Post # 1
This is a “what would you do” scenerio (and not the TV show) lol
I have a BS in CIS (graduated May 09) and I was very satisfied with that. BUT I have thought a few times about getting my masters but I am not a school person and I already have student loan debt. I get decent grades (about a 3.3 average), I could do better but school always got last place in my life. and working two jobs and living on my own while getting my BS….I was pretty lucky to keep my grades that high 🙂
Anywho…I just started a new job (2 months ago) and they offer an on-site MBA program. AND the program is at a 15% discount and if you keep your grade average at or above a 3.5 my employer does tuition reimbursement. Leaving only 4-5K out of pocket expenses (not including books) total! Whic is obviously an amazing opportunity. It is a Cohort (the people you have your first class with you graduate with) class schedule that is set up in 4 Terms. Which means I would start this August and I would finish in May of 2014. This would include one class every 8 weeks, class only being one night a week (530-930pm TRS) with a summer break from late April til late August every year.
Here are my pros/cons:
- I would have my MBA
- Crazy cheap tuition
- Gives me something to challenge myself
- Continuing Education
- Looks great on my resume
- Gives me an advantage for promotion
- Such a great opportunity
- on-site program so the classes are at my place of work. very convenient (except the last 1.5 years the class will be moved to a new location but a shuttle will be provided)
- finishing a great accomplishment! being the first person in my family (like I dont even have cousins) to have a masters.
- Do I want to work FT, be in school and have my first child? (I am ready for children – and the clock is ticking – but we would not be able to start TCT until at least the end of this year at the earliest)
- just one more thing I have to do
- I am not a big school person. I love to learn but I hate the whole class thing
- The thought of being in class until 9:30 and then taking CTA that late makes me nervous. I am a wuss I know. I am usually in bed by 9. So I would not be home until 1030 at the earliest…
- If I dont keep my gpa above 3.5 I dont get tution reimbursement and I have to pay tuition myself.
- Its a lot of work to get into the program. Tests, essays, ect (LAZY I know…lol)
- added stress
Obviously this is only a decision I can make but my question is, if you were in my situation would you do the MBA program or not? Feel free to give any of your thoughts/suggestions 🙂
Oh, and Darling Husband is on board, he thinks I should do it..very supportive.
Post # 3
Do you need a degree to do what you are doing and advance to higher positions? If it’s not really a necessity, I don’t see the point, even if it is cheap. If you are going into management later though, you might want to take this opportunity and maybe hold off on the baby front for a little while. Classes that only last 8 weeks is going to be intense and I don’t think you could handle that when pregnant/with a newborn and working too.
PS – I didn’t recognize you without your avatar!
Post # 4
@MrsSaltWaterTaffy: Thanks for your thoughts. It is not neccessary in my current role but it will help me to get promoted. But I am not currently being looked at for management or anything. But I have always seen myself in management. I agree with you about the school and newborn balancing but I wonder if I could time it right to have our baby in the summer. My friend at work had two kids (both under 4) and was pregnant with her third when she did this. She had her third child right after the last class before summer break. lol Yeah, I just decided to take my pic off my avatar…just mixing things up 🙂
Post # 5
I have a busines background so back in the day I spent a LOT of time considering an MBA. I decided not to go for one.
Look at it this way: even with the discount, you’re spending money, as well as time and energy. And what do you get in return? A lot of your “pros” seem to be more about the general prestige of “yay, I got a master’s!” vs. concrete advantages for your career. Do you really WANT to invest that effort just so you can be proud of yourself? If so, then you should definitely go for it, but it sounds like you’re not that excited about the opportunity but rather feel that you “should” do it.
Now, #6 would be the only valid reason to outweigh all your cons, in my opinion. Were you expressly told that you need an MBA to get where you want to be professionally? Are you relatively confident on the career path you’d like to follow, and does that career path require (or benefit from) an MBA? I know way too many stories of people getting MBAs and other masters’ degrees because they assumed that these degrees would help them professionally…and then they’d find out the hard way that the degree doesn’t make a big difference after having spent the money and time on it.
From my own research/talking to people, it seems MBAs are good for these goals:
– Networking, which only works if you go to a top, brand-name school, where your classmates will be a valuable network
– Someone with absolutely no business background trying to make a career in business
– Career switch (for example, if you’ve been working in corporate finance but would like to transition into investment banking, or moving from investment banking to consulting)
– Certain firms/sectors require the MBA for career advancement
If you have a specific goal in mind, and the MBA is necessary for that goal, obviously this is a great opportunity. But if you don’t really need that degree, I wouldn’t do it. Good luck!
Post # 6
thanks for voting everyone but I would really like to hear your reasons why you are voting yes/no. Thanks!
Post # 6
Seems like an expensive whim. The work load (courses + homework) on top of full time work + marriage + potential pregnancy seems like a lot, and you’re very blunt about your own lack of motivation, which leads me to believe that it would be difficult for you to maintain the necessary GPA.
My husband is working on his masters and working full time right now, and he is stressed out like crazy all the time by the work load. (Okay, this semester is the worst, because he’s working on his thesis.) I just can’t imagine trying to do it given the circumstances you’ve described.
Post # 7
Voting no for the same reasons as GirlWithARing–I think she’s laid out the things an MBA are good for quite clearly. It’s only worth doing if it gets you toward a specific goal, and simply having it on your resume won’t necessarily get you anywhere if it doesn’t clearly apply to what you’re doing or want to do.
Post # 8
Either way you decide to go, I would check all the fine print. DH’s sister did a program where her company paid for her to get her MBA and then she fell in love and decided to quit her job and move to another city to be closer to her now husband. However, she ended up having to pay back a lot of the costs because there was a clause about how long she had to work there to work off the cost of the schooling.
Good luck though – it seems like a great deal if it’s something you want to do!
Post # 9
I voted yes, because of how expensive it will be to get it later without the reimbursements – and life isn’t going to get any easier. At that point in time you’d START it with a kid, you’d also still be working, and school wouldn’t be as fresh for you.
I can see why you aren’t sure – I wouldn’t be either – but those are the reasons I voted yes. Also, my mom got her Masters and PhD with 3 kids and 2 jobs (single parent at the time). She said she wished she’d gotten her Masters while stil married and while she was pregnant with my brother. She also slipped up and said “I wish I’d had my kids while in school. It would’ve been easier.” Don’t ask me what she meant, lol.
Post # 10
I’m also trying to decide if I want to go back to school and how that is going to work with the rest of my life. Just like you I don’t love school, I get good grades but when it comes down to it I really don’t feel like writing papers and studying for exams. My reasons for going back to school are different though. My career at the moment isn’t going anywhere really so I need a change which would mean a new degree.
Anyway, I voted yes but.. that is if you know you can really dedicate yourself and keep up your average, otherwise it’s not worth it.
Post # 11
When I was deciding whether or not to go to grad school my dad told me “there are a lot of people who wish they had gotten a higher degree, but I’ve never heard anyone say they regret getting so much education” and I think there’s some truth to that.
But more than that, I think you should because you’re much less likely to do it after you have children especially if it’s more expensive.
Also, if this promotes your ability to get promoted, you’ll be able to petter provide for your child financially (although there may be a time/stress tradeoff)
Post # 12
seeing how i just finished my MBA program, i’ll chime in. unless you have a definite plan on how you will utilize your degree after you earn it, i would advise against going.like a pp said, grad school is an expensive whim and there are a lot of hidden costs associated with it: time spent on group projects/meetings, studying for exams, writing/researching papers, preparing for classes [if you are a reader] on top of actually being in class.
i was working full time for the first half of my program and i wondered how many of my classmates managed to work AND take care of a family. at times i struggled with the time commitment and i lived at home with no kids so it wasn’t like i had a lot of other responsibilities to deal with.
that said, its not impossible but yes, definitely have a real plan for after grad school. i went back to expand my business education and because i knew it would definitely help me as i climbed up the corporate ladder, but i literally woke up one day and decided to go to grad school. the gamble worked for me but i highly discourage people from being that flippant. this is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly just because the opportunity is available. i wish you the best whatever you decide!
Post # 13
Thank you for your comments. I still have not decided and I am not taking this decision lightly. I would really like to continue to see peoples thoughts and suggestions. I did email the lady that takes care of the reimbursement requesting a meeting with her.
Post # 14
Not sure if this was already mentioned, but if you leave your company before or after you finish your degree, do you need to pay back any money? My company offered tuition assistance but if you left the company within 2 years of finishing a class then you had to pay back a portion of the tuition. Just something to consider.
I have a BS in Business and I started my MBA a few years ago. About 3 classes in I realized its not necessary for my field. Most people I knew in senior levels dont have advanced degrees. So I stopped for that reason, but also because it was too expensive/too hard for me. I was working full time and traveling to the city after work for my night classes. I spent most weekends catching up on reading OR traveling back to the city to meet with classmates for projects and assigments. I guess that wouldnt be an issue for you since the classes are on-site. I dont have kids, but I honestly am amazed at classmates who had families, worked full time, and went to school. I never could do that.
I enjoyed the challenge of my classes, and meeting other people in my field, but in the end it just wasnt for me. If I had endless time and money I would like to return to school. Getting my Masters is more of a personal goal than a professional one at this point in my life.
Post # 15
i would do it, but that’s because i like school and i’ve never had a gpa lower than a 3.5. you’re pretty blunt about your lack of motivation, and working full time plus school is HARD. it’s possible, but it’s completely draining. i definitely wouldn’t add a baby to that mix.
also, what kind of student are you? what was your undergrad gpa? if you’re not confident you can’t keep it above a 3.5, don’t do it.