Part time MBA at an elite school vs. Online MBA at a good school

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by cycloneTiger, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. cycloneTiger

    cycloneTiger New Member


    I'm planning on starting an MBA program in a couple of years, and need some deciding on which route to go.

    My current situation:
    I'm a Software Engineer with a few years of experience, and am pursuing an masters online in Data Analytics, which I will finish next year. I'll also be moving to Austin soon to start a new job, which will put me centrally in Texas, so I could pursue weekend MBA programs in Dallas, Austin or Houston.

    The options I'm considering are the following:
    1) Pursue an online MBA: This is the most budget friendly route, and perhaps even the fastest. I have my list narrowed down to Indiana, Florida, UMass, and Wisconsin MBA Consortium as a safe school. Cost at the schools would range from around 20k (for Wisconsin) to around 55k for a place like Indiana.

    2) Pursue a weekend/part time MBA in Texas: There are some pretty awesome options such as Rice and UT Austin, but they are very expensive. I'm looking at 90k to 115k depending on the school I choose. My employer current fully funds my MS, but I doubt they would provide the similar funding for an MBA.

    3) Move to pursue an MBA at an elite program: I have this list shortened to UC Berkley, Chicago, Michigan and Northwestern. The costs would range from 65k to 140k I think.

    So my question is this: Would the difference in cost to attend a big name program be worth it?

    I could go to a cheap school like UMass, and get done in roughly 20 months and 32k in expenses (really, more like 17k after my employer's degree assistance kicks in). But on the flipside, as a Software Engineer, having an MBA from 'just another school' may not be enough to make a career advancement :/

    What would y'all suggest?
  2. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    I'd suggest you dump the MBA plan and pursue an MS in CS online from Georgia Tech. Cheapest thing going, about $7K. A top 10 ranked program.
  3. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    My ROI calculator must be broken. Every time I enter a number over "40,000.00" it displays "E" and makes a shrill screaming sound. I'm sure it's broken....

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    How much do you currently make? And what exactly do you want with an MBA? Do you plan to climb the corporate ladder? Sometimes, technical employees make more than the Management. I used to have a boss, his Principal Engineer made more than him.
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    You forgot the most important part, to say what your goals are that you are considering all these things in the first place. Without knowing where you want to end up, it's tough to say how best you can get there.

    RANSOMSOUL New Member

    This was a nice laugh.... Friend just graduated from USC and would look at that 40k as a sweet deal. Time will tell on the ROI.
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    There are literally hundreds of online MBA programs at this point, and that's just in the USA. Who knows how many worldwide? It's gotten to the point where it seems having an MBA is so commonplace it's almost meaningless. Many people have come to think of it a "check the box" qualification for even relatively low-level positions. So does anyone really care where you got your MBA? It seems that in most cases the answer is no. The exception appears to be IF you go to an elite school.

    10 Reasons You Don't Need An MBA

    Forbes Welcome

    At the same time, Mark Cuban thinks an MBA is a complete waste of time and money.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2017
  8. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Of course, if Mark Cuban had an MBA, that would be the guaranteed ticket to a good job and personal fortune.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Honestly, Mark Cuban from zero to became Billionaire on the lucky....if he is climbing the corporate ladder, I am sure he would have returned to school to obtain an MBA.
  10. JP007

    JP007 Member

    I would do an elite full time program.

    Why? There are hundreds of MBA programs out there, full time, part time, online, etc...etc...and increasing...but the number of elite schools really hasn't changed. There's a reason for that. The top MBA programs out there provide a strong network, a 'pedigree stamp' and amazing post-MBA career potential. Sure, you can absolutely succeed without an MBA let along an elite MBA, but a top program makes it easier to succeed.
  11. You've received different but good feedback. I did the IU route and it has been very serviceable for me. However, I started when I already had 15+ years of experience and couldn't lose years of earning.

    Unless you are looking for a career change or to work for an elite firm, the full time route will not get you much more. Plus, you will lose 2 years of income and incur a bunch of debt.

    If you plan to stay in TX a weekend part time program will let you build a network and also be perfectly appropriate as you are still working.

    I disagree with some of the other opinions about the value of a MBA, or that they are all alike. While not Top 10, my MBA is definitely from a top tier school and it has made a difference when applying for senior positions. But I do concur that for entry-level "tick the box" situations any MBA will do.

    Where are you from, and where did you get your undergrad? Where are you studying for your masters now?

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