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Old 02.12.2009, 23:19
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MBA - is it worth it ?

I've been thinking about getting an MBA.
As this is a very lucrative market - there are plenty of institutions which offer this degree.

I would like to hear from fellow EFers who have MBAs - was it worth it ?
Did the time & money invested pay off ?

Can I I get the same education by reading business related material & build a network by joining a golf club ?
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Old 02.12.2009, 23:21
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

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I've been thinking about getting an MBA.
As this is a very lucrative market - there are plenty of institutions which offer this degree.

I would like to hear from fellow EFers who have MBAs - was it worth it ?
Did the time & money invested pay off ?

Can I I get the same education by reading business related material & build a network by joining a golf club ?
Yes.

Yes.

No. But you'd lower your handicap.
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Old 02.12.2009, 23:24
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

I think it depends on your background, an MBA can be a big help if it is backed with relevant work experience. It also will depend on the university you get the MBA from.

Good luck!!!
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Old 02.12.2009, 23:28
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

I think I need to be more specific - I come from a technical background, and I don't see myself as a future CEO of Nestle/Apple

I'm sure I will get new perspectives - but how much of it is hot air, and how much is actually useful.

How do employers regard MBA - a must have, a "I have one, so he can't be good unless he has one", or "(semi)useless diploma" ?
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Old 02.12.2009, 23:29
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

Yes,

Yes, but not in the way you will expect. I did mine part-time and feel it was enormously more worthwhile an experience. Less competition in class for the highest grade and much better classroom discussions. When people are working, they are applying the lessons in real life situations every day. Sharing those experiences was much more valuable (IMHO) than competing with a 22 year old fast track wiz kid on his way to 20 hour days on some trading floor.

Yes for knowledge, but no for education.
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Old 02.12.2009, 23:29
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

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Yes.

Yes.

No. But you'd lower your handicap.
Thanks.

How (was it worth it) ? - promotion, better pay, new exciting career ?
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Old 02.12.2009, 23:30
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

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I think it depends on your background, an MBA can be a big help if it is backed with relevant work experience. It also will depend on the university you get the MBA from.

Good luck!!!
I agree with Angela.

I have an MBA. It is a fairly generalist course that offers a little bit of knowledge in many areas. This can be useful if you are already in management or wanting to move up the management line.

It may not be so useful if you do not have a business background (ie technical), or do not have a clear career goal.

The MBA is great as a self learning and improvement tool. It is about how you apply the learnings, not so much the paper itself.
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Old 02.12.2009, 23:38
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

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I've been thinking about getting an MBA.
As this is a very lucrative market - there are plenty of institutions which offer this degree.

I would like to hear from fellow EFers who have MBAs - was it worth it ?
Did the time & money invested pay off ?

Can I I get the same education by reading business related material & build a network by joining a golf club ?
Yes

No

Yes

Maybe

MBA will undoubtedly broaden your business views and may well get you up the promotion ladder if you are part of a corporation. As an entrepreneur and business owner I have not seen any financial or commercial benefits which I wouldn't have been able to get else where at a much lower expenditure.
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Old 02.12.2009, 23:55
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

If you have a load of experience in your field an MBA won't make a huge difference. However a lot of people I know left their jobs at 26 to 28, did an MBA and come back to a 40%-60% wage increase. They were mainly in IT.
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Old 03.12.2009, 00:34
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

Having an undergrad degree in business, there wasn't a great deal of additional knowledge. I'm sure that if you were determined you could get the material out of a book. I'm also not sure that the network aspected helped
me. For myself the largest benefit was it open doors to jobs that I wouldn't have been considered for, so it's all about the paper. I do know of many people who used it to change careers.
Was it worth it? I'd say yes, despite initially earning less than when I went back (I did go to a very inexpensive b-school with a decent reputation).
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Old 03.12.2009, 00:44
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

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Yes.

Yes.

No. But you'd lower your handicap.
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Thanks.

How (was it worth it) ? - promotion, better pay, new exciting career ?
No, yes, yes.








Well, that was fun! OK, seriously, I did my MBA a while ago to facilitate a change of career and it worked admirably. Those three little letters still carry some kudos, even though every man and his dog seem to have one these days (that's why you have to pick your school carefully).

I was already "senior" (in hierarchical terms) in my old career when I did my MBA. Certainly, the MBA helped me to acquire new management skills and to develop different problem-solving approaches. It also helped me into a new general management role (in a different industry) with a good salary increase; the cost of the MBA was more than offset by the improved remuneration.

Less tangibly, I really enjoyed the experience of studying for the degree and made some very good friends along the way.

I also learned how to answer questions with a simple yes or no.
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Old 03.12.2009, 01:09
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

Are you talking about an MBA or an EMBA? The difference is more than just the fact that you continue working whilst doing the E-MBA. I started my E-MBA at a Kellogg School in September and I have learnt a lot about best business practice, economics, game theory, etc, etc already. The difference in doing an E-MBA is that at least half of the learning is coming from my class mates who are all already successful business people in their own right. The youngest in our class are around 30. Until that point I believe on the job learning and more dedicated training has as much value as an MBA. The advantage I see in doing an MBA in your earlz 30's is that many of the lessons learnt have relevance to business situations you have been faced with and you have probably already reached a degree of seniority/responsibility where you can apply the lessons learnt with immediate effect. An E-MBA is not cheap, but I certainly feel the benefits already.
The name of the school is definitely important. Not for snob value as some might assume, but because both schools and applicants differentiate during the selection process. The best students select the best schools and vice-versa. The and the learning experiences at these institutions then benefits accordingly. It doesn't mean the top ranked school is the best one for you, some schools have a name for being the best in a certain area. However I do doubt if a MBA / EMBA from a no-name institution has real value. In that case I believe what you learnt could be garnered from books.
Finally a lot depends on your reason for doing the degree. One thing I have noticed in my class is that the motivation of my fellow students is definitely not just financial. I think if that is your reason for doing the degree then there are better and less painful ways to fulfill that aim. For me the best motivation is to want to understand business and businesses inside out and to develop your skills as a manager, a leader, and a team player, and open doors leading to new and interesting opportunities. Potentially getting paid more afterwards is an agreeable side-effect.
I already feel empowered by my studies and have no doubt the considerable effort it is taking will be worth it in the end.
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Old 03.12.2009, 11:29
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

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Are you talking about an MBA or an EMBA? The difference is more than just the fact that you continue working whilst doing the E-MBA. I started my E-MBA at a Kellogg School in September and I have learnt a lot about best business practice, economics, game theory, etc, etc already. The difference in doing an E-MBA is that at least half of the learning is coming from my class mates who are all already successful business people in their own right. The youngest in our class are around 30. Until that point I believe on the job learning and more dedicated training has as much value as an MBA. The advantage I see in doing an MBA in your earlz 30's is that many of the lessons learnt have relevance to business situations you have been faced with and you have probably already reached a degree of seniority/responsibility where you can apply the lessons learnt with immediate effect. An E-MBA is not cheap, but I certainly feel the benefits already.
The name of the school is definitely important. Not for snob value as some might assume, but because both schools and applicants differentiate during the selection process. The best students select the best schools and vice-versa. The and the learning experiences at these institutions then benefits accordingly. It doesn't mean the top ranked school is the best one for you, some schools have a name for being the best in a certain area. However I do doubt if a MBA / EMBA from a no-name institution has real value. In that case I believe what you learnt could be garnered from books.
Finally a lot depends on your reason for doing the degree. One thing I have noticed in my class is that the motivation of my fellow students is definitely not just financial. I think if that is your reason for doing the degree then there are better and less painful ways to fulfill that aim. For me the best motivation is to want to understand business and businesses inside out and to develop your skills as a manager, a leader, and a team player, and open doors leading to new and interesting opportunities. Potentially getting paid more afterwards is an agreeable side-effect.
I already feel empowered by my studies and have no doubt the considerable effort it is taking will be worth it in the end.
How mathematical is it?
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Old 03.12.2009, 11:34
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

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I've been thinking about getting an MBA.
As this is a very lucrative market - there are plenty of institutions which offer this degree.

I would like to hear from fellow EFers who have MBAs - was it worth it ?
Did the time & money invested pay off ?

Can I I get the same education by reading business related material & build a network by joining a golf club ?
Its definitely good if you already have a job in business management, or atleast few years experience in related area i.e. Marketing, HR, Finance.

Also if you are a techinal person and wanting to branch out into Business Admin.

If you're going to spend time and money on it, make sure you do it from a well accredited Institution/University. MBA degree takes it value from where you do it, simple. e.g. MBA from London Business School or Stamford University guarantees you a high flying job, costs Heaven

You can definitely get the same by reading, but degree is just like a "ticket" or evidence that you actually know, what you claim to know.
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Old 03.12.2009, 11:49
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

Not everyone gets the opportunity to go to the absolute best universities. Other second tier universities offdering MBA can be excellent. It really depends what you are specialising in and what you are trying to get out of it.
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Old 03.12.2009, 11:51
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

Having an undergrad business degree myself I am curious as to how different an MBA could be. Any EF's with experience of both?
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Old 03.12.2009, 11:54
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

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How mathematical is it?
Good A-level maths will see you through. Certainly helps if you have a handle on calculus at least from a conceptual standpoint for the economics courses and the probability and statisitcs courses, but we have lawyers in the class to who will get through these subjects with the help of the group and will contribute more in other less mathematical subjects further down the line. I imagine if you take the MBA/EMBA at somewhere like Imperial College, London then the emphasis on the maths is higher. I don't think an (E)MBA is the right qualification to choose to prove mathematical prowess though. Especially in finance I see the CQF offered by Wilmott gaining traction. I chose my school based on it's overall business education offering and leadership/managerial ethos rather than the technical level of the courses.
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Old 03.12.2009, 14:10
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

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I've been thinking about getting an MBA.
As this is a very lucrative market - there are plenty of institutions which offer this degree.

I would like to hear from fellow EFers who have MBAs - was it worth it ?
Did the time & money invested pay off ?

Can I I get the same education by reading business related material & build a network by joining a golf club ?
Your first sentence says it all, .....They're 2 a penny and unless you got a real one from one of the top institutions, they're not really worth so much.
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Old 03.12.2009, 14:24
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

Personally I would be careful about an MBA, even from a tier 1 school - I think that it always depends on a persons personal situation and prior experience. For those looking to switch careers and with little prior business experience, it might make a lot of sense. But for those who already have good business experience, or who are more interested in staying in a more technical career, there are other alternatives - such as focused courses on finance, for example - that may make more sense.
I also know that some companies discriminate against people with MBA's in the UK - I'm not sure what the situation is in Switzerland. I've met some extremely competent and impressive people who have MBA's, and equally some extremely incompetent and unimpressive people who also have the same qualification (from top schools). Clearly the qualification does not make a career - although in the right circumstances, it can certainly provide a leg up.
Timing is also critical, as this will reflect the experience you take in and course you can get most from - someone with 10 years management experience might be frustrated to be in a class full of recent first time graduates - no matter how brainy they might be!
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Old 03.12.2009, 14:42
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Re: MBA - is it worth it ?

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If you have a load of experience in your field an MBA won't make a huge difference. However a lot of people I know left their jobs at 26 to 28, did an MBA and come back to a 40%-60% wage increase. They were mainly in IT.
Yep, one of my closest friends being a systems engineer did an MB>A and he has got a lot more money ever since, he then did another masters in ecommerce, he works for Phillips in South America...nice job.
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