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February 05, 2008


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I say go for it. It's only 2 years. But make sure you attend a top tier school. Law and Business schools are top heavy and if you don't graduate from a top school, you frequently end up as a bottom feeder so to speak.

Getting my MBA was the best thing I've done. The payout is amazing if you plan it right. Do make sure you know how you will leverage it though. Too mnay people went in blindly and never got value from it.

You don't always have to go to a top school if a smaller school's program is well known by your company and you plan on staying there for a few years. Is there any way they can pay for part of it? Many employers have tuition asistance.

Go for it! I just finished an MBA this past summer and have already seen benefits. You will have the opportunity to gain valuable insights and experiences in your coursework that will enable you to take on additional projects at your current job. In turn, that will increase your marketability and make you more valuable to your current employer.

25k in the software industry? Are you in the US...?

It's not necessarily the MBA that benefits you. It is what you learn and how you apply that new knowledge. That said, obviously if you get into a Tier 1 school that is a benefit.

Move to a job that will pay for your MBA, then do it.

I'm confused????

25k for 8 years exp in software. I hope he is just using software and not on the development side.

8 years in a Computer science role should be at least 60-70k.

The simple question is: will an MBA help you get towards what you want in your life? If so, then it's an investment that you cannot afford NOT to make.

Assuming that it's bucket of money that you need, a better way might be to start a part-time business (a blog with advertising, home renovations, anything) ... and, INVEST until you have The Number (the amount you need to support your life.

Good Luck!

I'm am currently going for my MBA and I only make $30,000. The online MBA program helps give me time for work and family etc. What I figured is after I get my MBA I will be making lots more money and should not worry about the amount of the loan I have taken out. It's up to you, though, to determine if you will work hard enough for it to be all worth going back to school and spending the money.

Before you embark on the MBA you do need to consider what you want out of your job/career and why you think an MBA will get you that. Having an MBA does not mean that you will immediately earn a six-figure income. It certainly primes you up for that as the education is meant to stimulate your entrepreneurial streak within, enhance your go-getter attitude, increase your business motivation etc. while providing you an in-depth understanding of the business environment.

One worry from your comment is that after 8 years in the software industry you are still only on a 25K salary. If you are in North America/Europe or most English-speaking countries this should be much closer to a 6-figure income by now. Since it's not one has to ask whether you have any drive to succeed (in any industry/profession) at all. The software market around the world is booming and earning 25K after 8 years seems to show a lack of motivation, determination and/or (worse of all) belief in yourself. An MBA won't help you much if you lack those core characteristics...

Keep in mind he said 25,000 pa. I am taking a guess that maybe the pa stands for Panama? I think that is the country code anyway. Maybe that is not such a bad salary for that country.

Wow, if that is $25,000 USD... a top tier MBA school is going to put you into debt of at least $100,000. Is that worth it? I say no.

Look for a decent state university MBA program. The quality is usually very good and the prices are fantastic

First off, does the asker have a BA??? You can't get an MBA unless you have an undergraduate degree. But even without an undergrad degree a $25K/yr (pa means per annum I assume) is WAY low. It's barely minimum wage. Something doesn't add up, no matter WHAT industry you're working in. Anybody with 8 years experience in anything should be making way more than that regardless of degree.

I don't mean to be rude, but if you aren't making more than $25k/yr by the time you're 30 after working for 8 years in the same field, then an MBA probably isn't your answer. This person may just end up spending a ton of money on application fees, test taking, and research to not get into any schools - or worse, they'll get into a school and take out heavy loans and then not be able to pass the very challenging courses. He/she admits it would be "a stretch" to get into B school...

I agree about the puzzlement regarding your income this far along in your career. I do not think an MBA will add very much unless your employer subsidizes the cost and wants you to be involved in management. First you need to ask for a raise...

As an MBA 2003 from The Ohio State University which is in the top-20 of MBA rankings, I can tell you a bit from experience.

1. If you end up making over $65k, the interest from your student loans is not deductible.
2. It is much smarter if you can go on the company's nickel - better if you can go full-time and not part-time, but company's nickel is best way.
3. You need to know what you will do with the MBA.
4. If you are looking to be picked up across the country or even outside the US, then you will need a school which is recognized farther than regionally. If you do not expect to be moving when you get your MBA, then a regionally recognized MBA suffices. You might also want to look at a school's alumni base.
5. A company will not pay you more tomorrow for the job you are doing today even if you have your MBA (or bachelor's). They have already "paid" for you. You will probably have to get a job somewhere else, or set something else up with your company for when you finish your diploma.
6. Is your GMAT score high enough to get a GAA or a scholarship or grant? These can help, but won't replace the need for money.
7. I also question how you can be working for 8 years with a bachelor's degree and only making $25k. Did you just earn your bachelor's degree perhaps, or is it from another country and you are not working in its field? Are you working an IT help desk when you say you are working in software? I ask because I have heard of such conditions and those working those jobs would only be making $25k perhaps while having a bachelor's degree which might enable them to even consider aplying for a master's degree. Perhaps there are more extenuating circumstances that you should tell us about first.


In addition to all of the considerations previously mentioned it's worth figuring out what an MBA will cost and how many years it will take you to recoup that cost. The way I calculate it, assuming it takes two years to get your degree:

Lost earnings: $50,000
Tuition: $60,000
Books & other school expenses: $3,000

Not counting living expenses, an MBA will cost you at least $113,000. Add living expenses and you'll likely be in the hole for about $150,000 at the end of two years.

Now, what do you anticipate your starting salary after graduation will be? For argument's sake, let's say you make $45,000 with an MBA. That's $20,000 more than your salary now. If you maintained your $25k per year lifestyle, it will take you nearly 10 years to recoup the cost of your education (two in school, eight after school). Is that worth it for you?

Secondarily, it is worth examining what learning experiences you can get on the job that might qualify you for higher positions. Or, can you go to work for a company that will foot the bill for night classes?

I realize after re-reading what I wrote above, that it sounds pretty anti-school. I don't want to give that impression. (I'm an example of someone who quit work, and is currently pursuing a JD.) If it's the right thing for you, at the right time, I say go for it. Just make sure you've considered all the angles. Good luck!

I dont know that an MBA is really valued as they seem to be pretty generic IMHO. Determine your exact goal and then see if am MBA is needed to get you know. MBAs come a dime a dozen, you will need to set yourself a part from the rest.

I am also curious about 25K in software development.

Regardless, from what I heard for MBA a good school is really important in getting a job. It could be a difference between a high paying job and being uneployed.

I would look for a school that offers assistantships. While there may not be enough assistantships in business, other departments may have "assistant" position for someon with a CS background. In addition to regular teaching and research assistantships which would go to grad students in the same department, there often are programming jobs in other departments that are categorized as "assistantship". When I got into graduate school, I applied too late to get a research or teaching assistantship in my department (CS). There were, however, still positions in other departments that needed someone with BS in CS regardless of major. These positions were categorized as "assistantships" and carried the same priveleges, including full tuition and fee waiver. So, I'd look for a large university that has both a good business school and departments that need a graduate assistants with CS knowledge.

As most others have said, the $25,000 per year is extremely perplexing. I think an advanced degree is extremely important in this day and age to maximize earning potential. In addition, I think it is worth financing a degree that will cost you $100,000 or so with student loans as long your earning potential is in the six figures. HOWEVER, in this situation, I think the questioner needs to start maximizing his earnings now, before he wastes money on an MBA. My concern is that if he doesn't have the go-get-em attitude necessary to find a higher paying job now, an MBA isn't really going to help him and he will just get stuck with a student loan debt that he can't pay off.

'pa' is short for per annum (per year). It is commonly used in commonwealth countries like UK, Canada, or Australia. As such, the value of an MBA there may not match that in US and the student loan rate may not be as cheap as in US.

Nevertheless, as someone with similar background as the OP and also planning on taking an MBA, I am convinced that the knowledge gained from an MBA program should prove to be valuable even in daily endeavour.

Hi, I am a 31 year old with nearly 6+ years of experience in Sales and currently working in Media company as Business Development.

I have been thinking to do an MBA from past two years but have not so far due to various factors and also I generally see people coming from engineering / software programming or finance background to do MBA, but as me currently working in Media industry not sure whether MBA is the right path for me to grow.

My current salary is GBP30,000 pa and I want to grow and advance in career and I always have this thing going in mind that will MBA will help me to step up the ladder.

I have always been passionate about MBA but will have to take loan apart from stretching to get into a good B-School.

I already hold a Master Degree in IT but surprisingly not working in IT industry. Since past 4 years I have been working in a Post Production company which provides services to Feature Film and Broadcast Industry and I handle the Business Development side.

I am interested in part time / executive MBA as I would also like to continue my job but at this point of time but I am still confused whether MBA is right for me or not due to the amount of money involved & my age.

Would appreciate your feedback and suggestions?


I'll post your question in a couple weeks -- stay tuned.

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