Is an MBA worth it?

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    Oct 24, 2012 2:14 AM GMT
    I'll be finishing up my bachelors degree soon and am thinking of all the other possibilities. Is continuing my education to an MBA worth the time and money, or better to just fully jump in the workforce and gain the experience?

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    Oct 24, 2012 2:20 AM GMT
    You need lots of experience to even get into a reputable MBA program. And unless it's a top 10 MBA school (Wharton, Harvard, Sloan, etc.) not really. MBAs seem more about the alumni connections than the education.
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    Oct 24, 2012 3:34 AM GMT
    What your Bachelors? Also, I kinda agree with Fiyero27. MBA is something you should pursue after you've had some experience and want to take your career to the next level.
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    Oct 24, 2012 5:32 AM GMT
    There's only one job, where I work, that requires an MBA.
    I was asked to apply for it anyhow, based on experience.
    Thanks but no thanks...halve the pay and twice the responsibility.

    Guess, I'm saying it's better to get out there in your field, learn if it's even worth it and if you'd want it.
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    Oct 24, 2012 12:21 PM GMT
    It depends on what you are moving towards.

    For me, yes it was worth it and has allowed me to pursue my chosen career path as a college instructor.

    In the business world - it's an either or - if you don't have the experience, education can help fill in the gaps or vice-versa.

    You need to assess your goals and decide.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Oct 24, 2012 12:50 PM GMT
    Not really ...in my country at least. I know a lot of people who do it but end up doing the same thing I am doing. I not sure in other country tough
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 24, 2012 12:59 PM GMT
    My initial reaction is "yes", but I think it very wise to know how you are going to use it..... how it will benefit you in your chosen field. To just aimlessless go after an MBA doesn't make as much sense as knowing how and why you are doing it. If you aren't sure, make it a priority after you see how it will fit in!
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    Oct 24, 2012 1:10 PM GMT
    My bachelors is in Business Administration.
    I found a job opening as an Business Development Manager and they preferred an MBA but when i talk to people (like you guys) they say it wouldn't make that much of a difference without the experience, especially if it'll take away two more years of my life from working.
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    Oct 24, 2012 1:16 PM GMT
    If it's from a top university, yes.

    If not, no.

    There are ten a penny MBAs these days and the rigorousness of the programs is highly questionable.
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    Oct 24, 2012 1:22 PM GMT
    If you REALLY want to get your MBA, it is best to wait until you have some work experience first. A lot of companies will help pay for it and you can work at the same time so you're not racking up more student loans.
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    Oct 24, 2012 1:27 PM GMT
    mplsmike saidIf you REALLY want to get your MBA, it is best to wait until you have some work experience first. A lot of companies will help pay for it and you can work at the same time so you're not racking up more student loans.

    +1
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    Oct 24, 2012 1:33 PM GMT
    Ah the young. I know the feeling, an MBA is a tough decision, and one that I have recently decided to pursue.

    Here are the pros and cons:
    1) Yes, you need good experience to get into an MBA program. Actual work experience, not internships. The only school I know of that does not require work experience is MIT, and that is a challenge to get into.

    2) Its expensive as hell. You are talking about 100K in student loans for the education alone, then about 60K in living expenses. This will earn interest. If you pay it off over 10 years you are looking at about 1250 per month for the next 10 years of your life. Not a very easy choice.

    3) You need a career plan. The MBA is not as important as the why. I decided to pursue my MBA because I want to work in buy-side equity research, and you either need to have an MBA or your CFA to get a job, and a CFA requires working in the industry. You catch the drift. If you are doing something like that, absolutely get an MBA as you probably cant work in the field without one. If you are looking towards management or general marketing, an MBA wont help you much.

    4) Its recession proof. The last results I saw showed that those who had a Bachelor's degree had about 9% unemployment. An MBA? Closer to 1%. So in terms of getting a job it is much easier.

    So weight the pro's and con's, try to find a good job and then consider if an MBA is for you or not.
  • maxferguson

    Posts: 321

    Oct 25, 2012 5:37 PM GMT
    psylocke6977 saidI'll be finishing up my bachelors degree soon and am thinking of all the other possibilities. Is continuing my education to an MBA worth the time and money, or better to just fully jump in the workforce and gain the experience?




    It really depends on a number of things:

    1.) What you want to do after - an MBA from a well regarded school is a huge time and financial commitment, so making it without a destination on the other end (decisive starting point to the rest of your career) is risky. A lot of employers will ask you "Why Finance?" "Why Strategy?" etc... and you if you're not from a business background to begin with, building the bridge through time from where you came from to how you wound up sitting in front of the interviewer is a lot harder to build in a way that's competitive against those who do have a business background. An interview to get into a good school will be the same way.

    2.) Based on where you might like to wind up after an MBA, what caliber of school are you going to have to go through to make sure you get there? This also adds dimension to the size of the financial commitment. You'll see a lot of commercials or news articles about "Do your MBA online!" I can't speak from experience, but I can definitely tell you that you'll be much, much more competitive in anything related to business that you do afterwards if you go to a brick and mortar school being taught by recognized academics instead of sitting in front of your monitor trying to make sense of something that was designed for mass distribution and comprehension. Although names like It Wharton, HBS, Sloan, Kellogg, etc.. immediately command respect, the name of your alma mater and quality of education won't carry you farther than you can carry yourself using those tools. That said, unless you know you need a specific school to be competitive for a very specific position, broaden you search to include other highly reputable (although less well recognized by popular media). Fuqua (Duke), Haas (UCLA Berkley), Tuck (Dartmouth), Booth (Chicago) are all very good schools and should at least be looked at. You'll meet people at all of those schools that will be valuable to you later in life.
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    3.) What do you have lined up after your bachelors? Most schools that grant an MBA worth having generally see the new classes coming off of two or three years of work experience and generally look at where that work experience was. For example, I know General Electric and McKinsey & Co. have phenomenal reputations with Wharton. So think about where you'd like to maybe start after your MBA (which is often where you were working before), what schools are going to be on your hit list, what kind of work experience and references you'll need to get in to those schools

    4.) If you're bachelors isn't already in business, draw up a plan to start in an entry level position that at least orbits something you'd like to do and try nudge your way in; you'll have a much better chance of getting in with business experience, or at least an understanding of why you want to be in business if you're working in a relevant field.

    5.) If you're not sure what you want to do yet, don't spend the money on an MBA yet. Start out with something less costly if it winds up not being what you want. I'm not sure about American accounting designations, but working towards a recognized accounting designation, or a financial designation (CFA) might be a more logical first step. Lots of people do their CFA, MBA and it seems to be a good path to go down. A primary designation and then an MBA will also expose you to more people, allowing you to build up a solid network. I just finished undergrad and I'm taking my CFA right now. It's not really comparable to an MBA in the sense that it's finance specific, only exams (vs. case based learning), but once you've got it under your belt, it opens the doors to a lot of other things. It's relatively inexpensive (especially compared to a top 10 school), very well regarded in fields like equity research, investment management and analysis, compliance, etc...and you can take as long as you need to write the 3 exams (most people do it while their working).