(Closed) MBA or not?

posted 4 years ago in Career
Post # 2
2178 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I am about 10 years older than you and in a similar position… I have a bachelors and a masters in a science field (chemisty) but now I work in sales and marketing and have considering getting my MBA. I am pretty sure that it wouldnt actually change my salary at this job (as in I wouldn’t get any boost just by having a MBA vs not) but I do think that it could possibly help me into jobs that I am not fully qualified for (ie ones that specifically mention MBA)

however since I am already making a high salary I am not sure that there would be a huge increase possible either way so I have decided that if my current (or future) jobs will pay for it I am happy to take the classes (part time nights) but I don’t want to spend the $30-50K to get the MBA on my own since I wouldn’t see the return in my salary

what do you do? do you need an MBA? will your work give you money towards it? do you think that it would affect your pay?

Post # 3
3611 posts
Sugar bee

1) Is your past work experience directly related to the type of work you want to do post-MBA? Every single person I know who has gotten an MBA works in a field directly related to whatever they did before they went to b-school, so if you want to switch career tracks, an MBA doesn’t seem like the best way to go about it. It might be the right move if you want to get a leg up in your current field.

2) Opportunity cost. I know some people who have foregone an MBA because the two years they would spend out of the workforce aren’t worth it in terms of lost income and lost career-building time at their current workplace. These people were generally the “best and brightest” who got certain promotions without an MBA that most people would need an MBA in order to get.

3) Which programs are you considering and how much financial aid can they give you? I tend to think that post-graduate schooling is only worth it for top programs or programs that are giving you a lot of financial aid (or if you’re lucky, both). Also, research the crap out of every scholarship available to you. I have a friend who got a full ride to a top MBA program because she applied to a zillion obscure scholarships and just happened to get one of them, and it just happened to be an extremely generous one. Even if you don’t get a full ride, you can save a bunch on tuition.

Post # 4
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2016 - Long Island

dalia88:  Bee, I don’t have an MBA but my Darling Husband just finished his from a very prestigious (ahem VERY EXPENSIVE ) program… My opinion is the same as littlemisshostess— make sure you do the research of how much your income will realistically increase after you get that MBA because it’s a lot of time (not only money) that you will be devoting for the next few years of your life. 

For us, Darling Husband got his MBA to be competitive with others in his field so it wasn’t about the income as much as it was about being on equal footing.

Post # 7
1305 posts
Bumble bee


You have a masters in business but it’s not an MBA?

Do you want to go full time or part time?

Post # 8
2600 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’d also look at what kind of career/job you want eventually. For certain positions, you’re expected to have an MBA and not having one will be a barrier. It may not be a deal-breaker in that there are always exceptions; however, they are exceptions, not the rule.

Post # 9
124 posts
Blushing bee

I got an MBA when I was 29. I am not from the US and I already have a master’s from overseas with major in education. Unfortunately I could not put my previous degree to good use here, so I decided to pursue an MBA (finance concentration). It was a huge investment of time and resources, but in my case it was worth it. 

My situation is completely different from yours and MBA was the best solution for me back then. If I were in your shoes I don’t think I’d do it. You just need to think how much of a pay boost you are going to get over the years and if it exceeds the actual cost of the MBA itself plus the time. 

Post # 10
3541 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

I have my MBA and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Having the MBA has helped me advance my career more quickly than my counterparts (to the point that I’ve been shocked at the positions I’ve been getting called back for when sending out my resume), and has put me in the highest salary bracket for my current position.  Having it has also made my salary increases significant (I’m on track to double my income in two and a half years time).

My situation is a little different though.  Although I had experience before going back to school to finish my BA, it was all very entry level positions (ie only a high school diploma was needed even though it was accounting type positions).  I finished my BA and then went right to grad school.  When I got out, I had to take an entry level position, but have been able to move up really quickly.  My ultimate career goal pretty much requires an MBA.

You have to look at where you are now, and where you want to go, to decide if it’s worth it.  There are some companies that actually require it to even get an interview (I believe Amazon is like that and the only reason my former boss went back to school to get his MBA).

ETA In your shoes, I don’t know if I would do it since you already have a master’s in business.  However, there is something to be said for learning for personal growth and it’s not like you wouldn’t put what you learn to good use.

Post # 11
124 posts
Blushing bee

heputaringonit:  Do you mind me asking what field/industry you are in? I am in finance, where I would never get even an entry level job before. My MBA definitely opened a lot of doors for me.

Post # 12
3541 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

Puss_in_Boots:  I’m in accounting (undergrad was in finance).  A lot of taking the entry level position was not really knowing what I wanted to do when I finished my MBA (and I didn’t want to go from full time student to working 60 hours a week).  Because of my previous work experience, and having my MBA, the VP of Finance took me under his wing and trained me to help him do all the accounting for the company, which ended up letting me get my foot in the door at the next company, etc.

Post # 13
919 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I am in a different field (education) so take this with a grain of salt…

In general, I view grad school by potential ROI.  In my own life, I current work as a para educator (I have a BA in Music… which qualifies me for virtually nothing).  When I decided I wanted to get my teaching cert, I had three options:  alternate path to certification, second bachelors, and masters.  From there, I broke it down to pros and cons.  

Option 1:  Alternate Path to Certification.  Pros:  Quickest option, Minimal costs (probably around $5k)  Cons:  Would have to be done in music which I have no interest in teaching in a public school setting.  Potential salary increase:  $7k

Option 2:  Second Bachelors degree.  Pros:  cost is middle of the road, some of my undergrad courses would transfer.  Cons:  Cost.  Probably around $20k.  Length of time and class schedule.  Potential salary increase:  $10k 

Option 3:  Masters degree.  Pros:  Quickest ROI.  Classes on my schedule.  Cons:  Highest cost (around $20k).  Potential Salary Increse:  $20k  

I chose Option 3 because it made the most sense to me in terms of both recouping the money I invested AND long term earning potential.  I want a Phd someday but that will wait until it makes more financial sense (without 20 experience behind it, I would also be virtually unhirable).  

So ask yourself these questions: 

1.  Will an MBA pay off in the short term?  (IE immediately make more jobs available, result in immediate salary increases)

2.  Will an MBA pay off in the long term?  (IE more earning potential and upward momentum in your chosen field, required for job you want EVENTUALLY)

3.  Will the costs prevent you from accomplishing something you want to do?  (IE buy a house, car, travel, etc).  Are these costs worth it?  

Post # 14
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

dalia88:  Wait, MBA is essentially business management, it’s just stands for business administration, what would be the difference between your current “Masters in Business Management” versus an MBA? 

I think an MBA is justified when,

1. you’re hitting a wall at work or clearly overlooked for promotions/raises specifically due to lack of higher education (at my work though, they require A Masters degree for executives, not specifically only MBAs, there are people similar degrees).

2. Your organization offers an incentive, either tuition reimbursement or raises, fast track to executive level or C suite if you have an MBA. I’ve also noticed quite a few executives in my org have gotten their Masters degree for free because when the leadership team decides they want this person to be an executive but the org requires a Masters degree which that person doesn’t have, they pay for the entire cost. When you’re irreplacbly valuable to an org, they’ll invest in you. 

In your situation with information given, this will be a SIGNIFICANT investment into yourself but I don’t see a clear ROI anytime soon. Also, if you don’t do it in the city you live where would you do it? An online program? (Honestly totally against this. When we hire a new team member and we see University of Phoenix MBA vs. UCLA MBA, we always go with the UCLA MBA). The major benefit of an MBA to me is the networking. Personally, from my MBA the most valuable thing was the network at my University and thus the expansion and increased quality of my own business network. This has opened doors and I’ve gained access to people who are good resources in my field. 

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