• PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    PrepScholar GMAT
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Veritas Prep
  • Magoosh
    Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Magoosh
  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Varsity Tutors
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Economist Test Prep
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Target Test Prep
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Kaplan Test Prep
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    EMPOWERgmat Slider

Part Time MBA - dilemma on school selection

This topic has 3 expert replies and 6 member replies
kobelco Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 May 2013
Posted:
4 messages

Part Time MBA - dilemma on school selection

Post Thu May 09, 2013 7:17 am
Background: I work in the IT field, with 10 years of experience. Live in the Twin Cities metro area. Want a MBA degree to either advance in the IT vertical or open new avenues in other areas such as finance. Not exactly sure on the direction after the MBA.

Dilemma: I've narrowed down the options to these two: University of St. Thomas-Opus School and University of Minnesota-Carlson School. Carlson has better ranking (some rankings say it is #14 on the Part Time MBA program list in US), while it is around $20K more than Opus.

Need advice on: Is the 20 grand worth the brand recognition? What are the chances that I will be seeing a significant increase in salary after MBA to compensate for the 20 more grand (compared to Opus) spent at Carlson?

Thanks in advance to anyone who responds!

Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums!
essaysnark Legendary Member
Joined
20 Sep 2009
Posted:
795 messages
Followed by:
85 members
Thanked:
177 times
Post Mon May 13, 2013 6:10 am
Hi kobelco - Welcome to Beat the GMAT!

These can be difficult questions for sure. The main reasons that a school's ranking matters are that it attracts higher-caliber students, oftentimes there's more funding available for scholarships, and it generally will get significantly more attention from recruiters than a lower-ranked or unranked MBA program. (These are all correlated factors, not causal, of course.) So the standard advice is, go to the best school that you can in terms of reputation. This typically means you'll have more opportunities available - and where this can matter the most is in your first post-MBA job. That's because the salary you get at the first job out the door of the program will largely dictate your earnings trajectory for the rest of your life. So yes, there's a $20k difference in tuition, but if you can get an additional $5k (or more!) in starting salary, then Carlson will make up for that pretty quickly.

Now, it really really depends on your locale and what the employers in your area, and in your industry, care about. Sometimes the difference doesn't matter so much.

In fact, we recently responded to someone with a similar question in the LA area and we basically said to go for the cheaper school - the opposite of what we're suggesting to you. You can see that thread here: http://www.beatthegmat.com/pepperdine-vs-lmu-t225268.html

The main reason for the difference in our answers is, Pepperdine is not considered as good a school as Carlson, and we don't see Pepperdine as worth $25k more than LMU. But that's our perspective as an outsider; EssaySnark is not an employer in the LA area (or the Twin Cities area) who's looking to hire these graduates. THAT's really where you need to be doing your research.

Start with the schools. Get their employment placement reports. Talk to their career services people.

Then, talk to the companies. Reach out to the HR departments of the companies you'd want to work for in the area. Or just go talk to your boss, or the CEO of your company if he/she is accessible. See what other people say about these two schools.

You can get a great feel for how they're regarded through conversations like that. It should help you understand the differences (way more than some anonymous 'Snark on the interwebs can do!!).

The other approach of course: Apply to both schools and see which one(s) admit you!! That could make this whole thing moot. Wink

Please come back and let us know what you find, and what you decide to do. Will be interested to hear your strategies!

EssaySnark

_________________
EssaySnark has MBA application guides for HBS, Stanford, Booth, Wharton, NYU and pretty much any other school you can name - including a fully revised and expanded 2015 Columbia essay guide!
http://essaysnark.com/bookstore/
* * * * * * *
The Indians' Guide to Getting In maps out everything you need to evaluate your own profile and select your schools. http://essaysnark.com/ssguide/quicksnark-the-indians-guide/
* * * * * * *
MILITARY CANDIDATES! We've got some pro bono offers just for you: http://essaysnark.com/military-mba/
* * * * * * *
Follow EssaySnark on Twitter!

Thanked by: kobelco
kobelco Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 May 2013
Posted:
4 messages
Post Mon May 13, 2013 7:10 am
Thanks EssaySnark!

I am applying to both, and figure that I have a decent shot at both. Will post an update when I know.

essaysnark Legendary Member
Joined
20 Sep 2009
Posted:
795 messages
Followed by:
85 members
Thanked:
177 times
Post Mon May 13, 2013 7:29 am
Awesome - good luck and let us know how it goes!

_________________
EssaySnark has MBA application guides for HBS, Stanford, Booth, Wharton, NYU and pretty much any other school you can name - including a fully revised and expanded 2015 Columbia essay guide!
http://essaysnark.com/bookstore/
* * * * * * *
The Indians' Guide to Getting In maps out everything you need to evaluate your own profile and select your schools. http://essaysnark.com/ssguide/quicksnark-the-indians-guide/
* * * * * * *
MILITARY CANDIDATES! We've got some pro bono offers just for you: http://essaysnark.com/military-mba/
* * * * * * *
Follow EssaySnark on Twitter!

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Wed May 15, 2013 2:18 pm
kobelco wrote:
What are the chances that I will be seeing a significant increase in salary after MBA to compensate for the 20 more grand (compared to Opus) spent at Carlson?
Hard to say without knowing exactly what your function is in IT. However, if you have been progressively moving in your IT career, then chances are that you will not make significant increase, if any, in your post-MBA career. If you want to stay at least at your pre-MBA earnings level you will have to stay with IT and look for vertical movement in it when the opportunity comes up. MBA will not have decisive effect in your upward mobility within IT though. But it may be a plus on your resume, or a differentiator for some positions.
If you want to change careers, you will definitely have to take a hit in your salary, at least initially, for another ~5-7 years. That's because you will have to start at MBA entry-level position in your new field.
I am saying this from my own experience and observations of my classmates at GW part-time MBA. Everyone I know who entered the program from IT field (and had at least 5-7 years of progressive experience) stayed in that field a year after graduation. The reason is the same for everyone: entry-level MBA positions do not match what they are making in their IT roles.
Essentially, part-time MBA will not help you earn more than you should be making know, if you have been working the IT field properly in the last 10 years.
This is not to say that MBA degree is totally worthless for IT guys. But it is not an instant income booster for IT pros with experience. Look at it at as long-term investment in yourself Wink.
The story could be different for full-time top 5(-10-15?) MBA programs where you could try to ride just on the school brand name.

On the other hand, if you really want to change the field, do not have significant financial obligations, and ready to take a plunge and lower salary than what you make now, then, as was mentioned in the post above, take a higher ranked school with better reputation.

kobelco Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 May 2013
Posted:
4 messages
Post Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:07 am
Thanks beatvit, for a different perspective.

I'm a programmer, in a niche field. I don't expect to move to a job in a new vertical, say, finance, the day I graduate. I know changing fields in mid-career can be tough. What I'm looking at is long term. Five year, 10 years down the line, would my earning potential be impacted by the choice I make between UST and UofM.

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:29 pm
Kobelco, some thoughts in response to your latest question. There is a notion that the value of having MBA degree on your resume diminishes with time. So 5-10 years from graduation you will be valued on your actual accomplishments, whether it is the new field or your growth in IT. However, to get in the new field, or move up in the IT, the reputation (read: ranking) of the program is still important.
A year after graduation I don't remember many of the things I studied at business school, but many people around would give credit to the GW brand, which is reasonably high around DC area. I think this will be true years from now too.
Same is true in your situation. A graduate in the lowest percentile of his/her class from the top 5 MBA programs will almost always be perceived more favorably than the person from the top of the class from, say, top 15 programs. Because no one would know their actual academic record, but everyone would recognize the brand.
I am not very familiar with particular schools you are considering, but if the the spread in rankings (and perception) is significant, go for more reputable school. Speaking about perception, in my research of MBA programs Opus never hit my radar, but I at least remember Carlson name. Hope it helps.

Thanked by: kobelco
kobelco Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 May 2013
Posted:
4 messages
Post Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:51 am
essaysnark wrote:
Awesome - good luck and let us know how it goes!
I scored a 660 on the GMAT. 6/6 on the AWA. 5/8 on IR.

Got accepted to both the Carlson School of Management (University of Minnesota) and Opus College of Business (University of St. Thomas). Leaning towards the Carlson program.

essaysnark Legendary Member
Joined
20 Sep 2009
Posted:
795 messages
Followed by:
85 members
Thanked:
177 times
Post Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:09 pm
kobelco wrote:
essaysnark wrote:
Awesome - good luck and let us know how it goes!
I scored a 660 on the GMAT. 6/6 on the AWA. 5/8 on IR.

Got accepted to both the Carlson School of Management (University of Minnesota) and Opus College of Business (University of St. Thomas). Leaning towards the Carlson program.
Wow kobelco - you remembered to come back and fill us in on your results - very cool! And very cool to see the admits you racked up. We'd be leaning towards Carlson too, but it is an individual and quite personal choice. Carlson is better-known as far as bschools go, as you're probably aware. That can be an advantage in recruiting, but it really depends on your industry (not sure that there would be a major difference in the two for IT recruiting).

Anyway, congratulations on your success! And thanks for sharing the news. Always fun to see it.

EssaySnark

_________________
EssaySnark has MBA application guides for HBS, Stanford, Booth, Wharton, NYU and pretty much any other school you can name - including a fully revised and expanded 2015 Columbia essay guide!
http://essaysnark.com/bookstore/
* * * * * * *
The Indians' Guide to Getting In maps out everything you need to evaluate your own profile and select your schools. http://essaysnark.com/ssguide/quicksnark-the-indians-guide/
* * * * * * *
MILITARY CANDIDATES! We've got some pro bono offers just for you: http://essaysnark.com/military-mba/
* * * * * * *
Follow EssaySnark on Twitter!

GMAT/MBA Expert

Michael@VeritasPrep Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Joined
19 Aug 2015
Posted:
381 messages
Followed by:
6 members
Thanked:
13 times
Post Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:18 pm
I would say the $20k in this case is very much worth it. In the grand scheme of things it is not a huge amount of money. It will give you far more flexibility down the line. Especially if you ever look to move out of the area. You'll also be able to tap into a stronger undergraduate network from Minnesota.

_________________
Veritas Prep | Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant

Find the expert who's right for you. Meet our team!
Register for a free MBA Admissions Workshop!

Enroll in a Veritas Prep GMAT class completely for FREE. Wondering if a GMAT course is right for you? Attend the first class session of an actual GMAT course, either in-person or live online, and see for yourself why so many students choose to work with Veritas Prep. Find a class now!

Best Conversation Starters

1 Vincen 152 topics
2 lheiannie07 61 topics
3 Roland2rule 49 topics
4 LUANDATO 44 topics
5 ardz24 40 topics
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members...

Most Active Experts

1 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

140 posts
2 image description Rich.C@EMPOWERgma...

EMPOWERgmat

110 posts
3 image description EconomistGMATTutor

The Economist GMAT Tutor

109 posts
4 image description GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

107 posts
5 image description DavidG@VeritasPrep

Veritas Prep

72 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts