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« MND: Why aren't You Wealthy? (More on Great Offense and Great Defense) | Main | Tough Financial Choices, Part 2: 401k versus Roth IRA »

September 27, 2005


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As you said in your caveat, it isn't the be all and end all of earning a boatload of money, but is a definite plus. Not to mention an important factor when considering grad school, as we've discussed before.

Sheesh! With that sort of salary jump you'd be foolish not to invest the time and money (and ideally you can get your education at least subsidized in some form) to get an MBA if this is the field that your interested in. At least that's the way I see it.

I have just recently (in January) embarked on the journey to completing my MBA. For obvious reasons, I was initially scared off by the amount of money I would have to commit to this portion of my education (I nearly fainted when I had to plunk down $300 for one quarter long class's books)! However, when you carefully access the situation the cost-benefit of getting your MBA is unbelievable (as you mentioned in your post). As my parents told me, "It costs so much because they know you'll be making a whole lot more once you graduate"...

I completed my MBA almost two years ago. While I'm not sure I've seen the investment make sense in monetary terms (I haven't switched jobs), I have deffinetely seen a rapid increase in my position and responsibility. Hopefully, the paycheck catches up soon. Already, I can see it was worth it in the long run. Especially since my company paid the $60k+ tuition for me.

I know it probably makes sense to get your MBA if you're relatively young. Is there still an advantage if you are almost 50 years of age? My current salary is 42K.

I'd say it depends on:

1. What your salary is now (if you'd have to give it up for a year or two to go to school).

2. What you'd expect to earn when you graduated

3. What it will cost you to go to school

One suggestion to minimize #1 and #3 -- go at night if your current employer will pay you to take classes. Just be sure it's with a quality program that will help you advance to where you want to be -- not just a degree you get and then stay in the same job.

Here's my question to anyone listening: Right now I am 24 years old, making $65,000 a year, (as a pharmaceutical rep.) I am contemplating pursuing a full-time MBA at a non-Ivy League university. The total cost of the MBA would be approximately $5,000, (don't ask how I'm doing it so cheap...). I do not have a business background, and would like such an education to help advance my career. But at the salary bracket that I am already in, do you think it is worth it, even in the long run, to pursue an MBA with a non-Ivy league school?

Julia --

First, what do you want to do with your life? If you're doing it and getting an MBA won't help you advance, then there's no need.

However, if you do want to do something else (in another field, another specialty, etc.) then it's likely that an MBA will still work out for you. The keys are:

1. Be sure the school you go to has lots of companies in your chosen field recruiting at it. If not, you may end up with a degree and no job at the end of it.

2. Check the starting salaries for these sorts of positions. Many schools (or magazines) publish average starting salaries both before and after grad school -- and most are higher than $65k upon graduation.

3. Once you check these two out and feel comfortable with them, run the math. If you have to quit work to get the degree, you're passing up $130,000 (at least) for the two years you won't have your current job. Plus there's the $5k for schooling as well as other expenses. Calculate how long it will take you to make this amount up (probably 5-10 years). Is it worth it?

4. The intangible question is: what makes you happy? If an MBA gets you a job you love versus the one you may or may not like now, then factor that in as well. Having a job you like is worth a whole lot of money.

Finally, check out this article:

It shows how much more an MBA graduate makes even over a bachelor's degree grad. It's a good amount.

Good luck!


Thank you for your response. The school I'm looking at has lots of great companies recruiting at it, including the one I work for now. But the average annual starting salary of a grad from its program is only $40,000. I know that it's a good program and that I'll learn lots of new skills and gain confidence in my knowledge sense, but I'm already making $25K more than the average salary of a grad. This somewhat concerns me.

In addition, I would be passing up $130,000 of my current salary. But in the long run, will the small $5,000 investment be worth it to advance up the corporate ladder, and into higher income brackets?

Also, I am not content in my job now whatsoever. I know I have a great position in a fantastic company, but it does not fulfill me. Perhaps in pursuing an MBA, I would be able to explore other fields of interest, discuss industries and roles with other students and professors, and find something better suited to my intersts and skills. Do you think that is an advantage of pursuing an MBA?

Another question: Is it worth getting an MBA from a school that perhaps not many people in the US know of? If I said that I had an MBA from Concordia University, would that mean anything to you? Is it the fact that one possesses an MBA that matters most, or is it where they get the MBA from that means everything? This is a major factor in my decision.

I read your article-- very insightful. But the difference in salary between Groups 4 and 5 (those with a Bachelor's and those with a Master's) does not look that extreme. In fact, "P" from Group 4, makes more than "T", from Group 5! How do you explain that?

Oh, and I'm just curious as to what you do for a living and how you got to where you are, seeing as you've seemingly done an excellent job managing your own career. I'm always curious as to others' career paths.

Thanks in advance-- you're helping me sort through the pieces of this puzzle.

Wow -- lots of questions!

I can't answer them now, but I'll try to respond tomorrow to give you my thoughts.

Julia --

I got to it tonight after all.

All I can give you are my thoughts and perspectives from someone who's been there and been in the workforce for 18 years since. But it may not be for you -- you'll have to decide.

First of all I'd like to say that grad school is not a place to "find yourself." I wouldn't go unless I was SURE I wanted to get into business. Otherwise, you've wasted two years, given up lots of salary, and you're still unfulfilled (maybe). You need to start with what you really want to do BEFORE you decide to go on to school (or get a new job). It sounds like this is still a question in your mind. That said, I'd do some soul searching before I did anything.

As far as the MBA goes, it sounds as if the college you're considering is not a "top-tier" program. How could it be with that level of starting salary (that's what my starting salary was out of grad school in 1988!)? I would advise you to NOT go to this MBA school or any one like it -- it's likely you'll never make up your lost investment that way. Instead, consider a top-30 school where you'll make $20k or so more a year than you're currently making -- it shouldn't be hard to find these. I believe Business Week and publications like it have this information readily available. I've seen a number of people go get their MBA at a "good" school -- only to (at best) stay in the job they had all along. It's a dead end.

For someone with your income and work experience, you should be able to get into a top-30 school rather easily. You can also get an assistantship to help you save big bucks on tuition (I went to a top-25 school and left with only a couple thousand in debt because I worked every weekend night). I'm not talking Harvard or Wharton, but there are lots of great, affordable MBA programs out there. Do some research and you'll see. Just make sure the companies you want to work for recruit and hire there.

Some point-blank answers:

"Is it worth getting an MBA from a school that perhaps not many people in the US know of?"

Maybe -- if you don't want to work in the US. If it's a great school for the French and you want to work in France, then it's ok. Otherwise, stick to a school people have at least heard something about.

"If I said that I had an MBA from Concordia University, would that mean anything to you?"

No. But that doesn't necessarily mean anything. The question is "would it mean something to someone who could/would hire you in your new field?"

"Is it the fact that one possesses an MBA that matters most, or is it where they get the MBA from that means everything?"

By FAR -- where the MBA came from. Like I said above, you don't have to go to the very top schools (and pay top dollar), but you do at least need to be in the ballpark. And a grad school where the average salary is $40,000 ranks below many top undergrad business schools.

"The difference in salary between Groups 4 and 5 (those with a Bachelor's and those with a Master's) does not look that extreme. In fact, "P" from Group 4, makes more than "T", from Group 5! How do you explain that?"

It's a quirk in the math. Since both P and T increase their salaries by 10% a year, P is able to earn enough in the years T is in grad school to get ahead of T salary-wise. From there, P coasts to a win. Part of this is becasue it costs T $40k to go to grad school (versus $20k for P to go to undergrad). Best of all is if you're T and you had no debt (or little) -- then you're a BIG winner.

"I'm just curious as to what you do for a living and how you got to where you are, seeing as you've seemingly done an excellent job managing your own career."

I think the jury is still out on how well I've done, but thanks, I appreciate the compliment. :-)

If you read my career posts here, you'll get a sense of my career -- I write about what I've done. The nutshell version is undergrad degree, MBA, worked for two top-flight, Fortune 50 companies, and from there worked hard to move up the ladder. That's about it. It really is simple -- kind of like investing. It just takes a bit of effort multiplied over years and years and it adds up.

Hope this helps!



You are such a HUGE help in sorting through this mess of a decision I have to have no idea. Thank you.

In terms of "finding myself", I've pretty much done that, but now I am fine-tuning it. I just can't say at this point that I would like to be a VP of X department of X company in X industry quite yet. That's where the fine-tuning comes in.

In terms of the non-top tier school, there are a few other reasons why I am looking at it:
A- It will give me the education I need. (At the moment I know nothing about the business world, and this school would easily take care of that.)
B- It is super cheap, and I would not be in a huge debt when I graduate, (not to mention I am still paying off $20K from undergrad).
C- My boyfriend lives in the same city as the school and we've been doing long distance for 2 years. (And he can't come to the US because he doesn't have the papers.)
D- They accepted me. I know you mentioned that with my experience and salary, you think I'd be able to get into a Top 30 school, but what you don't know is that I only have the minimum 2 years of work experience, and I have a 2.86 undergrad GPA. My GMAT score is pretty good (650), but the GPA certainly limits my options. So even if I had the means to afford an MBA at a more recognized school, I doubt they would let me in at this point. (Prime example, another (better recognized) university in Montreal rejected me already...and this school does not compare to Columbia or NYU in its B-school ranks at all.)

So while it would be nice if I could be selective, because as you said, it matters WHERE you get the MBA from, I don't think that I am in such a situation. Plus, you advised to look at programs that have an average graduating salary of $20,000 more than your current salary. So that would limit my search to $85-90K, and therefore to the top top schools........which, I probably can't get into. So let's say it's between getting an MBA from this particular (non-top tier) institution, or not having one at all-- what would you do? Is it just not worth it to pursue an MBA, (even at $5000 tuition), at that point?

Also, you had mentioned that P from Group 4, makes more than T from Group 5, because P had an extra 2 years of salary while T was in grad school, plus, P had no grad school debt. If I could graduate with little debt, then perhaps I could be making more than P or T..........?

The other point is, the longer I hold off on this (assuming that by some stroke of magic I wait a couple years to accrue more work experience so that I can get into a great B-school), the more money I will make and the less inclined I'll be to sacrifice that salary. And then my salary will inevitably plateau because I don't have the business background to move forth. I guess half of me is excited now to pursue the degree, not because I feel like I have to, but because I want to. I'm not sure if I'll still hold that sentiment later on in life. But before I go with what I want to do, I want to make sure that I am making a strategic choice that will keep doors open for me and not pigeonhole me in the future. I don't want my CV passed up because I have an MBA from Concordia and Joe Shmo has his from Wharton. I think the MBA is a great thing to have, but I don't want it to hurt me later on-- have you seen that happen?

Again, thank you for all the advice you've been passing along-- you are the only neutral and educated source for me to listen to! I look forward to hearing your response!

P.S. How old were you when you pursued your MBA?

Julia --

I'm emailing you to take this offline. I can't type any longer. ;-)


Don't listen to this FMF. In Minnesota, an MBA is an MBA unless its Ivy League or Carlson School.

I think top MBA programs are great, if you wanna find yourself under your bosses desk for the next 3 years.

Do they have MBA's in Minnesota? ;-)

Ok, before everyone in Minnesota emails me for that comment, I grew up in Iowa, so I'm allowed to razz Minnesota.

But seriously, MBAs are evaluated differently and you can't tell me that an MBA from a no-name school in Minnesota is as good even as one from the UNiversity of Minnesota. I wouldn't buy that for two seconds.

An MBA from JMSB (Concordia) will cost you more than $5 000 unless you are a Quebec resident, and you can't gain resident status while in school full time.... unless you are planning to marry your boyfriend or you have Quebec residency already (even other province residents pay more).

It's now August 28th, so I don't know whether anyone is still posting on here. In any case, I came across this thread when researching whether my investment (almost 60% complete) will be worth the time and money.

At age 33 and with ten years of experience in financial services, I gave up one year of wages (roughly $65K) for 60% completion in the PT MBA program at Carlson. Yes, I went all out four nights a week for a year. So far, I found the program mixed with rigorous courses in finance, accounting, and statistics. If you're coming in with a CFA, CMA, or CPA, I think that an MBA from St. Thomas, Augsburg, or Bethel will be OK. If not, you may want to consider the U of Mn as it will have greater visibility outside of the community and region.

After an unsuccessful bid in the CFA program, I'm hoping this will render opportunities in asset/liability management, investment banking, or M&A. My hope is that the CFA is not a deal-breaker in these areas.

Can Someone out there Help me make a realy big desicion??????
I am turning 20 @ the end of the year, I took a yr off of school to work I make about 50+K a yr.

**I need to make a move and I think the best possible move I could make is to work for another 2 1/2 yrs. save up 130,000+ I will be 22 1/2 yr. old and then buy a house cash. then go back to school and get a bachlers. Or schould I just start shool next yr and work my but off when I get out and buy a house cash and pay off my college?

Vince -

Speaking from experience - do the latter. Start school next year and work your butt off when you get out. Do NOT wait any longer, the money you're making now is not worth putting of your degree. The sooner you get your degree the better your life will be especially in the long run. I was making 50K+ when I was 21 now I'm 28 and making 75K+ but I'm stuck in my position at my current workplace because I don't have a degree and when I asked around I found out that with my experience if I had a degree I would be making twice what I'm making. I'm struggling now trying to get a degree by taking night classes so I can advance within the company. I wish I could go back in time and finish school instead of "gaining experience" just because I was making more money than my friends.

A. Non

HI! I am in need of some advice regarding getting an MBA. I am 47, I'm finishing my bachelors online, have about 6 months to go, and I started looking at MBA programs, I have worked construction for the past 30 years, so I have no corporate work experience. I want to make a career change and stop swinging a hammer for a living. Is it worth it to get an MBA at 50? I have good grades (3.3 GPA) and i'm pretty much debt free other than the debt I'll incur finishing school and for the MBA...what do you think, is it worth it to teach this old dog new tricks?

This is a useful site. I am 26 and hold a BA. (I do not reside in the us). My salary is decent for my country and i am contemplating an mba. however i am near to completing my student loan and also another loan that i have both have 12 mths to go..should i go on with taking another student loan for pursuing an mba at this time or hold off until i acquire a house?

It's hard to tell without knowing your full situation. Personally, I had all my education up front, then started on a house, saving, etc. and it worked out for me. It may be different for you. I suggest you contact someone you know (friend/family member) and trust and who has good money sense and ask them for advice.

This is a really interesting series of comments! It captures a thought process that I struggled with about 20 years ago. I started and dropped two different MBA programs (employer paid for, of course) because each time I was involved in projects that were all consuming for those employers. (My background: undergrad from a backwater state school, engineering discipline)

Now I sure do not want to discourage anyone from pursing an MBA. If you really want to learn something specific that a good school offers in their MBA program, by all means grab it. However, please pay attention to how you can manipulate statistics, Forbes included, into showing a direct correlation between having an MBA and a higher salary. There is an off chance that the people who are motivated enough to get an MBA are also the highest motivated, smartest, whatever, working folks who would have earned great promotions and raises by applying themselves at the companies they worked for, regardless of MBA status.

I feel like I've done ok with just a bachelors; I'm mid forties and will take home something like $300k by the end of this year, from a large corporation. I even like my job!

Good luck.


I have had a great career run early in life and have been very lucky. I have a BS & Masters in Engineering and currently work as a Site Director for a factory overseas in Asia. I am 33 and earning about $260,000 per year including housing allowance.

I'd like to get an MBA but it seems like I'd be losing too much money per year by not working and that I would be making a lateral move afterwards at best.

By the way, I have always lived your investment philosopy, it makes life a lot more fun!


Just read this for the first time.

I received my MBA from a 2nd tier (top 25) program in '99.

Pre-MBA salary: $28,000
Post-MBA salary: $100,000 (including signing bonus & guaranteed bonuses)

In my case, I had a full ride scholarship for the 1st year and a TA for year 2.

As a result, my payback was literally day 1 of my post-graduate MBA. Pretty big slam dunk for me.

I would use the same analysis for anyone considering an MBA. The lower your salary today, the higher your expected salary and the lower your expenses during the program (including any salary from an internship between years 1 and 2), the more I would encourage it.

Is the MBA worth it if you make a lot, already have an advanced degree, and are paying a lot for it? Say you go part-time but it's going to cost $66k, so $22k/year for 3 years? And yes you work, but your job doesn't pay for it. And it's expensive because there are no public schools, only private mba program?

Is it worth it?

I'm 21 yrs old and about to graduate with a BS in Mathematics from the University of Utah. I had always wanted to pursue an MBA after graduating, but recently I've decided not to, because ...

The job I'll be starting in the fall makes $45k which is $5k less than the average MBA from the U of U (where I had planned to attend) that stays in-state. But the real kicker is that if I stay on track in this job I'll be making $100k+ after 5 years or so.

Everyone's situation is different, so it just depends on your individual circumstances!

A quick Question...are all MBAs the same(of course, am not talking about the academic institution) in terms of opportunities or MBA in Finance or MBA in Internationtional Busines etc etc give you a whole lotta advantage in the field you want to go in???

Sami --

They are not all the same in my opinion. The big differences:

1. Who recruits at the schools -- look for a school that has lots of companies recruiting at it from the field you want to be in

2. Contacts -- the contacts you make at some (higher ranked/"better") schools can yield benefits for years to come.

Great series of posts. Myself- I've chosen to go right into getting my MBA, after I recieved my BA last year, and now I'm receiving my first MA at the end of this semester. I'm not at a "top-30" program, but I am at a very good school. I'm completing my first masters degree this semester- and then doing the MBA fulltime. I've chosen this for a few reasons-

1) I have a graduate assistantship which is going to pay for all MBA tuition ($898 a credit x 46 credits) And- I'm not from a "well to do" family or background. An offer of that magnitude for someone of my age (23) is something that I cannot turn down for a few years of experience, or the "hope" that I will find an employer who will pay for my education down the road. As they say- a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

2) While I might not have "typical" work experience for more than 3+ years in my field, I was privileged enough to work on Wall Street last summer in my field- and this summer I am interning at a Fortune 20 organization, again in my field. Plus, I've worked managing seven people before (even though it was in a different field). Work experience seems to be the "thing" everyone says you need to have- and while not very "orthodox" I feel I've gained wonderful work experience.

3) I know that if I don't do it now, it will be much harder later on. At the I have no real committments such as a family. I've decided that having the MBA will benefit me much more than not having it, regardless what school it comes from, or how much "orthodox" work experience one has.

These are just some of my reasons for pursuing my MBA now. At 25, I'll have my first Master's Degree, my MBA, and will be ready to conquer the business world. Heck... I'm certainly not wasting my time on the streets or getting drunk like some 23 year olds I know!

- Kevin

I am 20 years old and am thinking of getting my MBA. My major is currently business administration but I have started thinking about going into nursing school and eventually becoming a nurse anesthetist mostly because of good pay, job security, and I can start making decent money as soon as I get my associates in nursing. I need help finding what would be most financically rewarding both now and in the future.

Hi, I enjoyed reading these posts and am hoping that someone help me with my decision. I am a project manager for an environmental consulting firm. I have been in the business for 15+ years and have a BA in Geography. I want to do the MBA to either give me an other career path or support my present career path. My biggest hesitation is the money. The Florida Atlantic University Executive Program is roughly $34,500 for the complete program (books, parking, tuition) for the twenty three (23) month program. Honestly, I am having a hard time comitting to spending that much money. I already ran it by my boss who, generally was not interested in helping me. Can't blame him, he probably thinks that I might leave after my degree. I already make around $80K per year and am not sure what additional value the MBA can bring me. Will this degree really help push me over the six digit salary mark? Input from anyone who has had a similar delema will be greatly appreciated.


A study by Pfeffer, Organizational Management at Stanford's B-school, reiterated what many say:

Unless you go to an top-tier school, an MBA is worthless.

I second James.

It's also a matter of self-respect.

I am a 30 year old with nealy 8 years of experience in software. I have always wanted to do an MBA but have not so far due to various factors. My current salary is $25000 pa. I have always been passionate about MBA but will have to take loan apart from stretching to get into a good B-School. But at this point of time I am not able to decide whether I should do an MBA or not mainly due to the amount of money involved & my age.

Any suggestions?

Arp --

I'll post your question in early February and let my readers take a shot at answering it. Come back then to the main page and see what they have to say.

I'm in my last semester of an MBA program at a Cal State School and while I agree that everyone's situation is different I would recommend the MBA for a couple reasons. First, I'm getting my MBA while working full time, so there's no salary lost in the way of opportunity cost if you take the same approach (although your personal life will suffer some). I've received one promotion at work due to the MBA about six months ago which was nice, but the big plus is the knowledge you gain from business school, the network you build and the certificate you've gained in the process.

Now if you already make 100k and love your job, it might not make a lot of sense to get an MBA. One of my best friends however made well over 100k and loved his job (Account Exec for a hard money lender) until the sub prime industry took a crap and now he's working at a financial services firm making 41k a year. That's another part of the MBA, it gives you a skill set and a certificate that act as a security blanket.

I graduate in May and feel that with my experience, knowledge gained in the program and actual degree I'll be in pretty good shape career wise. I hope this helps someone on the fence, oh and while you'll hate it at times it will make you stronger and you'll never forget the experience (working and going to school full time.)

I think there is alot of misinformation conveyed above. There are really 2 distinct issues at hand when evaluating getting an MBA. First, improved/incremented knowledge and performance in your job. Second, increased job and career opportunities. In the first instance, getting an MBA if you are NOT educated about business AND work in a business/administrative capacity should clearly provide a benefit AND over time performance improvement and progress simply because you can do your job better. That will probably not propel your career at a vastly accelerated rate BUT should be helpful unless your company has no appreciation for improved work quality. You will still be impacted by all the other work processes/idiosyncrasies like politics, openings, growth or lack thereof creating opportunities etc. You also have to look at the culture of the company and see if having advanced business skills and knowledge are appreciated, acknowledged, utilized and rewarded. In some companies they are not due to size, family ownership etc. There is generally some opportunity cost to getting an MBA, whether time, money etc. You need to look and see objectively if you can get ahead with whatever degree you have or whether there is an "opportunity" premium associated with the degree.

In the second case, getting increased opportunities to really impact your career is probably reflective of going to a Top 10-20 school. However, you have to look at who recruits at the school, where their graduates focus and who they work for. National schools still have their niches. The cost is high for attending if you have to pay BUT generally you will leverage your pay significantly AND also the range of opportunities available to you. If, however, you are past 40 AND not say an ex military officer the benefit might be minimal. In many cases, at that point your career is established and the MBA is like frosting vs. flour. One finishes you off vs. being a core piece of development. The ideal MBA candidate is in the mid 20s-30 with at least 3-5 years of large business or organization experience. There is more appreciation for small company experiences than when I went to get my MBA at the University of Michigan in 1980. Then it was all large corporation focused...GM, GE, IBM, P & G etc. Now with the growth of venture capital, entrepreneurship, high growth companies etc the view is different. Getting a top 5 MBA like I did, opened doors which would not have otherwise been open especially with a BA in history and economics. It enabled me to move out of field sales into consulting, financial and strategic planning then marketing and general management. It gave me the background to do all those things successfully and the confidence to believe in myself due to increased skills and knowledge. It gave me a very good network of graduates to tap into. That especially is of very high value over the long run. Ultimately, 10 years out you have to be able to deliver but the MBA can open doors, enable you to perform and give you momentum with a good earnings stream. It also gives you the ability to be adaptive, deal with change, understand it in a broader context and should make you better able to be strategic and more objective and hopefully more flexible. Those are all key attributes in the business world. In terms of ROI, the payout is not just immediate but also in terms of momentum, that received and that which you can deverlop yourself due to the skills from the degree.

Realistically, you can also develop many of these skills by attending a good BBA program like Michigan, Wharton etc. Getting a law degree with lots of business courses also prepares you very well for business, especially in terms of critical thinking. The MBA will give you more soft business courses but a JD with accounting, finance, and some management courses will do good things too if the rest of the focus is business law. In todays environment, the legal requirements and government involvement are omnipresent.

BTW, if you have a top BA many investment banks, consulting firms, and some other firms, all large, FOrtune 500 types will provide you outstanding training that is as good as an MBA, mostly because the teachers are all MBA school profs doing "Exec" education. But that will not provide you the network of contacts, the degree, prestige etc but will give you good knowledge.

Good Luck.

This has been an interesting and long-winded discussion (started initially on 27th September 2005) regarding merits/de-merits of the MBA! My 2 cents ... I completed a Master's Degree in Computer Information Systems in 2006. I have an undergrad degree in Electrical Engineering, obtained way back in 1992. I just started taking pre-requisite MBA classes at a local university (IU) an hope to start off MBA level classes some time next year. I know this is going to be real hard, especially for a person with a growing family. But I am 100% convinced with the advantages, benefits, and usefulness of getting the MBA degree. So I am going ahead full steam !!! Good luck to all who decide on getting the degree.

Also, FMF: awesome blog and excellent articles. Keep up the good work!

I see advantages and disadvantages at trying to get an MBA. I was talked back into finishing a PhD, and , after not spending a year back, no more funding was available. Talk about feeling like a chump! Anyway, I am going for either a MBA with a Real Estate Concentration or a MS degree in Real Estate. There are some very good programs across the country and they vary in length from one to two years in duration plus include an internship.

One thing I know is the real estate industry is a 3 trillion dollar a year business! With all my previous experience in teaching(19 years)and the supervisory/management experience in the public sector(13 years, 20 total years of service), sometimes "older is better." My one concern is that some middle managers might not be as enthused about hiring me. But I can only pursue my dream. And I believe it will pay off.


Hello. I am 33 years old. I've been with the same, Fortune 25, company for nearly ten years. My salary is 49,500. Based on the year, I'll make another 20,000 - 38,000 in sales bonuses. May of 2009 I'll complete my undergrad degree - Business Admin.. I've taken night and weekend classes for the last nine years. Currently I am looking into MBA or Masters programs. Today, I assume I'll work another 25-20 years. My goal is to move around and move up within the company I am at now. I have a number of questions, including:

A) Public or Private (I'm attanding a smaller private college now)?

B) MBA vs. a Program like: Master of Business Operational Excellence or Masters of Labor & Human Resources?

C) Is spending more, worth it?
I have company tuition aid of 5,500 per year & a MAX of 25,000.

During an economic crisis, now is a great time to have an MBA! It is a great differentiator, as well as a demonstration of financial, managerial, and analytical understanding.

I read a great article on this topic titled, "The Value of an MBA in the Economic Crisis of 2009" found at

It really highlights the value of the skills required for an MBA.

I did a PTMBA at a 2nd tier major Midwest university and it took me 4 years. My employers essentially paid for 70% of the $40,000 it cost. My out of pocket was approximately $12,000.

In year 3 of my MBA program, I changed companies, partly taking advantage of the fact that I was going to have an MBA in a year. I went from a salary of approximately $65000 to about $85,000 and my new employer took care of my outstanding tuition credits I owed my previous employer. Two years later, I am now making $100,000+ per year salary (with bonuses last year I grossed about $135,000). I work for a small private company in upper management. I feel the MBA paid off for me because I would not have been able to make the move if I didn't have the MBA in process. Additionally, I think it gives you some credibility just having it when doing business dealing and the contacts formed in the program can't be beat.

Going Part-time is one of the best ways to go.

My income is literally 2X (last year), 3X probably this year the total amount when I started school.

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