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Career enhancements with MBA
Old 02-21-2014, 10:09 AM   #1
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Career enhancements with MBA

Had a chat with my manager at megacorp today and was given the go ahead to do the graduate school program. They'll pay $10k/year and I found a nearby school thats $2k/class and 15 classes to complete. Just curious if I should expect any amazing changes to my career once it has been completed? I'm not going to a "Top 10" program and I certainly wouldn't be doing this if work didn't pay for it. As someone in the finance area who earned his CPA letters this just seems like the next logical step/credentials to obtain?

Anywho, just wondering if I could expect any changes in life after I knock this MBA thing out in 2-2.5 years. Excited to be heading back to school for hopefully the last time
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:25 AM   #2
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I'm an engineer with an MBA paid for by my employer at the time. I believe I moved up the management ladder after getting the MBA, but once I left the company (years later), I found myself with lots of competition, mainly folks that also had MBA's. Getting it is a good thing, but you won't be alone these days.

I'd do it over again, if I went back in time.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:57 AM   #3
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Two things:
1) Having additional degree or letters after your name will never hurt you
2) Once you have that piece of paper, it is yours forever.

As long as you can do the time sacrifice for the classes and studying, I see no downside. Certainly will not hurt you and will only have potential benefit.

I am also an engineer, and quickly after starting work I realized that MBA would be a good idea. I started night classes and working on it, but work travel made it tough and also life gets in the way, something had to give; therefore I never completed it.

I think MBA tends be better help if you are in a larger company work environment than smaller. The knowledge will benefit you in your work skills and resume points no matter where you are working.
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:22 PM   #4
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Another engineer that got an MBA at night on various companies dimes.

Other than a nice note from senior VP congratulating me I don't think it had much impact on my career. When I switched from engineering to marketing it certainly helped with the transition. Not so much the skills I picked up, as the perception that this guy was serious about switching from engineering.

My perception is that more and more companies are questioning the value of an MBA, so I wouldn't expect miracles from picking one up. I think mine was worth the time, but not the $1200/class that companies paid.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:45 PM   #5
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Yet another engineer with MBA, can only say positive things about the experience. I would recommend education at all times on the company dime, only potential for upside. Plus you'll enjoy the the new learning. Congrats on the opportunity
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:59 PM   #6
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I had Finance/Accounting majors as undergrad. Got no-name MBA on the company dime. CMA but never went for CPA.

Definitely worth it to get the MBA from both a learning standpoint as well as career opportunities. I can't say I learned a lot of new things having business but it was a great refresher after being out of school for ten years or so. The interaction and stretching of my mind was the best part. The interaction with professors as an experienced adult was a completely different experience than what everyone did as undergrads.

Financial companies love the advanced degrees to show on the 'management team' bios. It may not actively set you apart as others have said as it's become pretty standard for senior management roles. Having both CPA and MBA looks pretty good though.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:59 PM   #7
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Good luck, but I wonder why so many on this board are aspiring to higher levels while seeking early retirement. Slightly counterintuitive IMHO
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:00 PM   #8
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Odds are an MBA can only help your career, I'd go for it especially if someone else is paying/subsidizing it. You can learn it all on the job, but it will be faster/clearer if you have a formal MBA. And taking the classes while working, it'll all make way more sense to you than a kid going straight from BS to MBA without actual work experience.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:17 PM   #9
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You people have to much energy. 15 classes over 3 years is a lot of nights and weekends to devote to it. In my experience in the computer industry, a technical person getting an MBA was fairly useless unless that person wanted to transition into management.

It might be the right choice for an individual with a certain career path, but that is a whole lot of life energy you're trading away to get it. Just because it won't cost anything doesn't mean it comes free.

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Old 02-21-2014, 09:35 PM   #10
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I got my MBA over many years.... I used the classes for my continuing education for my CPA...


I learned very little new info... in a couple of finance classes I actually knew more than the prof since I was working in that area at the time... and the book was already out of date...


I got no increase in salary, got no new job responsibilities etc. etc... I will say that it is helping now as I look for a new job... it give just a little bit extra over the other candidates...
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:50 PM   #11
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My dad wanted me to get an MBA. He had BSEE + MBA. I stayed on the technical side during my career, and never would have used an MBA. A good idea if you can get your company to pay for it and want to take a career path where it will be useful. Otherwise it sounds like too much work.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:57 PM   #12
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I certainly wouldn't be doing this if work didn't pay for it.
Doesn't seem like you're really that interested in it. I think you'd be better off figuring out what career path you want to take first and then asking if the MBA will help.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:25 PM   #13
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Similar story here. CPA, CIA and did my executive MBA on the company. Later got CMA. MBA was a great experience. In the career track I was on its was a matter of time before the lack of an advanced degree would be become a hindrance.

So I was a full-time worker, a full-time student and a full-time husband and father for 18 months --- and loved it!!!

While I'm not sure if having an MBA on my resume helped my career, I am sure that what I learned in grad school helped my career.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:59 PM   #14
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I'm another positive vote for it but for slightly different reasons than those above. I would say the fact that you are getting your employer to pay/help pay for it alone makes it worth it.

I took 2 years off and went full time to a "top 25 program" and racked up a ton of debt in the process. The trade-off though is that it's been about four years since I graduated and my income has increased 150% from my pre-MBA employment. I made such a career shift though, I don't think that is the norm. The work I am doing is more interesting than I did pre-MBA. I have a lot of student loan debt which I am working to pay off, but the degree did increase my ability to sock away money for retirement and in my opinion was still worth it.

It definitely opened career doors for me that didn't exist before. But aside from the first post-MBA job, it's come down to experience. The degree has helped me interview better, and helped me get picked out of a few stacks of resume's I wouldn't have gotten looked at before. But with that said it's still ultra competitive. It took me a year to find a new job with consistent looking.

But based on your circumstances I would say it sounds worth it. As others have said it certainly won't hurt, but it won't be a panacea either.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:15 AM   #15
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I would go for it. Having sponsoring MBA candidates, I can't think of one it did not help inside or outside the company.
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:05 AM   #16
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I have a BA in Business and MBA as well...both a bit dated now. My employer paid for the MBA and although I'm glad I completed it, I had no life other than work/school during that period. Prepare yourself and your family for this hardship.

I can't say that the MBA helped, but it did propel me into management over two other candidates. I personally don't consider management a good job other than the money.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:06 AM   #17
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Another engineer with an MBA. I earned mine while still in the Air Force so they paid for about two thirds of it. I originally started the program because I was travelling extensively and figured reading textbooks and doing homework while in airports, airplanes, and hotels was a better use of my time than murder mysteries.

I think it was a major help in getting a good job when I transitioned to the civilian world after 10 years in. Potential employers were impressed by it (of course, this was 25 years ago) and it also told them I had some understanding of how businesses operated even though I had a technical degree and my work experience after college was limited to the military.

I also found the subject matter very interesting.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:20 AM   #18
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I didn't earn an MBA nor am I an Engineer but let me share with you what an HR Manager in high tech told me: "I would kill for an Engineer who can do a great presentation." This comment was made when we discussed my DD who was then an Engineering major and who had been active in speech and debate in high school.

She switched to Finance, is a CFO with a CPA. She does presentations internally and to her professional peers.

I agree that an MBA doesn't have the panache that it once did but in some corporate cultures it is a ticket to be punched to move into leadership positions. It will be of little value if you don't have excellent presentation skills.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:34 AM   #19
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I agree that an MBA doesn't have the panache that it once did but in some corporate cultures it is a ticket to be punched to move into leadership positions. It will be of little value if you don't have excellent presentation skills.

I think that's true. I used to be asked to give a lot of talks and learned to start with a joke that had nothing to do with the topic (but not an obvious joke). Something about my morning or like that. It loosens the audience. Then you can bore them to death.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:30 AM   #20
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I didn't earn an MBA nor am I an Engineer but let me share with you what an HR Manager in high tech told me: "I would kill for an Engineer who can do a great presentation." This comment was made when we discussed my DD who was then an Engineering major and who had been active in speech and debate in high school.

She switched to Finance, is a CFO with a CPA. She does presentations internally and to her professional peers.

I agree that an MBA doesn't have the panache that it once did but in some corporate cultures it is a ticket to be punched to move into leadership positions. It will be of little value if you don't have excellent presentation skills.
Presentation skills were a number one priority in Officer Candidate School. You would not be commissioned if you couldn't do a basic presentation. "Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them." It's been over 30 years since this was told to me but I guess things learned under tremendous pressure tend to stick!
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