Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Kizmet, Jul 6, 2016.
The problem is funding it.
Funding yes. But even before that you have to be admitted to the program. Harvard Business School is not exactly "open admissions."
True, but Harvard Extension's business program is. While they don't offer an MBA they do offer a Master's in Management.
Yeah, but if you're talking about HES then your funding problem pretty much disappears because it's so much cheaper than Harvard Business School.
Depends upon your goals and your financial situation.
If your dad runs a hedge fund and expects you to follow in his footsteps then funding, and a job after graduation, are non-issues. That might sound pretty 1% but that happens at HBS. That happens a lot at HBS. Even if you're the token peasant at HBS you're going to school with people who have those direct tie-ins. This is true of any of the elites.
Imagine if you were at Wharton and, for whatever reason, you hit it off with one of the Trump kids. Now imagine one of them gets you a lead into the organization after graduation just because you're pals.
At any school below that tier this is still possible. Even possible on smaller scales (your roommate's dad runs a successful regional or local real estate company, for example). But the likelihood of these things diminishes as you slide down the rankings.
When you start hitting no-name schools, for or non-profit, the utility is going to be greatest for people who already have a job and need to check the box. That's a lot of people, though.
Exactly, and that's the beauty of it (a Harvard education at a bargain price), at least ideally. I mean, there is the--real or imagined--dilemma people see as graduating from Harvard but not REALLY graduating from THEE Harvard which to me just means being looked down upon because it was the version of Harvard with open enrollment.
There is also disclosing to others that it's Harvard Extension and not simply Harvard. That's not to say I don't see the point, because in some ways most of us could be classified as "edusnobs" for shunning/dismissing certain levels and sectors of education that others see as just fine, myself included. I know people who think a Diploma from Statford Career Institute is great, while I and most here would think it's dog meat.
This is why I feel like many of MBA's have fooled themselves (or have been perhaps fooled by Admissions Reps), angry about the outcome post-graduation without realizing why the outcome hasn't been as great as they'd hoped. The idea that an MBA is a ticket to career stardom went away once every no-name school started offering them, and certainly given that a number of these schools are ill-equipped to provide the type of MBA education at the level it was intended.
The idea that a person can enroll in an MBA program without having had any business experience is laughable to me when many of them believe the MBA is the experience, but this has become the norm because its increased availability has reduced it to being looked at as just another graduate business degree. I'd even prefer a person having been in some kind of Coordination, Supervisory, Management, or Analysis role as a prerequisite as the types of skills gained in those roles are paramount to being an effective MBA and they have to be applied dealing with real human beings in critical moments which can't be gained only from a classroom setting.
I have been mildly surprised that this MBA bubble hasn't burst yet. I think there are too many programs and at some point, once people begin to realize that an MBA from a fourth-fifth tier school is not a golden ticket to anything then I'm guessing enrollment will begin to drop off just as they have with law schools. Maybe if a person has a BA in English and they're working at selling suits at the Men's Warehouse (you're gonna like the way you look) they might get an MBA so they can become the store manager but is it really going get them further than that? Maybe yes but probably not.
I have an MBA from a major flagship university and a BMW...only problem is the BMW is a lowly 3 series, is 20 years old, and is sitting in the shed, broken down and depreciating. But on the bright side, I know how to do double declining balance depreciation!
I think one of the reasons the bubble hasn't burst yet is that the career trajectory for an MBA is not nearly as clear as it was (perceived to be) for a lawyer.
Get JD, pass bar, become associate at law firm, become partner at law firm, buy yacht. At least that was what people expected. From what I hear it sounds like graduates of 2-4 tier law schools routinely had to cut their teeth as public defenders, legal aid attorneys, ADAs and various other things before they were able to make that leap even before the bubble burst.
What's the plan for an MBA? It isn't all hedge funds. It isn't all stocks. An MBA can make a damn fine living in almost any industry if they reach a certain level. Also, what's the measure for success? One might argue "Partner" is the goal for every JD. But what about an MBA? Is it sufficient to make VP? EVP? COO? CFO? CEO?
Personally, I'd be thrilled to make HR Director at a firm the size of my current company. If I can do that, with no debt, then I will be sitting pretty. I will need to go no further. A VP, at my company, can look forward to at least three months of travel a year. Not interested. Not my style. But if an MBA can get me the Director's chair, and the company is willing to foot the tuition bill, I'm ready to go.
The JD, for all intent and purposes, means taking three years of full time study. The MBA is a relatively minor inconvenience for 2-3 years or less if your personal life allows.
And lastly, with so many employers requiring or "preferring" it as an entry level credential the MBA is necessary just to get so many jobs that involve wearing a tie I don't think we are going to see an end to the madness for a while.
I agree, and it has come full circle on job descriptions. We started with a bachelors required, then MBA preferred or required in the heyday when MBA's were a difference maker, now back to bachelors required. It still makes a lot of sense for engineers and arts graduates who want to start their own business in their field or move into management but don't have the background.
The reason the same glut hasn't happened with attorneys is that you they still have to get over the Bar exam after getting a degree from an ABA school.
For accounting, the CPA is still a challenging credential (30% first time pass rate on all parts last time I looked), but requiring a Masters Degree (well, 150 credits) to take it never seemed necessary.
An MBA with relevant experience is still a winner. An MBA with relevant experience, and a professional designation is an almost unbeatable competitive advantage. I just recommended the MBA to one of my young Inuit workers. I will also recommend the MBA to my daughter. Until another business degree replaces it the MBA is the safe bet. The professional designation is the best route for the specialist skills like cfa, CPA, pmp, not the MBA.
HES grads do not have access to HBS Career Placement or networking events. The education is still Harvard, but as they discriminate against themselves, you can't expect others to do any less.
As far as disclosure about HES, your resume is allowed to say "Harvard University". The degree in extension studies may turn people off, but by and large the folks that make it through the programs are very worthy of consideration for any role they choose to apply for.
Being from the area, I've known many, many people over the years who have taken HES courses. However, I only know of two who have actually completed degrees there, one of whom was my partner's brother, who earned his A.L.M. just this year.
Separate names with a comma.