I'm strongly considering an MBA.

/usr/usr Posts: 1,768Member
I've been "in this field" since I was young, but I've been in it professionally for around 6 years now, give or take a bit. I've been fortunate enough, especially with my current job, to be exposed to many different environments. I've been able to see and work with a wide variety of technologies that many people are never exposed to.

One observation I consistently make is how much I loathe poor planning and project management. It's a problem in my organization that I often wish I could correct myself, but being 26 years old and only having a bachelors degree doesn't lend itself to me becoming a project manager overnight. However, I feel as though I am headed more and more towards that role in my current job, where I already more or less serve as the "lead engineer", so to speak.

For a long time, I think I've denied the fact that project management interests me. My step dad was a very successful project manager for a global construction company before he was promoted to head of a division. I've worked for and with him before, speak to him often regarding work, management, etc. I've always admired and appreciated his approach to managing projects and people.

I love being a tech guy and using analytical skills to solve problems, but often times I find my interest in technology hinders me, because there is no possible way for me to specialize in all areas and I feel overwhelmed.

I began studying for my CCNP (BCMSN) a while back, but I've found that I lost steam after completing my CCNA. The stuff interests me, but I keep thinking to myself, that's a lot of time to devote to one certification that is solely networking related. The more I think about it, the more I'm not sure if continuing the certification game is for me. I love learning and will never stop doing so, especially in this field, but I'm not sure that I want to be a "networking guy" or an "admin guy". I am much, much more interested in all evolving areas of IT and how they can all integrate to meet business/customer needs.

Ultimately, I believe I want to design, oversee and manage projects. If I move away from the daily technical aspects of IT, I think that would be fine with me and that I would see that as a natural progression, because IT has always been as much of a hobby to be as a career, and that's the reason I got into it to begin with.

Having been in the field and coming from the technical side of IT, as well as having a formal education and understanding business, as well as having been exposed to good project management for most of my life...I believe would ultimately lead me to success in that area. It almost seems natural.

Anyway! I've been thinking of going back to school to get my MBA. There is a decent college that's a 5 minute bike ride from my house. Even if I could take one or two classes a semester, I have no problem with it taking 2-3 years, because that lines up with the timeframe where I will either move out of state or be in a position at work where I will have primarily transitioned to a management role. There is a slight possibility that I could even get my employer to pay for it, especially if I approach it from the angle that it will ultimately benefit them.

I never minded college. I enjoyed all the business classes, even if I did find them boring at times. I've never had problems absorbing information, studying for tests, doing research, writing papers, etc. It's just always something I've been good at.

I feel like the biggest obstacle in my path if I chose to pursue this would be money and time, but those certainly aren't deal breakers.

This ended up being longer than I had thought...but really, I'm just looking for input. Has anyone here chosen to pursue graduate studies after being in the technical side of IT for a while? If so, what were your experiences?

Discuss please.

Comments

  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 4,050Mod Mod
    As for the MBA, I say go for it...It's in demand now, and will be in demand more and more in the future...


    I can relate to your hatred to poor planning. As I'm doing implementations most of the time...and yes you can never have enough technical knowledge, and it's overwhelming sometimes...but I enjoy it more than management :)

    You can shoot for contracting job, in telco field if you want or in any other field...you can get to work in interesting project with interesting people....try changing your job to get new experience, that would help.


    But you set your heart to management, then MBA is your best bit. Also consider ITIL V3, PMP, and CISSP if you are into InfoSec.


    Good luck.
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • KasorKasor Posts: 912Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Go for it and make sure you find a good MBA program. YOU can only have one MBA> .U know Good LUck
    Kill All Suffer T "o" ReBorn
  • NinjaBoyNinjaBoy Posts: 968Member
    /usr wrote: »
    ...This ended up being longer than I had thought...but really, I'm just looking for input. Has anyone here chosen to pursue graduate studies after being in the technical side of IT for a while? If so, what were your experiences?

    Discuss please.

    I've worked up way up to IT manager, however I'm looking to do my Masters in IT Management (MSc instead of a MBA) in a couple of years time. The next step for me, that I'm looking for, is IT director/CTO/CIO level. Over the last few years I've been keeping my eyes open and all of the jobs I've seen at that level either requires you to have a Post-graduate qualification (MSc/MA/MBA) or lists it as a desirable.

    -Ken
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think management is a natural transition from being on the technical side of things. If you're getting burned out/losing interest with the technical aspects of the business, it sounds like a good time to start a transition to something else. An MBA from a decent school is going to be better than any certification; you can't go wrong with quality formal education.
  • shednikshednik Posts: 2,005Member
    dynamik wrote: »
    I think management is a natural transition from being on the technical side of things. If you're getting burned out/losing interest with the technical aspects of the business, it sounds like a good time to start a transition to something else. An MBA from a decent school is going to be better than any certification; you can't go wrong with quality formal education.

    +1...I hate the kid but he makes a good point :D
  • sides14sides14 Posts: 113Member
    An MBA is a great way to go. About a year ago, I was at a crossroads in my career - frozen in salary and nowhere to go. At the time, I was considering going back to school for my MSEE (since my ultimate goal was to be PhD). Senior managers pulled me aside and said forget the MSEE and get your MBA. Their reasoning was long and detailed, but it boiled down to if you stay technical, you will limit your salary potential and career growth. I thought long and hard about what he said while obtaining my PMP certification. I bit the bullet and enrolled in an MBA program at a state university. Since my enrollment, I have been promoted into management. While I enjoy the technical aspects of my job, being able to control things is the great side of management. Short story - technical equal’s technical and management equals leadership.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 4,050Mod Mod
    sides14 wrote: »
    .. but it boiled down to if you stay technical, you will limit your salary potential and career growth...


    I strongly disagree with this. Depends on what technical work you do..and depends on how deep your experience is. There are a lot of technical experts who make much more than any manager, and their expertise is needed world wide, and wherever they go they can find jobs with high salaries...but only few can manage to make it through and become real technical experts.
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • bertiebbertieb Posts: 1,031Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Your story sounds scarily similar to mine. So much so infact, that I'm due to start a new role at a new company soon which involves a lot more project management which is fine by me - hopefully I'll be able to take my experiences with me and sort a few issues out along the way.

    I also want to do an MBA but it's a couple of years away at the moment. Go for it I say!
    The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they are genuine - Abraham Lincoln
  • nelnel Posts: 2,859Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I would go for the MBA from what you have said. Seems to come in handy for those level positions.
    Xbox Live: Bring It On

    Bsc (hons) Network Computing - 1st Class
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  • pipemajorpipemajor Posts: 65Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I got my MBA 25 years ago when I was on active duty USAF. Company grade officers are required to complete either their Professional Military Education (PME) requirements or graduate school degree to be considered for field grade rank (major and above). Since I was on a leave-of-absence from my civilian employer, I chose the graduate school. Those officers who decided on a military career would need both.

    When I returned to my civilian employer, they didn't offer me a management job right away but I did start climbing the ladder a bit quicker than my colleagues.

    When the company was sold and our data center closed, I was one of the few who was able to find another job (a management position) right away. Those techies with zero college education got an unpleasant career lesson. I had several of my former colleagues come in to ask for a job - which I had no openings.

    Some say an MBA has no value - unless you don't have one. I've never regretted getting mine but don't ignore the professional certs. If you are an MBA and have a PMP, ITIL or CISSP, then you're sitting pretty.
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