These are some good deals

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by dlady, May 16, 2011.

  1. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Once again, my opinion. Opinions do not have to be supported with facts. Is every posting here to be read as a research paper? Opinions are anecdotal. dah!

    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2011
  2. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    You just need to be aware that your opinions are wrong, at least in this instance. That's all I'm saying. I'm not saying undergrads from Ivies are making 6 figures coming out, but a large number of the people you claim are responsible for the financial crisis hold professional degrees (MBAs, JDs, etc.) from Ivies and the vast majority of graduates from those programs still demand 6 figure salaries right out of school.
  3. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    No, my opinion is not wrong. It is merely my opinion based on my observations, not yours, not Ted Heiks, not Dr. John Bear, by my OWN life experiences and observations. For example, my comments about Ivy schools not having as many networking opportunities. Why do I say this? I am a government/business liaison who tracks declines in job markets, profiles the present day unemployed, what industry they came from, what education do they have, where did the graduate from. I see plenty of people getting into debt to go to an Ivy League school, only to end up not working in their chosen field. One Ivy school grad is working for Manpower as a secretary, all the while; she has massive debt she will never be able to pay off. The promise of a lucrative job never panned out for her, or others like her.

    As far as the GFC situation and my comments on ivy league grads. Many involved where supposedly the best and brightest in the country. The fact is, they did not perform up to Ivy League standards. Of course, I never said ALL ivy leaguers were to blame.

    Just my two cents!

    Abner :)
  4. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I have no research to back up the following claim, but in Texas I don't think the ROI for an Ivy League MBA would be worth the extra cost and effort in places like Texas and Louisiana. In Texas UT reigns supreme overall, but in North Texas TCU and A&M are the strongest alumni societies with the most pull and an MBA from either would likely be far more valuable. In south and central Texas A&M, UT and of course Baylor are the heavy hitters.

    In Louisiana LSU is the big kid on the block followed by Tulane. I thought long and hard about getting my 2nd masters at Boston University since they were a top 50 tier 1 business school (compared to the tier 2 TCU) but after a little research and consideration I discovered that not having a degree from a local power player would render the Boston brand only marginally better than a school like Bellevue. Most people here haven't heard anything about Bellevue and it's more of an "...oh, well...okay then" kind of credential whereas Boston would have name recognition but would still generate questions.

    As for Abner, he's been on DI for many years and has the respect of the more tenured members on this forum and has earned the benefit of the doubt when giving his opinion as far as I'm concerned. I think you'll find that he's well informed if nothing else and has helped more than a few folks in his time here. I'm not discrediting some of our newer members but I thought it worth mentioning that some people's "brand" on this forum is stronger than others. Just sayin'...
  5. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    I know what you mean by regional power players, and for undergrad I would likely agree. But at the graduate level , say for an MBA, if your options are UT-McCombs (UT) HBS, Wharton (UPenn) and Tuck (Dartmoth); McCombs should be last on your list. There is a huge contingent of Ivy League MBA grads in the Houston area working in i-banking and the energy sector.

    I don't doubt that some Ivy League undergrads struggle to find jobs in the Texas and the Southeast, at least more so than other regions of the country. I know someone that chose to attend Dartmoth (Auburn was his safety school) and he struggled to find a job when he moved back home, but as a collective whole I bet the unemployment rates for the graduates of those schools is significantly lower than the average for the alumni of other colleges/universities. I understand that outliers can exist and you might meet an Ivy grad doing temp work (hell, we had a temp with a PhD in Divinity from Yale this year), but that isn't the norm.

    If my kid got into one of those schools I'd happily pay the tuition because the odds are in your favor that it will pay off, except for Brown, I'd never send my kid to Brown.
  6. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    I think that people who don't have much exposure to these elite schools don't really understand the power of the degree and the network. We hear anecdotal stories (like the girl from Princeton) and some mistakenly come to some over-generalizations.

    For example, well over 10 years ago, my best friend graduated with a degree in English from Stanford. She moved to NYC and wound up working at a fast food restaurant. What does that say about a Stanford BA? NOTHING. The reality is that she had a soft major and went to NYC to become a great writer and had to settle for fast food work to make money in the meantime. The moment she gave up her aversion to working in an office (MANY liberal arts types from top school would rather do menial work that work in a stuffy office) she found a fairly high paying job as a technical writer.

    As far as a degree from a top school not guaranteeing you employment in your chosen field of study, so what? The degree can't control the economy. No degree can give you a 100% guarantee of working in the exact job that you want. However these degrees from top schools DRAMATICALLY improve your odds because of both the reputation of the school and the access to the network.

    There are a huge number of jobs that folks who go to non-top tier schools we never even see, because the companies only recruit at top schools. Does anyone here think that the top consulting firms and investment banks on Wall Street go to EVERY university to recruit? Of course not. However, I can assure you that they go to the top schools.

    I was a Government major in college. What kind of job does a government degree prepare you for? Politician? Working for the State Department? I majored in Government because that is what I was interested in. My first job was as a tech consultant for an IT consulting firm. I was making a ridiculous amount of money for someone just getting out of college. When I first transferred to Georgetown from Western Illinois University, my mom asked me if a Georgetown degree was really worth 7 times a WIU degree. When she found out how much I was making after college, she never asked me that again.

    The firm I worked for didn't recruit at ANY OTHER SCHOOLS in DC, just Georgetown. I have several friends that worked for similar firms that only recruited at one or two local schools, and ignored everyone else. Some guy who went to UDC (University of the District of Columbia) may have been amazing, but he didn't have a chance to even apply to some of the big name consulting firms and investment banks that only hired from select schools.
  7. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    Are you serious or joking about Brown? I don't know much about the school. I knew of two kids from my high school class that went there, but that is about it.
  8. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I'm not knocking elite business schools, especially for majors such as an MBA, I'm just saying that regional degrees tend to be a better value and of course once you're out of the top 5 to 10 schools, your ROI is likely to decrease dramatically if not located on the east or west coasts of the U.S. Also I think we often forget the role that any education plays in getting a job, it's usually one of the last things mentioned on the resume for a reason, because compared to experience and skill education is a minor consideration, more of a "check box" of you either have a degree or you don't. The exception is of course for newly minted grads who have nothing else to fall back on.

    As for the banking and energy section in Houston, I am well aware of the type of grads you can expect to see in banking since I work closely with that industry. I think it should be pointed out however that finance and investment banking recruits a somewhat different type of person than general or commercial banking. It's not uncommon to see power house schools anytime there are consultants to be contracted out to but in day to day operations, management and strategy you will see less rather than more. In my industry (IT) it matters even less so since value is placed upon skill and expertise above all else (to include experience in many cases).

    In my case I have a decade of management experience, work very well with other people, am excellent at organizing teams and have a lot of project management experience, however my marginal technical skills and expertise hamstring me in my career (something I'm working on). Even still I am unafraid of technology and very business minded which helps me earn a moderately handsome salary in IT. In my career field MBA's are more rare compared to some others. I work with maybe a dozen or so but I work with a small army of IT, CIS and MIS majors.

    As for energy, that's a lot more of a good old boys network in Texas than anything else. Believe me when I say alumni contacts work, I have a friend who entered the industry in north Texas newly graduated from TCU and he worked contacts relentlessly and has done very, very well. He's a likable, very personable kind of guy who isn't overly intelligent but he knows how to work those contacts and he constantly hustles.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is we often put education on a pedestal here even though it is a single facet of a many sided diamond. If we make educational choices in a vacuum we will likely make the wrong choice, same with giving advice on education.
  9. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    mcjon, thank you for illustrating my point better than I could have written it out. As someone who attended the undergraduate program of a very elite school you understand what I am talking about. G'town has a beautiful campus in a beautiful part of town, by the way. I lived in Glover Park one summer while interning in DC and spent a lot of evenings in the Georgetown bars.

    Also, while my comment was a bit tongue in cheek, I was serious about Brown. While it has a solid reputation, I think there are a number of schools outside the Ivy League that are far superior for undergraduate study; Stanford (which is as good as any ivy school), Duke, G'Town, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Emory, WUSTL, Rice, etc.) I've never been impressed with the school and their revamping the curriculum so that a student has no core course requirements makes me really question their validity. "Oh you don't like math, don't worry. At Brown you don't have to take a single math course. Oh you hate Foreign Language? No problem. Don't like History? We won't make you take that either."

    Beyond that, their student body isn't what I would call "well rounded". I would never raise a child that would fit in with the over riding view of their student body. It is essentially a bunch of smart kids that don't know anything. My opinion of the school is based on a high school classmate that went there, my kid sister's campus visit (she ended up at W&L, which I personally think is a superior school), the interactions i've had with some of their students while in Providence and the handful of d-bag alumni I am forced to interact with at work functions. None of them impress me.

    Friendorfoe, you never mentioned SMU. I always understood that that network was exceptionally strong in Texas, especially the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Is that not the case?
  10. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    I would agree with most of what was said above, with one caveat. One of the challenges with regional powerhouse degrees is the same challenge you note in elite-but-non-top-5-to-ten schools that you noted above. outside of the region, the ROI drops. My ROI on my Georgetown degree dropped dramatically once I came back to Chicago from DC. Here, after the top 5 schools, Northwestern and UChicago reign supreme. The same could be said for a degree from UT-Austin, or TCU, once you get out of Texas and the south. This is most definitely not the case with top 5 schools. In fact, once you get into the Harvard, Yale, Stanford range, you have a degree that is known and respected throughout the world, including the non-English speaking world.

    With this in mind, one needs to take into account what their plans for the future are. Several of my friends applied to UT-Austin for law school. These guys were from Texas and knew that they wanted to live in Texas after graduation. In those cases, they actually ranked UT-Austin over Harvard and Yale law school in their order of preference. Now, had they not planned on making their careers in Texas, I would argue (and they would probably agree) that Yale or Harvard would have been a better choice.

    Back to the original topic of these EMBAs from elite schools. IMHO, most people aren't in a position to take advantage of the opportunities that such a degree might given them, and in such cases, it would be a better decision to go to a less expensive regional school. However, there are some that have career plans that could allow them to maximize the ROI on such a degree. In those cases, it may be a good idea to attend on of these programs, even if they have to pay for it themselves.
  11. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Funny you should mention SMU, I work with several of their alumni and they market heavily in the DFW (Dallas - Fort Worth) are and though they are a very big, well respected, financially powerful school I just don't see the militant "SMU or nothing" type of alumni that I see with A&M and TCU grads. In fact in business circles the UT guys, especially the McCombs guys tend to value other graduates of their schools but I don't see the same type of networking at SMU. This could be for a bunch of reasons but I'm sure one of them could be some of the specialized corporate programs that SMU conducts on various company campuses as opposed to on campus or online. SMU really puts a lot of emphasis on their engineering degrees and I would say they are one of the best overall schools in the country but kind of like Baylor, I just don't see the level of alumni loyalty that I see from some of the others.

    Rice is somewhat in the same boat as SMU, great school, one of the best in the country but you just don't see the same level of esprit de corp that you see from some of the others. The same can be said of Tulane in Louisiana, easily one of the best schools in the country but when compared to LSU, LSU has the stronger alumni association.

    Either way I don't think there are a lot of SMU grads running around looking for work as the school has a regional reputation second to none, just don't expect to see a multitude of SMU bumper stickers in the same parking lot like you would some other schools. Again these are just my observations...

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