MBA or Certificate - for Leadership / Management Professional Development

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by pueblopicasso, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. pueblopicasso

    pueblopicasso New Member


    I'm seeking the wisdom of this forum to help me in finding one which is the better decision to make, an MBA or a specialist leadership certificate. My intent is to spruce up my qualifications in the leadership department. And unfortunately I am on a tight budget of around US$4k in instalments for a whole program.

    At the moment I am leaning towards either an affordable MBA (like from Jaipur for instance) or a more industry recognised cert, Cornell Uni's Executive Leadership Certificate. The Cornell programme is my preferred choice unless there are other options

    I opt to take this step as the Executive Development training in my country has a very long queue and it seems to only allow entry by merit and maturity, with I assume a minimum age of 40. I have two years executive management experience thus far so can at the very least be regarded as having an aspiring route towards management, but my age is 32.

    Looking at the MBA thread has informed me that these are costly investments depending on its awarding body.

    Any help will be appreciated!
  2. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Here are a few more - Leadership and Management | Michigan State University Online
    Online Leadership Certificate | Organizational Leadership | Villanova
    Certificate Program in Leadership and Management | UC Berkeley Extension
    Executive Certificate in Leadership and Management
    Online Nonprofit Management Certificate | University of Florida
  3. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Professional Associations

    It appears that some of your degrees are from the UK. In the UK, and some other countries, one of the best wats to demonstrate competance is by belonging to a professional association.

    Check out this one for example.
    Institute of Leadership & Management - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Wikipedia also has a listing of other associations.
    List of professional associations in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Membership in one of these associations may be lower cost than earning a MBA or certificate.

    You should check to see if there are similar associations in your country.

    Professional associations are great for networking, presenting papers, and keeping up to date in your area of expertise.
  4. rebel100

    rebel100 New Member

    The only RA MBA program that might fit the cost you describe is Western Governors University. They charge $3250 flat fee textbooks included for a six months semester. Being competency based as well as self paced means you can go through the program as quickly as your abilities allow. There are those who have finished this program in 6 months, 12 months is quite common, and 18 months seemed almost leisurely to me (I graduated in February). Online MBA | WGU College of Business

    I don't know the ins and outs of matriculation for foreign students, but I do know that at graduation there where many from other countries. In fact the college president mentioned a couple from Turkey who had both completed their respective degrees and made the trip to Atlanta to walk the stage.
  5. pueblopicasso

    pueblopicasso New Member

    Thanks for the advice. There are several associations and societies concerning this but I am not looking at paying for annual maintenance cost. I am already a professional member of several societies and chartered status which set me aside for around US$700 per annum. My BCS professional membership alone is around US$350 per annum. Ten years of that might pay for a permanent certification.
  6. pueblopicasso

    pueblopicasso New Member

    I have looked into WGU, and MBAs for all that matter because I wanted to see if MBA is really something that I want.

    Turns out after much research, I do not have to make myself busy with an MBA, as a 2-3 month short course certification would suffice. I have narrowed down my options to Harvard's Strategic Management course, Cornell's Executive Leadership course, and Stanford Project Management course. All are leaning towards executive development.

    My peers are all graduates of either Insead or IMD Switzerland and they have nothing but great things to say about their experiences. Unfortunately I do not have the luxury to travel as I'm doing my PhD on campus. I have been searching on degreeinfo the past few days if there are any topics and discussions about online executive certificates but I guess it is not as popular as MBAs.

    I would appreciate if anyone has any experience or have stumbled upon other alternatives similar to Harvard, Cornell or Stanford. I am leaning towards Cornell because it is a full-blown executive program, while the PM course in Stanford is very similar to PMP or PRINCE2, either of which I will be taking in the near future. I like the idea of a 2-3 month course so that it doesn't occupy my time away from my main research.
  7. major56

    major56 Active Member

  8. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I am currently working on the eCornell Master Certificate in HR. I think it is a great program. It is well paced but far less rigorous than a graduate program.

    The reason why I am getting this certificate is because I work in HR, yet none of my degrees are in HR. That's OK! The HR world is increasingly looking for project management professionals, so I'm doing fine. I also have my PHR. But I thought having a certificate from arguably one of the best schools from HR might help tighten up my resume.

    I think you need to really consider what you need to advance in your field. Are you finding that most of your peers (or the people in the role you hope to have in five years) have an MBA? If so, a certificate might be nice, but the MBA might be what you need to stay current.

    My manager had this Cornell certificate and a B.A. for years before she earned her Masters (last year). So, not having a Masters didn't hold her back, per se.

    But the two qualifications are very different from one another. Saying "either an MBA or a certificate" is a bit like saying "either going into the Army or going to college." They are two viable paths to take. They both offer advantages. But they are not interchangeable.

    The Cornell courses are costly. And, despite saying they are self-paced, need to be completed within a two-week window and require you to participate in class discussions. They say each course takes about six hours. I think that is a fair assessment. I have taken courses that took me closer to 12 and others which took me around 3. You have to do work. You have to participate. But the quizzes are unlimited attempts to reach 100%. So, it isn't so much that the course is "easy" but it is very clear that it is not a grad course.

    While I haven't tried it, I have been curious about trying to get some of these certificates to be accepted for credit by Excelsior or TESC through evaluation. I'm not sure if anyone here has tried (or how readily those schools hand out grad credits for portfolio experience) but it's something to explore further.

Share This Page