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Would you consider an MBA?

Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Some of the recent dicusssion have been on other career paths. A friend of mine is publishing a book on getting into MBA programs and advises people on that career path. We would potentially have him come and do a book giveaway here. Obviously it's a little off topic for the Ranch, but if there's interest, well, then we should meet the needs of our customers.
--Mark
Chad McGowan
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 265
I'm interested... It's a decision I'm wrestling with right now.
Peekaboo Switchback
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 18, 2003
Posts: 33
Me too.
Jessica Lang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 61
YES YES...I am interested too.....
Vikrama Sanjeeva
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2001
Posts: 756
Hi,
Sure
Bye,
Viki.


Count the flowers of your garden, NOT the leafs which falls away!
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John Dale
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2001
Posts: 399
Not for me!
Harpreet Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 16, 2002
Posts: 56
Still trying to make up my mind ...


Harpreet Singh<p>SCJP2/SCWCD/IBM Certified Specialist-DB2 7.1/IBM Certified Application Developer-DB2 8.1
Paul Pullman
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 28, 2003
Posts: 19
You should if you can get into the top five business schools or you are asked to get ready to take over a family-owned multimillion dollar business. Over the past years, many new graduates of top schools could not land a job at the time of graduation and had to move back homes. It is a fact reported in business magazines, like BusinessWeek.
When the pie is getting smaller, how many people we need to look after it. The oversea high tech (and other) markets are a threat to us, because their own pies have been very small and are not getting any bigger internally in the near term while those nations have been pumping out tons of undergraduates and graduates (high tech or not) over the years. The American corporate is going to take advanyage of it. Our pie will be getting smaller.
I am open-minded and is willing to listen.
Paul
Svetlana Koshkina
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 108
I took a pass at getting MBA first year I got to US. I was fresh from Japan and it was outright stupid move when I look back at it. I took GRE and TOIFFEL and GMAT (with 'not bragging too much' scores higher than ave even for essay ?). I was cut short on interview. Interview that I had with very unfriendly individual threw me back from official mba path big time. Actually guys I don't know how you bear here, I was about to have my do-not-know-the-number of heart attack for about 4 years I am here. If some poisonous mind would like to ask me why i am still alive and still here, the answer is "I don't know yet. Probably unfortunate circumstanses or it just was made so in my life somehow without me knowing"). MBA is nice but costly, and as far as i understood no more rewarding than programming because of current economic situation. I have some insider knowlege about difficulties. Well, the whole affair is going to be tough and one should be prepared to be stumbled over , rolled over etc. In short, the ride is not for weak hearted (as me, for ex.). My impression was it would better to collect some coins and try to be your own boss by investing into the volatile market and keep fingers crossed all the time.
shay Aluko
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 01, 2002
Posts: 167
The issue with an MBA is "timing is everything", if you can get a scholarship or funding from your employer by all means go for it.At least you may get a shot at getting out of the trenches. In my own case I was accepted and i actually started in a top 20 school. I had to discontinue for financial reasons. In all cases you have to weigh the benefits vs the costs which in my own case was more the $80,0000. An MBA will not help you unless you have a clear idea of what you want to do with it and where you want it to take you. Also if you are lucky to graduate while the economy is strong then its a good deal otherwise you could end up with lots of debt, no job and a lot of frustration.I have seen that happen to some of my friends who have had to put the MBA aside for now and get some developer job, any job just to pay the bills.
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
its not necessary to get MBA, there are also other high level degrees to consider, for example someone can get two master degrees, one is Master Of Science in Computer Science and a Master Of Commerce in Information system(or management), I think having those 2 degrees will be even better than have a MBA alone, unless one already have a MSc in computer science and want to add a MBA degree.


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Stephen Pride
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 14, 2000
Posts: 121
Sorry while I stray down another path ...
There was a recent article in the classified section of the Austin-American Statesman recently about a lady who worked for a large IT company and is now a contract nurse. I don't remember all the details, but basically she got fed-up with all the politics involved with the IT sector and started taking nursing classes at a local community college. Now she is a contract nurse; she sets HER own hours; works when SHE wants to; and is enjoying life to the extreme. She said the bottom-line paycheck is a little less, but the benefits and rewards she gets as a contract nurse far outweigh the differences in net income.


SCJP
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16145
    
  21

MBA's got to be a glut on the market a couple of years back (pre dot-com era). I don't know how much the situation has eased since then.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Stephen Pride:
Sorry while I stray down another path ...

Please do not stray off topic. I tend to be liberal in letting topics wander, because many topics posted here are interrelated. However, the thread hijackings have gotten pretty bad lately so I'm trying to rein it in. Please keep posts in this topic restricted to discussions about MBAs. If a comment is not appropriate for this topic, feel free to start a new topic.
--Mark
stara szkapa
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 321
If you are smart you either don�t need MBA or someone will pay for your MBA. If you are not smart you will pay for your MBA, and no one will hire you afterwards anyway. Alternatively regardless of whether you are smart or not you could have your own business and hire smart people to work for you.
Ashok Mash
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
I don't think I would opt for a MBA degree.
I look at it like this, but I could be wrong. Essentially MBA is about managing others, and in my observation, a good share of engineers (especially the ones in IT industry) are rather quite, and happy-if-left-alone. Correct me if I am wrong, but thats my personal observation - and it holds true in my case. Its quite a bad point from a career point of view, but its less so in the computing industry, than a marketing/management industry!
On a second thought, doing an MBA could actually help the same IT engineers a lot more street smart, and could help them in the career of their choice.
Its a tough call.


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Derek Grey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 09, 2002
Posts: 204
Originally posted by stara szkapa:
If you are smart you either don�t need MBA or someone will pay for your MBA. If you are not smart you will pay for your MBA, and no one will hire you afterwards anyway. Alternatively regardless of whether you are smart or not you could have your own business and hire smart people to work for you.

............The Harsh Truth.
In my opinion an MBA degree is only to be used as a complement to the profession you are already working in. Like for instance people get degrees in Computer Science/Software Engineering to become a developer/programmer etc. After a certain point willingly/unwillingly the same person is asked to move up the ladder into the management bracket. Though not required some people in these positions have found MBA degrees to be helpful in doing their new job.
I can't see why a jobless person would want to spend his savings on getting a degree which MIGHT get him a job.
The best case scenario is to become self-employed, start one's own firm and then if you find that you are lacking in skills to control your workers etc. maybe some business classes/degree might be of use.
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Originally posted by stara szkapa:
If you are smart you either don�t need MBA or someone will pay for your MBA. If you are not smart you will pay for your MBA, and no one will hire you afterwards anyway. Alternatively regardless of whether you are smart or not you could have your own business and hire smart people to work for you.

Hi,
There is a good wisdom in here. But some ethnic companies that I know preferred you paid on your own and company will reimburse later. In that way, if you drop in between, you loose. If your position terminate, you eat your own dep. Lucky me, I never have encounter such situation because I started out with westerner companies.
On general, there are two kinds of smartness book smart and street smart. The sucessful enterpreneur from western countries have been known having both. People in the Far East also join in that path too. Those who have made it without the two main ingredient preferring as acting agent. Acting agent are God given talent no guarantee will carry on to the next generation. For those not comfortable with the word God, fill in with whatever you like.
Personally, I'm not prefer advance education during the down time because you dig your own grave. The higher the epsilon translates to higher amount compensation the employer have to reward you. Have you have any applicable experience to satisfy the reward?
I would prefer different career path education, if there is no light at the end of one tunel. There is absolutely nothing wrong with one have more than one careers.
Regards,
MCao
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
My own thoughts are that most MBAs are worthless. But that is a generalization, and it is important to understand the details:
1) The knowledge gained in an MBA program (e.g. finance, marketing, etc) has some benefit in different careers. However, most of this benefit can be gained by reading the same books as MBA students.
2) The value in the top 10 schools (maybe top 15 or 20) is not in the knowledge, but rather in the networking and general interaction between top students and successful people.
3) Signalling. I don't put much stock in, say an MIT education as practical training for a job. But I think it's good for two reasons. First, signally. Colleges are good at filtering. You know ivy school grads are generally pretty good hires. Just as an MIT or CMU degree signals to employeers high caliber engineers, so do top business schools signal high caliber budding executives.
4) The value of most of the other programs (not top 10 or 20) is marginal. That's not to say that they can't have great students or successful alumni; just that its questionable whether or not the loss of incoming and tuition are compensated by the future higher salary. This is generally true for the top tier schools.
--Mark
Sam Tilley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2001
Posts: 160
Not sure i quite agree with Mark about MBA's being rubbish, they seem to be too popular to be dismissed and account for a lot of top managers of large companies. Out of interest mark (and i am only pulling your leg here) but what academic qualifications do you value? You don't like Java exams, or MBA's. What about MSc. I know experience is always going to be the top and please don't get offended, i was just wondering. All qualifications can't be bad, if they were there would be no need for school.
I do think MBA's are useful but as Mark said this is mostly applied if you go to one of the top 10 schools which would then set you back the best part of 80K. So here you would need sponsorship from a company or a wealthy bank account. I am going another route and taking an online Masters which is both a lot cheaper (about �8K) and also allows you to work at the same time so offsetting almost all the cost and letting you gain experience at the same time. They also do an online MBA for about �12K through the University of Liverpool, which while it isn't a well known school for doing them i think the benefits are always going to be there.
I think that in the future these will become more and more popular as it just means doing a little extra work, but still getting a salary while also advancing yourself and gaining a qualification from a top University. I have heard the usual stories about dustment getting an MBA and moving up the ladder. I think as much as anything qualifications show that you have aptitude and can apply yourself as well as showing some ambition which stand out on a job application. This is almost as of value as the work itself.
Thanks
Sam


Sam Tilley SCJP, SCWCD
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Sam Tilley:
Out of interest mark (and i am only pulling your leg here) but what academic qualifications do you value? You don't like Java exams, or MBA's. What about MSc. I know experience is always going to be the top and please don't get offended, i was just wondering. All qualifications can't be bad, if they were there would be no need for school.

Good question. First we need to consider what value is. I want to define intrinsic and extrinsic value. Intrinsic value is the value to student, how much he or she would enjoy earning/haing the degree if there were no extrinsic benefit, i.e. how much do you enjoy learning the material. Extrinsic value is how much more money you can earn directly or indirectly (through faster career advancement) with the degree.
That said, I think a BS is a good value in both cases. Obviously I think well of engineering degrees--although as I often alude to degrees which focus on fundamentals, rather than a particular hot technology, is much more valuable.
In recent years I've become more appreciative of a liberal arts degree. But, like certifications and MBAs, it can be "abused." By this I mean the following. I think there is value to a broad education covering many disciplines. I think if you take a good student at a top school, he or she can benefit. This is undoubtedly why Wall St and major consulting firms hire candidates from top schools across all majors. On the other hand, some kid in the 20th percentile (of all high school students) who gets such broad exposure would not receive such a large benefit. I think for someone at that level, a more focused program would be better. I'm speaking in generalities, of course.
I also think vocational training, e.g. culinary schools, is terrific, and that society should promote more schools of that nature. This comes from the fact that I know too many liberal arts majors who end up being the assistant manager of a GAP, or wind up in a similar position.
PhDs I think have high intrinsic value, if only because those who seek them desire knowledge. In terms of extrinsic value, it is marginal. Engineering PhDs are extrinsically valuable--but only if you work in that particular field. I've known many PhDs who jump into the program only to get burned out and move to another field when they are done. Liberal arts PhDs tend to have little extrinsic value. In short, BS and masters degrees tend to have more value per unit cost (money, time, effort) than a PhD. The exception to this rule is in finance and management, where an undergradate degree is of average value, but advanced degrees can have large extrinsic value.
With respect to certifications I have to evaluate them on a case by case basis. I don't think all certs are useless, but I do think the Java one's are. I gfive more extensive reasoning elsewhere, but to keep on topic, I see it much like other standardized tests. In my school, we hat to take a exam (I think the CAT exam) in 6th, 8th, and 10th grade which tested basic reading and math abilities. I don't remember the exam well to know if it covered a broad range, or if it was culturally biased, or any of that. I do know that no one studied for it. You just showed up and took it. Contrast that with the SATs and other ETS tests and realistically you can study and raise your score. Of course what you study is how the test works so it's no longer an assessment of your raw ability, but rather of your raw ability combined with smart test taking strategies. Likewise, you can study for certs to regurgitate the material. It's not about understanding so much as it is about memorization. It's not a perfect analogy, but I think you get the idea. (But I don't want to turn this thread into another cert discussion.)
I think most degrees are becoming "watered down" with time. Before WWII only a small number of people went to college, generally the smart kids (although sometimes the rich kids). After WWII there was acultural change and now a great majority of students go on tol college. Because the self-selection bias is gone, the average ability of someone in school has decreased.
The same thing is happening to a masters degree in engineering. It used to be that after you worked for a bit, you went back to get a masters degree which required advanced study in some particular discipline (or got it while working on a PhD). About 8 years ago, MIT proposed a 5 year engineering degree. I was on the committee which needed to approve the proposal. I opposed it. The idea was that the student would stay an extra year and get the masters degree--one year instead of the typical two. Any idea why they wanted to do this? The primary motivation was because the faculty was concerned about the level of education, "in my day the terms were twice as long and the classes were ten times more difficult, as we walked up hill in snow both ways." Faclty felt that shortened terms, reduced workloads and other trends greatly reduced the amount of knowledge engineering majors had ("in twenty years we'll start seeing buildings collapse from poor design"). Since they couldn't make terms longer, and it wasn't easy to add more classes, they came up with this approach: get the student to stay longer. Of course, students wouldn't do that just because the faculty thinks they should, so a carrot was needed, hence the 5-year masters. I know, MIT wasn't the first school to every offer such a program, but it was the start of the latest trend. Heck, MIT had a 5 year program involving summer internships and work projects, as did many other schools, for years. What made this program different is that there was a low barrier to entry, so that an expected 80% of the students would participate in the program. Many other engineering schools followed suit. The result is that again, the historical filter has been removed and the overall self-selecting quality reduced among the population. This also hurts the extrinsic value fo the degree, since now almost everyone will have one. I opposed it for just this reason. Nowadays in most fields you can't be an engineer without a BS degree. Tomorrow the cutoff will be at the masters level.
For the record, although I oppose the program, I was also quick to take advantage of it and got such a masters degree. While I think over time the benefits to the degree will drain away, those of us getting it early will ride the coat tails of the prior masters students before anyone realizes the difference. (While I didn't want this masters to be allowed, I'm going to maximize my capabilities under whatever rules of the game exists--whether I agree with them or not.)
I should also note that I'm taking the GMAT on Wed. :-p
--Mark
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
How about MBA's second time around ?
I know of someone who has had a very successful career for 15 years at a worldwide organisation. He and his senior manager left the Company to look for new openings and both have been now unemployed for the better part of 2 years. This guy has been worked to the bone with selfless and very demanding schedules worldwide.
What options career-wise can he pursue ? He doesn't have the patience to teach. Head-hunters seem to have passed him over or lain low for the duration.
Are there special MBA's for burnt-out execs ?
regards
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
How about MBA's second time around ?
I know of someone who has had a very successful career for 15 years at a worldwide organisation. He and his senior manager left the Company to look for new openings and both have been now unemployed for the better part of 2 years. This guy has been worked to the bone with selfless and very demanding schedules worldwide.
What options career-wise can he pursue ? He doesn't have the patience to teach. Head-hunters seem to have passed him over or lain low for the duration.
Are there special MBA's for burnt-out execs ?
regards


Hi,
I see problem with the scenerio. Did he do any research of labor market sea before aboard the ship? If he is so successful, translates to he has very thick rolodex. Where are his contacts?
If he is burnout, then lay low for awhile, take a long vacation. There is an EMBA degree out there, but what's the use if he is burnout.
Regards,
MCao
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Did he do any research of labor market sea before aboard the ship?

Well he is doing some research now looking for job prospects for his son who is in IT. I am sure he's translating that into business opportunities for himself. (He's probably secretly enjoying himself after such a punishing schedule all that time. ). I just wondered if there were any re-orienteering MBA's !
regards
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
OOPPS! Wrong word. I should have used jumping ship.
Regards,
MCao
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
How about MBA's second time around ?

Sounds like an executive MBA might be the right fit. He should check out www.mba.com which can help guide people towards which program is right for them.
--Mark
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Thanks Mark. I'll pass that tip on.
Matt, I understood what you meant.
regards
[ September 16, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Svetlana Koshkina
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 108
I passed GMAT with good scores (After being 6 months here and not knowing Eglish much and adaptation went way too bad). I applied to UoC BS - wrote all those stupid essays, phh
Interviewer was so hostile and ugly in appearance by himself that after the interview it was clear that despite all those efforts there would be no hope for me. I was denied the school but offered some others. I could not afford any without discount so I did not go eventually to any of them.
I was my experience.
But one friend of mine graduated from evening UoC BS some years before my appearance. He is doing better in money but become so strange that i lost all contacts with him.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
People might find this FedEx ad amusing and relevant to this discussion. :-)
--Mark
 
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