Second MBA since my first MBA is from a For-Profit University

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by ferrer68, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. ferrer68

    ferrer68 New Member

    I am considering getting a second MBA because my first MBA is from a for-profit university. I have been speaking to some of the top-20 MBA programs, and found several schools that will allow me to apply to their program. I am considering this option because I received my first MBA while on was on active duty in the Military, it was flexible due to my crazy schedule. However, now that I am no longer active, I am having a difficult time obtaining a position. Employers are not receptive to my degree and am currently in a low level position. I am also an Officer in the Army Reserves and have over 8 years experience in the military, managing project and soldiers. I will not write two MBA's on my resume, and will pretty much erase my past with that degree, all I will take with me is the knowledge that I gained from the school. The second MBA will be of no cost to me (neither was the first one), since the military is going to pay for it. My question is, should I pursue this and/or has anyone done this (obtaining two MBAs). Thank you.
  2. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    Instead of earning a second MBA, why not consider earning a graduate certificate in something from a traditional brick and mortar university? That would help to spice up your resume a bit. UMASS-Dartmouth, for example, has several graduate certificates:

    Certificate Programs - UMass Dartmouth

    By the way, what school did you earn your MBA from?
  3. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    No, you should absolutely not pursue a second MBA, unless your first is not AACSB accredited and you have aspirations to teach at an AACSB institution with an AACSB MBA. Otherwise, pursuing a second MBA is ridiculous and is a waste of your time. If you are intent on furthering your education, then simply get a second Masters degree in whatever field you are interested in.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I would not recommend doing second MBA. I would recommend for DBA or Ph.D in Business Administration if you desire continue to learn while the Military is paying for it. Otherwise, developing your skills through self learning. If you do not have a PMP, you should get that instead second MBA.
  5. JP007

    JP007 Member

    I would either 1) do another masters degree, not an MBA and not a certificate, from a top Uni. There are a fair amt of great schools that even offer online masters programs (Hopkins, Northwestern, Georgetown, etc...etc...) OR 2) do a DBA / PHD.

    It will be very hard to explain to a recruiter why you have 2 MBAs....
  6. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    you have an MBA (not a fancy brand, but let's assume you did learn the subject of your courses, so you got the knowledge that will make you an asset) and you are military (thank you for your service, and I am sure this is a gold star on your resume) and you are an officer (direct managerial experience for 8+ years) which makes you a fantastic candidate. Perhaps there is "something else" that you need. I can't imagine that it's the brand of school you attended. I just don't believe it, and even if ONE company thought so- what about the zillion other companies out there?

    I'm with everyone else, I wouldn't spend a dime duplicating your work- get some up-dated skills at workshops, attend conferences, network, subscribe to trade magazines, perhaps attaching a big name certificate or continuing ed seminar would give you a better ROI?

    You have to ask yourself the hard question- if it's NOT my degree, what is it about me that's getting in my way? That's not a slam, just offering some introspection might be useful.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    You might think that, and personally I would be happy to hire vets for those very reasons, even though I am no supporter of the missions that this century's military has been assigned by Washington. But apparently that's not the "welcome home" that many vets get in the labor market:

    The New Battle Our Soldiers Face: the Bias of Some Corporate Hiring Managers |
  8. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    There are a lot of people out there with PhDs, JDs, and MBAs from well known schools that are underemployed, so I don't think it is the name of the school that is holding you back. Employers can be picky now, and are usually looking for people with very specific skills/experience, not just someone with a degree. It sounds to me like you are coming off too much as a generalist.

    I agree with the others that say doing another MBA would be a waste of time. Rather than doing another generalist degree like business or management, I would recommend doing a disciplinary degree (like finance, accounting, engineering, MIS, etc.) Pursuing a certification (like the PMP) is another option, but if Uncle Sam will pay for a graduate degree, a disciplinary one will open more doors, IMHO.

    I DO NOT recommend doing a PhD or DBA. You risk pigeonholing yourself too much.
  9. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I am also a veteran. I served in the U.S. Navy on active duty for four years. When I got out I continued in the reserves for a time but work started getting in the way. All of my degrees are from for-profit schools, however, and I never felt they hindered me.

    I'm sure you have your reasons for saying this, but I am wondering why you say this. Are you assuming that, because you aren't getting interviews, that it is your degree that is a problem? Or did a hiring manager flat out tell you that you would never get a job at the firm with your present education?

    It's difficult to say whether this is a good idea or a bad idea. Let me play devil's advocate for a moment.

    Good idea: You want to get a job in investment banking but Goldman Sachs keeps rejecting your application. You think it might be your MBA from Ashworth College, but you're not sure. In this situation, you are trying to break into a highly competitive industry where the firms are recruiting from the top graduates of the top business schools. If you are walking in with anything less than say, University of Chicago or Wharton, you are immediately being circular filed. In a situation like this, you should get the education you need to be competitive. Apply to the best business schools. Quit your job and take the time to complete the MBA at Harvard, Chicago-Booth, Wharton, Cornell, Stanford or wherever.

    Now, let's look at the other perspective.

    Bad Idea: You don't necessary want a "top firm" you just want a good job at the 99% of other companies. Your job may not be the greatest draw on your resume but it most likely isn't actively hurting it. Most organizations seldom say "We won't hire anyone who graduated from Patten University." That would be a weird position to take. There are so many schools out there today. There are a number of them that started out as non-profit and were then acquired by for-profit operators that it is very difficult to keep track. Even if an employed HATES for-profit education, are they going to not hire a person who graduated from Waldorf College pre-sale? Most employers don't spend that much time really contemplating education as much as some people like to think.

    Which brings me to my next point.

    To quote a favorite movie, "what exactly would you say you do here?"

    You have eight years of military experience. That's great. But if you came to my company looking for a job I most likely couldn't hire you just based on that (even if you had a Harvard MBA). Why? Because I'm not currently hiring a Director of Whatever Needs to Get Done.

    Let's look at some recently closed requisitions. I recently hired a Director of Marketing and Social Media strategy. I have no doubt that you could have led this team. The problem is that if I hire someone who has zero experience in marketing and social media strategy to lead that team I'm going to have a revolt (more likely, I'm going to have an exodus of my specialists). Beyond that, part of leading a time like that involves strategic visioning. If you don't have experience in that field, you are going to have a very difficult time in the visioning process because your first few years are going to be spent learning what, exactly, your team actually does.

    I also hired a welding manager. Unless you happen to have 5+ years of welding or welding operations supervision, I am not even going to waste your time with an interview for many of the same reasons stated above.

    I went looking through my job descriptions today just to see where someone with miscellaneous leadership experience would fit in. Honestly? The only thing I have is an hourly supervisor. The position requires an associates degree and earns just under $30k per year (before overtime).

    Does that mean we aren't military friendly? Of course not. I don't know what your military experience is like. Were you an infantry officer? Military police? Personnel? These things can translate to civilian employment if you also add in the civilian requirements.

    I was a Personnelman in the Navy. Guess what? NONE of what I did in the Navy even closely resembles civilian HR work. Different legal framework. Different structure. The fact that my job had "Personnel" in the title was helpful to me. What was more helpful to me was that I earned both my B.S. and my Professional in Human Resources (PHR) designation before I separated from active duty. I focused on those credentials because I looked at a lot of job postings and found those to be the most frequently occurring requirements or "preferences." So my military experience helped me get the job just by being in the same kind-of sort-of field.

    Today, I get applications from a fair number of recently (and not so recently) discharged veterans. Some of them are qualified. Many are not. Last year, I was hiring an engineering project manager. The position required an engineering degree as well as the PMP designation and 5+ years of experience as an electrical engineer and/or engineering manager. A gentleman applied. He was a former submarine officer with a degree in nuclear engineering. He had no PMP. He had no civilian project management experience. He had great experience. And I'm sure he was hoping we would "take a chance" on someone who, maybe could have done the job but, lacked the actual requirements we put out in the posting. But we couldn't. Behind him was a throng of qualified (per our posting) applicants. We passed.

    Incidentally, this guy couldn't take no for an answer and began berating me via email and voicemail about how he had "leadership" skills that could not be found in the civilian sector and how he had been personally tasked with taking responsibility for a piece of equipment (a submarine) worth many, many millions of dollars. Good for him, but we needed an electrical engineer with a PMP. He was neither. So we passed. (By the way, don't harass the recruiter. We put a-holes on a spreadsheet to make sure we don't accidentally interview you in the future).

    My point is, what are you trying to be? If you are applying to be a project manager you are going to need a PMP. If you want to work in HR, you are going to need a PHR/SPHR. If you want to work in accounting, though not for every accounting position at every firm, you're probably going to need your CPA. IT? Certifications. So on and so forth.

    If you are applying to jobs that require certifications, designations or specific experience that you lack, you aren't going to get a job regardless of the name on your MBA. Getting a second MBA will just be a waste of time and money. Oh, and once you earn that new MBA, you'll probably still not be able to find a job and then you'll start considering getting a third MBA from a more prestigious school. It's a Maslow's hierarchy thing. With a for-profit degree you start thinking "Boy, if only my degree was from an unquestionably legit non-profit school." So you go out and get one from the little liberal arts college down the road. Then you say "Dang, if only I had a degree with a national ranking." So you run out and get one of the online degrees from a ranked school on the lower end of the rankings. Then you say "Man, if only I had gone Ivy League."

    Trust me. There is always going to be a credential more prestigious than your own, even if that distinction only exists in your own mind.

    My HR Guy advice? You've done the school thing. You have degrees. Stop (unless your career goals necessitate another degree, like you decide that you want to counsel fellow veterans and need a Masters in Clinical Counseling or Social Work or something like that). Spend your time, energy and (government) money on developing job skills. If you want to work in a tech field maybe start working on some Microsoft certifications. If you want to be a project manager start working on your PMP. If you want to become an accountant get your CPA, CMA or CIA.

    The internet degree craze has given people degree fever. The people who are gainfully employed tend to have desirable skills and focused training which, in turn, makes them desirable in the marketplace.
  10. GoodYellowDogs

    GoodYellowDogs New Member

    I agree with Jennifer. I think there's something else that's getting in the way. Maybe you are not in the right job in the right company?
  11. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    I love this quote.

    I think you made a lot of great points. One thing you said that I'm guilty of is second guessing myself. A couple months back I started degree shopping again. I started playing the "what if" game. I love Liberty, but what if I went back and got a second bachelor from a bigger name school? Then I started degree shopping again and almost drove myself crazy for no real reason -- just stuff I put in my own head. I finally calmed down and started thinking about alternative routes that made more sense.
  12. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    How do you know this for a fact - "Employers are not receptive to my degree"? A second MBA is a waste. I have an MBA from a for-profit and an MS from a non-profit. Both are somewhat nameless schools. I completed a grad certificate from the University of Florida to add some local strength to my resume.
  13. novadar

    novadar Member

    This is a very valid point. I also went on that roller coaster at one point almost doing another Bachelors degree, then finding "appropriate" second Masters degrees, the looking at and applying for a few DBAs, and then finally letting my jets cool.

    I seriously doubt the OP needs another MBA or any masters for that matter. A certificate might be good but seriously I think hitting up the networking game might be the best approach. Scour LinkedIn find people you know or people that know who you know. As a Vets they offered us the Job Seeker option for free on Veterans' Day, I upgraded my account and it includes many free "InMail" messages. I was able to contact a Sales VP who worked at the same company I did nearly 15 years ago and he wrote me back!

    Do not under estimate your military background. Most jobs frankly really do not require super specialized skills or degrees, other than legally regulated careers. I guarantee that if you can find the right person, the hiring manager, not a recruiter or HR, you will stand a great chance of getting the type of job you want. You need make getting the job you want your second job and treat it as such aka "getting it done".

    Good luck, I wish you all the best.
  14. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I'll admit that I've done the same and I've taken it to another extreme.

    Here is my current degree lineup:

    MSM-Project Management - University of Management and Technology (for-profit, NA)
    B.S.B.A. - Colorado Technical University (for-profit, RA)
    A.A. - University of Scranton (not-for-profit, RA)
    Master Certificate in Human Resources - Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations (not-for-profit, RA, Ivy)

    I'm an HR guy. My education, coupled with my experience, coupled with my professional designations (PHR and CEBS) makes me competitive in the HR job market.

    Buuuuuuut...every so often I look at my resume and I say to myself "Self, wouldn't that resume be much more impressive if your B.S. was from say, PennState? What if you earned that M.S. in HR from Villanova?"

    It's true. My resume would have higher caliber names on it if I redid my entire education.

    Look at what I have above and compare it to:

    M.S. Human Resources Management - Villanova University
    B.S. Business Administration - Penn State University
    A.A. The University of Scranton
    Master Certificate in Human Resources - Cornell University

    Pretty swank, right?

    There are times when I'm on a conference call or I'm leading a presentation and they are listing my qualifications where I look around the room (if my audience is physically in front of me) and I look to see if anyone is snickering at my no-name education. Maybe they are all thinking what an academic joke I am. I can't read minds (nor would I waste such a talent on this). But the reality is my presentations are always well received. I remain employed, even through the most recent recession. I previously served as an officer at my local SHRM chapter. I keep getting progressively more responsibility and promoted.

    So, what would the ROI on redoing my entire education be, exactly?

    I don't need it to get a job. I've demonstrated that I can get a job with my current credentials.

    I don't need it to get a promotion. I've demonstrated that I can get promoted with my current credentials.

    I don't need it to be active in professional associations. I've demonstrated that I can be actively involved, and as respected as any regular person can hope to be in that context, with my current credentials.

    I teach at a community college.

    I work at a big, publicly traded company.

    Would my resume look nicer? It sure would. But it doesn't actually matter for me, at this stage.

    Now, if I were facing 18 year old Neuhaus would I advice him to earn the degrees I earned (and he would subsequently earn)? No, I would recommend he follow a sequence through PennState and/or Villanova and/or Temple University and/or any Ivy that might have him.

    But the return for going back and redoing everything is practically non-existent compared the the time and money I would have to sink into the project.

    In 2005, there were fewer viable DL options (at least, there appeared to be). PennState Global Campus was on the scene. But the for-profits had better marketing. Still, I passed up Bellevue, Empire State, PennState and UMUC to earn my degree at CTU. Was it a wise choice? It wasn't a terrible choice. A terrible choice would have been not earning a degree. But, in terms of reputation and marketability, it might not have been the wisest. But it certainly hasn't held me back.

    Any criticism of my education is purely from a place of insecurity on my part. I came from a family where only half of them had high school diplomas. For me, my focus was to get a degree. Any degree. From any accredited school. Now, I am working with people who have degrees from Syracuse University, Loyola, LeMoyne, Cornell, Columbia, NYU, PennState, a slew of SUNY schools, Virginia Tech etc. I always feel like one day one of them is going to call me out for having a degree that is "lesser." The reality? I've worked with these people for years. We are colleagues. They have seen my work. That silly little fear in the back of my head is unfounded.

    And realistically, as I said earlier, even if I went back and redid my entire education. How long would it be before I said:

    "Self, wouldn't it be much more impressive if I went with:

    MBA Johnson Graduate School of Business at Cornell
    B.S. Industrial and Labor Relations - Cornell"

    Somebody else said it better (and I can't find the quote just now):

    Don't hate your degree.
  15. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    First off, thanks for your service. I am also a veteran (23 years in the Army National Guard - and a 2004-05 deployment to Iraq). I thought I would weigh in as well.

    Under no circumstances would I earn a 2nd MBA. I don't know if your TA will pay for an identical credential. In addition, while you point out the degree is free (assuming your TA works out), there is a time value of money issue here. You could be using that time for something else (certifications, different degree, doctoral level degree etc.)

    However, should you earn a 2nd MBA and "erase" the first MBA, you can't erase the National Student Clearinghouse: National Student Clearinghouse Your "old MBA" will probably turn up there - and if discovered, could lead to all sorts of issues.

    My advice is to sit down with a trusted job search firm that has experience with veterans. Have the firm review your resume, your job search strategy, conduct a mock interview, etc., The problem may not be the military experience; but it may be a weakness in you.

    While there are some firms that shy away from veterans, others are embracing them, based on the experiences you state - good luck!

  16. ferrer68

    ferrer68 New Member

    Thank You

    I am so glad for sites like this where everyone can come together and express their opinions on various topics. I am extremely thankful for everyone of you for giving me your honest inputs. There are so many competing factors in the marketplace, that it sometimes feels overwhelming when job hunting and having to compete with other candidates from Ivy leagues and other well known schools.

    However, I will take everyone advice and not pursue another MBA, but either focus on a PhD, DBA, MS, and certifications. like many of stated, I will first work on more job related skills training and networking to further my career. It is crazy how for-profit degrees get so much criticism, and yet all schools, whether private, for-profit or non-profit are all equally marketing heavily in today's educational marketplace. I actually done more interaction with organizations, societies etc. at this for-profit university than I did at my undergraduate state school.

    Once again, thank you for your wonderful advice. I truly appreciate it and am relieved to finally release this thought from my future and begin laying the foundation to my career path.
  17. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I had a similar experience. I attended both the University of Scranton (AACSB) and Colorado Technical University. Don't get me wrong, UofS was a great education. I had some incredible professors. But at CTU, I had some incredible professors who were leaders in their respective industries. My Managerial Accounting course was taught by a VP of Accounting at 7-11. My Operations Management course was taught by a senior manager at Amazon. My marketing course was taught by a marketing manager for Penguin Publishing. While UofS gave me a great education, I feel like CTU gave me a much better appreciation for the application of concepts to the outside world.

    So when people try to write-off for-profit education in its entirety I am a bit dismayed. Besides, how do these critics handle the non-profit schools that turn for-profit (or, even more challenging, what to think of the for-profit schools that become non-profit?)

    At this stage of my career a degree is a check-box for a job. Same with my professional designations (if anything, the fact that I only have my PHR and not my SPHR would hold me back from taking my career to the next level). Would a DBA or PhD help me get a job? Probably not in any significantly meaningful way. But expanding my skillset to include data analysis could be helpful.

    In any case, good luck finding your next program.
  18. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Have you considered a Post MBA?
    Check the link below:
    Post-MBA Certificate | Rutgers Business School

    So if you are now interested let's say in Finance, you can use a designation Post MBA Finance.

    I think is more cost effective than getting a second MBA.Another option is to do a Master of Science that is more research oriented.

    Bottom line is that there is no point on taking the same courses all over again.
  19. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    I'm a Navy veteran, and I think it may actually be the military-related job experience holding you back, rather than the for-profit degree. The military can give you great experience, but a lot of it is only applicable to military jobs. Once you get out into the civilian workforce, many of the things you learned in the military just don't translate. I worked as a journalist in the Navy, but had a difficult time finding work as a reporter once I left the military because I didn't have any civilian experience under my belt. I went to a broadcasting school and earned a diploma, and was hired right before I graduated (my boss was a former Army journalist).

    It's not that the military experience isn't good, it's just different from what civilian employers are looking for, unless they are a military contractor. The civilian managers, especially those without military experience, just can't relate. Some may also have a bias against the military. Even if they say it's your degree, it's possible that it is something else.

    It's not easy transitioning from the military to the civilian world. Think of ways you can translate your military experience into "real world" skills, knowledge and abilities that you can highlight on your resume. I don't think you need another degree; you may just need to learn new skills through certifications, continuing education programs and job skill boot camps.
  20. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    You did not say what type of position you are looking for and what business sector.

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