Don't Go To Business School ! ! !

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Kizmet, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  2. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    I'm afraid that this is true. The days when MBA stood for "More Bucks Automatically" are over. Prospective MBA students need to weigh the potential benefits and the cost (including student loan debt) very carefully.

    The MBA is still a better bet than the JD though, for a number of reasons:

    - Shorter program with typically lower cost.

    - More choices. There are only a few hundred law schools in the country, and in most states, the only option is a school with ABA approval, which is the most expensive kind. For comparison, there are probably 1000+ MBA programs, with a variety of accreditation options (AACSB, ACBSP, IACBE, etc), different price tags, and different specialties. There's a better chance of finding one that is a good fit.

    - More versatility. MBAs will be considered for practically any managerial role. Law schools like to claim that the JD is also versatile, but in reality not all organizations are comfortable hiring lawyers for managerial positions where the JD is not required.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2013
  3. Koolcypher

    Koolcypher Member

    Agreed, it is not worth it to go into massive debt for a degree that will offer little ROI or utility; this also applies to most graduate degrees. Specially in fields such as the humanities, psychology and so forth. Unless, the MBA comes from a top 25 institution, or are fully funded ( scholarships, military, company sponsorships, etc), then it makes complete sense to pursue an MBA degree.
  4. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    I would say that outside of the top-20 programs MBA degrees often aren't worth it. Some exceptions:
    1. If the program has a strong focus in your area of interest (for example, Babson for Entrepreneurship).
    2. A large portion of your costs are subsidized through scholarships.
    3. If pursuing part-time and your employer is picking up the majority of the tab.

    The part-time and/or online programs lose a lot of their utility if you are earning the MBA to take your career in a completely different direction. In instances like that part-time/online programs just don't provide the networking and internship opportunities that are essentially a necessity to transition into a new functional area.
    I earned my MBA from an outstanding school with a stellar reputation. Nearly five years out and I still haven't reached breakeven (2-3 more years before I hit that mark). I'm still better off than one of my close friends. She is 3 years out of Darden, a top-10 program, and is yet to find full-time employment. Her situation is abnormal but not unheard of.
    If you're considering the MBA do some serious soul searching and weigh your options carefully. The degree has become a commodity.
  5. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    Agreed. Dime a dozen nowadays, dime a dozen. I believe you can get (discounting maybe top 20 MBA programs attended in residence) as good or better business training from a nicely involved mentor than you can with your typical mile wide inch deep MBA program. Especially if you are in your chosen work domain already. The chances of having a great mentor are probably better than your typical student getting into a top MBA program. The problem is most organizations don't have strong mentoring programs in place, if they have a formal one at all. The best I ever saw was with the Army and they had a great mentoring program for female engineer's.
  6. major56

    major56 Active Member

    Agree, yet also consider some of the other (check-the-box) degrees … not limited to just the M.B.A.
  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Here at degreeinfo, we are typically enthusiastic and encouraging to students who want to further their educations. But in a growing number of cases, the best advice that we may able to give is: don't pursue further education. The story linked in Post #1 above makes some great points about the limitations of school:

    More school will not necessarily pay off; in fact, it can leave you worse off. This may run counter to what your parents, teachers, and fellow students believe. Unfortunately, it is true.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2013
  8. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    I am finding that a lot of people are very resistent to this new paradigm in thinking about college. I've seen people react in an almost violently way when anyone brings up the idea that not everyone should go to college or pursue higher education. I guess what they say is true, experience is the best teacher. Especially when you go to school and your experience later teaches you that you did not need to or should not have attended college.
  9. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The story in the linked article puts it like this:


    The story in the linked article suggests the following:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2013
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    My attitude is not that the pursuit of education is a waste of time/energy/money, etc. My attitude is that you need to go in with your eyes wide open. In this case this means, don't expect that just because you earn an MBA from the University of Whatever that your whole career will be catapulted into the stratosphere. It won't. It may give you some advantage over people who don't have MBAs but it's also possible that their greater experience might trump your degree. If there's a way for someone to get the degree without accumulating debt then it might be a very good idea, especially if you've got nothing better to do with 20 hours per week (you know, those little things like family, friends, etc.) I think that pursuing educational goals is fantastic! Just be realistic about the outcome
  11. Skidud313

    Skidud313 New Member

    I wonder how the ROI assumptions have changed for those of us looking at PhD/DBA programs. I know it's a much different calculus, for the most part- it's about in-depth research and contributions, not just about better salaries. But I do have some reservations about just breaking even as I evaluate the risks involved with plunking down (or financing) $75k in more education.
  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    We have discussed this many times, my take is that you should do a DBA/PhD only when you need it. In my case, I was already a faculty member but needed with DBA/PhD just to secure a permanent position so the degree helped me. However, I see quite a few people that first do the PhD/DBA and then hope that something will happen.

    As PhD/DBAs in business become more available, it is just easy to guess that more people will be business doctors and the few opportunities that require this type of degree will just become more selective. This is already happening, most business schools even the ones that are not AACSB accredited give preference to people with PhDs from AACSB accredited schools.

    I only see the need for a PhD in business if you can want to become an administrator at a business school, faculty or consultant at a top firm.However, most of these options would rather people with a strong credential and this leaves out most of the online for profit schools that seem to be the leaders in producing PhD/DBAs in business.

    What I see is that most people with PhD in Business from low tier schools just use it to become adjuncts and make more on the side. There is nothing wrong with this but many question the value of investing a small fortune for a credential that will pay off only 20K extra a year.

    I believe there is a stronger ROI in cheaper credentials such as a CPA, CFA, PMP, etc although none of these credentials are by any means easy to get.

    I respect more a person with a CFA and an MBA from a top school than someone with a PhD in Finance from a low tier school and I think most companies would agree with this.
  13. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    I couldn't have said it better myself.
    Most people wanting an MBA that I have spoken to do not want it to learn about business, they want it for the credential and networking. I think that is a shame. The study of business can be exciting and rewarding.

    There are plenty of 10-15k MBAs out there so I say go cheap, RA, and try to learn something while you are at it. Also try to get your employer to pay for it and don't expect a raise or promotion after you get your degree. That only works in the government.
  14. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I'm going to drag this thread off-topic and so I'm apologizing in advance. This is one of those "if I could do it over again" ideas. Knowing what I know now I might have chosen a different major (maybe something more like Microbio) but one of the things I definitely would have done is to put some hardcore time and energy into really learning a second language. With multinational corporations leading the way toward globalization it just seems common sense that if a person could package a degree (even an MBA) will solid/fluent foreign language skills then this could be an advantage that few could match. I'd be interested in hearing people's thoughts on this and whether they've actually had any experiences that back up or debunk my idea. I will now return you to your regularly scheduled program.
  15. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I agree. And my fifteen year old is in his fourth year studying Mandarin.
  16. major56

    major56 Active Member

    My eldest daughter is fluent in Mexican Spanish (Español de México) –both with the spoken and written language; even possessing the accent. She has studied its linguistics and the Mexicanos culture since her elementary school days; even chose Spanish as her baccalaureate degree minor.
    In retrospect, I too should have been more focused with a secondary language choice, yet … C'est la vie. So much for my flippant study of the French dialect alongside my Texas drawl …
  17. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    That's awesome but I wonder if Mandarin will still be "in vogue" by the time your son completes his education. I only say that because a large number of Western corporations and slowly moving production away from China and into Vietnam. While the country has over a billion citizens the upward mobility of many of those people has been reached (there is still a vast amount of poverty as you move away from economic centers and into the western parts of the country). I'm not sure how much more growth in terms of consumption is going to occur as a large portion of their citizens are unfortunately never going to move into the middle class. The government goes a long way in an attempt to hide the poverty in large cities, but it's still blatant, even more so once you move out of the cities.
    I'm sure it will be helpful to him in the future but I think the next "hot" languages are going to be Vietnamese and Portuguese. Like Wayne Gretsky said "skate where the puck is going, not where it's been."
  18. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I believe that China will remain a major force in the world economy for many years to come.
  19. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I agree. And even if the Chinese economy stops growing the way it has been, Mandarin hardly seems like a disadvantageous language to know.
  20. Koolcypher

    Koolcypher Member

    China's middle class is bigger (population wise) than the US and Canada, combined! According to this article, China's middle class reached a staggering 474 million people.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2013

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