Advice on IT Management Track

CamtheChampCamtheChamp Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all, a little about my self, I recently graduated with my B.A. in Marketing and I am currently pursuing my MBA and will graduate in either May 2012 or August 2012 at the University of Central Florida.

On the IT side, I have 2 years experience tutoring in a college computer lab (helping with the office suite and basic C++ programming). I am also now nearing 3 years experience in a deskside support role for a large organization and have transitioned to a remote support role which involves working from home. I currently have my A+ and Network+ certs and I am studying for the 70-680 exam (configuring windows 7).

My goal at this point is to get into a management position in the IT field. I would like to set myself up to be a prime candidate when I graduate with my MBA in a year and a half.

My thought process right now is to get my MCITP:EA by the time I graduate. Obviously I don't have a ton of time since I am full time work and school so I have to pick what I want to spend my time on now if I plan to finish it before I graduate. While browsing this board, I have noticed a significant amount of dicussion on ITIL and PMP. Are these something that I should concentrate on instead of the technical side? Or would you suggest a different track all together given my experience/education?

Any input is appreciated, thanks!

Comments

  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    First, welcome to TE.

    The first bit of advice that I'll give you is to take what you read in these forums with a huge grain of salt. There are many people who have lots of thoughts about what it takes to get into management, but the majority of those people haven't actually worked as managers. Their hearts are in the right place, and you'll find them to be a helpful bunch.

    There are a few here who've worked as managers, but more importantly what you want to learn is how to lead, not how to manage, and I do believe you can get some of that here.

    Having worked in many management and leadership positions over the years, I can tell you very simply that it was never a certification or a degree that was a determining factor for moving into a management position. The determining factor for me was always what I had previously accomplished, my technical credibility, and the strength of my contacts and personal network. This is significant, as I have multiple degrees, from very good schools, and it always amazes how little that has come into play throughout my career. IMO, it's more one of those things that if I didn't have it, it would cause more problems, but having it does not necessarily make things happen....if you get what I mean. Still, I wouldn't change anything about my education, as it has opened some doors for me that are definitely not available to everyone.

    There is a mistaken assumption that earning a PMP somehow qualifies a person to be a manager. You'll see that repeatedly in these forums. That couldn't be farther from the truth, and every time someone says it, I try to refute it. The PMP is a credential that attests to one's experience as a project manager as well as one's ability to pass a simple ~200 question exam about project management. The PMP is likely to get you a project manager position, but project manager positions are rarely people management positions. So, if you want to do project management, first get some experience managing projects and then get a PMP.

    ITIL credentials are something entirely different. ITIL is a set of best practices for service management. The most common credential is "ITIL Foundation", which is basically a flea-dip that says that you're aware of the terms and definitions that ITIL uses. There are other higher level ITIL credentials, some of them quite rare, but none of these specifically qualify someone to be a manager. ITIL credentials at the higher levels qualify you to operate and adopt service management best practices to solve organizational problems.

    What worked for me in my career was developing strong technical skills and accomplishments over time, coupled with an ability to lead. That coupled with superior soft skills and strong personal and business connections are what made the difference. I hold multiple undergrad/graduate degrees and lots of technical and non-technical certs, but I would say that these are rarely a deciding factor. It definitely doesn't hurt one's chances though, especially if you have the right pedigree in terms of degrees and certifications.

    My approach has been to always been to have as much going for me as possible. Whether it's degrees, certs, a personal network, etc.., there's really never a valid discussion about should I do this or that. You'll see many threads like that here, but that's trying to simplify something that's not really simple. To compete effectively you need as much in your favor as possible.

    My advice to you is that you should continue your educational program. Where will you earn your MBA? Personally, I wouldn't waste my time with an MBA that is from any school other than a top-20 business school. The quality/name of the school is a huge differentiating factor, especially with MBAs. Second, you should focus on establishing your credibility technically, while you work on leadership skills and building your network. No one likes a manager that lacks technical credibility, and your network will likely be the deciding factor to whether you get a shot at management, as well as whether or not you continue moving up the ladder.

    So, basically, start getting some sh*t done and build your technical skills and credibility, while building a strong personal network that can go to bat for you. You'll be surprised how often you'll need them. Focus on your soft skills such as public speaking and presenting, and learn about how influence works. Work on credentials and degrees while doing all of this and you might find yourself positioned well should a management position avail itself.

    Seeing that you have a BA in Marketing, you might consider heading into some kind of IT-related sales position. You'll likely find that much more rewarding over time. If you could somehow become an IT salesperson that has technical experience and credibility you'll be about as common as Bigfoot, and you'll find that this rarity will likely have positive career results for you.

    MS
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313
    eMeS wrote: »
    First, welcome to TE.

    The first bit of advice that I'll give you is to take what you read in these forums with a huge grain of salt. There are many people who have lots of thoughts about what it takes to get into management, but the majority of those people haven't actually worked as managers. Their hearts are in the right place, and you'll find them to be a helpful bunch.

    There are a few here who've worked as managers, but more importantly what you want to learn is how to lead, not how to manage, and I do believe you can get some of that here.

    Having worked in many management and leadership positions over the years, I can tell you very simply that it was never a certification or a degree that was a determining factor for moving into a management position. The determining factor for me was always what I had previously accomplished, my technical credibility, and the strength of my contacts and personal network. This is significant, as I have multiple degrees, from very good schools, and it always amazes how little that has come into play throughout my career. IMO, it's more one of those things that if I didn't have it, it would cause more problems, but having it does not necessarily make things happen....if you get what I mean. Still, I wouldn't change anything about my education, as it has opened some doors for me that are definitely not available to everyone.

    There is a mistaken assumption that earning a PMP somehow qualifies a person to be a manager. You'll see that repeatedly in these forums. That couldn't be farther from the truth, and every time someone says it, I try to refute it. The PMP is a credential that attests to one's experience as a project manager as well as one's ability to pass a simple ~200 question exam about project management. The PMP is likely to get you a project manager position, but project manager positions are rarely people management positions. So, if you want to do project management, first get some experience managing projects and then get a PMP.

    ITIL credentials are something entirely different. ITIL is a set of best practices for service management. The most common credential is "ITIL Foundation", which is basically a flea-dip that says that you're aware of the terms and definitions that ITIL uses. There are other higher level ITIL credentials, some of them quite rare, but none of these specifically qualify someone to be a manager. ITIL credentials at the higher levels qualify you to operate and adopt service management best practices to solve organizational problems.

    What worked for me in my career was developing strong technical skills and accomplishments over time, coupled with an ability to lead. That coupled with superior soft skills and strong personal and business connections are what made the difference. I hold multiple undergrad/graduate degrees and lots of technical and non-technical certs, but I would say that these are rarely a deciding factor. It definitely doesn't hurt one's chances though, especially if you have the right pedigree in terms of degrees and certifications.

    My approach has been to always been to have as much going for me as possible. Whether it's degrees, certs, a personal network, etc.., there's really never a valid discussion about should I do this or that. You'll see many threads like that here, but that's trying to simplify something that's not really simple. To compete effectively you need as much in your favor as possible.

    My advice to you is that you should continue your educational program. Where will you earn your MBA? Personally, I wouldn't waste my time with an MBA that is from any school other than a top-20 business school. The quality/name of the school is a huge differentiating factor, especially with MBAs. Second, you should focus on establishing your credibility technically, while you work on leadership skills and building your network. No one likes a manager that lacks technical credibility, and your network will likely be the deciding factor to whether you get a shot at management, as well as whether or not you continue moving up the ladder.

    So, basically, start getting some sh*t done and build your technical skills and credibility, while building a strong personal network that can go to bat for you. You'll be surprised how often you'll need them. Focus on your soft skills such as public speaking and presenting, and learn about how influence works. Work on credentials and degrees while doing all of this and you might find yourself positioned well should a management position avail itself.

    Seeing that you have a BA in Marketing, you might consider heading into some kind of IT-related sales position. You'll likely find that much more rewarding over time. If you could somehow become an IT salesperson that has technical experience and credibility you'll be about as common as Bigfoot, and you'll find that this rarity will likely have positive career results for you.

    MS

    What he said. I have some years of management experience, departmental, team leading, projects and design. Training, education and certification all have their place but I find a lot people seem to look for a classroom or selfstudy highway to the job they want. It's natural but everyone is doing it. There are other ways to get your hands on the sort of work that will take you to where you want to go. Take every opportunity to get exposure to the kind of work that gets you noticed, stretches you and builds an impressive portfolio of accomplishments in the workplace. If at any given day at work it's a toss up between engaging in something that will deliver that for me or my company or pushing back and doing practice labs then the labs get shelved and I get on with the work. This keeps pushing my CCIE lab date back but then again my boss says 'I dont need you to get it'. They waived that requirement when they took me on. There is a reason why and it's all on my CV.
  • CamtheChampCamtheChamp Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the advice. I am getting my MBA at the University of Central Florida. It isn't a top-20 business school but it isn't an online school either (It is one of the better options in Florida).

    My biggest problem right now is that I am living in Orlando which has one of the worst unemployment rates in the nation. My marketing degree seems to be worth as much as a high school diploma here because everyone is looking for jobs. My current job doesn't give raises and probably won't have a position open for advancement in the next 10 years. They do pay for certs and tuition reimbursement for my MBA though.

    I am trying to set myself up to be a manager with technical knowledge which seems to be a huge rarity. When it comes to technical knowledge, would you say there is a certain area I should concentrate on? Maybe get a wide scope of knowledge with the basic certs in both MS and Cisco? Or concentrate on one area?
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    Thanks for the advice. I am getting my MBA at the University of Central Florida. It isn't a top-20 business school but it isn't an online school either (It is one of the better options in Florida).

    My biggest problem right now is that I am living in Orlando which has one of the worst unemployment rates in the nation. My marketing degree seems to be worth as much as a high school diploma here because everyone is looking for jobs. My current job doesn't give raises and probably won't have a position open for advancement in the next 10 years. They do pay for certs and tuition reimbursement for my MBA though.

    I am trying to set myself up to be a manager with technical knowledge which seems to be a huge rarity. When it comes to technical knowledge, would you say there is a certain area I should concentrate on? Maybe get a wide scope of knowledge with the basic certs in both MS and Cisco? Or concentrate on one area?

    Definitely take advantage of an employer being willing to pay for your education. Overall it sounds like to me you're on the right path. MBAs are often all about name recognition, and you will find that some schools, like the one that you've mentioned, will have stronger name recognition in certain markets.

    Not to be repetitive, but use your current role to make strong contacts and establish yourself technically. Then use your current position as a springboard into something new. Opportunities arise when you least expect it, and sometimes the best you can do is just be prepared for when opportunity knocks.

    As far as whether or not to specialize in a specific area, or to be a generalist, much of that will depend on one's approach to learning as well as aptitude for specific areas. Some people are great at focusing on one area, whereas others are good at being a generalist. Personally I'm much more of a generalist as I've tended to be involved in just about everything IT-related at some point in my career. I've always tried to specialize in getting things done, as opposed to one specific technology or another. I strongly believe that technology is a toolbox, and we have many options, none of which will address every situation.

    As far as what HR people look for in job candidates, think of it like this:
    T

    This represents broad, yet minimal exposure to many areas (The top of the "T") as well as deep and focused experience in one or two areas (The leg of the "T"). Arrange your skills and experience in accordance and clearly show that on your resume and you'll be fine.

    As far as which specific area to pursue, that's largely going to be up to personal preference coupled with market demand.

    MS
  • moh_218moh_218 Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Dear eMeS,
    I am preparing to upgrade from ITSM V2 to ITIL Expert V3. i did the course and will write the exam next week. i have 6 years experience in IT service management. Strat reading the books (SS,SD,ST,SO,CSI) books but from the sample papers i found that the exam does not really test my experience. actually i am only need the certificate. as an ITIL Expert could you please advise on how to prepare for this exam.

    Regards,
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    +1 eMeS

    I will say this though. Find yourself an IT job and do a fantastic job. During reviews or in passing with your supervisors or management express your interest in your career goals. Let them know in a gentle way that you want to be a manager.

    If they don't know they will never care. You might start off running a report for one of the managers once a month and if you prove that you can do well in that, then you can move forward potentially.

    However, with all that being said luck is the biggest factor. But don't let that discourage you, the more trained and prepared you are the better chance you have when an opportunity opens up.

    Good luck!
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    eMeS wrote: »
    My advice to you is that you should continue your educational program. Where will you earn your MBA? Personally, I wouldn't waste my time with an MBA that is from any school other than a top-20 business school. The quality/name of the school is a huge differentiating factor, especially with MBAs.

    I +1 everything you said except for this nugget. The only thing I would care about from a school personally (as a student, not as a perspective employer) would be whether or not the school is AACSB-accredited. In the OP's case, it is. No everyone is born with a silver spoon up his ___ and can pay for Wharton, "HAh-vAHd", Yale, Columbia, NYU, etc., etc. Yes, the opportunities are better from a top-20 school, but let's not discount the grand majority who MBA candidates (from AACSB-programs) who are not in a top-20.

    As to the OP with this comment:
    Thanks for the advice. I am getting my MBA at the University of Central Florida. It isn't a top-20 business school but it isn't an online school either (It is one of the better options in Florida).

    You got a lot of good schools online like Drexel and Penn State that offer an Online MBA. Do not be so dismissive of an online program....just as people should not be so dismissive of your MBA. icon_smile.gif


    My take on the original topic, is as MS and others have said, an IT manager's technical background is going to be more impressive than the educational credentials. However, it's a Catch-22: You can't be a IT Manager without a degree [in most cases], but you still need valid experience that you can sell to get you that IT Management gig. So most folks will opt for both (I personally got the experience, but not the degree, and that's soon to be remedied... :) ). I plan on looking at MBA programs after my degree is over and I will shoot for an off-line program first. By the time I'm done with an MBA, I'll have close to 20 years of (professional) IT experience, which a good portion of it is in Tech Lead positions. Plus, I want an MBA anyway, so that I can adjunct teach after work/in retirement. icon_lol.gif Easier than asking "if you want fries with that...." lmao!
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    erpadmin wrote: »
    No everyone is born with a silver spoon up his ___ and can pay for Wharton, "HAh-vAHd", Yale, Columbia, NYU, etc., etc. Yes, the opportunities are better from a top-20 school, but let's not discount the grand majority who MBA candidates (from AACSB-programs) who are not in a top-20.

    And to insinuate that I was is both presumptive and incorrect. In fact, I grew up in a really really poor neighborhood. Everything that I have I've earned. I've worked full-time plus since high school, and every degree that I earned was in the context of other full-time commitments like working.

    So yeah, to read people on here that say because they work full-time that they "need" to attend the for-profit short-cut school du jour and get college credit for certifications isn't credible with me. It's a shortcut; sometimes when you take shortcuts everything works out, but other times it doesn't.

    Not everyone that attends the best schools does so as some kind of free ride. You're mistaking the effect of hard work with the effect of things being given for free. In fact, I'd say that usually the determining factor is choice over means. We can all pick what we want to do and how we do it; that's the great thing about the US.

    The point is, there's a lot of nonsense that gets discussed around education on this site. It takes the form of basically people convincing themselves that whatever program they're doing is valuable through some kind of shared evaluation done by people who have little to no ability to evaluate such things.

    All I can really tell you is what I've learned. Get the best possible degree from the best possible school and you'll be fine. Waste time convincing yourself that some third or fourth-rate program is equivalent and you'll get exactly what you pay for.
    erpadmin wrote: »
    The only thing I would care about from a school personally (as a student, not as a perspective employer) would be whether or not the school is AACSB-accredited. In the OP's case, it is.
    As to the OP with this comment:



    You got a lot of good schools online like Drexel and Penn State that offer an Online MBA. Do not be so dismissive of an online program....just as people should not be so dismissive of your MBA. icon_smile.gif

    IMO the modality of the education is irrelevant. Many schools offer online courses, including the majority of the top-20 business schools.

    One of the reasons people are often dismissive about MBAs is because so many schools out there are offering a crappy, unpredictable product. Lo and behold this variability still occurs even though the schools are accredited.



    You may have unwittingly thrown a rock at a hornet's nest here, in that just as you've pointed out we shouldn't automatically dismiss an MBA from lower tier schools, it's likely not accurate to assume that everyone that attends a top school did so because their father had the money to pay the bill. My father, whom I didn't grow up with, was much more interested in stuffing his money in mattresses than he was in investing it in the needs of his children.

    MS
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Washington University has a top 20 business school in the nation. I once took a business course their sponsored by the government organization I used to work for. He was phenomenal. Arguably the best instructor I have ever had.

    There was another time I wanted to take a summer class so I could graduate on time. The instructor was a full time instructor at Washington U, however in the summer he picked up some classes at the community college. He was unbelievable. I'm not so hung up on the school name, but I am not a fool it does mean a lot. However, the quality of education there and the instructors in my limited experience are unbelievable.
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    eMeS wrote: »
    And to insinuate that I was is both presumptive and incorrect. In fact, I grew up in a really really poor neighborhood. Everything that I have I've earned. I've worked full-time plus since high school, and every degree that I earned was in the context of other full-time commitments like working.

    I could (and probably should) have qualified my earlier statement with a reference to scholarships or working your tail-off to pay for that prestigious degree. However, I didn't and it was intentional that I did not. I'll get back to that one though.
    eMeS wrote: »
    So yeah, to read people on here that say because they work full-time that they "need" to attend the for-profit short-cut school du jour and get college credit for certifications isn't credible with me. It's a shortcut; sometimes when you take shortcuts everything works out, but other times it doesn't.

    The one thing I learned in college when I first attempted it was to never take shortcuts without learning about the long way first. That is a life lesson I will always take with me. It is my hope that my "shortcut" in attending WGU (which isn't for-profit, btw, but does give me credit for certification, so I'm presuming [perhaps correctly] that's where we are going with this) will allow me to get a Masters at a name school (and perhaps, maybe a Top-25 school, as I CAN afford it....with or without grants.) In truth, I didn't need nor want to go back to college, but if WGU allows me to say I am a college graduate, who the heck are we to argue that point?
    eMeS wrote: »
    The point is, there's a lot of nonsense that gets discussed around education on this site. It takes the form of basically people convincing themselves that whatever program they're doing is valuable through some kind of shared evaluation done by people who have little to no ability to evaluate such things.

    ....

    IMO the modality of the education is irrelevant. Many schools offer online courses, including the majority of the top-20 business schools.

    One of the reasons people are often dismissive about MBAs is because so many schools out there are offering a crappy, unpredictable product. Lo and behold this variability still occurs even though the schools are accredited.


    I don't purport that I'm an expert in Higher Education. Mind you, I could, as I've worked in the Higher Education vertical for five years now. But I wouldn't say I'm an "expert" in Higher Education; anymore than the janitors who's been cleaning up after students/faculty/staff for 25-30 years.

    What I am an expert in, however, is my own life experiences. I see what works and what doesn't work. I see people who come to this country with a Bachelors from third world countries and come to the US to get their Masters in whatever from a decent school and then become full time professors. I can assure you, I don't care what college they went to; the best university in whatever third-world country they got their degree in isn't going to be better than, say, a fourth-rate school in the poorest state in the US or for that matter, WGU. This isn't based on ethnocentric bias, either. I'm sure there are many universities from foreign countries that are very developed politically and economically that would have very respected universities.

    eMeS wrote: »
    You may have unwittingly thrown a rock at a hornet's nest here, in that just as you've pointed out we shouldn't automatically dismiss an MBA from lower tier schools, it's likely not accurate to assume that everyone that attends a top school did so because their father had the money to pay the bill. My father, whom I didn't grow up with, was much more interested in stuffing his money in mattresses than he was in investing it in the needs of his children.

    MS

    Now I can get back to this. I was not trying to offend you, and I would like to think you knew that. I also know of many people (in fact, a couple of them personally) who went to real fancy schools and did not have a silver spoon anywhere on or in their body when they were born. icon_lol.gif I also know that folks who earn the degree from such a place, as you did, will have a chip on their shoulder...you had to work harder than the guy who had a dad who could just write a check to pay for that new library you'd be spending your remaining collegiate years in. icon_cool.gif However, most people have circumstances beyond their control (and it's environmental, not genetics) that prohibit them from going to Ivy-League. And I refuse to accept the fact that anyone that isn't Ivy-League is inferior to those who are (or otherwise from a Top-25 Business School); whether or not your parents paid for the education, or you had to bust your butt working to pay for it is inconsequential of that. icon_cool.gif
  • chmodchmod Member Posts: 360 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm currently working as a project manager for a very big company and i have not even completed my bachelor degree.

    I worked for a cisco partner long time ago and worked for a big telecom vendor with very big projects in my country .
    I'm 24 four years old and i have been on the field since i was 19yrs old.

    To get into management you need a wide set of skills + education.

    IT field is somehow different(in comparison to marketing) you need 3 basic skills:

    Technical knowledge
    Leadership
    Proactivity

    I have always said this: you don't need to be a master in cisco, M$, vmware, c#, c++ you or whatever, you need to know the foundations then you can read a book or PDF about the vendor/languaje/technology.

    In my country and i have worked also in another countries and i have realized that this also happens in other countries the people tend to be very mechanical by this i mean people usually learn something and stick to it but they don't take the time to learn in depth the foundations.
    For example the people learn c# and stick to c but don't learn the foundations in depth so they can use or learn any other language easily.

    To be a manager you don't need to know in depth cisco router and sw or c++ or whatever your company use/develop/implement.
    For example you don't need to be a ccvp o ccie voice to be able to manage a voip system(or suggest a project) in a manager position/role but if you know the foundation about sip, isdn, isup, ss7,sip-t, sip-i for example you can deal with projects related to voip and only hire a contractor or an engineer to configure.
    This also applies for SD if you know the foundations about programming you can simply read a book about the specific language and learn quickly how to do something with another language.

    Of course this requires technical experience, self study and classroom time.

    So i can sumarize this:

    Technical skills(the foundations)
    Proactivity
    Experience
    Confidence
    Leadership
    Softskills

    Remember that management means: accomplish goals and results based in the performance of other persons.

    So you need to know what you have to do(technical skills and experience), know how to deal with customers and end users, engineers, contractors, other managers and partners(soft skills, leadership and confidence).
    Be proactive to excel and motivate others(proactivity and leadership).
    You also need to be capable to do what you expect from others so if you want your people to finish on time their tasks and to learn new things quickly you have to be capable of doing the same.

    You don't learn this in college.
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    erpadmin wrote: »
    I could (and probably should) have qualified my earlier statement with a reference to scholarships or working your tail-off to pay for that prestigious degree. However, I didn't and it was intentional that I did not. I'll get back to that one though.

    Thanks...But even in rereading it I'm not sure that there's any other way that I could have taken it.
    erpadmin wrote: »
    The one thing I learned in college when I first attempted it was to never take shortcuts without learning about the long way first. That is a life lesson I will always take with me. It is my hope that my "shortcut" in attending WGU (which isn't for-profit, btw, but does give me credit for certification, so I'm presuming [perhaps correctly] that's where we are going with this) will allow me to get a Masters at a name school (and perhaps, maybe a Top-25 school, as I CAN afford it....with or without grants.) In truth, I didn't need nor want to go back to college, but if WGU allows me to say I am a college graduate, who the heck are we to argue that point?

    We all look for shortcuts. It's somewhat human nature. However, you guys in school today have access to shortcuts that weren't even thought about 20 years ago. I'm not sure if it's good, bad or otherwise, and part of my opinion is jaded by the lack of this type of thing being available when I was in school.

    I know one thing is certain. The ability of schools to sell their shortcut product is at a point where it has exceeded the value of many of those products. The result of this will ultimately be that degrees from some schools are discriminated against, and we've heard anecdotal reports of this type of thing already, here at TE.

    IMO, that's the risk you're accepting with degrees from non-traditional schools.
    erpadmin wrote: »
    I don't purport that I'm an expert in Higher Education. Mind you, I could, as I've worked in the Higher Education vertical for five years now. But I wouldn't say I'm an "expert" in Higher Education; anymore than the janitors who's been cleaning up after students/faculty/staff for 25-30 years.

    What I am an expert in, however, is my own life experiences. I see what works and what doesn't work. I see people who come to this country with a Bachelors from third world countries and come to the US to get their Masters in whatever from a decent school and then become full time professors. I can assure you, I don't care what college they went to; the best university in whatever third-world country they got their degree in isn't going to be better than, say, a fourth-rate school in the poorest state in the US or for that matter, WGU. This isn't based on ethnocentric bias, either. I'm sure there are many universities from foreign countries that are very developed politically and economically that would have very respected universities.

    Yep, and I agree that it's useful and appreciated here. What's annoying though (and I'm not accusing you directly) is the circular logic seen here in the degree advice threads that basically follow this flow:

    1 - Person asks advice about degree x from non-traditional school y
    2 - Numerous people chime in about the positives of the degree and school
    3 - We don't really know what happens next in all cases, but I'm assuming some decisions are made and money changes hands.

    Nothing specific against anyone, but when I see threads claiming that a degree was earned in a couple of semesters or less, I'm highly skeptical of the quality.

    erpadmin wrote: »
    Now I can get back to this. I was not trying to offend you, and I would like to think you knew that. I also know of many people (in fact, a couple of them personally) who went to real fancy schools and did not have a silver spoon anywhere on or in their body when they were born. icon_lol.gif I also know that folks who earn the degree from such a place, as you did, will have a chip on their shoulder...you had to work harder than the guy who had a dad who could just write a check to pay for that new library you'd be spending your remaining collegiate years in. icon_cool.gif However, most people have circumstances beyond their control (and it's environmental, not genetics) that prohibit them from going to Ivy-League. And I refuse to accept the fact that anyone that isn't Ivy-League is inferior to those who are (or otherwise from a Top-25 Business School); whether or not your parents paid for the education, or you had to bust your butt working to pay for it is inconsequential of that. icon_cool.gif

    Thanks for the follow-up and clarification. I appreciate it. I'm often faced with people that assume that I started with everything and all kinds of opportunities, so yeah, I probably do have a chip on my shoulder when someone claims that I am where I am because of favorable parentage as opposed to effort.

    I do disagree a bit with the second part of your statement though. If the products of Ivy League and Top-20 business schools were not better educated than people who graduated from lower ranked schools, then there would be no reason for the ranking.

    I have a child that is 3 at the moment. My wife and I have already decided that we are sending him to a well-known, highly ranked private school in our area starting in Pre-k. Why? Because the school has a track record of producing graduates that have a superior chance at success in life when compared to other options. I don't care what I have to pay to give my child a chance at that that others might not have. That's a wise use of money.

    Point is, even if your parents have the money to get you into a top school, you still have to work once you're there. I never saw people that took for granted being at a top school, because they usually had to work hard to get there and to stay there.

    MS
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313
    eMeS wrote: »
    One of the reasons people are often dismissive about MBAs is because so many schools out there are offering a crappy, unpredictable product. Lo and behold this variability still occurs even though the schools are accredited.

    You may have unwittingly thrown a rock at a hornet's nest here, in that just as you've pointed out we shouldn't automatically dismiss an MBA from lower tier schools, it's likely not accurate to assume that everyone that attends a top school did so because their father had the money to pay the bill. My father, whom I didn't grow up with, was much more interested in stuffing his money in mattresses than he was in investing it in the needs of his children.

    MS

    Good points. MBAs are a dime a dozen (numerically, if only it was true in terms of cost) and have been so for many years now. Far too many people still pinning their hopes on an MBA. It's been a racket for many schools since the seventies. Consider your reasons for an MBA carefully and the school.

    As for top schools, there is a conveyor belt to them for the privileged which will never go away. Regardless, once there you work for your grades. If you are not sitting on the conveyor belt to get there you will most likely have to be outstanding to get in. I agree the quality of education at the top Universities can indeed be superior. But for me what is equally important is the experience can be richer in terms of the aspiration of the people around you, which tends to rub off and elevate people, and the social connections one makes which will only help you when you leave University.

    Like yourself Im considering a fee paying school for my kids. I would like brilliant education and life chances for everyone in my country but it isn't happening and probably never will. In the UK most of our cabinet politicians went on to get Politics Philosophy and Economics degress from Oxford or Cambridge. They are also nearly all millionaires and there are no working class heros anymore in high office. There is a reason.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    MS, I'm surprised you haven't made a Toastmasters recommendation yet. I'm starting back up on Monday.
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    dynamik wrote: »
    MS, I'm surprised you haven't mad a Toastmasters recommendation yet. I'm starting back up on Monday.

    I wish I had time for that...it's really good stuff.

    MS
  • petedudepetedude Member Posts: 1,510
    eMeS wrote: »
    I do disagree a bit with the second part of your statement though. If the products of Ivy League and Top-20 business schools were not better educated than people who graduated from lower ranked schools, then there would be no reason for the ranking.

    Isn't a significant part of most rankings determined by how much money one makes when one graduates from a particular school? In that case, I think there's a fair argument that there are at least some underperforming graduates from these schools who command their salaries only on the basis of their school's name.

    Food for thought.

    (Haven't had my coffee yet, so someone say something if I'm unclear. . . please.)
    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313
    petedude wrote: »
    Isn't a significant part of most rankings determined by how much money one makes when one graduates from a particular school? In that case, I think there's a fair argument that there are at least some underperforming graduates from these schools who command their salaries only on the basis of their school's name.

    Food for thought.

    (Haven't had my coffee yet, so someone say something if I'm unclear. . . please.)

    It may be so. The aegis of a top school opens doors to well paid careers and there are plenty of academic underperformers in such schools. Top schools do have some great teachers though.
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    eMeS wrote: »
    Thanks for the follow-up and clarification. I appreciate it. I'm often faced with people that assume that I started with everything and all kinds of opportunities, so yeah, I probably do have a chip on my shoulder when someone claims that I am where I am because of favorable parentage as opposed to effort.

    I do disagree a bit with the second part of your statement though. If the products of Ivy League and Top-20 business schools were not better educated than people who graduated from lower ranked schools, then there would be no reason for the ranking.

    I have a child that is 3 at the moment. My wife and I have already decided that we are sending him to a well-known, highly ranked private school in our area starting in Pre-k. Why? Because the school has a track record of producing graduates that have a superior chance at success in life when compared to other options. I don't care what I have to pay to give my child a chance at that that others might not have. That's a wise use of money.

    Point is, even if your parents have the money to get you into a top school, you still have to work once you're there. I never saw people that took for granted being at a top school, because they usually had to work hard to get there and to stay there.

    MS

    You seem to be a proponent of environment, as opposed to genetics as well; if you're going to spend x-amount of dollars to send your kid to an elite pre-K. The one thing we both have in common (me spending federal loan money on a "shortcut" school; you sending your kid to an elite pre-K day care) is that we both won't see the outcome of those endeavors until a much later time (you, in about 14-16 years, me in about 2-5). Then at some point, we'll both have to answer the other and state if it was worth it or not.

    I'd like to think we'd be friends long enough to find out.... ;)

    Do me a favor, though, and don't read too much into my first paragraph; I'm neither opposing nor advocating the choices you make for your kid. We all want what's best, after all. No one should ever knock you or any other parent for that.
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    dynamik wrote: »
    MS, I'm surprised you haven't mad a Toastmasters recommendation yet. I'm starting back up on Monday.


    I have a colleague who is a Past Governor and past club president (or maybe current, who knows).

    My work schedule has been too hectic for me to have gotten involved with them, but they are an EXCELLENT group to be involved with if you want to buck up on your speaking skills.
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