Negative ROI on prestige online programs

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by smartdegree, Nov 20, 2021.

  1. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    I read this article and the stats show only half of online MBA grads get a salary increase based off of their degree. Even for a prestige online MBA like UNC Kenan Flagler, only half got an increase. What this basically means is that for half of the class, the ROI is negative!

    The top school for salary increase is Rice at 80% receiving a salary increase post-MBA. But on the other hand, that means that 20% of students who paid >$100K got zero $ return on their MBA.

    What is surprising is the same schools do very well in their Full-time MBA programs. I guess the lesson here is you need to do your due diligence before doing a "prestige" online MBA. Perhaps for the vast majority of online students, a cheaper option is better because ROI isn't the same as full-time. This backs the general idea that much of the value of a full-time MBA program probably isn't the actual education, but rather the career / recruitment support.

    School Received Salary Increase
    Rice University (Jones) 80%
    University of North Texas (Brint Ryan) 80%
    Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper) 78%
    University of Southern California 77%
    Santa Clara University (Leavey) 75%
    University of Florida (Warrington) 72%
    Pepperdine University (Graziado) 69%
    University of Utah (Eccles) 69%
    Baylor University (Hankamer) 69%
    University of Washington (Foster) 68%
    University of Denver (Daniels) 67%
    Indiana University (Kelley) 66%
    Northeastern University (D'Amore-McKim) 65%
    University of Michigan-Dearborn 62%
    College of William & Mary (Mason) 61%
    Drexel University (LeBow) 61%
    University of Arizona (Eller) 60%
    University of Maryland (Smith) 58%
    Arizona State University (W. P. Carey) 58%
    Creighton University (Heider) 58%
    University of North Dakota (Nistler) 58%
    Lehigh University 56%
    Auburn University (Harbert) 56%
    American University (Kogod) 56%
    North Carolina State University (Poole) 55%
    Villanova University 55%
    University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler) 54%
    Syracuse University (Whitman) 53%
    University of Massachusetts-Lowell (Manning) 51%
    Worcester Polytechnic Institute 50%
    Florida International University 50%
    Louisiana State University (Ourso) 50%
    Bryant University 50%
    University of Kansas 50%
    Jack Welch Management Institute 47%
    University of Wisconsin (Consortium) 43%
    SUNY Oswego 43%
    George Washingon University 43%
    University of Cincinnati (Linder) 42%
    University of Massachusetts (Isenberg) 41%
    Washington State University (Carson) 40%
    University of Tennessee-Chattanooga 38%
    Kennesaw State 38%
    Ohio University 36%
    University of Nebraska-Lincoln 35%
    University of South Florida (Muma) 35%
    Temple University (Fox) 33%
    University of Texas-Dallas (Jindal) 33%
    Rogers State University 33%
    Hofstra University (Zarb) 31%
    University of Delaware (Lerner) 26%
    Oklahoma State University (Watson) 25%
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
  2. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Not all MBA programs are the same, even within the same institution and course structure. I’ve long been an advocate that a lot of the advantages of an excellent MBA program… are not found in the classroom, and those advantages are exceedingly difficult to replicate or achieve in an online environment.

    Yesterday I was on a conference call with some HBCUs and discussing similar challenges they were having on related issues. Professional networking, industry relationships, and thriving alumni associations are almost always required to generate high student ROI. There’s more than just coursework and qualified faculty.
  3. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised because I figured the number would be lower given that most online programs typically lack the one thing that adds so much value to an MBA, and that's networking. I think two key pieces may be missing:

    1. What networking opportunities (if any) did those programs offer? Some online business programs have tried to address the networking deficit in different ways, one of which is by using group projects. The problem there however is that unless you can do projects with everyone in the class at some point, your network is automatically limited. Group discussions have been another way, but they're never organic since the courses always make participation a requirement, and even though it makes sense to have that requirement, the very nature of that is a breeding ground for feigning interest just to achieve a specific grade. Very little productive can be built with that. I have read of some that tried face-to-face meetups, but then there are geographical limitations which I've also read about being a challenge with those.

    2. What types of people attended these programs? The typical online student is unconcerned with networking in the first place, particularly students that are used to online learning, and others who are already established in their careers and may not be concerned with it at all. That can be an inherent issue where a student of that type could have greater outcome expectations than the reality of the kind of program they're in can provide.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
    Vonnegut likes this.
  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    It would be interesting to see what's going on with UT-Dallas and UNT since they're in the same metro area, and UTD is more prestigious. My guess is that UTD attracts more students from outside of Texas, so job opportunities are variable. UTD generally attracts more international students, and 10% of their online MBA students are international.
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    This addresses a question I've had for awhile now. NYU's law school sells the most prestigious LL.M. in Taxation in the country, maybe the world. It is also gaspingly expensive. The school started peddling the diploma via D/L a few years ago. I wonder how saleable that D/L version degree is compared with the resident program diploma. The school claims that the programs are identical with regard to curriculum and faculty but you don't make the contacts online that you do in person. Incidentally, even the resident version of the degree does not guarantee a Big Law job. It DOES give the holder a good shot at a Big Accounting firm but those jobs don't pay like Big Law does or so I'm told.
  6. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    It should also give the applicant a leg up for a clerkship in the U.S. Tax Court which is a pretty good place for a would-be tax attorney to start out. That's probably what I should have done though things worked out for me pretty well anyway..
    Vonnegut likes this.
  7. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    The power house accounting firms pay well, but due to their size, there’s a delineation with their pay scales, to an extent. Big Law, Big MC, Big Accounting, & Corporate America all pull from some of the same graduate programs (finance, accounting, B-schools, etc), the top firms in all areas all fairly pay similar at that level. Biggest variation is probably not in salaries but in bonus structures.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The problem with this concept is thinking there is an immediate quid pro quo in the offing. I worked for AT&T when I received my PhD. I received zero pay increase for it. However, two years later I was working for double that salary, and it more than doubled again two years after that. Plus, it opened up teaching opportunities, consulting gigs, and a role with the government when the economy soured in the Great Recession.

    The notion of what a degree can do for you--and which degree from which school--is highly complex and is subject only to broad conclusions. Your mileage may vary.
  9. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I am pretty sure my Taft LL.M. contributed to a pretty substantial pay raise too but it was only one of the factors I think. Mostly the tax knowledge proved very useful.
  10. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    Yes, let's not measure any school's performance at all. Let's ditch this data nonsense and let's just enrol where our best buddy is studying. After all, measuring school performance is too highly complex and only subject to broad conclusions. Let's just let the masses figure it out themselves without data. What could go wrong anyway, right?
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    What he said bore no resemblance to that.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Or we can come across with rude, unresponsive answers to posts--seemingly randomly written.

    Specifically, I neither said, nor did I imply, that:
    • School performance should not be measured
    • That data should be ditched
    • That we should just enroll where our best buddies go to school
    • That measurements are too highly complex
    • That the masses should be left to figure it out themselves
    • That nothing could go wrong
    Really, I didn't. I checked and everything!

    The reason I posted the caution about quid pro quo thinking is that a lot discussion occurs on this board about costs and ROI, but that there is so much more to degree/school selection than that, and that broad generalizations may not apply in individual situations. I don't really think those are unusual or indefensible positions, but perhaps you disagree.
    Helpful2013 and Maniac Craniac like this.
  13. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    Why are you calling me rude? I said yes to your comment, didn't I? By the way, I don't write randomly written words. I make sure my words mean something. And I think I made sure to make my point, to you anyway. And I got your attention, which is what I wanted.

    Your other posts on ROI-related threads seem to imply you are the anti-data, old-school "feelings based" individual. Which was great 20-40 years ago. But we are in 2021. We use data now to make conclusions. More data is good, not bad. It will help you make decisions better.
  14. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    That logic is consistent with what I believe in as well so you should not worry. But that doesn't mean you have to beat that dead horse repeatedly and diminish (through your comments) the value of data-related threads and posts. I believe and really like this forum because it allows people more access to INFORMATION. I think that's why it's called DEGREEINFO or maybe that's just some fantastic coincidence. If we don't encourage data sharing and facts here, then maybe it should be renamed degreelackinfo forum instead of degreeinfo.

    I respect you highly Rich. You might not be aware of it, but we've been interacting on this forum for over 2 decades now (albeit using various usernames). People on this board listen to you. Instead of discouraging people from posting helpful data in this forum, you should be encouraging it.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's what I was. "Worried."
    If I'm not mistaken, that's my call, not yours.
    Go back and read my posts. I didn't discourage anything. I added information to consider, suggesting that it's important to go beyond simply calculations. Your answering an argument I didn't make.
    No offense (seriously), but I really don't care.
    I don't care about that, either.
    Isn't that a violation of the TOS?
    That's their call and has nothing to do with me. The only responsibility I feel is to try to get my assertions right, and to acknowledge when I'm mistaken. But my assessments? They're mine to make and others can accept or reject them as they please.
    Again, I didn't do that. I pointed out the complexities and individual nature of these decisions, and that it weakens the power of broadly applied statistics.

    If you want to disagree with me about something, fine. But save the lectures. It's none of your business.
  16. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    I was just being nice. Like other Asians, I respect elders (like you). But I don't respect your ideas. And unfortunately your old school views are no longer relevant in 2021.

    You are living in the past. It is what it is Sir.

    Lastly, I wasn't lecturing, although you seem to be. I would be more than happy to train or mentor you to use advanced statistics to help look at educational programs. Although come to think of it, I'd rather do that for other people living in the 2020s and not the 1970s.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021 at 5:25 AM
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No one cares.
    No one cares.
    Seriously, no one cares.
    How is that? I complete my most recent degree--a doctorate--in 2015. How are my ideas "no longer relevant"? How old do you think I am?
    Well, I have a PhD and a DSoSci, both issued in the 21st century, so I can't be that much "in the past."
    That's hilarious. I've taught statistics at two universities to undergraduate and graduate students. I've served on doctoral committees. I am currently on retainer as a consultant with a major player in the field of distance learning. You, on the other hand, hide anonymously behind a handle. What have you done?
    Well, I was a pre-teen when the '70s began, so it's hard to imagine I'm "living" in them. But okay. You're a condescending ageist. Congratulations. I hope it makes you happy. But to me you're just an anonymous twit who cannot back up the insults he hurls with such incredible inaccuracy.

    You hijacked this thread with your nonsensical claptrap. I never noticed you before you became this annoying gnat, and I'm looking forward to ignoring you again. I've responded to your stupidity. Now I'll just let it speak for its idiotic self.
  18. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    It's sad to see someone like you Rich Douglas lose your temper and stoop down to calling names. It's a defense mechanism for people when they have no logical argument left. I have always kept this conversation civil and very topic oriented. Never have I used those words in this forum or elsewhere.

    I have a tip for you though Rich Douglas. Assuming you are a public individual, you should be very careful what you write on public forums. What you write is usually accessible to the entire world. That means your students, clients, bosses, etc. will forever see everything you write online. And when someone googles Rich Douglas, guess what, these threads pop up. So when you use "stupidity" or "idiotic" in the public space, some people might see that as a person they might not like to work with. Sure you can defend yourself with excuses, but would you like to do that for the rest of your life.
    MK1980 likes this.
  19. MK1980

    MK1980 New Member

    I agree with this take. I rarely use my real name on public boards. It can definitely impact reputation. Still do not understand why personalities tweet all the time without thinking of consequences.
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I will not respond to your petty personal takes anymore.
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