100k+ University of Pittsburg DBA versus 60k less well known DBA

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by life_learner, Sep 16, 2021.

  1. life_learner

    life_learner Member

    Just received an informal notice on being admitted to the University of Pittsburg DBA. Without any scholarship, the tuition will be 130k and it will be at least 100k even with some scholarship. It's certainly expensive but might be reasonable given the university is ranked 43 globally by US News.

    I am still waiting for admission decision from a less well known university's DBA program (US News global ranking in the 600s) and the tuition is around 60k (there is no scholarship for this program).

    My employer only provides the usual tuition assistance of a little over 5k a year so the bulk of the DBA tuition will be out of pocket. The DBA for me is for the most part a contingency plan. At this point, I lead about 30 data scientists for a Fortune 100 company and the work is mostly satisfactory. However, I've seen quite a few folks at about the same level as me lost their jobs due to politics or orgs and could not find similar positions or even lower positions due to overqualification. So the DBA is just an insurance play just in case that happens to me.

    For the DBA, I plan to select accounting as concentration as I worked in managerial accounting for a few years before transitioning into analytics. With the DBA in accounting, it seems possible to find a teaching job or start a solo CPA practice if something happens.

    In this situation, is it worthwhile to spend 40k - 70k more for the University of Pittsburg DBA.?
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    First and foremost, you should find a way to do the degree that is best for you.

    That said, the purpose for earning the degree needs to be taken into consideration. What is it you want it to do for you?

    Here's my rule: the later in your career, the less important the "name brand" of the school is. The degree is an enhancement to an already established professional identity. That is, if you have one. Just starting out, with not much else to offer, the prestige of the school might be vital. (But it might not. There are more than 4,000 degree-granting institutions in the US alone. Most have nearly zero recognition factor.)

    This also applies for those wishing to use the degree to switch careers since you're starting over.

    Finally, there are exceptions for taking degrees from local schools. Those local schools will have outsized reputations--either good or bad--in their localities. For example, when I took my MBA, there were three local options in my town. Two had fantastic reputations locally. One of those was incredibly expensive and the other didn't offer their program to anyone except for daytime and full-time students. The third was definitely a couple of cuts below those other two, but no one outside that local area would be likely to make that distinction. Almost 40 years later, I can still testify to the veracity of that.

    Remember, you can get an education in many places, but you go to a university to earn a degree. Be sure you choose the right one to meet your present and future needs. And don't assume just because one school is considered "better" than the other that this distinction will make a difference for you. It may not and just end up costing you a whole lot more money for little or no improved results.
    TTS, Dustin and Vonnegut like this.
  3. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree with Rich here but another perspective is academic work. A DBA in Accounting from the UoP will almost guarantee a job in academia starting at 130K+ and might lead to a 200K at some point in your academic career. Accounting academic jobs are the ones the pay the highest in in academics, you can still practice solo CPA as academic but most likely would not do it because you would rather get an administration role that might pay 300K. Not everything is money in life but this investment will pay off in my opinion.
  4. life_learner

    life_learner Member

    Thanks for your reply. The name of the school does not mean much in the industry in my case. Also, the probability of changing career is small as well. Unless I lose my current job and could not find a comparable one in a reasonable amount of time, I will not change career.
  5. life_learner

    life_learner Member

    For academic or administration job, would the difference in pay between a U of Pittsburg DBA graduate and a less well known school DBA graduate large enough to justify the additional $40k to $70K cost?
  6. I might have missed something. Do you really need this degree? It seemed you are doing this only in the event of losing your current job. Otherwise you have no utility for the degree. Right? Then if you lose your job you'll be overqualified for the same/similar position. Which will lead to a career change. So you would be in academia or a CPA. You don't need a DBA to me a CPA. That really narrows it down to being in academia. If you have no plans of going into academia then why spend the money or time on the DBA? I'm assuming the DBA will take 3-4 years. In reality, you could probably spend the next year(or 2) working on becoming a CPA. You could start your own CPA firm on a part-time basis. So if you're let go then you'll already have something without so much debt. Just my 2 cents.
    Dustin likes this.
  7. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    I have never heard of the University of Pittsburg. I have heard of the "University of Pittsburgh" with an "h".

    Since you mention "University of Pittsburg" multiple times in your posts without the "h", my guess is this is a different university. Either that or this is some type of joke post.
  8. life_learner

    life_learner Member

    Thank you for catching the typo. It's University of Pittsburgh.
  9. life_learner

    life_learner Member

    You are right in that the DBA has no utility for my current role or future role in the industry.

    I do have a personal goal to do a DBA. Here is the long story. I was once in a top econometrics (a subfield in economics) PhD program and wrote part of the dissertation. Close to the end of the third year, I decided to do a MBA as well. As someone originally from China, I intended to go back there but did not want to work for the government there (All universities were owned by the government) due to my strong dislike of communism. With a MBA, the thought was to get a job with a multinational company over there. I did intend to finish the dissertation while doing the MBA but my decision pissed off my advisor and I never finished the last part of the dissertation. Therefore, I've made my mind to do a DBA, sort of finishing the unfinished business.

    Between academia/administration and solo CPA, I'd prefer the former. What I am trying to figure out is the likely pay difference between a DBA from a school like University of Pittsburgh and a DBA from a less well known school (US News global ranking in the 600s. Also AACSB accredited). If I can somehow get that information, I can come up with some probability and then do some sort of ROI calculation.
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If you're not looking to change careers, then I cannot see why you would pay so much more for what in your case would seemingly amount to the same thing.
  11. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    If you check the AACSB survey for accounting professors starting salaries in 147K but they can go up to 200K. I wouldn't worry much about extra 40K when you can get this money back in less than a year. I would do it if an academic or top executive role is my goal. If you want to remain just a solo CPA, it makes no sense.

  12. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Which UoP? The University of the Phoenix? University of the People? Nobody in the Commonwealth of PA refers to the University of Pittsburgh as UoP. We say Pitt.
    That said, average doesn't mean that will be the reality for a new assistant professor.
  13. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    The only burg in Pennsylvania with an "h" - Pittsburgh. We have over 60 burgs.
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Not very relevant comment, if we are taking about a particular university, UoP means what it means for those with some intelligence.
  15. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Blah! Blah!! It is not relevant because it highlights your intellectual deficiency.
  16. life_learner

    life_learner Member

    Earlier, I was considering just getting a PhD in business from University of the Cumberlands (already admitted) but the insights from this forum and more in depth checking of the faculty's background has persuaded me not doing that, even though doing that means not much out of pocket cost after tuition assistance.

    It's probably a lot easier to publish papers in a higher ranked school program and the network with other students will likely lead to more opportunities as well. Hopefully, I will get some scholarship so the extra cost over another program will be $40k.
  17. Johann766

    Johann766 Active Member

    From my european point of view it's still unbelievable that people are paying that much for a degree :D
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't question your intelligence on this issue, but I would wonder why you're choosing to be purposely obtuse on an matter irrelevant to the discussion. A distinction without a difference.
    TTS, Rachel83az and sanantone like this.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Why? Someone is paying for it somewhere. There is no such thing as "free." Things cost what they cost; someone is subsidizing it or paying for it to keep prices low.

    Then there are market differences, where the exchanges are made at lower levels, but the same principles apply. The median price for a house in California is now over $US800K. In Iowa it is $US170K. Yet, people buy plenty of homes in California, because other costs of living are also higher there, and salaries are higher, too.

    It's all relative.

    European societies have a great taste for subsidizing higher education. In the US, the trend has been in the other direction, placing more burden on the students (consumers). But who's to say that isn't right? The argument could be that everyone shouldn't have to pay for something not everyone uses. A counter-argument to that is that subsidizing higher education improves society for everyone, not just college graduates. (It's why we offer free K-12 education, for example.)

    It just depends on where you stand. I'm a "rising tides lift all boats" kind of thinker, so I would subsidize all undergraduate higher education, but in fields needed by society. (Supply meeting demand and all that.) Everyone else would largely be on their own.
    life_learner likes this.
  20. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I don't know, but a DBA from the University of Pittsburgh for $130K is steep, especially for those in the late-career unless you get a full-ride from your company. If your plan to be a full-time professorship, it is better to quit your job and attend full-time on campus for a Ph.D. in Business Administration from a highly reputable institution with AACSB accreditation.

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