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Old 01-04-2012, 09:55 AM   #21
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i would also look at the time committment. I've come to realize my time is much more important to me than money.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:07 PM   #22
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35 years experience here. BA at the start of career, and in the process of finishing off an online MSc. The kids are grown and I have the time, so decided to take about 25K from megacorp to do this. This is program management plus info security.

In my environment, those without degrees scoff at them. We hire ex-mil and one differentiator between job levels is college degree. Get a BA or BS, and it is relatively easy to move up a level. In this industry, the masters will not get you to next level when you graduate. However, it is highly desirable to have PM experience to get through the filters when you apply.

If you have the time, I'd say do it now. 13K is a small price to pay for probable increased wages during a lifetime.

It will take 8-10 hours per week on average to get an A.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:33 AM   #23
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As a former HR manager I'll chime in. An MBA will give you a slight edge in the screening process for management gigs. This wouldn't be the case if you lacked leadership experience but you're good there.

The big question is this: do you want to learn what they have to teach? Graduate school opened me up to new ways of thinking and changed my life for the better. It didn't increase my salary. At 13k, do it ( or not) on the basis of the learning. The money may or may not come.

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Old 01-05-2012, 03:24 PM   #24
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If the underlying material is all that matters, why not just study it on your own?
"Hi, I'm an autodidact! I never bothered to get my high school diploma, or my bachelors or my masters either, but I've read all the textbooks!! So, can I have the job?"
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:58 PM   #25
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MBAs are now very common and therefore their value is discounted in the market,. They do not provide "career insurance".
+1

Of course, the same is true of four-year degrees as well. It used to be a differentiator; not so much any more as the unemployment lines are awash with folks holding degrees, certifications and credentials that used to be an express ticket to a job offer.

I'm not sure the hypercompetitive "educational arms race" has made us a better society, or (increasingly) maybe not even a more prosperous one.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:47 PM   #26
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Don't do it. I've met a lot of pikers with MBA's that work in personal banking or sales support in insurance, they still think they're bigshots with an MBA and spend like it too. Probably pretty nice $45k-55 jobs to have in this economy. Probably not great to have with an MBA and a mountain of debt.

I'd get some experience, a lay of the land, and then get the MBA when it's needed and you're ready to move up.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:30 PM   #27
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I also got an MBA part-time from a middle tier school in the late 80s. Several companies ended up paying for it,and beyond a nice note from a senior VP when completed the degree I can't say it was particularly valuable.

I guess it looks ok on the resume but I don't think unless it is from the top 20 schools it is all the valuable.

That said 13K for a degree is pretty inexpensive and if you are planning a career in the government which seems likely, it is probably a nice to have.

I also have mixed feelings about online vs classrooms. I do know some people love the flexibility. I started a online CFP program and lasted exactly one class, the lack of interaction with teachers and fellow students really made it hard to focus on pretty dry subject.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:45 AM   #28
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As a general statement, I believe the best investment anyone can make is in themselves, so from that aspect, the MBA would seem fine. However, an MBA without some relevant work experience may push you into more of an entry level position position. I would also concur with the other comments about the value of networking associated with the MBA. It can work with both the cohorts as well as alums. Not sure to what extent you will be able to do that with an online program, but certainly nothing wrong with MBA from OSU.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:29 PM   #29
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$13k sounds like a good price for the networking and to have MBA after your name. That along with military service will be impressive. However, I don't believe that the course work of MBAs or most other postgraduate management degrees are worth much to the student. They are a scam on the part of schools and "professional organizations" who develop the qualifications and market them to industry as required to do a particular job.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:50 PM   #30
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In my experience, MBAs in the corp. world were often used to separate the wheat from the chaff (in other words, narrow down a list of overqualified candidates.)

(Disclaimer: I got an MBA in the early 80s by attending live classes at a local accredited university, paid for by my then-employer.

Before that, I had attempted an MBA that consisted of a taped class that was rebroadcast a day or so later. I could barely stay awake thru those sessions and quickly decided that mode of teaching/learning was not for me. YMMV)

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Old 01-06-2012, 01:10 PM   #31
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In my experience, MBAs in the corp. world were often used to separate the wheat from the chaff (in other words, narrow down a list of overqualified candidates.)
This is true of many jobs today which now require a degree but never used to. The fact that there is a glut of overeducated people for the jobs that are out there makes it easier for employers to raise the bar. Before long you may not be able to dig ditches without a degree.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:12 PM   #32
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In my experience, MBAs in the corp. world were often used to separate the wheat from the chaff (in other words, narrow down a list of overqualified candidates.)

(Disclaimer: I got an MBA in the early 80s by attending live classes at a local accredited university, paid for by my then-employer.

Before that, I had attempted an MBA that consisted of a taped class that was rebroadcast a day or so later. I could barely stay awake thru those sessions and quickly decided that mode of teaching/learning was not for me. YMMV)

omni
My jaded opinion of MBAs comes from doing a masters in "Managing Science and Technology" and feeling as if I wasn't learning much that I didn't know already from common sense and work experience and also my direct experience of people with MBAs. However, having the letters after your name is required by many potential employers to show you are playing the game and have some minimum level of competence and $13k is a good price to get those things.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:47 PM   #33
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Interesting opinions everyone - thanks.
In megacorp where I work MBA is not worth the paper or electrons it's written on.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:55 AM   #34
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I used to work for the FAA and if you are looking for an ATC job, you really don't need an MBA for that. You also wouldn't need it for the ATC management jobs.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:23 PM   #35
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Hello ATC Guy - Based on the information you give in your post, I would say "go for it".
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What would you do?
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:27 PM   #36
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I had an Assistant Dean tell me about how important the networking aspect of an MBA was. I asked him who he was in touch with from his cohort, now that he had his degree for more than 5 years. Answer: No one. Did he ever get a referral to an open position from anyone in his cohort? Answer: No.
It depends.

Your mentor's experience may be the case for whatever business school he attended, but it is certainly not typical for HBS.

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The most important things you get from a Masters degree are your ability to communicate clearly, and critical thinking.
I would hope that the OP already possesses those skills, which are generally acquired in any decent undergraduate degree programme.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:59 PM   #37
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I got a middle tier MBA 12 years ago (face to face) and it has transformed my career. Or more precisely, it gave me the tools I needed to do so.
This.

I graduated from a fringe top/certain mid-tier program and it has transformed my career and put me in a place professionally I wouldn't have sniffed for at least 15 years.

I'd consider doing it but only if you feel there's value added to your career and if the school at least has a strong reputation where you plan to be geographically.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:26 PM   #38
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Suggest looking at what is the norm for the air traffic controller industry. Why not get in the door first and see what skills and certs they value most? It may take you in a different direction and you may also get 100 percent tuition payment or reimbursement from the employer. Then it costs you nothing but time.

Only 1/3 of the MBA programs in the nation have the AACSB rating - as MBAs are increasingly common, IMHO going to a school with that accreditation is a must. Such programs are typically 18-20 classes, wheras a normal masters is usually only 10-12 classes. In my field masters degrees are required to keep pace, not just to get ahead. I graduated 18 mos ago and it has not opened doors yet but still trying to leverage it into something. Company paid 100% and books too.

If you see yourself moving into a role where the skillset is used daily, it is of most benefit. So this means investment banker, accountant, financial reporting, marketing, business development, or senior executive positions. Positions where you make strategic decisions for the firm.

Once you get in the door at a new employer, you may find a simple Project Management or Management fraduate certificate does what you need it to for less time and money invested. Good luck in whatever you decide.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:00 PM   #39
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I would say go for it because you genuinely interested in the subject matter and not as career insurance. That way if it doesn't aid you in a landing a future job, you won't be bitter about the time or money you spent getting that degree.
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MBA may give you tools but you still have to decide and implement the direction
Old 01-27-2012, 08:51 PM   #40
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MBA may give you tools but you still have to decide and implement the direction

13k is a fairly small expense for good overview of business practices and may give you proper tools to help you get eventual experience. However, expecting to be hired into 'some management position' is probably unrealistic unless you have specific experience in the domain already, know the practice/management area, and are lucky (know people on the inside ,etc). MBA will not be considered a substitute for real experience and domain knowledge - every management position requires knowing what you manage and knowing it inside and out (usually based on years being 'in the trenches') . So go for the MBA but also think where you want to be beyond it , what industry you want to work with or at, in what type of role , and then make it happen. I have multiple co-workers all getting MBAs here at Megacorp but not thinking through and following through on what exactly they want to achieve and then stagnating in place. I also see people making 3x the MBAs salary with undergrad education only plus experience. Most successful people I see usually have at least one accounting (CFA typically, CFA+ CPA) plus legal plus sometimes MBA degree - I was in financial services.
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