Does an MBA really pay off?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by kw_ATL, Dec 3, 2004.

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  1. kw_ATL

    kw_ATL New Member

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    Hello everybody,

    I'm kind of new to these boards, but my thoughts are weighing heavy on my heart. I have decided to pursue my degree with the University of Dallas distance learning program. At first I had been very optimistic, but as of late I'm not so sure. I don't know about anybody else but the job market is still pretty bad. I have gone on so many interviews with no success. Now, I've made arrangements to go to the local unemployment office to have my resume critiqued. I hope they see something that I don't. Not trying to create a pity party, but I have no job with a small child that I have to take care of....it's so depressing. My degree won't be cheap and I'm wondering if it will be worth it to continue with it considering the state of the economy STILL. I certainly don't need another degree on the wall collecting dust!

    Can anyone honestly say that getting a Masters got them a better job or even a job at all????

    I need some answers.....:confused:
     
  2. guitarmark2000

    guitarmark2000 Member

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    Welcome to the board. My $0.02:

    Assuming you're going for a job where an advanced degree is appropriate, all things being equal the person with the MBA will have an edge over someone else not having one. However, I think that experience and attitude mean a lot more than an advanced degree.

    What type of work are you looking for?

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  3. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

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    A Masters from a named school (Harvard, Stanford, etc) will get you in the door. A Master's with experience from a second tier school (almost everything DL, etc) might get you in the door. I am working on my MBA from CSU-DH. If I didn't have the experience (and do Project Management already), I wouldn't expect to get in the door at a Fortune 100 company.

    My .02 - go into Nursing or Corrections. We will always have sick people or convicts (when all else fails)
     
  4. DTechBA

    DTechBA New Member

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    What is your experience?

    If you are a recent undergrad an MBA won't do much for you right now. If you are not and are between jobs, go to a respected state school and save the $'s that a private school will charge you.

    There is a huge gray area between the great and the bad when it comes to MBA's. In that area pick, the cheapest school that is known in your area. If you are doing distance learning there are others that are better rcognized and cheaper than their $23k price tag. UMass - Amherst is cheaper and AACSB accredited. UNebraska - Lincoln is much cheaper and AACSB accredited..

    If you want a degree to get you a job you really need the best quality degree you can get. The MBA has a huge Brand element to it...
     
  5. JassenB

    JassenB New Member

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    Re: What is your experience?

    Don't almost all professional degrees have quite a bit of brand stigma attached, such as MBA, MPH, MPA, etc.?

    I would think that non-professional degrees, such as in the sciences, for example, would be less so.

    -JassenB
     
  6. edowave

    edowave Active Member

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    It really depends on what you are doing, what your experience is, and where you are doing it.

    I have an MBA from a school in Scotland that most people in the US have never hear of. My background has been in HR and I've been offered jobs in HR because I have that experience as well as an MBA. Will I be able to find work on Wall Street? I doubt it. I have no finance industry experience at all.

    If you don't have it already, you might want to look into certification in your area (CPA, CFA, PHR, MSCE), they are usually cheaper than a degree and get you membership in professional associations that have their own job banks. You might want to look into a cheaper MBA program too. :eek:
     
  7. dis.funk.sh.null

    dis.funk.sh.null New Member

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    I don't get it... I feel so energized through my MBA education, and have learnt so much that I couldn't possibly have without going through the MBA curriculum.

    Notice I say "education", not degree! What's the point of getting a degree if you do not get any education with it. And if you did receive education, then it will eminate from within you; through your attitude; through your confidence! So do not feel threatened by the degree. The tuition (and any loans you have taken from financing institutions) is another matter.

    Let me ask you this. Are you married? Do you have children? If you do, then there might be a cause for concern because you will have to take care of your family as well. If that's not the case, then things will be easier for you. Needless to say, if you do not have any experience in the field, you would need to start from the bottom and work your way up (unless you graduated from Thunderbird or York University). A non-managerial position would be a good start. Or you may want to start your own business or a partnership with others who have the money, but are lacking the knowledge you have acquired.

    How much is the tuition at the University of Dallas? I mean, how much will it cost you in total?
     
  8. Michael Lloyd

    Michael Lloyd New Member

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    Re: Re: Does an MBA really pay off?

    Edo, I have heard of it!
     
  9. qvatlanta

    qvatlanta New Member

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    Hello fellow ATLien,

    My advice to you is to not go for the MBA yet.

    It's my strong belief and my experience that you cannot seriously work on more than two main areas of your life at a time unless you are a superhuman being. The three main ones are 1) work and financial security 2) familial/social obligations and 3) education. If all three are pressing on someone then they will start slipping and failing in one of the three areas, and it usually turns out to be education. Sometimes if you rush into something, you will have to fall back and start all over again, and your completion of the goal will be delayed more than if you had waited a bit in the beginning.

    I think you need to determine your financial security before you start working on an advanced degree. Look for something that is as flexible as possible, but stable enough to stay in for a few years, and has healthcare benefits. It doesn't matter if it's a dead-end job in all other respects. When you are secure in that job, then you should start moving on to the MBA. Also, by then you will have more time to think about what kind of job you really want and how an MBA or other degree would help you move towards that goal.
     
  10. JassenB

    JassenB New Member

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    I realize that this was directed at the original poster, but I wanted to thank you for sharing these insights. You sound like a counselor or something, and your points are very valid.

    I happen to be at a very similar point in my life in some respects, and am just trying to find a path for my career, regardless of whether it's ultimately the right path or not. :)

    Thanks!
    -Jassen
     
  11. kw_ATL

    kw_ATL New Member

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    Re: Re: Does an MBA really pay off?

    Hi Mark,

    Right now I'm looking for something that's a combination of a financial and sales position with management potential. That's pretty broad, but it takes in consideration my recent experience. The only reason why I'm even interested in sales is becasue I have been working in a sales job for the past 3.5 years. Before this I worked in the telecommunications field making about 70k and now I can't get anything. I agree with you that the right experience and attitude makes all the difference, but the past two years have been the worst of my life and the telecommunications industry is still not what it used to be. I have been thinking that an advanced degree in something new might give me a chance to at least land a job.
     
  12. kw_ATL

    kw_ATL New Member

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    Hi dis.funk.sh.null,

    No I'm not married and that's one of the reasons why I feel the urgent need to go back to college. Guilt and embarresment round out my other reasons. I'm afraid for my child that I won't be able to provide for her or if God forbid anything happens to me, I won't be able to leave anything behind to take care of her. I thought that going the DL route opened options for me without having to concern myself with the cost or hassle of having someone to look after her.

    Working from the bottom up is no problem, but I need expenses at least. There is a difference a dead end job and working my way from the bottom up. Those positions seem to be out of my grasp.
     
  13. kw_ATL

    kw_ATL New Member

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    Hi qvatlanta,

    Points well taken, but I feel like if I don't do this now, I may never get it done. Financial security is something I definately need, but I don't think I have the years to invest in another dead end job. I'm sure you've seen how the market has been here in Atlanta, it's terrible. Besides I'm 30 years old and I'm giving myself one last shot at making something of my life and I want to be well established by 35. No offense but I don't want to be middle aged and still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
     
  14. guitarmark2000

    guitarmark2000 Member

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    Re: Re: Re: Does an MBA really pay off?

    A couple of additional thoughts:

    1) If you feel you have the aptitude for sales, an undergrad will be more than sufficient to get started. Many in sales have only equivalent experience and no degree at all.

    2) Look into something that can map to telecommunications but isn't in telecommunications. For example, if you sold telco hardware, then an IT hardware firm will be familiar. Likewise for services, software, etc. There are always IT sales jobs open.

    3) Once you're established, or as one of your criteria, look at tuition reimbursement for continuing education. My company pays up to $5500 a year, and I plan to use this in going for my MBA.

    4) I've been gainfully employed in IT for 16 years, and at the same top software firm for 7-1/2 years. I still don't have my undergrad (although I'm now only 6 credits away). Don't let the lack of a MBA deter you from applying to jobs that say "MBA preferred". What HR says the criteria is and what the hiring manager decides is often different - and if you're the right candidate they will bend the rules...

    Good luck!

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  15. Ultimale

    Ultimale New Member

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    It depends on you :)

    I can certainly sympathize with your situation. You mention a few different points: MBA, Career choice, Job, and Taking care of your child.

    The MBA is certainly a worthwhile goal. Is it worth the money at this time, while you are unemployed? Who knows? They certainly aren't cheap. Depending on costs, you also might want to consider other schools: www.Amberton.edu, U Nebraska @ Lincoln, CSUDH, to find out if they might meet your immediate financial needs a little better. As many posters have mentioned, an MBA would depend on what line of work you want to do. As for fulfillment, this again depends on what makes you happy. I too am pursuing my MBA, for many of the reasons you alluded to. Follow your heart.


    As Mark said, if you are good with people, you might consider sales such as real estate, lending, or a similar profession. I have a lot of friends in a similar situation and they got their teaching credential instead of a masters, so they could work while their child was in school.

    For your job hunting. Get aggressive. Be pro-active. Get a recruiter working for you. Many of the high paying, desirable jobs never make it to the newspaper. If you don't know any, You might want to perfect your resume and put it on Monster.com, and let them find you. Many of the good jobs come from recruiters, not newspapers or Monster.com. Be creative, and work on your personal presentation. Resumes get you in the door, presentations get you the job. If you feel like your self esteem, cofidence are low, then start reading books to get you out of the defeatest mindset. The wrong mindset will kill any chance of getting the job.

    there is a great section on getting the right job in Napolean Hills Think and Grow Rich. You can find it at any used book store. It's also a great book, many consider it the bible of creating your destiny.

    Keep your chin up, and keep swinging! Sit down and get clear on what YOU want. What lifestyle do you want to live? How many hours a week do you want to work? Where do you find fulfillment? What would you be excited to wake up and do for a living? Until you get really clear on you, finding the right job will be nearly impossible. Best of luck, and i know you'll make the right decisions.
     
  16. DTechBA

    DTechBA New Member

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    Bingo

    Definately, especially law and medicine in addition to the MBA. However, I work for state government and I find that most people in management come from the state schools so while which school you got your degree from does come into play it is more a regional thing.
     
  17. DTechBA

    DTechBA New Member

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    I agree with the other guy

    I would not MBA at this time unless you are going to shoot for a premier degree. I don't necessarily mean the top ten but definately the top 30 or 40. Anything lower than that is just for checking a box on a resume. The University of Dallas will not greatly increase your marketability at this time. I would skip it.

    I know this may be rough, but right now you should polish your resume and be open to a move to another career field or geographical location. There are still places in the USA where you can get a job and being unemployed does mean you have the ability to move unless there are other obligations. I have a sister in law that works in the elder care industry and she never looks very long for her next job. There are programs all over the south to prepare people with non-teaching degrees for a career in teaching. With the right undergrad you can be teaching in a year. Some places will even hire you as an aid while you train.

    Whatever you do, realize that you are not unique and you should not consider yourself a failure. There are a lot of people in your situation and a lot of us are only one round of layoffs away from being in your situation.
     
  18. dis.funk.sh.null

    dis.funk.sh.null New Member

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    Re: It depends on you :)

    I think that is the best advice I've read so far!
     
  19. adireynolds

    adireynolds New Member

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    Don't pressure yourself so much with an age deadline. I gave up a career path I was deeply immersed in and in love with when I got married at 27; I switched to a new field that I 'maintained' in during my marriage, and now, at 37, newly divorced, have embarked on a totally new career/educational direction. My original plan was to have my Ph.D. in Chinese History before I was 31; I won't have my Ph.D. (in HR) until I'm 40-ish. But, you know, I'm okay with that, and am quite happy with the way my life has turned out so far. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't pressure yourself to have it all figured out at 30; it doesn't always turn out like that, and that's quite alright. To echo Ultimale, figure out what will make you happy, day to day, and the rest will follow. If it takes longer than you thought for it to follow, well, that's just part of the process. It'll work out!

    Cheers,
    Adrienne
     
  20. qvatlanta

    qvatlanta New Member

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    Just to address the Atlanta job market issue (other people have already chipped in on other aspects of your post)... since the bubble burst, lots of people who were making 70K are now making half that. However, the good news is that the 35K jobs are becoming slowly but steadily more available. Three years ago, temp companies were telling people not to even bother registering for anything more advanced than a receptionist, but today they're placing skilled applicants regularly again. Also, we're a lot better off than many other regions. Two friends who lived in Taos New Mexico just moved here six months ago and almost immediately found jobs. Back in Taos, they were on welfare. Apparently, in Taos you're either a millionaire or on welfare, and there's not much in between.
     

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