MBA from unknown RA school vs. MBA from NA school

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by friendorfoe, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I was speaking with someone regarding the value of an MBA the other day and the person I was talking to kept using salary figures to point out that an MBA is one of the best degrees for return on investment. While I agree that it is a solid credential, I think that those numbers are somewhat skewed by schools like Harvard, Columbia, UT-Austin, etc. You know the top 100.

    I then began to wonder, if you have an MBA from a RA school that is relatively an unknown, how is that so much better than a NA school that is a relative unknown? and is an MBA from an unknown school really a good investment?

    What say you?
  2. I suppose it really depends on the "unknown". If it's a little known state school it will still have some recognition factor. Otherwise, it's probably a regional thing.

    To someone not in the NY metro area, Marist, C.W. Post and Hofstra are likely unknown. In NY, they are very well known. A lot of colleagues of mine studied at SUNY Stony Brook - not anywhere in the top 100, but well-known. No doubt you could name a half-dozen that I've never heard of. Ironically, that's likely why mills do so well - there are a huge number of universities and colleges in the US.

    Ultimately, ROI depends on actually getting to apply the knowledge and (if you're looking for a job) getting employment that increases your compensation.

  3. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    If they are both unknown, I would say the RA MBA would still have more value. There are employers that only accept RA degrees.

    An RA MBA would open better options to teach or get into a PhD program. It would never be questioned...not that my CCU MBA ever has.

    Bottom would be "bulletproof"
  4. Rob L

    Rob L New Member

    Although there are some good NA programs out there, I feel that RA schools are a better choice overall. Although most employers might not make the distinction between RA and NA, some have requirements that a RA degree is necessary for meeting the educational requirements. Some employers go beyond that and require the degree come from an AACSB school.

    Although I did not receive my MBA from an AACSB/RA school, I think an MBA from an AACSB school is the best way to go for most people. I think RA only schools are a better choice than NA schools.

    Keep in mind that my comments above are my general opinion. A person has to analyze his/her individual situation before deciding on a MBA program. If a person is young and looking for a prestigious job after graduation, then an AACSB degree is vital. If a person is already well established and just wants a better grasp on business fundamentals, then a NA degree is a great choice because they tend to be less expensive than RA programs (excluding schools like ITT or Florida Metropolitan University). In my situation, I needed an MBA from an RA school to advance in the government agency I currently work for. My organization does not require business degrees to be AACSB, but at least RA. So, I went for AIU because its RA and it was convenient.

    Before I sign off, I just wanted to ask you how many well-known NA schools that offer MBAs?
  5. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    To be honest I don't really know of any NA schools that are well known except in certain communities.

    For instance, in criminal justice, more than a few people are familiar with U of Leicester due to the contributions they have made to criminal investigative work i.e. forensic science, etc. They are DETC here in the states but the equivalent to RA in England I guess.

    Another would be AMU, I work with lots of ex-military types and I think all of them are familiar with AMU for various reasons.

    There may be a couple that are known as good religious schools, but the above is the extent of my knowledge.

    As for the AACSB schools, I can fully understand the utility of an MBA from one of these schools and I also understand the utility of an RA degree over an NA degree (and the flawed logic involved), but as for comparing say an MBA to an MPA or MS I think the numbers for the MBA may be slanted due to AACSB graduates.

    I don't really know anyone from an NA school that has been screwed yet, especially when their undergrad is from a better known school.

    I though this was a curiosity.
  6. bluechicago3

    bluechicago3 New Member

    I would definitely go with the MBA from the RA school, which I'm assuming is less well known nationally but very well-known locally. Examples include Suffolk in Boston, Pace in NYC, or maybe Depaul in Chicago. If you are going to stay in the area, these are a great way to go.

    By the way, there have been countless studies published on an MBA being a break-even investment ONLY for selected job changes (specifically financial sectors like investment banking). It can be an excellent means of changing careers (say, from IT to business), but I would say for most people it doesn't have a positive ROI. I tend to recommend people get an MBA if (1) they want to study the content, which is totally interesting, or (2) they need it for a job change. Not as bang for buck, no way.
  7. Ultimale

    Ultimale New Member

    Don't forget the real benefit....

    You will learn a ton while earning an MBA!!!

    You will understand business more, and be able to earn more. Not everyone that earns an MBA is looking to jump into corporate America. Many, like myself, are self employed and love it! We are able to compete at a higher level, and thus earn more.

    I would certainly confirm that the money I invested in my MBA, will return at least 10 fold in higher earnings. I notice that everyday my MBA skills come into play.

    It is not like when I took Calculus and wondered, "Am I ever going to use this???"

    RA, NA will both provide you with additional training that will help you throughout your life. If possible go with an RA degree for the reasons stated above in this thread.

    Get busy and get started. Good luck!
  8. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Thanks guys.
  9. Michael Lloyd

    Michael Lloyd New Member

    Many people forget an important factor when trying to calculate the return on investment on a MBA, or for that matter, any graduate degree: the opportunity cost of attending any scholastic program full-time.

    Now for a typical 22 year old undergraduate, the opportunity cost of attending grad school is going to be fairly minimal, since they have not yet begun to earn a living in the workforce. Contrast this with someone in their mid-30's and already established in their career. Leaving their career for two years to pursue full-time education may have an opportunity cost in the five or even six-figure range. When you add the opportunity cost to the cost of tuition, either the payback period, or the return on investment of the degree may not look so attractive.

    The opportunity cost is one reason why I think that for many working adults, a part-time, evening or distance-learning approach which allows the student to keep working, is the way to go.

    When I earned my MS in chemistry, my opportunity cost was very low, since I went into the program right after my BS. I still had to work on nights and weekends to pay for it. But when the time came to earn my MBA, I was already working, married, had children and a mortgage. There was no way I could afford to put my career on hold for two years. I therefore earned my MBA via distance learning from the Edinburgh Business School in Scotland, paying my way as I went. My total tuition cost was a bit under $ 10,000 USD, I had no lost opportunity costs, and my MBA was certainly a factor in finding a new job with a $ 30 K USD salary increase the first year.

    Although no degree, undergraduate or graduate is a guarantee of increased earning power, remember opportunity cost when trying to crunch the numbers.
  10. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Good point.
  11. MBAbound

    MBAbound New Member

    Re: Don't forget the real benefit....


    I see you are attending Amberton for your MBA, how do you like it?


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