How does an MBA help in a career ?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by stock, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. stock

    stock New Member

    Is it really important to get an MBA to further one's career ? Bill Gates doesn't have one ... and so have many others in history who have reached to the top in the corporate world. So how does an MBA help ?
  2. $$$

    At least one article suggests that an MBA is good for about a 50% salary increase over not having one....

    There's lots of places on the web (just do a "google search") that will tell you what the value of an MBA is. Of course, you have to be the ultimate judge of whether some of this is hyperbole or not.

    True, Gates didn't have a degree of any kind. But he is also brilliant, was in the right place at the right time, was admitted to MIT (which shows he had some "book learning smarts"), and got very very very lucky. Using Gates as an argument to not pursue education is a fallacy, and will more likely lead to lower overall income over the course of your life than not.

    Good luck in your research.
  3. Han

    Han New Member

    There are exceptions to the rule (like Gates), and maybe a couple hundred others, but out of the millions in the workforce, unless you make it big, by skill and a bit of luck, statistically speaking, yes, an MBS helps. I have found especially so when there is a technical person moving into management.
  4. stock

    stock New Member

    Thanks Carl and Han for your views. I have applied for MSIT at UMUC and am debating in pursuing my MBA after that, so just wanted to find out how an MBA would enhance my career.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm reminded of that semi-famous (and probably apocryphal) exchange between a golf instructor and his pupil:

    Instructor: Your right elbow is flying out. Keep it tucked.

    Student: Jack Nicklaus has a flying elbow.

    Instructor: Fine. But you're not Jack Nicklaus

    In other words, none of us is Bill Gates.

    In any situation like this, you can always find exceptions. There are plenty of examples of people who've become rich and famous without the benefit of a higher degree. But that doesn't make earning an education and a degree irrelevant to you.

    There are plenty of statistics to support the earnings gained (on average) by earning a higher degree. But, like all averages, they represent a field of possible outcomes with some variability. I've been both above and below the mark in terms of earnings comparable to my experience and degree level. You'll have to decide whether or not the large numbers also apply to your one case: you.

    There is no direct quid pro quo regarding earning a degree. I earned exactly the same amount after getting my MBA as I did the day before. Same with the Ph.D. But later on.... ;) It is hard to predict the future earnings potential that will accompany your degree. But don't use an extreme case like Bill Gates.

    The one that cracks me up is when a few people without a doctorate insist on saying things like, "Yeah, well there are Ph.D.'s driving taxis." I want to say, "Really, where? Who? Is this common?" Of course, it isn't. There might be examples of this, but I'd bet that circumstance is related to factors other than obtaining a doctorate!*

    *And if you think that's bad, picture all those master's degree holders relegated to pulling rickshaws! :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2005
  6. Han

    Han New Member

    What type of job are you in? Are you looking to move into MGMT?
  7. stock

    stock New Member

    currently a programmer BUT want to get away from it BUT want to be in the IT field BUT not as an programmer... :D
  8. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    In that case, an MBA would most likely help you quite a bit.
  9. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    With the wide variety of part-time, night-time, week-end and distance learning options for earning an MBA, it might one day be the "high-school diploma" for middle managers...

  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Okay, here are some of the benefits I enjoyed from holding an MBA:

    -- Teaching as an adjunct at several schools
    -- Selection as an Air Force ROTC instructor
    -- Admission to a Ph.D. program
    -- Hired as a training manager for several companies, all of whom expected the master's
    -- Credibility beyond my Ph.D., especially in leadership and management

    And so it goes....

    I really enjoyed my MBA program at National. I met great people, and learned a great deal from a highly talented faculty, lessons I pass on to my own students.

    Diplomaism is rampant, but it has always been so. That isn't so bad. It doesn't represent a dumbing-down of degree programs as much as it represents a greater demand for skills by an increasingly sophisticated workplace.
  11. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Yes, I agree with your list of benefits. My MBA from Santa Clara University has been invaluable in my career, too. I think the MBA will become an expected credential for those on a management track, to an even larger degree in the future.

  12. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    Really well stated. I would only add a sophisticated workplace that demands a business case before expending money and resources.
  13. salami89

    salami89 New Member

    An MBA's range is limited unless sponsored by a company, it is the individual who will have to invest in a dream that may or may not become reality, when it come to the job hunt.

    I suggest that if you are an entrepreneur, it is far better to have experience and exposure to the industry from bottom up than having an MBA. An MBA on the other hand is so oversupplied in this current situation that corporations are inundated with MBA applicants that they are looking at other aspects of the candidate's stature.

    If you consider going into consultancy then an MBA might do you good. But really there is no hard and fast rule and an MBA does not guarantee business success.

    My experience in the commercial world is that if you want to be a marketer then it is better to start off being a sales executive and pursue a professional marketing qualification. If you want to be a financier a banker's qualification, financial qualification or accountant's qualification will be more useful. An MBA with all its specialistions only expands your intellectual horizons if you don't apply it in the real world and I know for sure I have not applied my MBA because in my country there is no need for one. It is experience and networking that gets an employee somewhere up the foodchain, not an MBA.

    Frankly, to be multilingual in business is a far better asset in this WTO world. I am at the present moment realising that having a repertoire of Western and Eastern languages is vital to get on in international business.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2005
  14. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    SCU -- very good University. As far as the Silicon Valley and high tech are concerned, probably better received than an MBA from Harvard (you have the west coast tech connections). I was going to apply but my GMAT scores were not high enough.

    I think it depends where you received your MBA that makes the difference. An MBA from SCU, Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, etc. will be much better received than an MBA from SJ State, CSU-DH and certainly University of Phoenix. I have found that I have to prove myself to a greater degree than someone with a Stanford MBA (even though I belieive I am just as intelligent as most Stanford MBA's).

    In my current postion, an MBA will not buy much. It will look good however as a lot of mangers have their MBAs, Masters and PhD's. Although this may sound juvenile, my reason for getting an MBA is to prove to the silver spoon crowd that any C student from the streets of East Oakland can get one.

    Speaking of Stanford, I work for a company which is within sight of the Stanford U campus and employs quite a few Stanford Engineers and Interns. I was working with an engineer with a Masters in EE who didn't know how to identify a diode from a capacitor. Very funny - I guess they don't teach something that basic. Tongue in cheek I asked him Ohms Law as well. He didn't know that either. I told him to get his money back - he was cheated (he was not amused - lol).

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