Done MBA without a Bachelor's Degree 10 years ago & some employers demand a Bachelors

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by PositiveSoul, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Thank you for this. I was going to suggest that such a statement would raise more questions than it would answer. Be prepared to answer it during an interview, maybe, but on the resume? It sounds like there's something bad you have to explain away. It's not bad, and you can answer it when asked.
    Neuhaus likes this.
  2. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    The provided comments make a lot of sense.

    I may be wrong in my approach. The purpose of the resume may be somehow diminished.

    I personally do add a line that states a specialist degree equivalent to a US Masters's degree.
    Some of my colleagues simply state Masters's degrees instead of their Specialist degree.

    I have a WES degree equivalency report.
    PositiveSoul likes this.
  3. PositiveSoul

    PositiveSoul New Member

    Thank you very much to each and every individual who was kind enough to give me her/his kind feedback. :)

    I am glad to report that everything went fine and I got the job offer. I am grateful to my University folks who were kind enough to step in and rescue me upon my request.

    There is always light at the end of the tunnel, one just needs to be honest, persistent and stay positive. Never ever give up.

    I have decided not to pursue a Bachelor's Degree but to stick to my MBA without a Bachelor's Degree.

    Once again, thank you all.

    Have a great, productive, prosperous and healthy life. :)
  4. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    All is well that ends well. Congrats!
    PositiveSoul likes this.
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Glad that it worked out! Sometimes our worrying hurts us more than the thing we worried about!

    My idea is moot now, but I thought it interesting, if it worked. Other than the already mentioned Big 3, competency based degrees, like at WGU, could be a quick way for a highly knowledgeable person to bang out the last requirements for a Bachelor's. With enough transfer credit, and enough preparedness, it should be possible to complete a Bachelor's in one semester, making it comparable in price and timeframe to one of the Big Three. It would be a different experience altogether, but for the right people in the right situation, it could get the job done.
    PositiveSoul likes this.
  6. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Getting a Bachelors degree sounds like a fine idea. On the other hand, I suspect that most employers would likely not care so much about a Bachelors degree if someone had a Masters degree from a good school. So, I'd suggest looking for one of those positions while you finish up a Bachelors degree part-time while hopefully working full time for an employer that has accepted your Masters degree.
    PositiveSoul likes this.
  7. PositiveSoul

    PositiveSoul New Member

    Thank you for your kind feedback.

    This was the first and only time (post-Graduation... in almost 10 years) that an employer wanted me to furnish a Bachelor's Degree.

    As I mentioned in my initial post, "For the past almost 10 years, I never had a problem using my MBA here in the United States even with the Federal Government..."

    Thus, I would rather invest my time, money and energy in doing a Ph. D. than pursuing a Bachelor's Degree.

    After my retirement, I might go for a Ph. D. (for personal development only) and I have an RA University here in the United States as well as the University I did my MBA from ready to give me admission but that's a project which I am not ready to undertake right now.

    Thank you.

    Take care and best regards...

  8. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The thing to remember is that a resume is your brag sheet. It isn't a place to clarify every potential issue. Hell, in some cases, you can omit jobs or include jobs from an earlier period or do all sorts of non-linear timelines. You're highlighting how you are suited for the position you're applying for. If I were applying for a job as a recruiter (or manager of recruiters) I would reach back and pull in my time when I was a full time recruiter. If not, I'd leave it off.

    It's your showcase. It's a curated space for your achievements. Don't sully it with insecure justifications for a question nobody even knew to ask.

    Be prepared for the question. Work on your answer in advance. But don't invite the question. Never invite a question, in writing or otherwise, that draws attention to a potential weakness in your case for being hired.
  9. AsianStew

    AsianStew Active Member

    Late to post a reply, but I actually think a second Bachelors would not be a bad idea depending on What the Bachelors is in... or in your case, a first bachelors. For example, a few members on this board and the sister board have multiple Bachelors degrees. Basically, it boils down to what you want to do with your education and how you want to roll with it, someone on this board or the sister board doesn't make that decision for you, they can give you the pros and cons, but ultimately - go with the gut. You may need that Bachelors to get into a different Masters program as there may be prerequisites for that Masters.

    You can refer to the Wiki for a couple of users like Bricabrac and Lindagerr and there are other members such as Sanatone and Ryoder who are working towards their doctorates who also have completed a couple of Bachelors from TESU. For example, if you review the wiki - it mentions bricabrac did 4 degrees in 2 years for under $10K, Ryoder finished his BSBA in 6 months and knocked out another in 6 months. If you review , it shows Lindagerr did her 4 degrees as well at TESU.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  10. bceagles

    bceagles Member

    Maybe I’m grossly over simplifying this situation, but at this point the path to least resistance appears to be to simply apply everything you already have to one of the Big 3 and complete an undergraduate degree.

    The most productive conversation about this situation would be talking thru which of the Big 3 would be best/quickest.

    We can debate the whole “Masters without an undergraduate degree” concept all day, but the reality in the US is that a bachelors comes before a masters. If you want to continue to work in the US and want to encounter the least amount of resistance when looking for work, then confirming to US standards is probably the best approach.

    Early on in my search for degree completion options, many many moons ago, I strongly considered the strategy of bypassing an undergraduate degree and going directly into a masters program. My 2 options at the time were:

    Edinburgh Business School -

    Edinburgh has a strong reputation and relatively easy admission requirements, as it did in the early 2000s. This was a completely viable option for me at the time.

    Cambridge College -

    Cambridge College’s Master of Management program at the time offered the possibility of directly entering without an undergraduate degree via their MM55 waiver. This was preferred, US school based in Massachusetts, regionally accredited, etc.

    Either one of these programs would’ve satisfied my end goal of completing a masters degree in a business/management discipline.

    The #1 reason I chose to complete an undergraduate degree first was “The Interview”. The thought of having to explain to an HR rep or hiring manager (who most likely obtained their degree via the traditional path) the mechanics behind skipping straight to a masters degree was Painful enough to convince me to figure out which of the Big 3 I could get thru the easiest.

    As I’ve stated many times on this forum, my EC undergraduate degree was never intended to be a stand-alone academic accomplishment on my Resume. EC was a means to an end, to satisfy the undergraduate requirement to traditional admission of an MBA program.

    I highly recommend you consider plowing thru which ever Big 3 program fits your situation best and put the “Stand alone MBA” concerns behind you.

    Best of luck!
  11. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    In some professions, bachelor's degrees are the most important formation degree while a master's degree is an additional more advanced education. So the requirement for a Bachelors degree understood.
    Formal prove of acquiring the formation of knowledge by graduating from properly accredited university and program.
    Many employers seem like they will substitute equivalent experience but many will not. It all depends on type of job.
    I do think its personal choice based on the situation. Sometimes situation changes and I think it will be wise to complete a bachelor's degree that can increase future employment prospects and job security.
    It's an opportunity to learn new discipline as well. I know nurses who hold BSN RA degrees and earned MBA so they are holding senior positions in the healthcare providers industry etc.
    Maybe a Computer Info Systems or Science degree? Just a thought.
  12. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member


    Our original poster didn’t skip undergraduate work, but rather completed more than half of it without taking the degree. That seems to me like an important distinction that allows them to state during the interview that they were accepted into a master’s program on the basis of 2+ years of undergraduate coursework and experience in the field. Taking advantage of that opportunity would strike me as perfectly reasonable.

    You said
    Fair enough, but is “BA 2020, MBA 2010” really going to bring the original poster’s CV into that conformity?

    All the best, H.
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    One could drop the dates from the resume/CV. Many applications online require inputting them, of course.
  14. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member

    That is true, and something that I would much prefer in principle. Unfortunately, the ubiquitous online job and fellowship applications I’ve seen recently suggest that requiring such dating is becoming much more common. O.P., hope you find a solution that suits your situation!
  15. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    There are two things that ought be said about the idea of using graduate coursework to complete the bachelors...

    1. The Big Three might not play ball.
    2. Even if they do, it's almost certainly going to fall under their "second degree" rules which mean that you will still be on the hook to earn at least 24 credits post-degree.

    When I got my TESU bachelors I couldn't just transfer the entirely of my CTU bachelors. Or, rather, I could but I also needed to give them 24 credits earned AFTER my bachelors that were not otherwise applied to another degree.

    So if you have 70 credits of undergrad plus x credits of MBA, even if that takes you over the 120 line and hits every requirement, TESU at least says you need 24 credits earned post-MBA. That's not a lot of credits. But that's 8 classes more than a person may want to take if they don't really need to take the courses.

    Online application systems typically require dates of graduation. However, nobody really cares. I am unaware of any system that flags dates it would deem out of sequence. So it would be up to a human being to notice such a seeming discrepancy. And all would be right as rain once transcripts or other degree verification was done.

    I know that there are some shitty HR departments out there. I know, sadly from my own experience, that there are HR professionals out there who think they are fraud examiners rather than HR professionals and are constantly looking to "catch" someone in the act. By and large, however, hiring managers are taking on a much greater role in hiring than they did historically. Years ago HR could give you a stack of resumes for "engineers" and you could pick one and train them since, after all, if you can engineer airplanes then surely you can engineer cars or industrial equipment.

    This is not the case anymore. Hiring managers don't want to hire smart people who can figure it out unless it is for a fairly entry level position. Instead, they want people with niche experience in that specific field. That means the hiring manager, not HR, are best equipped to sort candidates. The HRIS can put resumes all in one place but, again industry wide, the shift is moving to the managers selecting the initial slate of candidates, not HR.

    This was a really long winded way of saying "Ya'll are really overthinking this and the more you overthink it the more likely you are to make it look MUCH sketchier to an employer."
  16. bceagles

    bceagles Member

    “Our original poster didn’t skip undergraduate work, but rather completed more than half of it without taking the degree. That seems to me like an important distinction that allows them to state during the interview that they were accepted into a master’s program on the basis of 2+ years of undergraduate coursework and experience in the field. Taking advantage of that opportunity would strike me as perfectly reasonable.”

    I imagine that individual course work does offer value to hiring managers, but not as much value as a completed degree (in the majority of situations, I know there are exceptions). Having to talk your way thru the lack of a completed education item on your resume will most likely detract from the overall interview.

    My opinion, and this is truly an opinion, is that earning an undergraduate degree from one of the big 3 is not overly difficult. I’m trying to avoid saying that it is “easy”, but if I was able to do it then it’s a solution for the vast majority.
  17. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Many job applications are in the form of multipage forms on the companies job applicants web site. There could be issues with leaving the undergrad degree empty on such forms.
    It depends on how it's programmed and designed. Some will allow entering undergrad studies without graduating.
  18. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Yes, you need 30 extra credits in addition to the MBA credits to get a second degree. The OP can consider getting the extra 30 credits by testing language skills or converting into credits any certification that he or she might have.

    Not having a BS degree can be a problem if you are looking for a junior position but the OP might be qualified enough for senior positions. In Canada, many executive MBAs take people with no Bachelor's degree so it is not unusual to see CVs with people with no first degree.

    As some people suggested, I would just enter undergraduate studies with no graduation in the application. In the interview I would just state that I have an executive MBA.
  19. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    This is all a fantastic argument for a national qualification framework.
  20. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    This should be fine, I know people getting a second bachelor after a PhD mainly to qualify for a professional qualification (CPA, etc). All you are doing is completing what you started, people ask you just be honest, you completed a degree that started long time ago.

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