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Old 10-07-2008, 10:56 PM   #21
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I've been doing this crap for 15 years and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up... even worse, I thought I wanted a PhD but I don't see a way into one of those without giving up the day job.

Good luck on the MBA. I don't see anything wrong with getting one. You might end up in the same field, or a new one; you may never even use your MBA, but it beats doing nothing and playing the woulda-shoulda game.

But, geez, 24... let some of that college vim and vinegar wear off.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:56 PM   #22
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I think we had a different MBA experience. I decided to do one to "find myself" and had a hard time explaining the idea to my peers (in healthcare). Not any more. They can't believe how useful my skills are.....
We must have. I certainly learned a lot of knowledge and picked up several skills through my program. I also found out, within the MBA program, the several areas that I liked and did well at; to that small extent my MBA helped me figure a few things out. But beyond that there was no soul-searching accomplished or required as part of the degree.

Our backgrounds were likely different, which may account for our different perspectives. My BS was in Computer Science in 1993 and I had about 12 years of work experience in firmware engineering. I then did a full-time traditional evening program at the nearby state university. It is AACSB-accredited and I did earn a membership in Beta Gamma Sigma, so at least they thought I did an OK job.

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Old 10-09-2008, 08:13 PM   #23
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The shame of it is (if I go for the MBA now), it is probably too late for me to finish preparing for the GMAT ....
"too late" ?
you're 24.
An MBA is expensive in time and money. Once you figure out where you want to be, then it's easier to figure out how to get there.
... and who will pay for it.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:24 PM   #24
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For Fall 09. Not saying it's the end of the world if I had to wait.
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:44 PM   #25
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Hi there. I'm going through something similar; I have consulted many a wise man in the quest to find an answer and the consistent response I always receive is: Don't be trapped into doing something you don't love, so keep searching for what you want to do. No matter what. On your deathbed, it will be thoughts about your family and your accomplishments you hold dear that will be your last.

I would highly recommend these three books that might help you find some answers:

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, by Daniel H. Pink
A Whole New Mind, by Daniel H. Pink
What Should I Do With My Life?, by Po Bronson

Good luck!
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:54 PM   #26
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I did my GMAT prep in 4 weeks not because I'm so damned smart. I started taking MBA classes because they were offered right there at work. I was told by the administration that I will need to pass the GMAT after the first two courses. So I had to work, study for the two MBA classes, and prep for the GMAT. The best thing you can do is get Warriner's grammar book and read it cover to cover. That's essentially the verbal section. Then review some high school math, and you're done. Trust me that 700+ is not that hard to get.
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:52 PM   #27
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Alex, I can relate to your situation. I am in engineering and 26. What about staying at your current spot for 2 more years? Any chance that your company would pick up a portion or all of the tab for the MBA? I seriously doubt you would regret increasing your education. Plus it gives you something else to work on in addition to the job. That helps keep me out of the job posting ads. I really have jumped around a lot and tried different industries since my BS and would really like to stay at this job for a while-- only for resume purposes, not because I love it. So, my company foots the bill for a portion of my MBA and it helps keep me a little anchored until I finish it.
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:51 PM   #28
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If you don't know what you want to do do nothing. You're better off.
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:59 AM   #29
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I have been heavily considering going back to school full-time and getting my MBA. I live literally next door to a top 35 program and being in-state it would be financially reasonable.
.
MBA schools, even really good ones, have really become flexible with nights/weekends/ executive programs.

I would not go back full time unless it was a top 5 or 10 school - otherwise I'd do part time.
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:57 PM   #30
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I'm an IT guy and just got my MBA finished earlier this year. No one else in my organization was working on an advanced degree, so I figured I'd get a leg up in any management opportunities. Plus, after 20 years of being out of college, I wanted to stimulate my brain and learn some new things. Old employer paid for 80% of it, so I did it.

One thing not mentioned is the valuable networking experience you will gain. Lots of fellow students worked in big companies, some in management. Gave me the opportunity to ask about other jobs/companies/opportunities.
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:55 PM   #31
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But, geez, 24... let some of that college vim and vinegar wear off.
Hmm...didn't you mean some of that college ps and vim wear off? LOL!

BTW, 24 is a bit too young for MBA. Wait another 4 years when you feel that your passion for IT has waned. The MBA will open up a whole new world of learning to a hard-core IT person and will give you renewed drive in your career.
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:01 AM   #32
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Plus, after 20 years of being out of college, I wanted to stimulate my brain and learn some new things.
What have you learned, grasshopper? Are there really something new in business?
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:06 AM   #33
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I have worked with many engineers with MBA. Half of them remained in engineering while another half switched to engineering management.
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:09 PM   #34
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Hi guys,


I am currently at a bit of a crossroads in my life and was just wondering if anyone might have any advice. FYI: I'm 24, single, have a pretty good personal finance situation and have a bachelors degree in business.

I work as a recruiter in the IT industry and I have been with the same company for a little over 2 years now. My company is a solid, stable, public company where I feel I could have a career if I wanted. I make pretty respectable money for my age, which I am thankful for. My problem is, I don't want to work in this industry forever. The money is VERY lucrative and IT is not going away; I just feel life is too short to be doing the same thing forever. I am not unhappy, it just isn't for me, as a career.


Through my job I have developed the following things:

- good business/people/negotiation skills

- good analytical skills/financial skills (more or less already had these)

- an excellent understanding of how companies' IT organizations operate, and a functional knowledge of how a lot of different technologies fit in


I have been heavily considering going back to school full-time and getting my MBA. I live literally next door to a top 35 program and being in-state it would be financially reasonable.

My problem is that I just don't know what I want to do!!! I think it's silly to just blindly go into an MBA without a serious plan. I feel that I would probably "discover myself" during my time there, but still I just don't know ... I mean, I love school and I "want" an MBA, but just wanting something isn't a good enough reason.


A lot of things I think about doing (executive search, doing what I currently do but for a smaller company, financial advisement) do not require an MBA, so I sure as hell don't want to get one for no reason (not that having an MBA will hurt you, but you know what I mean).

Part of my problem is that I feel like I could do well in so many fields that I have a hard time focusing on something.


I realize I am just kind of stating my situation and asking a vague question that most of us have to get through at sometime in our lives ... but I am just wondering if anyone has an advice from past experience or just general thoughts.

An MBA is only good for increasing career goals, specifically your employment income, although it may provide avenues to more challenging career choices, but if you don't know what you want to do that would be a wash.

You need to do a cost benefit analysis. Cost of the MBA plus the cost of wages lost during the years you take the MBA, plus the difference (if any) between your new starting wage and your expected current wage at the time you estimate you would be restarting your career. The difference is the cost benefit of the MBA. I would bet starting wages for new MBA grads will be significantly lower than in past years due to layoffs in the banking sector.

Note, if you wait too long to get an MBA you will lose the benefit of time to make back the cost of the MBA, especially if you plan to retire early.

Many of the higher paying jobs requiring MBA’s such as banking will likely not be there when you graduate, and there will be much competition from laid off workers who likely have better qualifications so the benefit of gaining an MBA might not be there moving forward.

As mentioned by others, we are going through uncertain times so you need to factor in your requirements for a secure job, and a steady income stream.

How will the immediate dilutive effects (loss of income) of obtaining an MBA affect your ER plans?

Lastly, if money is the only determining factor, jobs in sales provide good return for the lowest required education. Many other professional positions pay well without an MBA.

From my point of view, I think the value of an MBA will be reduced moving forward, but I could be wrong.

Only you can decide.
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:59 PM   #35
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It's an option, but I will say I have always heard that doing a part-time MBA is what you do if you want to stay in your current position, or at least field.

I can also get my company to pay for it, but then I have to agree to stay with them for x amount of years or pay them back. Also, an MBA is not necessary in my company except for maybe very high-level management positions. It's a very, very flat company.

I appreciate the advice.

I would do it part-time. Take one class to see if you like it while you're working. Then if you decide to continue on, you have 3 options

1) finish part-time and get it paid for by your company

2) finish part-time and switch companies, you'd have to pay them back, but there would be no lost income

3) switch to full time

Strategy consulting and I-banking are the more traditional employers of top 10 mba programs. Though your area may be different (I'm in the NY metro area.) Econonomically speaking, it does not make sense to go back full time unless you'll be going to a top 10 school. If you had another career in sight, then it may also pay to go full time, but it sounds like you are still unsure.

Personally, I am pursuing the part-time route and am glad I chose to do it this way. For me, I make a pretty good salary now, but with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering, the MBA will open up more doors down the road. Also, I've enjoyed some of the classes and interaction with my peers thus far. So I'm also doing it for 'consumption' as well (not just as an investment).

Best of luck!
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