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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 04-17-2006, 03:37 PM   #21
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
sup, how do these comp pacages compare to your current pay?
No possibility of a bonus or incentive compensation. Keep in mind that I'm not planning to jump ship the minute I get my degree and expect big bucks...my motivation is also related to the fact that I think I will need an MBA on my resume to even be considered for jobs further along in my career.

A related note is that the part-time programs at Rice and U of H would allow me to start taking accounting courses to get the hours I need for the CPA. The UT program, while it has a higher ranked name, doesn't offer that option (classes are on a set curriculum).

Another variable on the cost part of the equation is that Rice and U of H probably have more scholarship money available than UT (which claims not to offer any scholarships for their part-time program).
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 04-17-2006, 03:50 PM   #22
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

You'd take Rice > UT? Interesting. UT generally is ranked top 20 while Rice is ranked 20-50 (second tier).

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Go to the very best program and the one with the best alumni network.* With that said I would scratch U of Houston off the list and stick with UT or (my choice) Rice.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 04-17-2006, 03:59 PM   #23
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

In that case I would probably go with UT Austin, since the outcome (comp) is likely to be about the same, you'd get to the accounting classes quickly enough, and it is $10k cheaper. If you can't get a full ride from your employer, make a play for some help/partial funding, although you will have to decide of any strings they attach are worth it.

Looks to me that you will conservatively be able to buy a $35k a year "annuity" at the cost of some extra effort plus some portion of $60k. That is a bet I took 6 years ago and it has been a home run.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 04-17-2006, 07:13 PM   #24
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

Quote:
Another variable on the cost part of the equation is that Rice and U of H probably have more scholarship money available than UT.
I wouldn't make this assumption. There is probably very little or no money for part timers at Rice or U of H either - they just don't advertise it as clearly as UT. I work at a top 40 B-school and we have zilch for part timers.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 04-18-2006, 11:23 AM   #25
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan
Here are the self-reported statistics on salaries for these schools' full-time programs:

UT-Austin: $85k+$15k bonus

Rice: $83k+$15k bonus

U of Houston: $67k - think this is skewed downward by a small sample size and high % of non-profit acceptances but maybe not. also, no data provided on bonuses

No one seems to publish salary info for part-time programs, which I understand since it may not be as applicable to their graduates who may continue to work in their current job for a period of time before getting a promotion. So I don't know how relevant these numbers are to my situation. On the other hand, the Rice and UT Austin numbers may be skewed upwards by grads with extra high salaries who take investment banking or management consulting jobs, neither of which I'm interested in.

Based on this, I'm still having a hard time quantifying the expected return from one program relative to another...
Just an opinion of someone who has been in finance and Houston for a LONG time...

UH is not looked at as a good program, but is OK...

Rice is not known as a good program for business... I have known someone who graduated from there with an MBA and they did not seem to be that good..

UT is the best way to go for the degree and contacts if that is what you are looking to get...

FYI, I am a CPA and an MBA, but from St. Thomas... which is way down on the scale
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 04-18-2006, 09:12 PM   #26
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

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Originally Posted by soupcxan
Update: 710 on the GMAT. I think that's pretty decent.
Awesome! Congrats!

I would go with U of T if that's a top 20 school, I know nothing, but I have two friends, one who got an MBA at Harvard, and one in an MBA program at Carnegie Mellon who both are very happy they went to top 20 schools, for the contacts alone. If you plan on sticking with your company, companies usually are just glad you checked the box, but I think you'll want to maximize the doors you have open. The cost may be intimidating now, but in the long haul I think it would pay off. My friends enjoy(ed) the peers they were going to school with, felt they were getting alot from being with high achievers. Just two-bits of hearsay from me.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 04-19-2006, 06:38 AM   #27
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

I think school reputation matters a lot. My program is well known for being (by most accounts) in the top 5 for accounting and finance, and graduates are in heavy demand in the NYC financial industry because people know that the school produces graduates who are well versed in those subjects. Naturally, there is quite a network of alums to tap. TX Proud seems to suggest this sort of thing applies to the UT program, so it sounds good to me.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 05-23-2006, 04:31 PM   #28
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

An interesting update:

One manager came back with: "maybe we can do 50% tuition reimbursement, not even sure of that, but we'd also require you to work for us for another year after you finish the program." If I start in 2007, that means I'm locked in to them until 2010. That's a long time for only 50%

Another manager came back with: "we can do 100% reimbursement on the Rice part-time program. we can't do anything on UT Austin's part time program for some obscure reason, even though they both cost $75k." They wouldn't require an extra year committment after finishing the MBA. That doesn't sound half bad.

And of course, the option of leaving the company going full-time at UT Austin (or maybe somewhere even better) is still out there. I heard that two employees from my program just left for Stanford and HBS, with similar GMATs to mine. But seems like a high cost when you figure in tuition plus lost income for two years. I have no interest in becoming an i-banker on Wall Street, so maybe I don't need the expense of an ivy...maybe a free ride at Rice is the way to go? Not quite the same caliber as Austin (top 50 vs top 20, says BusinessWeek), but still a well-known school in Texas.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 05-23-2006, 06:24 PM   #29
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

As an engineer my MBA (company paid for it) helped me understand and navigate the corporate world. but to me it wasn't as important as my PE license.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 05-24-2006, 07:02 AM   #30
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

I don't think the numbers work to quit and go full-time.

If it were me, I would probably stick with UT. I would push back on manager #2 to see what the story is and make the point taht it is a better program at the same cost.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 05-24-2006, 11:53 AM   #31
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

The problem with the part-time UT program is that they view it as an "executive" program (even though it is not labelled as such by the school) because classes are held at a hotel during friday night/saturday morning. Anything that they view as an "executive" MBA has to get CEO approval, which is not going to happen for me. I've tried arguing that it is a better program for the same price, but they won't budge. Manager #2 agrees with my argument, but HR is the one throwing up a roadbloack.

The Rice part-time program is actually held at night during the week, at the normal school campus, so that's why they don't view it as "executive" and can get it approved.

Putting aside the name brand issues, the experience at Rice might actually be better...I'd rather have classes in a real classroom than in some hotel...and I'd have a broader choice of elective classes (UT's part-time has no free electives).

As far as marketability goes, both schools have similar starting compensation averages for their full-time MBAs. UT is generally higher ranked than Rice but still not in Harvard/Stanford territory. Those are the best data points I've been able to come up with.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 05-24-2006, 12:04 PM   #32
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

Hmmm, then I might just take the free ride to Rice and live with it. Hardly a bad deal, although you may wish to consider a contingency plan if you and the company part ways before your degree is finished.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 05-24-2006, 12:24 PM   #33
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

The best option may be to sign up with #2 and the Rice deal, but apply to top full-time programs this fall. If any of them come through, I could leave to attend in 2007. If the Ivy admissions process doesn't go my way, I'd stick with Rice and be happy with that.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 05-24-2006, 12:34 PM   #34
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

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Originally Posted by soupcxan
The best option may be to sign up with #2 and the Rice deal, but apply to top full-time programs this fall. If any of them come through, I could leave to attend in 2007. If the Ivy admissions process doesn't go my way, I'd stick with Rice and be happy with that.
Remind me again why full time at an ivy program on your own dime and no salary is beter than part time with someone else paying and still getting a salary? I couldn't justify FT economically.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 05-24-2006, 12:58 PM   #35
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

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Originally Posted by soupcxan
So now that I have my score, the MBA question is:

1) Take 2 years off and go full time at UT-Austin (top 20 by most accounts)
Cost: $40k tuition + $120k lost income = $160k

2) Part-time UT-Austin program in Houston (same diploma but not as prestigious as the full-time program? less networking opps? debatable.)
Cost: $60k, may be hard to get employer support at that price

3) Part-time Rice program
Cost: $70k, may be hard to get employer support at that price

4) Part-time University of Houston program
Cost: $25k, but likely to get employer support for some/all of it

While the costs are easily quantifiable, I don't know how to value the expected income growth from one program versus the another. If I plan to keep working in Texas, how much more is a full-time MBA from Austin worth versus a part-time MBA from Houston?
I think you're over estimating the cost of your lost income. Unless you're truly able to save $60K a year, I believe you need to take out taxes and the expenses of going to work. A more realistic estimate of your opportunity cost would be to take your 401(k) contribution, Roth, mortgage principal payoff, and whatever after-tax savings you will not be putting away and use that as your opportunity cost. You can't count food, shelter, clothing, and transportation because these are fixed costs whether you're going to school or going to work.

By the way, if you're going to do a full-time MBA program, have you considered a one-year program? INSEAD, IMD, and Cornell all have one-year MBA programs. The first two schools only offer one-year MBA programs, so they're NOT executive MBA programs. Cornell tries to sell its one-year MBA program as an executive program, requiring that you already have a post-graduate degree. They'd have to. Otherwise, they would be cannibalizing their two-year program.

If you just want to learn the finance stuff, London Business School offers a 10-month M.S. in Finance for about $50K U.S., and afterwards, you'll be right there in London, not exactly the backwater of finance. You can always read the supply-chain management, HR, leadership (or followership which seems to be the buzz word of the moment) books on your own. FYI, the LBS MS in Finance degree is what I would like to do after a couple of years in the industry.

The thing is that there are many ways to do an MBA/MS. The U.S. schools are set on offering only two-year degrees because that is the norm in this country, and, frankly, schools don't exactly have the incentive to hurry you out the door because the longer you're a student, the more you pay.

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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 05-24-2006, 01:26 PM   #36
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
$75k is fine if the school is a top flight place, but not in the top 20? Bad deal. The regional school for $25k sounds better. The way to look at this is return on capital invested. Figure out what the degree would add to your earnings power and compare that to what it will cost to get the degree. This investment will require a lot of blood, sweat and tears from you, so the returns should be good to make it worth it, say at least 15%.

A few things to consider:

- Are you even sure you will be able to stay in one place long enough to finish the degree? It would suck to have to move before you finish the program.

- Doing a degree on top of a FT job sucks. Be ready for the pain, if that is what you choose. Been there, done that, and in the end it was worth it to me (since I went to the #1 part time program in the US mostly on my employer's dime), but it was a painful and exhaisting process.

- Is there another way to skin the cat? You want some letters after your name to help you advance, so why not investigate other ways of doing this besides an MBA. In my profession, a CFA will get you about as far as an MBA (farther, in some cases). It is about as hard to get, but doesn't require sitting in classes. Maybe there are otehr ways of getting yor CPA? What other designations could you pursue that might add value to your career/increase your earnings power?
If I were working/living in NYC, I'd go to NYU's part-time program without hesitation, but that's only if I already have a job in NYC.

The pain, though, is another matter. Imagine always having a 5-minute clock running in the back of your mind that applies to everything you do -- eating dinner, brushing your teeth, checking out the weather, or taking a dump, and you'll have some idea how much pain is involved in doing a part-time program. Add on top an unsupportive if not downright obstructionist boss and weekends at work, and you get the full picture. Oh, yeah, you'll have to sustain the pain for two years.

CPA is hard to get because the number of accounting credit hours has just been increased so that unless you have a combined undergrad and graduate degree in accounting (or the equivalent number of credit hours), you can't even sit for the exam. That really sucks, but, like Brewer said, there are many professional exams you can take. Let's see. There's CFA, CFP, CCM, and CFE.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 05-24-2006, 01:40 PM   #37
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

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If I were working/living in NYC, I'd go to NYU's part-time program without hesitation, but that's only if I already have a job in NYC.

The pain, though, is another matter. Imaging always having a 5-minute clock running in the back of your mind that applies to everything you do -- eating dinner, brushing your teeth, checking out the weather, or taking a dump, and you'll have some idea how much pain is involved in doing a part-time program. Add on top an unsupportive if not downright obstructionist boss and weekends at work, and you get the full picture. Oh, yeah, you'll have sustain that pain for two years.
Actually, I did have a job in NYC and I went to NYU at night. But I raced through the program about as fast as humanly possible and it still took me a bit over 2 1/2 years. That's a long time to be counting seconds while taking a dump. :P

But let's also not lose sight of the rewards. You get through with your finances (more than) intact; you walk away with a very marketable degree; you are all set to make some of that proverbial fat cash; and you NEVER have to do anything that painful for that long ever again.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 05-24-2006, 03:15 PM   #38
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

Well, I know you are in Houston...

The UT program IS an executive program... it is all they offer as a PT student... they might not say it out loud, but it is..

If you get paid full boat for Rice, take it. It sounds like the best option you have going for you.. it will be a bear, but maybe you can stretch it another year and not kill yourself.

But, make sure that you do not sign something saying you will work an extra year. The CPA in me has this thing bouncing around in my head saying that it becomes taxable income if you make a commitment to stay at your employer... it there is no commitment, it is tax free... since you are in finance, look it up.. see if I am right or wrong
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 05-24-2006, 10:55 PM   #39
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

The tax impact of a $75k reimbursement is obviously on my mind...based on reading "Publication 970 - Tax Benefits for Education" it sounds like the payments would not be reported as income on my W-2 because the tuition payment is issued directly to the school under my employer's accountable plan. Even if they did report it on my W-2 under a non-accountable plan, it sounds like I can deduct the expense because it is helping me further develop my skills but not qualify for a new line of work. This deduction would be subject to the 2% of AGI limitation. However, if they did it the 2nd way, I would probably get an 8% hit in my pay due to FICA/SS withholding on the imputed income.

Can anyone confirm? I'm no CPA.
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?
Old 05-24-2006, 11:13 PM   #40
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Re: 24 years old: what's my next move?

I got taxed, but the reimbursement came directly to me after I have already paid the school.

BTW, have you decided where you are going? Full time or part time?

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