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  1. #1
    deevergote is offline Registered User
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    Questions about Amberton's online MBA.

    I realize that Amberton University has been a hot topic on here for many years, as they should be. I searched through a few threads, and saw some of my questions touched upon... but none were answered satisfactorily. I'm going to be contacting the school directly as well, but I'm hoping people here can give me unbiased information!

    1) As a lower-end school that is most certainly well known for its low cost and ease of admission (no GRE or GMAT required, Bachelor's degree doesn't need to be in a business-related field...) is an MBA from Amberton taken seriously by employers in general? Degrees from top tier schools such as Harvard or Wharton carry extra weight simply because of the school from which they were earned. My fear is that the opposite may be true with schools such as Amberton.

    2) Amberton's regional accreditation is a good thing, and one reason I'm seriously considering their MBA program. However, they are accredited by the SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.) I live in New Jersey, which is outside of the SACS region. From my understanding, the "regional" accreditation simply means that the school is located within the particular region, and it is the accreditation itself that matters. I realize that my concern is likely unfounded, but I'd rather look silly and ask, rather than assume and suffer for my ignorance.
    Will the SACS accreditation of Amberton's program be recognized outside of the region?

    3) Are there any trustworthy resources for showing graduate earnings and employment statistics? I've found a number of websites listing such things, but most either have too little data to be useful (payscale.com), or they seem like they're full of hype (no names mentioned, as I don't want to bash any particular site.)
    The closest thing I have found to seemingly accurate, unbiased info has been Peterson's book "MBA Programs 2010". Clearly dated information, but listed Amberton graduates at a 90% employment rate within 3 months of graduation, with a starting salary averaging $45,000.

    4) If anyone has any personal experience with Amberton's online MBA programs, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Especially if you've already completed the program and are currently pursuing a career.



    I am 35 years old, with a BA in Psychology from Rutgers (with a few semesters spent as a student of the Rutgers School of Business), and an AS in Business from community college. I've spent the last 9 years being self-employed, and I now want to work on a career change. My current degrees are fairly worthless on their own, and my self-employed status looks terrible on a resume. I realize that an MBA without relevant experience is fairly weak, but it's better than what I've got (and I hope to earn experience as I'm working on the degree, even if it means taking a low-level job to get my foot in the door.) Ideally, I hope to work my way into a position as a business or management analyst.
    Amberton's program is well-suited to someone in my position. I can work full time, and complete the program in about 2 years. Hard work, certainly... but doable. The commitment of money and time is quite reasonable for a valuable degree. I just want a bit more confirmation that it will indeed be valuable!

    Thanks to anyone that took the time to read.
    -Mike

  2. #2
    TEKMAN is offline Semper Fi!
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    Hi Mike!

    Welcome to DegreeInfo.com,

    1) Yes, it is a low end university; most of employers do not care about Amberton's degree because it is check mark for requirements. However, you will not get a good networking out of Amberton University's program in comparison to Harvard University, Columbia, Princeton, and etc. If your dream is to be a CEO or Senior Executive position in high end companies; you are out of luck with Amberton's MBA .

    2) Regional accreditation does not matter in your case; people live in one region and attend school in different regions all the time. Bush went to Yale, which is not SACS accreditation. Regional accreditations are created equal unless you are choosing National Accreditation (i.e: DEAC/DETC).

    3) Usually people attend low end school to promote their current position, or getting pay raise. A college degree does not guarantee employment; therefore, you have to find a program with good return on investment (ROI). Those statistics are usually false because people could be working at Starbucks with an MBA , JD, or Ph.D; they are in those percentiles.

    4) I attempted to consider Amberton's MBA program in the past, but my passion is not about business. However, going for a the program with a little school name would bring you better networking .

    Here are the lists of affordable MBA programs.

    URL: AACSB Online MBA | Best Online Colleges | Best Online Universities | GetEducated.com
    URL: MBA Online Programs | Best Online Colleges | Best Online Universities | GetEducated.com
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  3. #3
    Neuhaus is online now Registered User
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    I'm just going to throw out two possibilities for you:

    1. The online MBA at Rutgers
    2. The online MBA at NJIT

    There's nothing wrong with Amberton. But it isn't going to impress an employer. It is going to, as Tekman says, "check a box" next to a degree requirement. You live in NJ. Both Rutgers and NJIT have very solid reputations and pretty extensive alumni networks in your state (and in surrounding states). If you are looking to make a career leap at 35 I, personally, would focus more on networking possibilities than on the intricacies of accreditation.

    If you want a no-name degree I would suggest sticking with regional accreditation (the particular region is of no consequence otherwise people from New York would never earn degrees from Stanford) and shopping purely on price. Chadron State has a pretty affordable MBA .

    While some people strongly advocate seeking out AACSB accreditation (or pushing for IACBE or ACBSP) the reality is that for a school your local employers likely never heard of it really doesn't matter. The average employer knows zip about the types of accreditation and is completely clueless about programmatic accreditation. These employers have two classes of schools: Schools I've heard of and Schools I haven't heard of. Within the "heard of" category there might be another two extremes of "good schools" and "bad Schools" in which every school is compared to either Harvard (good) or University of Phoenix ("bad"). The unheard of schools? They fall into a category I can best call "meh." People are indifferent to them. They are of no consequence. They meet job requirements but they are unlikely to actively impress an employer.

    Because of that reality some people feel inclined to venture away from RA. That's an approach. Heck, even I went that direction for my MSM. But I also recognize I'm pretty lucky because I have an employer who actively accepts national accreditation and I work at a community college that seems to not really care about hiring people with NA degrees for academic subjects. If I moved somewhere else I might not be so lucky. An RA Masters is, at a bare minimum, going to meet the educational requirements to teach in many (but not all) community colleges. You might find a school willing to hire you with an NA degree but it just limits you in a way that isn't necessary.

    So to summarize, go for the local names you have right in your back yard. If you want no name, get the cheapest possible. I recommend RA but an NA degree can work for people under certain circumstances as well.
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  4. #4
    TEKMAN is offline Semper Fi!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuhaus View Post

    While some people strongly advocate seeking out AACSB accreditation (or pushing for IACBE or ACBSP) the reality is that for a school your local employers likely never heard of it really doesn't matter. The average employer knows zip about the types of accreditation and is completely clueless about programmatic accreditation. These employers have two classes of schools: Schools I've heard of and Schools I haven't heard of. Within the "heard of" category there might be another two extremes of "good schools" and "bad Schools" in which every school is compared to either Harvard (good) or University of Phoenix ("bad"). The unheard of schools? They fall into a category I can best call "meh." People are indifferent to them. They are of no consequence. They meet job requirements but they are unlikely to actively impress an employer.
    That is true, Johns Hopkins University's MBA is not AACSB accredited , while Abilene Christian University 's MBA is AACSB accredited . You have better chance to get a job with Johns Hopkins University's MBA than ACU. By the way, Amberton University is former Abilene Christian University 's satellite campus until it became Amber University, then name changed to Amberton University.
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  5. #5
    major56 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuhaus View Post
    I'm just going to throw out two possibilities for you:

    1. The online MBA at Rutgers
    2. The online MBA at NJIT

    There's nothing wrong with Amberton. But it isn't going to impress an employer. It is going to, as Tekman says, "check a box" next to a degree requirement. You live in NJ. Both Rutgers and NJIT have very solid reputations and pretty extensive alumni networks in your state (and in surrounding states). If you are looking to make a career leap at 35 I, personally, would focus more on networking possibilities than on the intricacies of accreditation.
    As an alternative to Amberton … I’d too go with a university closer to or within your resident state. Some additional NJ options:

    Stevens Institute of Technology (AACSB): MBA
    WebCampus Graduate Program | Stevens Institute of Technology
    Master of Business Administration (MBA) | Stevens Institute of Technology

    Rowan University (AACSB): MBA
    Master of Business Administration Online | Rowan Global

    Montclair State (AACSB): Hybrid Saturday MBA
    Hybrid Saturday MBA | Montclair State University School of Business
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  6. #6
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    In general, schools with local reputations lose their distinctions when one leaves the locality. For example, I graduated from National University with an MBA . I can, with no hesitation, assure you the business school at the University of San Diego is better, has a better reputation, etc. Locally, employers make that distinction. But beyond, say, California? Doubtful. It just doesn't matter. Going to a school with a national reputation, obviously, negates this.

    Also, the more experience you have, the less important the source of your degree is (within limits). People care far more about what you can do; your credentials either add luster ('lustre'?) or they don't, and they sometimes fill a required square. But they don't heavily promote one candidate over another, typically, when those candidates are experienced.

    I hold a PhD from a school almost no one has ever heard of. I hold another doctorate from a school in the world's top 200. No one cares. Not one whit.

  7. #7
    deevergote is offline Registered User
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    Wow! Given the lack of replies most people seem to have gotten on this particular subject, I'm extremely grateful to have gotten so much help so quickly. Thank you!

    The first thing that I did when seriously considering an MBA was check my local schools, as it is true that a recognized name is given more consideration (though Rutgers is generally held in higher regard outside of the immediate NJ area... I once had a Harvard grad talk of Rutgers as if it were his school's equal!) The unfortunate thing is that the local schools cost 3-4 times more than Amberton (or more!) I'm getting married in less than a year, and I'm essentially unemployed at the moment. My only client just went belly-up, and I'm hoping to take this opportunity to change careers, rather than seek out new commitments to new clients. So the idea of incurring $45,000+ in student loan debt terrifies me. Even more so, considering the fact that most of my friends are still drowning in undergrad debt, and I've been fortunate enough to have been able to pay cash for my previous degrees (even if it did take me 7 years!) The only other option would be for me to find a job that will cover tuition... which might not be a bad place to start.

    I know the low cost and ease of admission are largely why people go to Amberton... and I'll admit, those reasons are high on my list as well. My ambitions for employment soon after graduation are low. Without relevant work experience in any particular field, I don't expect to fall into a high paying job. I'm treating my self-employment as unemployment... as that's how prospective employers generally tend to see such a thing. Truthfully, I'm hoping the ability to check the MBA box on an employment application will simply set me ahead of those applicants than can't do so. It seems many local employers consider an MBA , or any graduate degree, as an adequate substitute for a few years of experience. I'm hoping that once I've earned a bit of relevant experience, the degree will simply serve to augment that experience. As Rich Douglas said, experience will often be more important than the degree. I feel that is most likely going to be the case regardless of where the degree comes from, other than a top tier school (and that's certainly not happening!)

    Networking was one of my major concerns. Although I'd think any online program wouldn't provide much of that! Still, events held by a local school, as well as the alumni associations, could be beneficial.
    I'm hoping that if I go with Amberton, I can rely on local events, job fairs, and hopefully even my affiliation with the Rutgers alumni association to help with that. I'm also hoping to find a low level position as I'm working on the MBA that will give me a bit of relevant experience and exposure to people nearer my desired field.


    Thank you, everyone, for the welcome and for the advice. It is greatly appreciated!
    -Mike

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  9. #8
    edowave is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Douglas View Post

    I hold a PhD from a school almost no one has ever heard of. I hold another doctorate from a school in the world's top 200. No one cares. Not one whit.
    All people seem to care about mine is how the football team will do this year. They go on to tell me their thoughts on the coach/team/players, and I have to pretend like I care.

    To the OP: I would agree with what others said. Amberton might be a great option for someone who is already set in their career and needs a degree to "check the box". For someone who wants to change careers, you would be much better off with a local school that can offer career support and internship opportunities.

    If cost is a concern, you might be better off doing a graduate certificate, rather than a full MBA . I believe Rutgers -Camden has some good options.
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  10. #9
    Fortunato is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by deevergote View Post
    I'm getting married in less than a year, and I'm essentially unemployed at the moment. My only client just went belly-up, and I'm hoping to take this opportunity to change careers, rather than seek out new commitments to new clients.
    Mike,

    You're on the wrong board. A distance MBA is not what you need.

    Your timing is terrible, but if you hustle, you might be able to find a slot in a full time program in your area for this fall, and honestly, that's where you should be. A distance MBA is one of the worst ways I know of to change careers - the recruiters who hire fresh MBA grads concentrate on full-time students, because part-time students tend to be getting their degree to enhance their careers with their current employers or to get a better position in their current field. Some b-schools don't even allow their part-time students to go to recruiting events without the approval of their employers (mine, for example...)

    At 35, you'd be among the older students in a full time program, but you would get what you need to get your career pointed in the right direction - a fully engaged career services focused on helping you and your classmates land summer internships leading to a full-time job post-graduation. It's really late in the cycle, but if you call the admissions offices of as many local schools with full-time programs as you can, you're going to find that some will accept late applications because they've ended up with empty slots due to folks initially accepting admissions offers, then heading to other schools. I know it sounds crazy, but I speak from experience here - I applied to my b-school late in the cycle after deciding that a part-time program would meet my needs and turning down a full-time offer from a different school. I applied and was accepted in two days, less than a month before the start of school.

    Good luck!
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  11. #10
    FTFaculty is offline Registered User
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    I took one MBA course from them about a decade ago and transferred the credits to my main MBA program, which was from a flagship state university. The Amberton course was inexpensive (which is why I did it, I was being drained financially dry by the MBA program at Big State U) and the quality of instruction was comparable to Big State U. The class was taught by a practitioner with an MBA , not a PhD (not that I cared) and he seemed to know his stuff as near as I could tell at the time and cared about the details, such as responding to emails and setting up the course in a user-friendly manner. Another important point is the Amberton credits were accepted for transfer by AACSB-accredited Big State U.

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