Strategic Mgnt. Cert. after getting an MBA

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by andrewrmunro, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. andrewrmunro

    andrewrmunro New Member

    Hello, This is my first post to this site and I would like to thank everyone in advance for your input.

    I am an electrical engineer in Canada working for a provincial public utility. In 2009 I completed an MBA at the University of New Brunswick and since then I have moved from a technical engineering position into a management position. My current title is "Manager, Transmission Strategy".

    Since my role deals with strategy I would like your feedback on if you think it would be beneficial to expand on my strategic knowledge base? When I completed my MBA it was in general management and did cover strategy but did not focus on one specific area.

    I would like to get your suggestions on distance learning programs that would help me develop my strategic skills.

    One program I managed to find was the Strategic Management Certificate offered by the Harvard Extension School. One must complete 5 courses which cost about $2,000 each and one course takes about 12 to 15 weeks to complete and can be done online. Strategic Management Certificate | Strategic Management Training at Harvard

    If I added this to resume do you think it would help my future promotion prospects? Or do you think having an MBA is enough and this certificate isn't worth the effort?

    If anyone knows of any other programs that would be similar please let me know. Thanks!!!
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It is difficult to answer your question with any accuracy. The U.S., like Canada, lacks a strong qualifications framework, focusing on degrees but not other forms of higher learning and workplace qualifications. (Ontario seems to be making strides in this area.) Thus, it is hard to assess the value (or, even, the equivalency) of non-degree-granting tertiary institutions.

    You're after two forms of capital (Bourdieu): the learning and the certificate from the school. And you seek some assurances that you will receive high levels of each in return for the capital you provide--money and study.

    I'd have to think this certificate would help. However, if you're looking for an ROI, I'm not sure you could compute it. But you gotta love Harvard.

    Sometimes these things are completed after one has been in the workplace for awhile in order to boost one's career.

    Finally, I would strongly suggest you speak with someone associated with the program to get a better perspective on the value of the certificate, plus the value of the learning involved. You might also search for graduates using LinkedIn or even that Google thingy.

    Good luck in your search.
  3. BMWGuinness

    BMWGuinness New Member

    Hi Andrew,

    I am in the same boat as you currently. I want to continue my education while providing as much vertical growth on my resume as possible.

    After my Master's degree I was looking for something post-graduate and I had to weigh the ROI for Professional Certificates (non-credit) vs Graduate Certificates (credit). In the end, I chose the Professional Certificate in Advanced Project Management from Stanford University because I felt the ROI (Stanford on the Resume, plus the SCPM credential) was justified.

    You might want to look into Stanford's Strategic Decision and Risk Management certificate. The overall cost is less than $7,000 and each of the 6 courses takes at minimum 20 hours of video to complete. From an ROI standpoint, it would be similar to Harvard (in my opinion).

    Stanford University, Stanford Strategic Decision and Risk Management Courses & Certificate
  4. Rodd

    Rodd New Member

    Hi BMWGuinness,

    just a view short question: Is it possible to do all examinations online (I am from Europe/Austria)? How does this system work?

    Best regards Rodd
  5. BMWGuinness

    BMWGuinness New Member

    Yes, I believe so, here is who you should contact, they are VERY good at getting back to you.

    Patty Harris or Kevin Howard
    [email protected]
  6. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I think your resume is a package rather than just an MBA or a certificate from Harvard. Certificates from top schools like Harvard are good dressing to your resume but not enough to justify a better position or salary.
    I personally completed few online certificates from top schools including Stanford and Rutgers. They seem to have helped to create a profile of someone that likes to keep up to date but I cannot expect them to make a huge impact in my career like a Doctorate or MBA.
    You have to realize that for a credential to be prestigious, it has be limited to very few and must be hard to get. An online certificate that is open to world and to anyone that has the 10K to complete it, it won't be considered as prestigious as an MBA that requires a GMAT, full time attendance, strong CV, etc even if the name of Harvard, Stanford, etc is on it.

    The ROI of this type of credentials is risky, if the employer takes the bill do them, otherwise they might not be worth it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2013
  7. BMWGuinness

    BMWGuinness New Member

    I feel otherwise. I've been researching Executives in top paid positions, and unless they are in a specific field requiring the academic knowledge (health, etc.) most Executives do not have a higher degree than an MBA. What I DO see is these Executives are joining local Colleges and Universities as Board Members. They constantly work on building out laterally rather than vertically (PhD, DBA). For my path (Management to Project Management to Senior Management to Executive Management) I chose to expand through Professional Certificates rather than going for a PhD. There were many reasons:

    Professional Certificates are less expensive and take less time.
    Professional Certificates allow you to progress as you see fit, vertically or laterally.
    Professional Certificates have online flexibility.

    I have been doing a combination of degrees, certifications and certificates for a long time.
    In 1999 I went the CompTIA route and moved into MCP/MCSE. As I moved toward Management I went for the ITIL.
    After my Bachelors in IT and Masters in Administration I decided to pursue the PMP.
    Now, the SAPM program (Stanford Advanced Project Management) will land me the Stanford Project Management Certification. Stanford is tied with Harvard as the #1 Graduate Business School. Best Business School Rankings | MBA Program Rankings | US News
    All of these have helped me as I have progressed throughout my career. I consult only for Fortune 500 companies (think Brand Recognition just like Harvard, Stanford, etc.) and make in the triple digits hourly. I'm in my mid-30s.

    For my Senior/Executive Management route, Stanford's Strategic Management certificate sounds ideal, along with their Innovation and Entrepreneurship certificate (which comes with the Graduate School of Business Seal). I have volunteered on several Executive Boards for local non-profit agencies.

    Don't ever think the PhD is the only next step from the MBA. In business, it’s about personal and professional growth along with academic growth.

    The main caveat to this is if your career is academic or in a niche that would require a Terminal degree.
  8. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The original OP question was if this certificate was going to make a difference, I am not disagreeing with you. On the contrary, it is the package that sells not just a single certificate. Sure, if you have several certifications, working experience, MBA, etc then Harvard certificate might add value to the existing package but not much by itself.

    I think what the OP wants to hear is that the Harvard Name in a resume would automatically mean more $$$. I don't think it makes a huge difference but it helps.

    Like you, I have done several certifications, online certificate, etc and helped with my salary but I don't think that a single credential made the difference but the full package.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2013

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