The MBA thread

petedudepetedude Senior MemberMember Posts: 1,510
At the appearance of lots of MBA questions and the suggestion of veritas_libertas, this thread is hereby started for questions, answers and commentary regarding MBA degrees and various programs (mostly in the States, but a few elsewhere). I'm going to start with a couple thoughts, then y'all should dive in after me. :D

What's an MBA?

In case you've not heard it spelled out, it's a Master's degree in Business Administration.

Why an MBA?

For some techies, the very notion of taking piles of extra classes to learn about what they (those other people) do is abhorrent. Most of us prefer the bits 'n' bytes, some even to the point of preferring to be left alone with them. In the real world, though, most computing is driven by and deployed for business needs. Getting any business degree, especially an MBA, shows an individual is interested in how computing impacts the business and how an organization can derive value from it.

Additionally, an MBA shows that the IT person in question is a bit more well-rounded than the average stereotypical techie, and can contribute to the overall goals of the company.

When to get the MBA?

Although it seems more mid- and late- career folks pursue their MBAs after some work experience, it wouldn't necessarily hurt to get it early (or relatively so), especially if you're going to a pricey B&M degree program (see below).

Where to get the MBA?

Generally speaking, most folks are best served by obtaining MBAs from a locally recognized educational institution. This avoids the “who's that school?” factor when interviewing, and in many cases may improve/increase your opportunities. Unfortunately, tales abound of buddy-buddy management in some organizations where most, if not all, managers attended one particular institution. This is one of those unfortunate realities one must consider when picking their institution.

Aside from local colleges, where next? If the local B&M ("brick and mortar" school) is too expensive, there are plenty of choices online. A large percentage, possibly the majority, of B&M MBA programs also have an online program available.

Which of these other schools to choose from? Most folks will be best served by regionally accredited institutions, as regional accreditation agencies have much more exhaustive requirements than national accreditation agencies. Most local B&M institutions fall into this category. Regional accreditation becomes more important if you're looking to teach at some point in your career, work for government entities or large (e.g. Fortune 1000) organizations.

Even better than regionally accredited schools are AACSB accredited schools. AACSB stands for “Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business”, an accrediting agency for business schools. Schools with this accreditation have met exacting standards for their business programs over and above those of their local regional accrediting agency.

For individuals who are looking to advance within a small company, a nationally accredited institution may suffice-- some of the better known/regarded ones will be mentioned later in this thread.

OK, where more specifically to look for an MBA other than my local hoity-toity ivory tower?

All right, here goes. These are just some ideas to jump-start your search.

If you'd like to attend an AACSB-accredited school and want to save a few $$$, consider Jacksonville State University.

If you want regionally-accredited but AACSB isn't necessary, look at Chadron State College or Amberton University. Many folks on this board are enamored with Western Governors University, which has a relatively low price tag but is fairly new and not as well known.

If you're only looking to advance in a current role or work for small organizations and have a tight budget, a nationally-accredited institution such as Andrew Jackson University or Aspen University may be a good fit. Both of these institutions offer tution promotions occasionally-- Andrew Jackson had one recently where they dropped their application fee, and Aspen University has one (as of this writing in August 2010) where they're promoting pre-paid tuition of $3600 for their entire MBA program.

For the adventurous, there are some overseas (mostly European) programs that will accept students without a prior Bachelor's degree providing their application demonstrates significant business experience. These programs don't require accreditation from US agencies, and may or may not be a tough sell for your purpose depending on how well the school's name is recognized.

That should be enough to get us started. :D
Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
--Will Rogers
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Comments

  • wd40wd40 Member Posts: 1,017 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thank you petedude for the thread ..

    I have a question to US members, a local partner offers MBA's from DePaul university, it is expensive "around 40,000 US$", they bring instructors from the US to give the courses, I am planning to go for it within the next 5 to 10 years "long term plan icon_lol.gif"

    How "strong" is this university?.

    Thanks.
  • N2ITN2IT Senior Member Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    wd40 wrote: »
    Thank you petedude for the thread ..

    I have a question to US members, a local partner offers MBA's from DePaul university, it is expensive "around 40,000 US$", they bring instructors from the US to give the courses, I am planning to go for it within the next 5 to 10 years "long term plan icon_lol.gif"

    How "strong" is this university?.

    Thanks.


    Big time catholic university.
  • erpadminerpadmin PMP-Wannabe! Member Posts: 4,165
    petedude wrote: »

    Why an MBA?

    For some techies, the very notion of taking piles of extra classes to learn about what they (those other people) do is abhorrent. Most of us prefer the bits 'n' bytes, some even to the point of preferring to be left alone with them. In the real world, though, most computing is driven by and deployed for business needs. Getting any business degree, especially an MBA, shows an individual is interested in how computing impacts the business and how an organization can derive value from it.

    Additionally, an MBA shows that the IT person in question is a bit more well-rounded than the average stereotypical techie, and can contribute to the overall goals of the company.

    Pete, I definitely thank you for starting this thread. While I'm trying to finish up a bachelor's, I definitely want a Masters (and it may very well be an MBA) after I'm done with WGU.

    I don't think getting an MBA should be a reason for a tech to understand business processes or stop being a stereotypical tech. If I'm doing break-fix help desk all day and I have an MBA and I'm still doing break-fix (but hey, I now understand how the business works), something is wrong with me! An MBA, even at WGU or any other non-AACSB school, is not cheap and there are far easier and cheaper ways to understand the business drivers/processes of your organization.

    An MBA should allow one to parlay into a Project Manager role and/or be a Tech Lead in a ERP implementation (at the minimum). Ideally, he will be a IT Manager/Director for a couple of years and work his way up to a CIO of an organization.
    petedude wrote: »
    When to get the MBA?
    Although it seems more mid- and late- career folks pursue their MBAs after some work experience, it wouldn't necessarily hurt to get it early (or relatively so), especially if you're going to a pricey B&M degree program (see below).

    As for getting an MBA early on, I don't think there is anything wrong with that if you're a college grad at 22 and want to get the program over with. But an MBA has more teeth with work experience, preferably if you have a junior or middle management type of role. That's really why more people will get an MBA later instead of right out of college.

    Just as a thought, I only knew two people in my career who were both in IT and had a MBA. One was a CISCO guy. Very bright, but he didn't amount to much. The other guy was a PeopleSoft Developer that now works at Accenture as a Lead. No doubt he's looking at six figures.
  • erpadminerpadmin PMP-Wannabe! Member Posts: 4,165
    I like this program, but I have time to look at others:

    Information Technology MBA | Rutgers Business School

    What I like about it is that it focuses on ERPs as well as "database systems, internet security, data mining, accounting systems and software engineering."

    I don't believe it currently offers an online program, but since Rutgers-Newark isn't far from my job and on my way home, it won't be a bad deal if I can get in.
  • gbadmangbadman Member Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    erpadmin wrote: »
    Just as a thought, I only knew two people in my career who were both in IT and had a MBA. One was a CISCO guy. Very bright, but he didn't amount to much. The other guy was a PeopleSoft Developer that now works at Accenture as a Lead. No doubt he's looking at six figures.

    How cruel! Lol. Just out of curiosity, do you have a view as to why it was he didn't progress?
    [FONT=georgia, bookman old style, palatino linotype, book antiqua, palatino, trebuchet ms, helvetica, garamond, sans-serif, arial, verdana, avante garde, century gothic, comic sans ms, times, times new roman, serif]A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties

    -[/FONT][FONT=georgia, bookman old style, palatino linotype, book antiqua, palatino, trebuchet ms, helvetica, garamond, sans-serif, arial, verdana, avante garde, century gothic, comic sans ms, times, times new roman, serif]Harry Truman[/FONT]
  • historian1974historian1974 Member Member Posts: 59 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I am currently enrolled here: AMU Degree Program: Master of Business Administration with a concentration in IT Management.

    It's regionally accredited and very affordable.
  • triotrio Member Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    What about MBA in a certain concetration? like finance,marketing...etc

    I was planning in doing MSc in e-business then found out there is a MBA program in ebusiness concetration,little Universities have this program though specially in the UK.
  • triotrio Member Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Is it really worth getting in a MBA program if someone has little or no experience?
    How would an employer view a MBA graduate with barely no experience?
  • wd40wd40 Member Posts: 1,017 ■■■■□□□□□□
    N2IT wrote: »
    Big time catholic university.
    Thanks for the reply, I will need to get a big time loan "7 years" to get in

    I hope that the results will pay for it after I get the MBA, 40,000 US$ is more than one year salary. icon_study.gif

    Other universities MBA degrees are rubbish in comparison to this one.
  • wd40wd40 Member Posts: 1,017 ■■■■□□□□□□
    trio wrote: »
    Is it really worth getting in a MBA program if someone has little or no experience?
    How would an employer view a MBA graduate with barely no experience?

    I think that most places will think that you are over qualified for entry level positions, and have no experience for management positions.
  • Norrlands TurkNorrlands Turk Member Member Posts: 35 ■■□□□□□□□□
    wd40 wrote: »
    I think that most places will think that you are over qualified for entry level positions, and have no experience for management positions.


    Correct unless your MBA is from one of the Top 20 Grad Schools.
    WIP (Q2 - 2012):
    Undecided
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    petedude wrote: »
    At the appearance of lots of MBA questions and the suggestion of veritas_libertas,

    Guilty as charged! I think this thread will be useful for many, and I am glad you decided to start it :)
    petedude wrote: »
    Many folks on this board are enamored with Western Governors University, which has a relatively low price tag but is fairly new and not as well known.

    I think that will change soon, and it may be very different for those living near Utah or near Indiana for that matter. None the less, that should be a serious consideration for anyone looking for a business school.
    I am currently enrolled here: AMU Degree Program: Master of Business Administration with a concentration in IT Management.

    It's regionally accredited and very affordable.

    How do you like AMU so far?
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Here is an MBA program from Penn State that is offered entirely online:

    Penn State | Online MBA Degree Program

    Penn State | Online MBA Degree Program | Costs
  • rogue2shadowrogue2shadow Member Posts: 1,501 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Here is my local university's Masters programs; you could also go to the various university of Maryland branches for school but UMUC is more of an online/flex branch (you can still go in person to classes):

    Graduate Programs - Academics - UMUC

    Tuition and Fees - UMUC
  • erpadminerpadmin PMP-Wannabe! Member Posts: 4,165
    gbadman wrote: »
    How cruel! Lol. Just out of curiosity, do you have a view as to why it was he didn't progress?


    Why yes, I do. He's currently doing time in US Federal Prison.
  • ssampierssampier Senior Member Member Posts: 224
    Neat thread. I have always had an interest in business. I took many vocational business classes in high school. I was a business major in college. I took a few intro courses and decided this isn't for me; it bored me frankly. I couldn't relate to anything I was learning.

    I moved on to other things, namely more hands-on tech roles. I did earn my B.S. in an unrelated area with a minor in Management Information Systems.

    My last job I was the only I/T person. I enjoyed fixing things, but I really liked were the people and trying to make things easier. I enjoyed the planning, too.

    I'm a few months shy of 30. I think of going back to school often. Paying back $40k-$80k frightens me. Local schools are much cheaper, but are pretty limited to your local area.

    I also wonder if the MBA is too broad of a focus, too.

    Anyway, thanks for the thread. I certainly don't have answers, but I do think about this a lot.
    Future Plans:

    JNCIA Firewall
    CCNA:Security
    CCNP

    More security exams and then the world.
  • erpadminerpadmin PMP-Wannabe! Member Posts: 4,165
    ssampier wrote: »

    I also wonder if the MBA is too broad of a focus, too.

    There are concentrations within some MBA program that you can specialize in. Or you can do a general MBA so you can have a general idea of how everything works. Personally, I prefer the former. If I do go for an MBA I would like to have a focus on Information Technology, since that's pretty much all I have ever done in my career. (And hopefully adjunct somewhere.....but that's waaaaaayy down the line. HAHA).
  • QHaloQHalo DoWork Member Posts: 1,488
    wd40 wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply, I will need to get a big time loan "7 years" to get in

    I hope that the results will pay for it after I get the MBA, 40,000 US$ is more than one year salary. icon_study.gif

    Other universities MBA degrees are rubbish in comparison to this one.

    DePaul is a very good school make no mistake. I personally know 3 people I work with going there and 40000 is a bit low. They're dropping in the neighborhood of around 47-50k when it's all said and done. My team lead just finished his and our boss is finishing the same program (Business Information Technology) my team lead just finished. The network guy that I work with is going back for their new Network track. Me I'm finishing up my BS in Technical Management from DeVry and I've considered continuing on since I'm already in school mode and going to DePaul for their MS would be nice but dropping 50k right off the bat I think you have to think of ROI at that point. The good thing is that DePaul's program is at the Loop campus which is 2 blocks from where I work, so going to class after work would be simple. But at what point in my career would I recoup that 50k spent on the MS in salary increases?

    I just don't think that if you want to stay in a technical position that a Master's is required totally. If you want to go management sure, you're most likely going to need one. If you're going to stay technical, say you were in networking, wouldn't that money be better spent on a CCIE program than on a Master's? At what point does the salary increase of a CCIE or a Master's equal out. The Master's is much more universal if you moved into another area, so I guess we're talking focused career pathing versus versital. But with everyone and their sister going back to school, I'm starting to get the feeling that a Master's is going to be required to compete.
  • petedudepetedude Senior Member Member Posts: 1,510
    wd40 wrote: »
    I think that most places will think that you are over qualified for entry level positions, and have no experience for management positions.

    Of course, you could leave it off the resume for a few years, then add it back in. :D
    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
  • petedudepetedude Senior Member Member Posts: 1,510
    wd40 wrote: »
    . . .I hope that the results will pay for it after I get the MBA, 40,000 US$ is more than one year salary.

    That's something I didn't get to in my "rant" above. . . the notion of ROI. For some folks, the return on an expensive MBA would take so long to arrive that it wouldn't be worth it to shell out that much money. There are ROI calculators out there for an MBA. . . just google 'em.

    I had a related epiphany not too long ago when looking at well-regarded B&M MBA programs. For example, University of California Irvine* has what looks like a fantastic program, but so far as I could tell, the price tag was something like $80K (someone PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong!!). That reaction nearly sent me running toward the Aspen University program at $3600. :)

    And as far as programs being "rubbish" compared to one another-- I also forgot to mention the US News & World Report listing of best schools. That's certainly a great place to look, but one will see that many of the best-regarded programs are very expensive.

    *UCI is located in Orange County, CA-- a financial and business hotbed of Southern California. Of course, it'd be pricey. And I think I was incorrect-- looks like about $45000 for that program.
    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
  • ssampierssampier Senior Member Member Posts: 224
    erpadmin wrote: »
    There are concentrations within some MBA program that you can specialize in. Or you can do a general MBA so you can have a general idea of how everything works. Personally, I prefer the former. If I do go for an MBA I would like to have a focus on Information Technology, since that's pretty much all I have ever done in my career. (And hopefully adjunct somewhere.....but that's waaaaaayy down the line. HAHA).

    Last time I looked concentrations or specializations only added 2 extra classes.

    Joint degrees, of course, are the other extreme, where you get both an MBA and a MS degree.

    I do remember one university that did general MBA classes the first year and all your specialization programs the next. I don't remember which school it was.

    I'd prefer a fairly rigorous program with a good mixture of business and technology, especially with real-world (and real life) examples.
    Future Plans:

    JNCIA Firewall
    CCNA:Security
    CCNP

    More security exams and then the world.
  • erpadminerpadmin PMP-Wannabe! Member Posts: 4,165
    ssampier wrote: »
    I'd prefer a fairly rigorous program with a good mixture of business and technology, especially with real-world (and real life) examples.

    Any AACSB-accredited school should definitely give you what you need. It's going to depend on your budget as well as what "Tier" it is. Many of the schools listed in this thread (and will be listed) would be a good place to start.

    I see you're in Utah. I don't know if BYU is an option for you, but that's a big name school with recognition throughout the country. (I also like that I know it's a PeopleSoft shop...they do use it as their SIS.)

    If you want an online option, I Drexel Online (another name with big recognition) billboards all over the place. They have a MBA Anywhere program. It's all online, but I'd imagine with a name like Drexel, it's going to cost some money.

    http://www.drexelonline.edu
  • QHaloQHalo DoWork Member Posts: 1,488
    A Master's in Computer Science from Drexel Online is as follows:

    The tuition rate for the academic year 2010-11 is $960 per credit.
    This program consists of 45 credits (15 courses).


    That's $43200. That's pretty comparable to other schools of this caliber. Now an MBA is $58,000 so yeah. :D

    http://www.drexel.com/online-degrees/masterdegrees.aspx

    Here's a good link with information on Online Master's programs around the country.

    http://www.gradschools.com/search-programs/online-programs/telecom-and-networking
  • historian1974historian1974 Member Member Posts: 59 ■■■□□□□□□□


    How do you like AMU so far?


    I like it alright. Some professors are better than others, but this consistent with any higher-learning institution. The classes are 8 weeks each, which makes it an accelerated program, but I stay quite busy with it. While it isn't as prestigious as Harvard, AMU is an accredited school that works well for people like me with a job and a family.

    On a side note, AMU is going to start offering an MS in IT in September.

    American Public University and American Military University Announce Master?s Degree Program in Information Technology

    One of the concentrations is Information Assurance and Security, which I will dive into once the MBA is done.
  • wd40wd40 Member Posts: 1,017 ■■■■□□□□□□
    QHalo

    Thanks for the detailed reply.

    My plan is to move to IT Audit, and then to IT Management, so CCIE or other certificates will not work for me.

    And as you said with an MBA from a good school I can move out of IT if I want in the future.

    petedude
    so why pay for it now + what if they ask you had an MBA 4 years ago and you have been working in helpdesk for the past 4 years.

    ROI will take time but for me at least moving up is more important than financial gain, I would love to get my money back as soon as possible after getting the MBA but if there is a delay it will not be an issue.

    When I say rubbish, I really mean it, some institutes are closing down, others are not approved by ministry of education yet, and the rest will put a question mark on your CV.

    I'm not in USA, I live in a small country that has less than one million people, so my choices are limited.
  • erpadminerpadmin PMP-Wannabe! Member Posts: 4,165
    QHalo wrote: »
    A Master's in Computer Science from Drexel Online is as follows:

    The tuition rate for the academic year 2010-11 is $960 per credit.
    This program consists of 45 credits (15 courses).


    That's $43200. That's pretty comparable to other schools of this caliber. Now an MBA is $58,000 so yeah. :D


    Leads me to an interesting question that many people have asked. Do you pay for a name, or do you just get one? That's pretty much my draw to Rutgers...everyone knows it (especially since they now have a decent football team). I wouldn't even mind a cheaper option, but the AACSB accreditation makes me think I should shoot for school that has it. Online or not.

    $58k is a lot of money, but Drexel isn't exactly a school that sucks (just expensive).
  • ssampierssampier Senior Member Member Posts: 224
    erpadmin wrote: »
    Any AACSB-accredited school should definitely give you what you need. It's going to depend on your budget as well as what "Tier" it is. Many of the schools listed in this thread (and will be listed) would be a good place to start.

    I see you're in Utah. I don't know if BYU is an option for you, but that's a big name school with recognition throughout the country. (I also like that I know it's a PeopleSoft shop...they do use it as their SIS.)

    If you want an online option, I Drexel Online (another name with big recognition) billboards all over the place. They have a MBA Anywhere program. It's all online, but I'd imagine with a name like Drexel, it's going to cost some money.

    http://www.drexelonline.edu

    Thank you for doing that research. It's much appreciated.

    BYU will not work for me. But I'm sure I can find a school that will.

    I am still considering if a MS in Information Systems is a better bet for me at this point in my career.

    If I could get accepted into Northwestern MBA et al, I may change my mind. I do like the idea of champion a technology change-agent in an enterprise.
    Future Plans:

    JNCIA Firewall
    CCNA:Security
    CCNP

    More security exams and then the world.
  • QHaloQHalo DoWork Member Posts: 1,488
    erpadmin wrote: »
    Leads me to an interesting question that many people have asked. Do you pay for a name, or do you just get one? That's pretty much my draw to Rutgers...everyone knows it (especially since they now have a decent football team). I wouldn't even mind a cheaper option, but the AACSB accreditation makes me think I should shoot for school that has it. Online or not.

    $58k is a lot of money, but Drexel isn't exactly a school that sucks (just expensive).

    I think you really have to decide that for yourself. If they're charging alot does that mean that they're charging for their name or for the ability to do the Master's Online and the resources involved? I'm trying to lean towards the latter as the answer, but I think we really know that they're charging for the name at least a little bit in their costs. These aren't exactly schools that no one has heard of. But then again it isn't cheap to run your University online as well.
  • erpadminerpadmin PMP-Wannabe! Member Posts: 4,165
    QHalo wrote: »
    But then again it isn't cheap to run your University online as well.


    Between a SIS (PeopleSoft, Sungard's Banner, homegrown [apparently, there are a number of those systems]), then a webbased classroom system, like Blackboard(WebCT), Taskstream, then the underlying infrastructure (the servers, routers, switches, etc.) and then of course the staff that maintains it, I would imagine that tuition from x-amount of students a year will pay for that. Anything after that amount is profit. Of course there's other costs such as marketing your said school.

    WGU, for example, probably sees a sweet profit (yes, Virginia, non-profit organizations do make a profit...), due to the fact that they're not running expensive software for their infrastructure, not to mention the number of students who are enrolled in their undergrad and grad programs.

    So yeah, when you factor in those costs, to us it's a lot, but when you factor in incoming students, they're pretty much paid for, I think.
  • mikedisd2mikedisd2 Artist's impression Member Posts: 1,096 ■■■■■□□□□□
    erpadmin wrote: »
    Why yes, I do. He's currently doing time in US Federal Prison.

    Yeah, I can see how that would impede progress in a degree. icon_lol.gif
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