with a clearly defined and reasonable expectation. Don't do it because "everyone else is" and you're not sure what it may or may not get you. My newfound "mastery" of Natural Resources likely won't get me a lot for my Navy career, but a master's degree of any flavor is a requirement to promote and screen for certain jobs, and it cost me less than $2,000 total because I was considered "University faculty." I knew all of this going into it, and it met all of my expectations: cheap, interesting, required for the career. I didn't do it simply because "others were." I'm not saying you are, I'm just saying...manage your expectations, because it will cost you time and money.

One question to consider: Have you taken any admissions tests?
 
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mike.adams.467

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I received my MBA while working full time, and it was tough. I stayed focused and ground through it, and it led to a job that ended up being my career for 32 years.
 

jrogers1585

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If you can afford it in terms of both time and money, I’d opt for a JD over an MBA. I don’t think you’ll find an online law school though. Several folks in my class worked while attending law school and did just fine.
 

idcuda

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I did it (while starting to have kids) and it was worth it. Apply as much of the learning, experience, and lessons learned from classmates to your current role.

My employer and some leftover GI bill paid for mine. I wasn't too excited about starting, but I couldn't leave that money on the table. Type 2 fun, but glad I did it.
 

Kbhillhunter

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My MBA was expensive at the time (35k) but it definitely was key to me getting my first real position in my field, in part because I did my undergrad in something totally unrelated. I did it with in person classes in about two years while working full time. It was exhausting for sure, but if you keep your head down and plow through it, it's doable.

Does your employer offer tuition reimbursement?
 

txjustin

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If your company will pay for it and it will progress you into management then go for it.
I’d highly recommend a top school if you can swing it. Pedigree matters for an MBA.

I don’t have one, but highly considered one and did copious amounts of research.

In the end for me I’m building a real estate business on my spare time and it will get me out of the corporate world on the next few years.


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roadrunner

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So here's my take. Unless a company wants you to get an MBA, it's kind of a waste of time hoping it advances your career. I know a lot of people that did the MBA route and it has turned out to being just three letters after your name on LinkedIn.

I got a grad degree hoping it would open doors, and it may (still). Right now, it's just a "me too" talking point.

If you want a business related grad degree to help complement your technical degree, I'd look at Data Analytics.
 

MuleyFever

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My wife is doing hers now online because the college she got her accounting masters from gave her a scholarship to cover it, plus an extra $1k. It has made me think about doing it. She doesnt seem to have any issue with the schedule and I hardly even notice she is doing it. I just dont know if the investment will pay off for me. I dont have much interest in high level management.
 
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mlgc20

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I got my MBA at a top 20 school about 20 years ago. I quit work and did the MBA full time for about 20 months. In may case it was a huge help. I made nearly 4Xwhat I was making before my MBA versus the job I got at graduation. The company even gave me $25K to payoff my second years tuition. And it has opened numerous other doors throughout the years. I wouldn’t have my current job without my MBA.

IMO, the online degree factories aren’t worth your time and money. If you can get into a Top 30 school, I think it’s probably worth it. Outside of that I wouldn’t bother. Also, it matters how much you make now. If your already making over $100K, the increase in earnings probably won’t be there to justify the ROI. And the company you’re working for or going to work for in the future matters. Some companies value an MBA more than others.

There are obviously lots of successful folks without a college degree or MBA. My own boss doesn’t even have a college degree. He went into the military right out of high school. He is very smart and very successful. His boss has an Ivy League MBA. Go figure.
 

SDHNTR

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Can you sell stuff? I’ve had a number of Ivy League MBA resumes come across my desk. Impressive, yes. But a kid from a state school who can grind it out and never quit will always impress me more. That’s who I bring aboard.
 
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541hunter

541hunter

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I cannot provide insight on an MBA, but can provide insight on completing an online master's program while working. I did it between 2015-2018, taking 6 hrs/semester and 3 hrs/summer semester. This was based on work and university limitations. My Master's is in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho. I am also completing online master's level courses at present for the Navy (online Joint Professional Military Development...think of it as professional continuing education).

Pros:
-Online programs are flexible. If you can't balance priorities and rely on someone else to manage your time, don't do it. Otherwise, go nuts and have fun.
-You'll get out of it what you put into it. I still remember a lot of what I studied, even though I do not apply it in my career. I found the material interesting and was genuinely engaged throughout the program.

Cons:
-Relying on discussion boards is not easy. Common problems are people not posting in a timely fashion or posts lacking substance.
-bbLearn (Blackboard Learn) is a preferred online platform...it is not very good.

There's more. On the whole, I'd recommend it. Go into it with a clearly defined and reasonable expectation. Don't do it because "everyone else is" and you're not sure what it may or may not get you. My newfound "mastery" of Natural Resources likely won't get me a lot for my Navy career, but a master's degree of any flavor is a requirement to promote and screen for certain jobs, and it cost me less than $2,000 total because I was considered "University faculty." I knew all of this going into it, and it met all of my expectations: cheap, interesting, required for the career. I didn't do it simply because "others were." I'm not saying you are, I'm just saying...manage your expectations, because it will cost you time and money.

One question to consider: Have you taken any admissions tests?

The programs I have looked at waive the tests when when you have a minimum 5 years of experience in a business related career, which I do. I currently work in the timber industry.
 
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541hunter

541hunter

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My MBA was expensive at the time (35k) but it definitely was key to me getting my first real position in my field, in part because I did my undergrad in something totally unrelated. I did it with in person classes in about two years while working full time. It was exhausting for sure, but if you keep your head down and plow through it, it's doable.

Does your employer offer tuition reimbursement?

They do!
 

Kbhillhunter

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Depending on how much they cover each semester that might set a reasonable pace for you and let them pick up the full tab. Either way, it's a huge time investment and you'd probably want to know what doors it will open with them. Some places make you stay on for a certain length of time after graduation too.
 

CCooper

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My wife got hers while working full time right after undergrad. She will tell you she didn’t gain much knowledge in her field, but at the time her employer covered tuition to a fairly renowned school. It took her 5 years or so to understand why she did it. It is a prerequisite for the company she works for currently for her position and has certainly paid off In the long run. The company she worked for at the time had zero commitment as part of their continuing education program. She completed hers in 2 years doing a couple nights a week on-site, as it was a program geared for working professionals. It was hard on both of us, but certainly worth it.
 
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