Has anyone ever done a Capella MBA?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Acolyte, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. Acolyte

    Acolyte Active Member

    I've been thinking more and more about getting an MBA as my second master's. It's one of those degrees that my employer would likely reimburse without questioning it, because by it's very nature it is "related to my job" - that said, there are a million MBA programs out there - I wasn't even considering Capella - as I have mixed feelings about it as an institution, putting it into the University of Phoenix/Walden/Kaplan space in my head, but I've watched some videos people have posted about doing the "FlexPath" option and it kind of appeals to me - It's something that I'd really like to complete in a year if possible, and for a reasonable price, (my employer reimbursement only goes so far) - I had originally found the HAU program for $3000 and then I started to settle on WGU. My other option is going locally to Franklin University, but their program is only IACBE, and it would run about $14K. WGU I might be able to complete in a year for around $10K, but Capella's FlexPath is intriguing to me. Anyone have any real-world experience with them or the program? My only real experience with anyone from Capella was a business consultant we used to use several years ago, she was a graduate of Capella and was working on her PhD from there as well - she loved it and advocated for it, and she was a pretty sharp consultant.
  2. Michigan68

    Michigan68 Active Member

    If I could chose another school for my MBA, it would be LSU-Shreveport.
    felderga, Vonnegut and Acolyte like this.
  3. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

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  4. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    If you're getting it reimbursed, wouldn't it be better to stretch the program to as many years as possible? That way, you maximize the reimbursement amount (companies usually cap that at a certain amount per year).
    Acolyte likes this.
  5. Acolyte

    Acolyte Active Member

  6. Acolyte

    Acolyte Active Member

    Yes - they allow for only so much per year. That said, with something like the FlexPath, you can work at your own pace and complete some portions of the degree quicker, and it is a flat rate per 12 week period. WGU is a flat rate per (I think) 6 month period, some people have completed their degrees very quickly - I guess I'm also thinking about my level of commitment - I don't want to drag something out to two years or even into three - even if it were just one course at a time. I've also heard that Capella is generous with prior learning and the program is project/competency based - as is WGU.

    I was just looking at their website this morning.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    That would be penny wise, but potentially pound foolish.
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  8. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    I don't think so. I don't think Acolyte is using the MBA for a huge transition. It's just for educational purposes and to maximize reimbursement. I am thinking of doing something similar myself to maximize my company's annual benefits. My company has an annual cap, but there is no total cap. In other words, if I wanted to take a program that was beyond the annual cap, I have to use my own money. If I spread it to multiple years, I spend zero. I already have an MBA and don't really need the education specifically to get more salary. It's just education for education's sake.

    If you wanted to talk penny wise, pound foolish then you should consider that most people who attended top schools do not really believe in attending non-elite MBAs because it doesn't give the same amount in return. They might be paying 300K for Wharton, but getting >3M in total career gains. For those people, attending a cheap school like WGU is "penny wise, pound foolish" because although you save on tuition, the returns are substantially lower compared to Wharton.

    In my case, I attended UT Dallas, which was free because of scholarships but probably the gain won't be >3M like Wharton (but still a lot over a lifetime). I am still earning six figures, but not high six figures like those Wharton grads.

    Really depends on what you are looking to do with the degree. But to call my stretch-the-degree strategy foolish is uncalled for.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  9. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Personal opinion only, but if you’re going to put forth the time and effort investment, there may be far more worthwhile institutions to obtain an MBA from. An MBA isn’t just about content, but also about connections and a professional network.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  10. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    Where did you get your MBA?
  11. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Just a few classes shy, UAB - University of Alabama Birmingham.
    smartdegree likes this.
  12. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I don't think a Wharton MBA is the best example to compare to with it being Ivy League and not online.

    If you have the money you should be able to get into a program with a strong rep that can give you a good ROI, but if it's not an Ivy, or not a just-as-prestigious school like Stanford or Duke or a rung under that like a major state school with a D-1 football team, then you're not starting on the same trajectory at least, so it may just lead you to worrying about something that doesn't apply to your situation.

    Having said all of that, unless you get your degree from a school that is universally panned as irredeemable trash, you always have the opportunity to add value to it. For instance, valuable networking can be done in other ways besides being in a classroom or attending a top school for your MBA as independent MBA associations and clubs are often open to students and MBA graduates of any legitimately accredited program and they tend to provide all sorts of networking opportunities.
    smartdegree likes this.
  13. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    I agree, we are on the same page. What I meant by my post is that there are many reasons to get your MBA or any other degree. Steve brought up an infamous saying "penny wise pound foolish" that many elite-tier students and MBA admissions consultants on other forums (not here) use when justifying their M7 (top 7 MBA) or bust mentality.

    In my case, I came from a poor country with little to no means to attend a US MBA other than a full ride. UT Dallas offered a full ride and an assistantship that paid for living expenses. Is it an elite school? No, but it met my needs to transition to North America and have a good paying career.

    You can see in the FT rankings that Duke grads (your example) get paid 178K a year 3 years after the MBA. Us poor UT Dallas grads, on the other hand, only get paid 121K on average 3 years after graduation. I get needled in other forums for not going to an M7 school. But hell, I am so happy with my current salary because my alternative was NO mba and continuing to live my life in a poor developing country with very low salaries.


    Again my point is you can go to any school and get value. Just depends on your objective.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  14. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    I would avoid Capella, University of Phoenix, or any other for-profit school with likewise reputation. There are plenty of better opinions for less money, with a better reputation; Michigan68 already gave you a great one with LSU-Shreveport.

    AACSB accredited is nice, but unless you plan to teach, nobody cares. (My .02 cents)

    I was in an MBA program, but I dropped out after completing 6 units. I realized (in my profession) it wasn't needed so it was a cost v. benefit for me.
    Rachel83az likes this.
  15. Acolyte

    Acolyte Active Member

    Thanks for all of the replies. A couple of thoughts reading through this:

    1. I guess the idea of an MBA having value of a networking tool seems a bit "quaint" to me in today's environment. I mean, unless I were going to seriously take two years out to go to some Ivy League school or go back to Ohio State, I'm not sure what "networking" an ONLINE MBA program would provide that would be of substantially more value than all of the other online networking tools already available including LinkedIn, etc. Plus, according to compensation projections published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, they predict that the average starting salary for an MBA graduate will be $87,966 in 2021 - I already make more than that, so I'm not expecting a big salary bump from this adventure.
    2. I am a graduate of The Ohio State University, which has one of the largest alumni populations on the planet. While maybe not as "active" as say, Penn State, there are tons of OSU networking opportunities every year, I'm not sure I'm looking for that "networking" kind of value add with an MBA.
    3. I'm very interested in CBE (Competency Based Education) models, and so WGU and Capella appealed to me from that standpoint as well, especially with my MS in Instructional Design. We discussed CBE quite a bit as an effective learning model for adults. I also want something self-paced, and affordable.
    4. Personally, I would have not considered Capella before, but they are offering something here that (as far as I can tell) compares most with WGU. I don't have a prejudice against "for profit" schools because from what I've seen in my own experiences working with people that have graduated from them, if you actually follow the programs they offer - they often provide a more practical education than the theoretical and research approach of big state schools.
    5. LSU Shreveport offers a very, very attractive product. 10 months to complete/online/AACSB $12K. But my reimbursement would have to be spread out over two years+ to cover the whole thing, but it looks like more of a traditional program rather than CBE and not sure about how they would evaluate prior learning.

    That's why I'm still interested as to whether anyone has any hands on experience with Capella, their MBA, or their FlexPath programs.
  16. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    What I noticed about non-traditional schools (for-profit, public, and non-profit) is that there is a heavy emphasis on writing research papers, even in fields that typically don't require a lot of writing. To me, that is not how you work in the real world. You're not spending all day looking for 20+ peer-reviewed sources for your 20-page paper.

    Here are some more competency-based MBA programs.

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  17. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Have you ruled out WGU? I have no issue with Capella, though I do realize it has some reputation concerns (some fair, some exaggerated as usual). But at least with WGU you can avoid any for-profit negativity and also be a part of a really huge network of graduates. WGU has its own concerns, but of the two it just seems like WGU would be a better choice.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
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  18. Acolyte

    Acolyte Active Member

    I have not ruled out anything and in fact WGU is currently my first choice for what I want to accomplish. That's partially why I want to get some first hand info. about Capella - I have a friend who completed the WGU program, and there are lots of videos online by people who have done the program - except for that fluke in finding the Hellenic American University MBA program for $3K earlier this year, WGU seemed to be the logical choice for my criteria - Franklin University here in Columbus is also still on my radar, although I think it is too expensive at this point.

    That hasn't been what I have seen, but I only have known a few people that did programs through those kinds of schools. Also, I had already looked at the Ashland program since it is here in Ohio, and they have a branch/extension here in Columbus - Ashland is a popular place around here for teachers and adult learners to get their Master's programs completed. But the Ashland MBA is $34,000+ That is WAY too much money for an MBA from Ashland, lol. The part time MBA from Ohio State is only about $30K and it's a much, much more widely regarded program. Rasmussen and Westminster are also expensive. The Purdue Global program is more in line with the other things I am considering, but it looks like a ton of "one credit classes" that eventually "add up" to a degree - not sure how I feel about that. I'll keep it on my list, though.

    So currently it's : HAU (if price holds at $3K), WGU, Capella, LSU Shreveport, and Purdue Global that have my interest, but I sure would like to know if anyone has any first hand experience with Capella/Flexpath and what they thought about it.
  19. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Just a heads-up: if you go with the Purdue University Global MBA excelTrack program, two courses (including the capstone) are group projects, each following a 6-week format. I didn't see that information on the site, maybe I missed it, but I found out about this while talking to an admissions rep.

    WGU slips a group project into its MSML program, too, but I've heard that their MBA program doesn't have one anymore.
    Acolyte likes this.
  20. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Rasmussen is only $10,000.
    Acolyte likes this.

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