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Part Time MBA - dilemma on school selection

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kobelco Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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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!

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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.

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kobelco Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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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.

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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.

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kobelco Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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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.

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Michael@VeritasPrep Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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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.

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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

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kobelco Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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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.

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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.

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essaysnark Legendary Member
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Post Mon May 13, 2013 7:29 am
Awesome - good luck and let us know how it goes!

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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/
* * * * * * *
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