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4/16/13

This article is originally from 300Hours.com. You can read the full article here.

We talked about CFA vs. MBA previously, but this is more fundamental. It's one of those classic questions that always end up with "it depends". 

I do get why we arrive at that conclusion, as the question is so broad and cannot be generalised for each candidate's circumstances. Yet, it' still so anti-climatic and unsatisfactory. 

So, I'm just going to (wo)man-up, apply the 80/20 rule and take a more definitive stance on this controversial subject. My take? MBAs are becoming less worth it. Here's why.


Which MBA?
To assess this question, I focused on the top 30 MBA courses in the latest 2013 FT Global MBA Rankings. It's a common goal for candidates to aim for the top courses anyway. 

What's the current conditions for MBAs?
  • MBA employability continues to improve, with 92% of 2012's global business school graduates (business masters and MBAs) finding employment within 3 months, up from 86% last year. Employers are increasingly interested to hire MBAs in 2013 too.  
  • Post MBA salary boost has declined - On average, a Harvard Business School alum's salary 3 years after graduation (1999) represents a 209% increase from pre-school salary. Now in 2013, that number is 121%. Note that this includes the impact of current economic climate, but I'd argue that it applies to everyone in the market too, MBA or not.
  • Cost of top MBAs have been rising 7% per year for the past 15 years. MBA students who enrolled in 2012 paid 62 per cent more in fees – up 44 per cent in real terms – than those who began their programmes in 2005, even though the increases in post-MBA salaries remained in line with inflation.
  • There seems to be too many MBA graduates already.
  • On average, the total all-in costs (fees, modest living expenses, forgone salaries) of a 2 year top MBA program is around $275k to $325k

What do you aim to get out of an MBA? Are There Better Ways to Achieve These Goals?
Getting an MBA used to be a ticket to huge and sustainable salary boost. With that promise waning and the skyrocketing costs, is MBA still a worthwhile investment?

To tackle this question, a good starting point is to think about the objectives of getting an MBA and  evaluate if there are better alternatives:

#1. Credentials and credibility - with the abundance of MBAs and degree inflation, I'd argue that employers would value actual work experience more as a signal of quality. Because anyone can buy an MBA, no one can buy the work experience and knowledge from doing the job itself. This certainly applies to me when I hire a junior in my team.
  
#2. Improve skillset / knowledge - you learn best on the job. No amount of theory could prepare you for the practical skills needed. Plus it looks good on your CV too. Identify what skills or knowledge of a specific job you would like to obtain, then try to get a job in that area. Just like anything (even MBA applications), you need to be proactive to search and ask for the job you want experience in. At least you still get paid, practical work experiences and not end up with student debt.

#3. Change careers / career advancement - Why do an MBA, incur $300k for 2 years, only to change jobs? Why not do it now? Ask for the internship, work for free even for a short time to gain valuable experiences for your CV to diversify and land the job you want, now.

#4. Network - It's true that you have more time to meet new people, attend events and meet up for coffee when not working full time. But this shouldn't be your sole reason for taking up an MBA, as you can make time for this and start tapping and expanding your network now. Join societies, clubs or events post work or on weekends and off you go.

#5. Have a good time / find yourself - The desire of a guilt-free career break or search for new direction is a common reason (subconscious or not) for taking an MBA. Given the high cost and additional work involved in this demanding course, I'd say it's better to take at least 6 months off to travel the world, meet people or spend time with family. Not only it gives you the battery recharge you desperately need, I'm confident that you will learn more about your true likes and dislikes during that period of idleness, to give you a better sense of direction and purpose for your next phase.

Over to you
On first glance, the average payback period for an MBA of 3.5-4 years seems short, making the investment worthwhile. But does it account for the increase risk aversion in the graduates' job choice? Nope, they didn't.

With a huge student debt, it's likely that top MBA graduates would go for high-paying jobs immediately to service the debt for the next few years, and probably not get the career change they first aimed for (reason #2 above). 

I'm not against the usefulness of an MBA, I think there's a lot to learn there. But the opportunity costs seems too high to warrant such investment, and there are just too alternatives to achieve the same outcome. This is a chronicle of my decision making on MBA back in 2009 based on my career objectives, before I decided to take the CFA instead

What do you think? Did you do (or are in the midst of) an MBA? Share your thoughts and experiences with us below!

Comments (252)

4/16/13

it is worth it for people who did not go to a target school, or a school with a strong presence on wall street. My weak alumni network at my non target state school that i attempted to access leaves much to be desired. In my instance getting into CBS would add to my credibility and open up access to a valuable network. To me, even though i am already in IB and on MD track, I still feel that getting an MBA will give me the credibility and more importantly the CONFIDENCE to set my sights even higher. It is really a personal thing, it sounds like OP doesn't need these items which is okay.

4/16/13

CBSWannabe:
it is worth it for people who did not go to a target school, or a school with a strong presence on wall street. My weak alumni network at my non target state school that i attempted to access leaves much to be desired. In my instance getting into CBS would add to my credibility and open up access to a valuable network.

That's why I'm considering it, I don't think I'll garner much extra knowledge or be much better at my job by earning a MBA but when you go to a non-target if networking fails, MBA to re-brand is sadly all that's left.

Give me a kid whose smart, poor, and hungry...............

4/16/13

CBSWannabe:
it is worth it for people who did not go to a target school, or a school with a strong presence on wall street. My weak alumni network at my non target state school that i attempted to access leaves much to be desired. In my instance getting into CBS would add to my credibility and open up access to a valuable network.

This times 1,000,000

4/16/13

This post reeks of bias. I know all of us are, in one way or another, but this post fails to address a number of major motivations for a high-end MBA. Where is your data on career switchers? I'd argue that an individual in engineering, the sciences, or law has little to no chance of breaking into IB, consulting, or corp dev without an MBA. What about an individual from a non-target who fought and clawed his way into Booth or Haas? The name brand on that resume will shift the way that individual is viewed professionally. I'd also argue that measuring the relative value of an MBA by analyzing the payback period is short sited and fails to account for the change in the "slope" of potential earnings.

Do you really recommend quiting a current job to pursue an internship over going to an MBA? There are certainly small firms and little shops that will higher a 27 year old intern on the whim that they could turn into a full-time employee, but this is not a viable strategy for breaking into any sort of "corporate" position. If you are 24 and hate your job, ok. If you are in your mid-to-late 20's a potential gap on a resume can be devastating and I have trouble recomending that course of action to anyone serious about a career switch.

I appreciate your insight and you seem to have done quite well for yourself. The MBA and CFA are two unrelated designations and should not be compared. They accomplish very different things. It is possible to be succesful with both, neither, or one or the other. I do not understand why people who have chosen one path over the other feel the need to discount the other path.

4/16/13

CornTrader:
This post reeks of bias. I know all of us are, in one way or another, but this post fails to address a number of major motivations for a high-end MBA. Where is your data on career switchers? I'd argue that an individual in engineering, the sciences, or law has little to no chance of breaking into IB, consulting, or corp dev without an MBA. What about an individual from a non-target who fought and clawed his way into Booth or Haas? The name brand on that resume will shift the way that individual is viewed professionally. I'd also argue that measuring the relative value of an MBA by analyzing the payback period is short sited and fails to account for the change in the "slope" of potential earnings.

Do you really recommend quiting a current job to pursue an internship over going to an MBA? There are certainly small firms and little shops that will higher a 27 year old intern on the whim that they could turn into a full-time employee, but this is not a viable strategy for breaking into any sort of "corporate" position. If you are 24 and hate your job, ok. If you are in your mid-to-late 20's a potential gap on a resume can be devastating and I have trouble recomending that course of action to anyone serious about a career switch.

I appreciate your insight and you seem to have done quite well for yourself. The MBA and CFA are two unrelated designations and should not be compared. They accomplish very different things. It is possible to be succesful with both, neither, or one or the other. I do not understand why people who have chosen one path over the other feel the need to discount the other path.

Someone gets it. Too many on this site continuously shit on the value of the MBA degree. It can certainly be argued that a BB IBD Associate may not reap any benefits above his/her cost, but there are plenty of people that choose to switch careers.

I was stuck in Supply Chain & Logistics consulting and used my MBA (non-M7) to break into investment banking, and finance in general. Out of undergrad, I was a marketing & mgmt major and didn't take nearly enough finance or accounting classes to move right into a financial analyst (corporate, IB, or otherwise) from my current position. More importantly, I rarely used accounting and core financial principles, so what I had learned was probably forgotten or "out of practice".

Now, should I have pushed for a higher ranked school? Yes (got into all five schools I applied to and didn't have any reaches IMO, which is an error on my part b/c I personally undervalued my profile). Did I come out with $50-60K of debt? Yep.

Do I regret it? Absolutely not.

I learned more in the past two years than my undergrad and four years of work experience combined. I got lucky, worked my ass off, networked like crazy and broke into a very competitive field. I don't care that I'm in the MM and not the BB. The work is still just as interesting and I take pride in the fact that we actually deliver more value to shareholders at this level (proficiency w/M&A, finance and capital markets is significantly lower amongst some shareholders and execs).

The OP thinks I would have been better off to quit my consulting job for an unpaid internship and hope I made it? Talk about a bigger risk. I would have nothing to fall back on if I wasn't able to translate the internship into a FT position. The MBA may not have as much weight as it did in the past, but it shows that you are committed to business and have a good broad understanding of how things work. It's much more versatile than MS degrees.

Either way, I'm happy where I am, particularly intellectually. And I can thank the MBA for that.

4/16/13

For HBS or GSB, I advise everyone to go

Interesting article
http://qz.com/42233/if-you-cant-get-into-a-top-fiv...

4/16/13

I think what it ultimately comes down when deciding whether or not to get an MBA is the specific nature of your background and what the MBA can add to it.

There's a couple of things that I think can impact a lot in valuing the worth of getting an MBA from a top school.

#1: Your location. Not everyone who wants to get into finance lives in New York, or even a metropolis area with a good financial sector. If you're living in, say, North Dakota, you can't just hop on a plane to go have coffee with an associate and chat (and if you could, you probably already have pretty good connections that you don't need to do so). What one of these top MBA programs can offer you is the ability to network with hundreds of other students, and thousands of alumni in the financial sector, all in one place. In addition, you would be a lot closer to financial hubs that you currently are, making the ease of networking with current employees at firms much more convenient.

#2: Your prior schooling. Not everyone who wants to get into finance knew they wanted to get into finance at 17. A lot of people (including myself) didn't even know what finance jobs were out there until their mid 20s. It's not as if we can go back in time, do 2-3 IB internships, and land a BB gig. We have to work forward from where we're at, which usually means dealing with one or more of the following: non-target undergrad, non-finance undergrad, and/or non-finance work experience. Though a top MBA from our prospective is hard to obtain, the reward of getting in and networking your butt off may mean making $200k when you graduate, versus keeping your $40k/year job in podunk Iowa. Hell, even if you made $100k coming out, including repayment of all your student loans, you'll still come out better in 25-30 years when you retire than you ever could in your old job.

#3: Your network. Not everyone who wants to get into finance knows a bunch of people working on the Street, or has alumni who is working/has worked there. The comparison between my school (a state non-target) and even one of the lower top ten MBA programs (Kellogg) is astounding. If you do a quick search in LinkedIn (yes probably not the most accurate source, but still), you can see difference in placement of people at BBs. From Kellogg at least 42 at JP Morgan, 40 at Citi, 32 at Goldman, and probably a myriad at other smaller, boutique banks. From my school? Just 1 at Goldman (as an executive assistant). That hardly counts as a networking opportunity. And if you're dealing with issue #1, it makes it all the harder to properly network into the jobs that you want to get into.

Is an MBA for everyone? Definitely not. Can it help improve on your situation if your situation is not idea? Absolutely. It all comes down to each individual's specific situation.

4/16/13

I made a post about a month ago that outlines why I think an MBA is indeed worth it (for me): http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/to-anyone-co...

Anti-MBA articles seem to be more and more common these days. Almost all of them argue that the ROI is not worth it; that the same objectives could be met by spending your time elsewhere. Personally, I think it is an incredibly short-sighted and flawed way to view the value of an MBA. Getting an MBA is not the equivalent of purchasing stock -- it is not a financial instrument designed solely to grow your assets. It is an experience designed to enhance your career while simultaneously offering an opportunity to grow as a person and have fun.

I don't know anybody that lives their life in such a manner that everything they do is meant to maximize their ROI. Why even go to undergrad when you can work right out of high school? Why read books, play sports, or travel? Surely these events don't provide nearly the same ROI as grinding an extra couple of hours of work out each day! To evaluate obtaining an MBA on this basis is completely unreasonable.

CompBanker

4/16/13

CompBanker:
I made a post about a month ago that outlines why I think an MBA is indeed worth it (for me): http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/to-anyone-co...

Anti-MBA articles seem to be more and more common these days. Almost all of them argue that the ROI is not worth it; that the same objectives could be met by spending your time elsewhere. Personally, I think it is an incredibly short-sighted and flawed way to view the value of an MBA. Getting an MBA is not the equivalent of purchasing stock -- it is not a financial instrument designed solely to grow your assets. It is an experience designed to enhance your career while simultaneously offering an opportunity to grow as a person and have fun.

I don't know anybody that lives their life in such a manner that everything they do is meant to maximize their ROI. Why even go to undergrad when you can work right out of high school? Why read books, play sports, or travel? Surely these events don't provide nearly the same ROI as grinding an extra couple of hours of work out each day! To evaluate obtaining an MBA on this basis is completely unreasonable.

I generally agree with this so I'm not gonna argue too heavily here, but a couple of quick points:

1. Lots of people are trying to maximize ROI. It's an important goal, especially for kids who don't have rich parents. Money is critically important and affects basically everything you do (or don't do).
2. I think undergrad indisputably offers a really attractive ROI, so the answer to your question regarding attending undergrad might be: because it offers a really attractive ROI!
3. Books sports and travel don't have high ROIs, but it's of a totally different magnitude than going to B-school. For some, B-school could cost $0.5 million or more (including opportunity cost obviously). This is a massive investment to make so early in the career. So if I were focused on ROI, I wouldn't worry about the little stuff like reading a book every once in a while or taking a vacation - I'd be thinking about the big-ticket items, which B-school absolutely is.

4/16/13

CompBanker:
I made a post about a month ago that outlines why I think an MBA is indeed worth it (for me): http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/to-anyone-co...

Anti-MBA articles seem to be more and more common these days. Almost all of them argue that the ROI is not worth it; that the same objectives could be met by spending your time elsewhere. Personally, I think it is an incredibly short-sighted and flawed way to view the value of an MBA. Getting an MBA is not the equivalent of purchasing stock -- it is not a financial instrument designed solely to grow your assets. It is an experience designed to enhance your career while simultaneously offering an opportunity to grow as a person and have fun.

I don't know anybody that lives their life in such a manner that everything they do is meant to maximize their ROI. Why even go to undergrad when you can work right out of high school? Why read books, play sports, or travel? Surely these events don't provide nearly the same ROI as grinding an extra couple of hours of work out each day! To evaluate obtaining an MBA on this basis is completely unreasonable.

If I had to boil down what the MBA means to me it would this - it is purchasing the higher probability of higher income in the future. That's it.

^^Of course that would vary depending on who you talk to.

So, if I were to make a $100/200/300K/whatever financial decision, then you better expect that I will treat that decision with the same way I look at potential investment - through an analytically rigorous perspective of risk v. reward.

With that being said, an MBA needs to provide me with a near 100% probability of getting a higher income in the future. If not, FUCK THAT SHIT.

Growing as a person, experience, having fun, the network, prestige etc. are all intangible concepts that I can't put a value on. But I do know this - under no circumstances are those things worth $100/200/300K/whatever.

In contrast, working for two years (instead of B-School) has a concrete measure of value (salary) and provides me a 100% probility of income growth. All I have to do is forgo some lame B-School parties - fuck it, I can always go to Vegas to "find myself".

While the same can be said for undergrad, I think it depends on what you studied as an undergrad. A liberal arts or engineering major would definitely benefit from learing basic business concepts, but it makes little to no sense for me to learn managerial accounting and marketing all over again, especially since I aced both in undergrad.

Why read books, play sports, travel etc etc? Because these things are fun AND cheap - I don't have to sacrifice two years of work exp/salary and pay a shit-ton of money to do any of those things. I find reading a good book (or going to Vegas) far more appealing than going to a B-School costume party with some of the douchiest cracker-jacks who delude themselves into thinking they think that 2 years of B-School is going to be what makes them who they are.

On the flip side, I do think it makes sense for certain careers - investment banking, consulting and corporations with structured manager-track type roles in their internal organizations. But those are the only careers that really take the MBA seriously.

Final note - you need an MD to practice medicine, you need a JD to practice law, but you sure as shit do not need an MBA to be successful. You don't even need undergrad to be successful.

Man made money, money never made the man

4/16/13

RE Capital Markets:
CompBanker:
I made a post about a month ago that outlines why I think an MBA is indeed worth it (for me): http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/to-anyone-co...

Anti-MBA articles seem to be more and more common these days. Almost all of them argue that the ROI is not worth it; that the same objectives could be met by spending your time elsewhere. Personally, I think it is an incredibly short-sighted and flawed way to view the value of an MBA. Getting an MBA is not the equivalent of purchasing stock -- it is not a financial instrument designed solely to grow your assets. It is an experience designed to enhance your career while simultaneously offering an opportunity to grow as a person and have fun.

I don't know anybody that lives their life in such a manner that everything they do is meant to maximize their ROI. Why even go to undergrad when you can work right out of high school? Why read books, play sports, or travel? Surely these events don't provide nearly the same ROI as grinding an extra couple of hours of work out each day! To evaluate obtaining an MBA on this basis is completely unreasonable.

If I had to boil down what the MBA means to me it would this - it is purchasing the higher probability of higher income in the future. That's it.

^^Of course that would vary depending on who you talk to.

So, if I were to make a $100/200/300K/whatever financial decision, then you better expect that I will treat that decision with the same way I look at potential investment - through an analytically rigorous perspective of risk v. reward.

With that being said, an MBA needs to provide me with a near 100% probability of getting a higher income in the future. If not, FUCK THAT SHIT.

Growing as a person, experience, having fun, the network, prestige etc. are all intangible concepts that I can't put a value on. But I do know this - under no circumstances are those things worth $100/200/300K/whatever.

In contrast, working for two years (instead of B-School) has a concrete measure of value (salary) and provides me a 100% probility of income growth. All I have to do is forgo some lame B-School parties - fuck it, I can always go to Vegas to "find myself".

While the same can be said for undergrad, I think it depends on what you studied as an undergrad. A liberal arts or engineering major would definitely benefit from learing basic business concepts, but it makes little to no sense for me to learn managerial accounting and marketing all over again, especially since I aced both in undergrad.

Why read books, play sports, travel etc etc? Because these things are fun AND cheap - I don't have to sacrifice two years of work exp/salary and pay a shit-ton of money to do any of those things. I find reading a good book (or going to Vegas) far more appealing than going to a B-School costume party with some of the douchiest cracker-jacks who delude themselves into thinking they think that 2 years of B-School is going to be what makes them who they are.

On the flip side, I do think it makes sense for certain careers - investment banking, consulting and corporations with structured manager-track type roles in their internal organizations. But those are the only careers that really take the MBA seriously.

Final note - you need an MD to practice medicine, you need a JD to practice law, but you sure as shit do not need an MBA to be successful. You don't even need undergrad to be successful.

I guess it depends on the person, but how are those intangibles not worth $200K or whatever? At the end of the day, there's more to life than money, and i believe that personal growth, strong friendships, and crazy fun experiences are stuff that cannot be quantified; they're essentially priceless.

No one here is saying that you cannot do fun stuff if you're not in b-school. I feel like you're attacking a strawman here. The point is that b-school offers BOTH professional and personal enrichment and that the type of experiences you have and the people you're around, is a unique one that cannot be replicated elsewhere. This is particularly true of the very best schools, which in my opinion are filled by some of the most accomplished and well-rounded people you'll ever meet.

Again, this is my opinion, and this is coming from someone who was initially quite skeptical about the mba but will be attending a M7 program this fall at a huge opportunity cost.

4/16/13

mbavsmfin:

I guess it depends on the person, but how are those intangibles not worth $200K or whatever? At the end of the day, there's more to life than money, and i believe that personal growth, strong friendships, and crazy fun experiences are stuff that cannot be quantified; they're essentially priceless.

No one here is saying that you cannot do fun stuff if you're not in b-school. I feel like you're attacking a strawman here. The point is that b-school offers BOTH professional and personal enrichment and that the type of experiences you have and the people you're around, is a unique one that cannot be replicated elsewhere. This is particularly true of the very best schools, which in my opinion are filled by some of the most accomplished and well-rounded people you'll ever meet.

Just a heads up, you're doing a really bad job of hiding that you're Brady... proceed

4/16/13

mbavsmfin:
i believe that personal growth, strong friendships, and crazy fun experiences are stuff that cannot be quantified; they're essentially priceless.
are you 100% positive you're not Brady4MVP?
4/16/13

SirTradesaLot:
mbavsmfin:
i believe that personal growth, strong friendships, and crazy fun experiences are stuff that cannot be quantified; they're essentially priceless.
are you 100% positive you're not Brady4MVP?

I am not brady. People can think whatever they want.

4/16/13

mbavsmfin:
SirTradesaLot:
mbavsmfin:
i believe that personal growth, strong friendships, and crazy fun experiences are stuff that cannot be quantified; they're essentially priceless.
are you 100% positive you're not Brady4MVP?

I am not brady. People can think whatever they want.

I'm not saying you're Brady, but you do have MAD SWAGGER.
4/16/13

mbavsmfin:
but how are those intangibles not worth $200K or whatever?

At the end of the day, there's more to life than money, and i believe that personal growth, strong friendships, and crazy fun experiences are stuff that cannot be quantified; they're essentially priceless.

Um..serious question? I will attempt a serious answer - I know because there are literally a million diffferent ways I could have a shit-ton of fun with 200K (assuming I could borrow that kind of money easily...maybe mortgage my condo?).

I can grow personally without b-school, I already have a strong core of friends that I travel with for mountain biking trips, snowboarding trips, F1 races around the world, Vegas, Singapore, Bali, Jaimiaca, Thailand etc, I already have fun experiences at my age.

^^^Guys, you can do all that without the b-school loans.

Man made money, money never made the man

4/16/13

RE Capital Markets:
mbavsmfin:
but how are those intangibles not worth $200K or whatever?

At the end of the day, there's more to life than money, and i believe that personal growth, strong friendships, and crazy fun experiences are stuff that cannot be quantified; they're essentially priceless.

Um..serious question? I will attempt a serious answer - I know because there are literally a million diffferent ways I could have a shit-ton of fun with 200K (assuming I could borrow that kind of money easily...maybe mortgage my condo?).

I can grow personally without b-school, I already have a strong core of friends that I travel with for mountain biking trips, snowboarding trips, F1 races around the world, Vegas, Singapore, Bali, Jaimiaca, Thailand etc, I already have fun experiences at my age.

^^^Guys, you can do all that without the b-school loans.

Again, this is purely a personal call. It's great that you have a lot of friends and do a lot of partying and traveling. Not sure what your work schedule is like, but there are a lot of people who can't do those things due to time and other issues. Even when i'm able to take a vacation, arranging a foreign trip with a group of friends who are also working is a logistical nightmare. In b-school, you at least have 2 years where no one is working full-time, and arranging trips becomes super easy since you're on the same schedule. Again, I never said that you can't party or travel outside of b-school, but i think the context of the mba social environment is very unique, and that adds to the overall experience.

4/16/13

Thanks OP and everyone who's responded, great discussion. Personally, I'm looking to do PT MBA at Booth or Kellogg to help advance at my current employer. I'm not on the finance track and the company will foot most of the bill, so I think it's worth it based on my expectations.

4/16/13

This is, unfortunately, an obviously biased post. You try and wane from that position in the end, but that doesn't refute the paragraphs of argument against getting an MBA. Let me ask: Do you have an MBA? If no, then you see that people can make it without one. That is true and possible. But let me ask this: How many people in your area of expertise and level of seniority have MBAs. I'd dare say more so than not. We all know the "opportunity costs" of getting an MBA are used to scare people. The true dollar cost is what I look at. $150K is a fair, round estimate I'd use for argument's sake. To get to your $300K cost, that assumes a $75K salary. I doubt in two years I will be able to break a $100K base bypassing an MBA unless I'm already a star on the street and don't need it. Those are few and far between my good sir. So I take that $150K in debt and go get an MBA from a top 20 school to, again, be fair and modest for argument's sake. Now, I graduated with a $125K base. Very reasonable. I've made a 67% increase in my base in two years. That's not happening without an MBA. The 4-5 years it takes to pay this $150K in debt off is minuscule now because of the trajectory I've placed myself on compared to the trajectory I was on before the MBA. *Again, these are conservative numbers just for argument's sake, I know some will try and find fault in the numbers used.

I just think an MBA is still the way to go to be as competitive as possible in a global industry. I doubt those Indian and Asian kids are saying this about the opportunity for an American MBA. As much as this site obsesses about "exit opps", an MBA provides the best. As well as a network once cut off because of circumstance is now open. You can go from a good career in finance to the possibility of a great one for many people.

4/16/13

veljones69:
This is, unfortunately, an obviously biased post. You try and wane from that position in the end, but that doesn't refute the paragraphs of argument against getting an MBA. Let me ask: Do you have an MBA? If no, then you see that people can make it without one. That is true and possible. But let me ask this: How many people in your area of expertise and level of seniority have MBAs. I'd dare say more so than not. We all know the "opportunity costs" of getting an MBA are used to scare people. The true dollar cost is what I look at. $150K is a fair, round estimate I'd use for argument's sake. To get to your $300K cost, that assumes a $75K salary. I doubt in two years I will be able to break a $100K base bypassing an MBA unless I'm already a star on the street and don't need it. Those are few and far between my good sir. So I take that $150K in debt and go get an MBA from a top 20 school to, again, be fair and modest for argument's sake. Now, I graduated with a $125K base. Very reasonable. I've made a 67% increase in my base in two years. That's not happening without an MBA. The 4-5 years it takes to pay this $150K in debt off is minuscule now because of the trajectory I've placed myself on compared to the trajectory I was on before the MBA. *Again, these are conservative numbers just for argument's sake, I know some will try and find fault in the numbers used.

I just think an MBA is still the way to go to be as competitive as possible in a global industry. I doubt those Indian and Asian kids are saying this about the opportunity for an American MBA. As much as this site obsesses about "exit opps", an MBA provides the best. As well as a network once cut off because of circumstance is now open. You can go from a good career in finance to the possibility of a great one for many people.

Yeah I think if you can double your comp right outta school it's basically a no-brainer. Even if you're making $100k - just get the frickin' MBA. The tougher question is for people like me who earn 2-3x what the average fresh-faced Harvard MBA grad will earn this year. That becomes very tough to justify.

4/16/13

STIBOR:

Yeah I think if you can double your comp right outta school it's basically a no-brainer. Even if you're making $100k - just get the frickin' MBA. The tougher question is for people like me who earn 2-3x what the average fresh-faced Harvard MBA grad will earn this year. That becomes very tough to justify.

This is where I fully agree. But taking a circumstance, such as yours, and trying to force it on others is where this post goes wrong. You see little gain in an MBA because of your current situation. That's not my situation. To get to your situation, I may feel an MBA is the best route. It's like telling people, when you're at the top of the hill, that you can climb the hill a certain way compared to the normal way. Yes, you got there doing it that way, but that doesn't mean everybody will.

4/16/13

veljones69:
STIBOR:

Yeah I think if you can double your comp right outta school it's basically a no-brainer. Even if you're making $100k - just get the frickin' MBA. The tougher question is for people like me who earn 2-3x what the average fresh-faced Harvard MBA grad will earn this year. That becomes very tough to justify.

This is where I fully agree. But taking a circumstance, such as yours, and trying to force it on others is where this post goes wrong. You see little gain in an MBA because of your current situation. That's not my situation. To get to your situation, I may feel an MBA is the best route. It's like telling people, when you're at the top of the hill, that you can climb the hill a certain way compared to the normal way. Yes, you got there doing it that way, but that doesn't mean everybody will.

Yeah I'm not throwing stones here. I think personal context is hugely important. And just because I said it's tough to justify doesn't mean I'm not trying to justify it, because I really want to go!

4/16/13

Good reasons to go: switching careers, wanting a salary bump, needing some name recognition on your CV. Bad reasons: thinking that getting it will "improve things," going for a vacation, etc. For what it's worth everyone I know with a concrete plan for why they needed it and what they hoped to get out of it has done quite well. It is definitely worth highlighting the previously made point that it's not purely a financial transaction: you meet interesting people (profs and students), stretch your mental capacity, and do enjoy yourself!

4/16/13

we need a new topic to beat the fuck out of every 2 months

4/16/13

shorttheworld:
we need a new topic to beat the fuck out of every 2 months

agreed.

And so it goes

4/16/13

Good post, but your cost estimates involve some double counting. A large portion of foregone salary would've gone towards living expenses. It doesn't make sense to include both the entire foregone salary and MBA living expenses. A more reasonable estimate would be direct costs of attendance plus foregone savings, which decreases your number by ~75k.

4/16/13

CMatthews:
Good post, but your cost estimates involve some double counting. A large portion of foregone salary would've gone towards living expenses. It doesn't make sense to include both the entire foregone salary and MBA living expenses. A more reasonable estimate would be direct costs of attendance plus foregone savings, which decreases your number by ~75k.

I don't follow this 100% but I think it is incorrect.

4/16/13

I am going to go out here and agree with the original poster. Here are my reasons:

1.Employers don't care about where you go to school but where you worked before your MBA. This means that if you worked in banking you can get a banking job, if you worked in PE you may get another PE job.
2.For the most part you can only transition into investment banking, consulting and corporate finance if you don't have experience in these particular industries from before.
3.A decent size of people with PE jobs from before will not get PE jobs after MBA. Getting a buy-side job without previous buy-side job experience is nearly impossible (5 people out of 1000 max).
4.Your new network may actually disappoint you - yes they will not yield much but chatting with you as a courtesy for once having gone to your program. You can networking with random people with the same success.
5.Your post-MBA-salary will really not be much of a bump except if you come from non-profit, TFA, emerging economy, military etc.
6.You are drowning in debt and debt payments and you are very likely to be unemployed for up to 6 months after graduation and finally just take some shitty job you never wanted to do.
7.If you are a foreign student - you are not getting a decent job in the USA after graduation (forget about buy-side) even if you have stellar experience from outside the USA.
8.You are now more expensive, drowning in loans and you just wasted two years of your life and have nothing to show for but a line on your resume that no one really cares about. Your undergraduate institution stays with you but after you have been employed for X number of years not many people care about that either.
9.Fun factor - seriously just take out a 100K loan and go travel the world, drink until you pass out, do whatever; why do you need an MBA for that? If you are socially inept an MBA is not a cure for that also it will not make you more attractive.

I would be happy to hear what other people with top MBAs and years of financial service experience have to say.

4/16/13

sylvester:
I am going to go out here and agree with the original poster. Here are my reasons:

1.Employers don't care about where you go to school but where you worked before your MBA. This means that if you worked in banking you can get a banking job, if you worked in PE you may get another PE job.
2.For the most part you can only transition into investment banking, consulting and corporate finance if you don't have experience in these particular industries from before.
3.A decent size of people with PE jobs from before will not get PE jobs after MBA. Getting a buy-side job without previous buy-side job experience is nearly impossible (5 people out of 1000 max).
4.Your new network may actually disappoint you - yes they will not yield much but chatting with you as a courtesy for once having gone to your program. You can networking with random people with the same success.
5.Your post-MBA-salary will really not be much of a bump except if you come from non-profit, TFA, emerging economy, military etc.
6.You are drowning in debt and debt payments and you are very likely to be unemployed for up to 6 months after graduation and finally just take some shitty job you never wanted to do.
7.If you are a foreign student - you are not getting a decent job in the USA after graduation (forget about buy-side) even if you have stellar experience from outside the USA.
8.You are now more expensive, drowning in loans and you just wasted two years of your life and have nothing to show for but a line on your resume that no one really cares about. Your undergraduate institution stays with you but after you have been employed for X number of years not many people care about that either.
9.Fun factor - seriously just take out a 100K loan and go travel the world, drink until you pass out, do whatever; why do you need an MBA for that? If you are socially inept an MBA is not a cure for that also it will not make you more attractive.

I would be happy to hear what other people with top MBAs and years of financial service experience have to say.

While I think there are valid arguments against getting an MBA, this is without a doubt some of the worst logic I have ever seen on this site. 6 months of unemployment? Just curious, how do you get a $100K loan to finance your travel/partying habit? 5 out of 1000? #2 doesn't even make sense.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

4/16/13

sylvester:
I am going to go out here and agree with the original poster. Here are my reasons:

1.Employers don't care about where you go to school but where you worked before your MBA. This means that if you worked in banking you can get a banking job, if you worked in PE you may get another PE job.
2.For the most part you can only transition into investment banking, consulting and corporate finance if you don't have experience in these particular industries from before.
3.A decent size of people with PE jobs from before will not get PE jobs after MBA. Getting a buy-side job without previous buy-side job experience is nearly impossible (5 people out of 1000 max).
4.Your new network may actually disappoint you - yes they will not yield much but chatting with you as a courtesy for once having gone to your program. You can networking with random people with the same success.
5.Your post-MBA-salary will really not be much of a bump except if you come from non-profit, TFA, emerging economy, military etc.
6.You are drowning in debt and debt payments and you are very likely to be unemployed for up to 6 months after graduation and finally just take some shitty job you never wanted to do.
7.If you are a foreign student - you are not getting a decent job in the USA after graduation (forget about buy-side) even if you have stellar experience from outside the USA.
8.You are now more expensive, drowning in loans and you just wasted two years of your life and have nothing to show for but a line on your resume that no one really cares about. Your undergraduate institution stays with you but after you have been employed for X number of years not many people care about that either.
9.Fun factor - seriously just take out a 100K loan and go travel the world, drink until you pass out, do whatever; why do you need an MBA for that? If you are socially inept an MBA is not a cure for that also it will not make you more attractive.

I would be happy to hear what other people with top MBAs and years of financial service experience have to say.

Ughh, I don't agree with this at all. For most people earning an MBA from a top 5-10 school would be a massive game-changer.

Software developer at Boeing earning $90k per year? Make that $180k per year at McKinsey in two years! Private equity Associate earning $250k? Make that Private equity VP earning $350k per year! Non-profit person making $50k per year? Make that VP of Marketing for Amazon making $150k per year!

In most situations the economics are very attractive. Also, guess what, people actually do care where you went to school! So you can diminish it by calling it a line on a resume - but it's an important line. It also gives you confidence, authority, allows you to be credible when raising VC money,e tc.

You mentioned MBA grads are "more expensive". I think that's an effort to make "earn lots of money" sound like a bad thing. Being more expensive / making a lot of money isn't something I'd mark as a strike against an MBA. Most people are going to MBA exclusively to BECOME "more expensive"!

4/16/13

STIBOR:
Software developer at Boeing earning $90k per year? Make that $180k per year at McKinsey in two years! Private equity Associate earning $250k? Make that Private equity VP earning $350k per year! Non-profit person making $50k per year? Make that VP of Marketing for Amazon making $150k per year!

I don't disagree with your point, but just remember the impact of taxes. If you add it all up, (social security, state, federal, sales taxes), a $90K increase in income would only be about a $50K increase in real purchasing power in a state such as California. $50K is still a decent amount of cash, but if you are at McKinsey, to get that $50K you will definitely pay for it in terms of hours and travel time.

It gets worse the higher up you go. $250K to $350K? Only a $48K bump in real purchasing power (again, assuming CA tax rates here). And as a VP you will be on a plane every other week. So yeah, you're going to earn every penny of that extra $48K.

So yes, you can make more money, but just remember the impact of more income diminishes rapidly as you move up the scale.

4/16/13

STIBOR:

Software developer at Boeing earning $90k per year? Make that $180k per year at McKinsey in two years! Private equity Associate earning $250k? Make that Private equity VP earning $350k per year! Non-profit person making $50k per year? Make that VP of Marketing for Amazon making $150k per year!

You're assuming a 100% percent probability that MBA recuits get exactly the jobs they want - "I am an HBS joker, therefore I am guaranteed a job at the company of my choice".

You're going to want to assess the probability of the "career switcher random-guy with no relevant exp" getting a job at McK or GS. Common sense would suggest that the probability is very low.

Man made money, money never made the man

4/16/13

sylvester:
I am going to go out here and agree with the original poster. Here are my reasons:

1.Employers don't care about where you go to school but where you worked before your MBA. This means that if you worked in banking you can get a banking job, if you worked in PE you may get another PE job.

If they don't care about the school you go to and only your previous work experience, why do employers even recruit on campus? And how is it someone coming out of marketing can get a banking job when their previous job had nothing to do with finance?

sylvester:
2.For the most part you can only transition into investment banking, consulting and corporate finance if you don't have experience in these particular industries from before.

There are a vast array of jobs outside of the big three...to think otherwise is naive.

sylvester:
3.A decent size of people with PE jobs from before will not get PE jobs after MBA. Getting a buy-side job without previous buy-side job experience is nearly impossible (5 people out of 1000 max).

We forget that some people don't have any other choice. They may be in a position that allows them 2 years at the firm and then gives them to boot. So it's not as though they are volunteering to leave PE just to gamble on getting back in...they may not have another choice, thus an MBA might represent their best chance at getting back in.

sylvester:
4.Your new network may actually disappoint you - yes they will not yield much but chatting with you as a courtesy for once having gone to your program. You can networking with random people with the same success.

I disagree. Maybe your experience with your MBA program is different, but I've personally seen people lean on their MBA network very heavily during my stint in PE...often with people they didn't know or didn't know well. Plus they can also network with random people as well.

sylvester:
5.Your post-MBA-salary will really not be much of a bump except if you come from non-profit, TFA, emerging economy, military etc.

Getting an MBA has less to do with 'bump' and more with future earning potential. Have you ever decided to not take a promotion because the salary increase wasn't much? Probably not. Even if the pay increase was minimal, the thought is that you want to get to the job after the next job, which would require you to take the promotion.

sylvester:
6.You are drowning in debt and debt payments and you are very likely to be unemployed for up to 6 months after graduation and finally just take some shitty job you never wanted to do.

Any proof of that? I suppose not.

sylvester:
7.If you are a foreign student - you are not getting a decent job in the USA after graduation (forget about buy-side) even if you have stellar experience from outside the USA.

Again, any proof?

sylvester:
8.You are now more expensive, drowning in loans and you just wasted two years of your life and have nothing to show for but a line on your resume that no one really cares about. Your undergraduate institution stays with you but after you have been employed for X number of years not many people care about that either.

This hasn't been what I've witnessed during my time on the buyside.

sylvester:
9.Fun factor - seriously just take out a 100K loan and go travel the world, drink until you pass out, do whatever; why do you need an MBA for that? If you are socially inept an MBA is not a cure for that also it will not make you more attractive.

Where are you getting a $100k loan to travel? You must have a great bank. Also, it's almost ironic you made this point despite point #6, lol. "You are drowning in debt and debt payments and you are very likely to be unemployed for up to 6 months after graduation and finally just take some shitty job you never wanted to do"

Good luck not "drowning" in your loan payments after returning unemployed from your year long vacation. I also hope you don't get stuck with some "shitty job you never wanted to do."

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

4/16/13

Good MBAs are an expensive way to buy human capital upside. Like M&A deals at a premium multiple, you do it because barriers to entry in your desired market are too high to overcome otherwise (career/geography switchers), because you can massively out-synergy everyone else (megafund guys), think there will be a halo effect (non-targets) or are overly optimistic (most other people).

4/16/13

meabric:
Good MBAs are an expensive way to buy human capital upside. Like M&A deals at a premium multiple, you do it because barriers to entry in your desired market are too high to overcome otherwise (career/geography switchers), because you can massively out-synergy everyone else (megafund guys), think there will be a halo effect (non-targets) or are overly optimistic (most other people).

I don't understand this post at all.

4/16/13

What is so hard to comprehend - less than 1% of people at a top MBA without previous buy-side experience will manage to land a buy-side job afterwards. The $100K loan for drinking was just a hyperbole because for some reason people on this site think that the MBA is one big party scene.

4/16/13

sylvester:
What is so hard to comprehend - less than 1% of people at a top MBA without previous buy-side experience will manage to land a buy-side job afterwards. The $100K loan for drinking was just a hyperbole because for some reason people on this site think that the MBA is one big party scene.

Who was talking about career-changing into private equity?

4/16/13

sylvester:
What is so hard to comprehend - less than 1% of people at a top MBA without previous buy-side experience will manage to land a buy-side job afterwards. The $100K loan for drinking was just a hyperbole because for some reason people on this site think that the MBA is one big party scene.

What is so hard to comprehend about other people not being interested in doing what YOU want to do?

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

4/16/13

This was an answer to a previous post of someone else. In general, I do agree that an MBA is a good proposition for some and not so good for other people and yes even a top MBA. To your other questions:
1. Yes, there are people that don't get a job before graduation, or take jobs they don't want before graduation. There are people that will be 6 months or even 1 year unemployed from M7 schools and no these people don't have horrible work history or poor communication skills, or whatever. Most didn't want to take just any job.
2. Yes, foreign students have a very hard time landing good US opportunities even if they are over-qualified - I know that from my own class + many alums. This doesn't mean they cannot land any job in the US.
3. I mentioned the network because people on this site make it out to be a magic box - where you pick up the phone and you get a job. It works just like any other network and even though people are very nice they will not bail you out just because you went to the same school.

My post was not to say - never do an MBA - it was to point out that this is not a magic pill. There are downsides that no one ever mentions - even the fact that you may end up without a job or in a worse job than you had before b-school. I know the value is supposed to be in the long-run but in the short run there are also many considerations. Also I still haven't heard from many people that have actually been through the MBA experience and can chime in about the long-run.

4/16/13

I'd just like to point out that I wouldn't have become POTUS without my degree from HBS.

-- Dubya

''You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you need to concentrate on.'' -- President George W. Bush
0.5 bb

4/16/13

Dubya:
I'd just like to point out that I wouldn't have become POTUS without my daddy.

-- Dubya

FIFY

4/16/13

I look at my particular situation. I wanted to break into Banking (albiet I-Banking - ended up in Commercial Banking). I hated the industry I was in and wanted to make more $ (I was making $58K in SF).

I ended up going to a small, private non-target for my MBA and landed at a Regional Commercial Bank making $45K as a trainee with about $65K in student debt.

Screwed up right? Not really.....

Only 3 years into the job, I have gone through a series of promotions and now make $125-$150K a year. I would of not been in my situation if I didnt get my MBA.

I also look at some friends of mine who went to top 20 MBA programs (Cornell and Texas to be exact), they make less $ than I do and have a higher cost of living being in SF.

So while I wouldnt be where I am at now without my MBA, i look at other people and think it didnt make sense for them to do it.

So i would say..................IT DEPENDS!

4/16/13

gregt14:
I look at my particular situation. I wanted to break into Banking (albiet I-Banking - ended up in Commercial Banking). I hated the industry I was in and wanted to make more $ (I was making $58K in SF).

I ended up going to a small, private non-target for my MBA and landed at a Regional Commercial Bank making $45K as a trainee with about $65K in student debt.

Screwed up right? Not really.....

Only 3 years into the job, I have gone through a series of promotions and now make $125-$150K a year. I would of not been in my situation if I didnt get my MBA.

I also look at some friends of mine who went to top 20 MBA programs (Cornell and Texas to be exact), they make less $ than I do and have a higher cost of living being in SF.

So while I wouldnt be where I am at now without my MBA, i look at other people and think it didnt make sense for them to do it.

So i would say..................IT DEPENDS!

Congrats man. Hope you are enjoying your new gig.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

4/16/13

You can really boil this down to a very simple decision tree:

(A) Do you want to work in PE, investment banking, or consulting the rest of your career, or become a corporate executive? If yes, proceed to (B). If no, DON'T GO TO BSCHOOL.

(B) Are you currently a VP equivalent or above at a PE, investment banking, consulting, or F500 firm? If no, then proceed to (C). If yes, then DON'T GO TO BSCHOOL.

(C) Did you get into Harvard, Stanford, or Wharton? If yes, then GO TO BSCHOOL. If no, proceed to (D).

(D) Are you ok working as a mid-level manager at Quizno's corporate the rest of your career? If yes, then GO TO BSCHOOL. If no, then DON'T GO TO BSCHOOL.

So to recap, if you want to work in PE, consulting, investment banking or as a corporate executive the rest of your career, and you get into H/S/W, then go to bschool. If not, then don't go.

4/16/13

And yet another anti-mba post written by a very biased person with an agenda who doesn't quite understand what an mba is all about. I want to address his points one by one.

1. Yes, actual experience and abilities matter more than a degree, but this is way too simplistic. For better or for worse, employers use the mba as a signal, and the better the school, the more powerful the signal becomes. And in certain industries, it's virtually impossible to move up the ranks without one. You also say that anyone can buy an MBA, as if our discussion is limited to an online MBA from the university of phoenix. I'm talking about reasonably selective business schools, where one has to go through a fairly rigorous admissions process to get in. The fact that someone has an MBA from say Wharton or HBS screams to a potential employer that the person possesses desirable qualities that will be an asset to their firm.

2. This is one of your stronger points. I admit that you don't learn that much in business school, although getting exposure to a general management education and being around pretty sharp accomplished people is very valuable.

3. This is extremely naive. Career transitions aren't as easy as you say it is. How will an engineer transition into MBB consulting? How will an accountant transition into investment banking? For certain industries, they recruit from the MBA pipeline, and you need it to make that transition. That's the game, hence why so many people badly want to get an MBA from a top school.

4. Although one should always be proactive in expanding one's network, clubs, professional groups, events, etc., are not as powerful as the network you form in b-school. The 2-year mba experience is a very intense one, and people form strong bonds as a result. For 2 years, you are pretty much around your classmates 24/7, whether it's classes, group projects, networking events, parties, travels, clubs, etc. This is something that you simply cannot replicate by just going to some random networking event and handing out business cards. I think you grossly underestimate the strength of the mba network.

5. God, this is stupid. Yeah bro, let's just take 6 months off work and travel the world alone! Are you fucking kidding me? This is not practical for most people. Traveling alone is also not that fun and is not the same as traveling with a group of your b-school friends and enjoying what life has to offer. I agree that a vacation should not be the main reason you go to b-school. But these types of experiences are important because after b-school you won't have the opportunity to not care about work and just unwind. When I talk to friends and alums at various schools, they all mention how much fun they had and how those moments are something that money cannot buy. You have to realize that not everything in life can be quantified and subject to cost-benefit analysis.

OP, go back and put more thought into this before writing an ostensibly "objective" post assessing the pros and cons of an MBA.

4/16/13

mbavsmfin:
...2. This is one of your stronger points. I admit that you don't learn that much in business school, although getting exposure to a general management education and being around pretty sharp accomplished people is very valuable...

I agree with all of your points with the exception of #2. I think the folks on WSO get tunnel vision when it comes to the academic aspects of an MBA program. I believe this is primarily a function of the anticipated exits. Lots of people coming out of finance-based careers and looking to get right back into a finance-based careers (valuation/audit to IB or IB to PE). In those cases, the skills you built prior to b-school directly translate to your post-MBA aspirations...so the material you cover while in school seems less important.

Of course, the vast majority of b-school candidates are career switchers of some sort and the academic aspects of the program is far more relevant.

I know for me, the knowledge is actually one of the determining factors for me to pursue an MBA. There is just a ton of stuff I would like to know that I will (a) be able to apply to a portfolio company, to 'add value' and (b) use to run my own portfolio of businesses one day. Just the few class/campus visits I've participated in taught me potentially valuable skills, and in all those cases, it was just a single class that I wasn't prepped for. Ethics covered negotiation skills which could impact salary and contract negotiations, Operations covered line queuing and resource pooling and the other Operations class talked about capacity utilization, variability and incentives in regard to analyzing and managing performance problems at an insurance company.

Outside of that, most of the b-school students, past and present, said they learned a lot, that they were significantly more confident in their abilities and more prepared to take on projects and leadership roles. Again, the last point is less relevant to PE and IB because you aren't managing a bunch of people like you would in a F500 scenario, but the point still stands. Anecdotally, there was a second year student I spoke with last week who actually worked during her 2 years in school. This person said her boss remarked about a 'night and day' change in her skills and abilities as a result of the MBA program...she felt the same way. This has been my experience with other b-school students and alumni, though most weren't in IB or PE pre-MBA.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

4/16/13

The problem with all of these posts is the author is always projecting their situation onto someone else. You will never know another persons utility function. An MBA might be ideal for them.

Who cares. This topic has been beat to shit. Same with the drug test question. Let it dieeeeeee.

4/16/13

TNA:
The problem with all of these posts is the author is always projecting their situation onto someone else. You will never know another persons utility function. An MBA might be ideal for them.

Who cares. This topic has been beat to shit. Same with the drug test question. Let it dieeeeeee.

^^^^ This for sure. Too many assumptions. Not everyone is going into IBD, PE, VC etc. Not everyone is in their 20s and can just take time off to do a FT or PT MBA and still work to PAY FOR IT. Not everyone has $0 in student loans and can justify the costs vs how long it will take to overcome those costs once they finish.

"Now go get your f'n shinebox!"

4/16/13

Went to some M7 events and the candidates were pathetic, except for the ones at Stanford and Harv. The people didn't seem fun at all, they just talked about dumb stuff like "adding value", aka bullshit. Don't waste your money to be around these tools. If you want to get laid, do some intensive language courses in Paris or Tokyo, or go to a culinary school for a few months, or do a volunteer trip. The b-school bitties were terribleee

4/16/13

Tommy Too-toned:
Went to some M7 events and the candidates were pathetic, except for the ones at Stanford and Harv. The people didn't seem fun at all, they just talked about dumb stuff like "adding value", aka bullshit. Don't waste your money to be around these tools. If you want to get laid, do some intensive language courses in Paris or Tokyo, or go to a culinary school for a few months, or do a volunteer trip. The b-school bitties were terribleee

You sound bitter and jealous, bro.

4/16/13

Not really, bro. I got in to top schools, just felt like the people at these things were really lame. They were throwing around so many catch phrases that i couldn't even understand what they were talking about..it seemed like they were confusing themselves actually. There were obviously some good candidates, but a lot of the ones on "the track" were just...i don't know.

4/16/13

Brady4hbs:
YES A MBA IS WORTH IT IT'S THE ONLY DEGREE THAT HBS OFFERS YOU BAFOON

Your avatar photo is still the wrong shield.

4/16/13

Brady4hbs:
YES A MBA IS WORTH IT IT'S THE ONLY DEGREE THAT HBS OFFERS YOU BAFOON

How are you getting into HBS when you can't even spell 'buffoon' brah?

"Now go get your f'n shinebox!"

4/16/13

My above post is directed to cphbravo96.

4/16/13

I'm at a loss, he was part of that whole Yale thing

4/16/13

adapt or die:
I'm at a loss, he was part of that whole Yale thing

hah!

4/16/13

See link for HBS career placement stats:
http://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/mba/data-and-statist...

Industry Breakdown
Consulting - 25%
Finance - 35%

Basically 6 out of 10 HBS grads get the jobs that you all jag-off to - and only 15% are placed into private equity.

So, I don't get how some of you are so optimistic.

Man made money, money never made the man

4/16/13

RE Capital Markets:
See link for HBS career placement stats:
http://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/mba/data-and-statist...

Industry Breakdown
Consulting - 25%
Finance - 35%

Basically 6 out of 10 HBS grads get the jobs that you all jag-off to - and only 15% are placed into private equity.

So, I don't get how some of you are so optimistic.

Jeez, 60% is a big number. Plus a shitload of kids want to work in government/startups/industry, etc. so my guess is most people who want those jobs get 'em.

4/16/13

STIBOR:
RE Capital Markets:
See link for HBS career placement stats:
http://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/mba/data-and-statist...

Industry Breakdown
Consulting - 25%
Finance - 35%

Basically 6 out of 10 HBS grads get the jobs that you all jag-off to - and only 15% are placed into private equity.

So, I don't get how some of you are so optimistic.

Jeez, 60% is a big number. Plus a shitload of kids want to work in government/startups/industry, etc. so my guess is most people who want those jobs get 'em.

You must be a "the glass is half full" type. Those stats would concern me if I was a 28 year old IT consultant attending HBS to break into private equity.

Man made money, money never made the man

4/16/13

RE Capital Markets:
STIBOR:
RE Capital Markets:
See link for HBS career placement stats:
http://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/mba/data-and-statist...

Industry Breakdown
Consulting - 25%
Finance - 35%

Basically 6 out of 10 HBS grads get the jobs that you all jag-off to - and only 15% are placed into private equity.

So, I don't get how some of you are so optimistic.

Jeez, 60% is a big number. Plus a shitload of kids want to work in government/startups/industry, etc. so my guess is most people who want those jobs get 'em.

You must be a "the glass is half full" type. Those stats would concern me if I was a 28 year old IT consultant attending HBS to break into private equity.

Yeah I think PE specifically is tough for people with no prior PE experience (like me). But I still think 53% is a nice number (backing out PE people, so 45% / 85%). I look at that and say, fuck, I just need to beat half of these people? Psh psh. I've been beating people out since the day I was born, it's nothing new!

4/16/13

RE Capital Markets:
STIBOR:
RE Capital Markets:
See link for HBS career placement stats:
http://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/mba/data-and-statist...

Industry Breakdown
Consulting - 25%
Finance - 35%

Basically 6 out of 10 HBS grads get the jobs that you all jag-off to - and only 15% are placed into private equity.

So, I don't get how some of you are so optimistic.

Jeez, 60% is a big number. Plus a shitload of kids want to work in government/startups/industry, etc. so my guess is most people who want those jobs get 'em.

You must be a "the glass is half full" type. Those stats would concern me if I was a 28 year old IT consultant attending HBS to break into private equity.

Dude, no one thinks an IT consultant can break into PE through HBS. Again, you keep attacking ridiculous strawman arguments.

For jobs such as pe, hedge funds, vc, investment management, yes, you need RELEVANT experience. HBS is not going to get someone into KKR just because he's at that school. This should be obvious to everyone. For the main feeder industries such as consulting, banking, F500, marketing, general mangement, a top MBA is extremely valuable in allowing one to break in and oftentimes, such a transition cannot happen without one. Does everyone at say hbs get mbb consulting? No; but it's a fuckton of people. Mckinsey alone hired around 90-100 from hbs this past year. And from talking to my buddy at kellogg who is heading to BCG this fall, about 60% of his classmates who wanted MBB got it. Is it 100%? No. But those are pretty damm good odds. And for someone who did say crappy it consulting or nonprofit before and walks out with a mbb offer making around $180K all-in, you're not going to get much better than that.

It's pretty clear from your posts that you don't know much about the value of a top MBA.

4/17/13

brady what school are you heading to this year?

making a one eight zero.

4/17/13

To add to the tidal wave of dissent: if what you're considering is the diminishing value of returns on an MBA, how does it make sense to recommend someone work for free?! Unpaid internships are one of the key factors devaluing the American workforce right now. Never, ever work for free. You are a commodity, and while a lone individual can only exert so much market pressure, every individual's actions pertaining to how they value their work affects the opportunities of every other worker

4/17/13

I'm happy to see that the "top MBA programs are overrated" narrative is being spewed by various websites. Hopefully it reduces the number of candidates applying to top MBA programs, making it a little easier for me when I apply.

Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis - when I was dead broke man I couldn't picture this

4/19/13

idragmazda:
I'm happy to see that the "top MBA programs are overrated" narrative is being spewed by various websites. Hopefully it reduces the number of candidates applying to top MBA programs, making it a little easier for me when I apply.

Very few people take that narrative seriously because the anti-MBA arguments for the most part are weak. The number of people applying to top mba programs will not diminish that much because the applicants know very well how valuable the degree is.

4/20/13

Linkedin is what convinced me. Honestly, the number of people with blaise undergrad/job experience who end up at S.C. Johnson/UCLA/Darden/Duke and then go to work in IB or Consulting is just ridiculous. Sure, if you want to break into VC/PE or went to a target undergrad it might not be worthwhile, but for normal people an MBA can be a ticket to break into a world that simply is out of reach for 99% of the population. 250k for a Booth/Haas/Kellog MBA is a bargain.

The last act is tragic, however happy all the rest of the play is; at the last a little earth is thrown upon our head, and that is the end for ever.

4/20/13

ARMMonkey:
Linkedin is what convinced me. Honestly, the number of people with blaise undergrad/job experience who end up at S.C. Johnson/UCLA/Darden/Duke and then go to work in IB or Consulting is just ridiculous. Sure, if you want to break into VC/PE or went to a target undergrad it might not be worthwhile, but for normal people an MBA can be a ticket to break into a world that simply is out of reach for 99% of the population. 250k for a Booth/Haas/Kellog MBA is a bargain.

100% agree with this.

6/29/13

I have an MS in physics, but have been working in education and education management for 20 years. I know enough about business and business processes to know that I don't know enough about how to execute some of the things I have faced over the years: skilled financial strategy, change management, project management, marketing. I'm going for an MBA to pick up the deficiencies that I now know I have after years of experience. I'm looking at changing industries, and I can tell you the ROI will absolutely be there for me, going from mid-5 figures in education to ... almost anything is an improvement! I have been averse to going back to school for years, but I am now interested and eager to learn more and "plug my holes." I expect my MBA will be well worth it, even from a personal growth perspective. This is a personal choice and I know it will lead me toward my goals.

6/29/13

I have no idea, but congrats on HBS!

Curious to see what others say...

6/29/13

Sounds like you're doing fine already, but I would still go. Yes, you give up money to attend, but that's small potatoes for you over the long run if you reach BlackRock/PIMCO/HF.

If you want to be a top guy at a fund like that... the HBS pedigree will make it easier for you to get there. Also, if you ever want to start your own fund, the HBS network and brand name will help you attract institutional investors.

6/29/13

Congrats man your doing great to be only 3 years out especially in this economy. I would say go as well when considering your main goals. HBS will put you over the top. I would also explore the HBS deferement program and see if you can hold off your spot for a year or until u can get that charter or save some money and see if you if you can advance where you are first. Just my 2 cents.

I Got a dollar and a dream...

6/29/13

Should come down to a few things... Do you like your job? and, Can you move up without an MBA? If the answer to both of those is yes and you just want to go to Harvard for the prestigue than you seriously need to rething your situation.

6/29/13

HBS admitted you only three years out of college and one firm/industry on your resume?

What was your motivation for your application? It seems strange that you could persuade Harvard that you want to do an MBA there but that you can't persuade yourself?

An MBA is a while off for me, but some of the guys on here would kill to have an offer from HBS. If you don't really want it then you can be reassured that your place won't go to waste.

6/29/13
Clarkey:

HBS admitted you only three years out of college and one firm/industry on your resume?

I don't think it's that uncommon. Another kid who started at the same time as I did in my class (although there's really no such thing as a class where I work since they only recruit a few a year) will be attending Wharton. Someone who started a year before I did is currently attending HBS. I also think having interned in BB front office sophomore and junior year helped? I have no idea but I don't think it's that uncommon. I also got into Wharton so I don't think it's an exception or anything.

Clarkey:

What was your motivation for your application? It seems strange that you could persuade Harvard that you want to do an MBA there but that you can't persuade yourself?

Well I am just having second thoughts when I realized the lost income, price tag and living expenses. I am just trying to compare what I am forgoing/paying to what I will get back in return and trying to make a sound "investment" decision :D

6/29/13

Is your lifestyle going to change much? Will you feel the lack of income?

If not, then you mind as well go to HBS (lol that sounds funny out of context)

6/29/13
GOB:

Is your lifestyle going to change much? Will you feel the lack of income?

If not, then you mind as well go to HBS (lol that sounds funny out of context)

That's one thing that I am worrying about. I was born in a pretty well-off family, my dad being a banker and all, until my high school age. My dad decided to quit his job and start businesses and ended up losing all his fortune. I went through college through work, outside scholarship and financial aid as my family suffered through the worst of time.

My father is still unemployed with no savings(with his reputation tarnished and all) and my mother has always been a homemaker. The point is, I have been supporting my parents since I started working and starting this year, I have to pay my sister's after-financial-aid tuition at carnegie mellon (which is about 10k a year). Either way I am going to get student loans as I want to conserve the family cash flow. I have some money saved up for living expenses and my family told me that they can make a lot of living expenses cuts and survive and assist me in that regards so I should not worry about them. They told me that I need to do what's best for my career. I am just unsure about whether I should put my family through a tough 2 years because I want a shiny degree that might open more doors for myself. My parents are around 60 and I feel that they might be too old to go through tough times again. I am feeling guilty and think it might be selfish of me. I didn't think about all these things when i applied and now the reality of money sets in.

On the other hand, I am worried that if I dont do it now or the near future, I might be too old to quit a job and get an MBA in the future. There lies to main dilemma.

6/29/13
GOB:

If not, then you mind as well go to HBS (lol that sounds funny out of context)

This just made my night -- haha!

6/29/13

no point in going if you can reach where you want without it

6/29/13

HBS will hands down help you if you are trying to transition away from pure quant. Otherwise, you'll have to feel it out based on what you think your promotion opportunities are.

6/29/13

Business school is a great place to pause and think what you want to do. It is also an opportunity to meet with a lot of employers and figure out what is really out there. While most of the HBS student body is a bunch of obnoxious pricks there are also some truly talented and cool people the likes of which you haven't met yet. If you make it to PM you will be easily making seven figures which means whatever income you are losing will make zero difference in your lifestyle 10 years down the road. Go to HBS, enjoy yourself, don't worry about the money, you also might learn something!

6/29/13

Dude, it looks like you worked hard. You deserve a $570K, 2-year vacay.

PS Go bears!

6/29/13

If your goal is to be a PM the MBA is a waste of your time. The CFA will open up a lot more doors for a guy with your profile. If you do decide on HBS, wait until you have the charter in hand.

6/29/13

You learn more in the trenches than you do in the class room.

This applies to all MBA programs, except for HBS.

Head to Cambridge. PIMCO and BlackRock are not going anywhere (soon).

6/29/13

Yeah, I am going to call BS on this post. So you're saying you graduated in 2008 and are already making $170K/yr already, and you're probably 24-26 yrs old.

Assuming this is for real: no, it wouldn't make sense to go back school. You're making a salary that most HBS grads hope to make when they graduate.

Why would you come to an anonymous internet forum to ask this question? You have access to quality PM's already, you should be asking them, not the internet.

man made the money, money never made the man

6/29/13
mr1234:

Yeah, I am going to call BS on this post. So you're saying you graduated in 2008 and are already making $170K/yr already, and you're probably 24-26 yrs old.

Yes, I am 26. But dude why don't you stick with what you actually know about? I graduated 3 years ago, joined as an equivalent position of a research associate, and got the bump (a little early) to junior research analyst a year and a half ago, which automatically bumps my salary up to 100K, got raised to 110K this year. My bonus for the past year was 65k, and hopefully would go up this year...

mr1234:

Assuming this is for real: no, it wouldn't make sense to go back school. You're making a salary that most HBS grads hope to make when they graduate.

Because traditionally it is usually harder to advance your career in the investment management field without the MBA, typically at the transition from junior analyst to full fledge analyst. I also want to make the switch to the top dogs like PIMCO or BLK (actually those are the only firms in the traditional Asset Management field I would trade up to... I am at one that is in a tier right below these two).....or a switch to top hedge funds..... plus even if I were to stay, going from research to associate PM is by no means automatic.... I know that the MBA MIGHT open some more doors than I currently have access to.. I just dont know how much more and if it's worth the trade off

mr1234:

Why would you come to an anonymous internet forum to ask this question? You have access to quality PM's already, you should be asking them, not the internet.

because your superiors and your PMs are more inclined to advice you to stay and it is hard for them to give you an honest answer? If you perform well, the last thing they want is you leaving and having to go through the trouble to training a new person to do your job.

6/29/13

No need to get worked up. Still don't believe you make $170K/yr. Then again, I wouldn't believe any 26 yr old who says they make $170K. But that's just me.

What-to-do-What-to-do][quote=mr1234:

because your superiors and your PMs are more inclined to advice you to stay and it is hard for them to give you an honest answer? If you perform well, the last thing they want is you leaving and having to go through the trouble to training a new person to do your job.

The idea that your superiors would give you bad advice for a major life decision that may come to change everything about your career is BS. I don't think they are misleading you if they are telling you to pass on the MBA.

If you still don't trust your superiors, go to your local CFA society and talk to them. I am sure you'll be able to find a PM from BlackRock or PIMCO to network with.

man made the money, money never made the man

6/29/13

[quote=mr1234]No need to get worked up. Still don't believe you make $170K/yr. Then again, I wouldn't believe any 26 yr old who says they make $170K. But that's just me.

Dude, if you work for a bank you would expect to make this by the time you are 26. Assume you graduate when 22, first year base is 70k plus ~30-60 bonus. At 23 you are 80k base and a higher bonus. 24 you are at 90k and higher bonus. 25-26 you should make the associate jump and be making a lot more. I dont know where your reasoning is coming from.

6/29/13
Buster McGillicudy][quote=mr1234:

No need to get worked up. Still don't believe you make $170K/yr. Then again, I wouldn't believe any 26 yr old who says they make $170K. But that's just me.

Dude, if you work for a bank you would expect to make this by the time you are 26. Assume you graduate when 22, first year base is 70k plus ~30-60 bonus. At 23 you are 80k base and a higher bonus. 24 you are at 90k and higher bonus. 25-26 you should make the associate jump and be making a lot more. I dont know where your reasoning is coming from.

IB and IM are two different fields. That's where my reasoning comes from.

man made the money, money never made the man

6/29/13
mr1234]No need to get worked up. Still don't believe you make $170K/yr. Then again, I wouldn't believe any 26 yr old who says they make $170K. But that's just me.

[quote=What-to-do-What-to-do:

mr1234:

because your superiors and your PMs are more inclined to advice you to stay and it is hard for them to give you an honest answer? If you perform well, the last thing they want is you leaving and having to go through the trouble to training a new person to do your job.

The idea that your superiors would give you bad advice for a major life decision that may come to change everything about your career is BS. I don't think they are misleading you if they are telling you to pass on the MBA.

If you still don't trust your superiors, go to your local CFA society and talk to them. I am sure you'll be able to find a PM from BlackRock or PIMCO to network with.

your an idiot there are prop traders I know for a fact took home $200k+ and they are 24.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

6/29/13

If you like what you're doing, then by all means stay on. B-school is best for those who need to pivot or need to figure out what they want to do.

@mr1234: 170k/year for a 2008 grad is toppy but not unrealistic.

6/29/13

Yeah Mr. You're a fucking ass clown!

6/29/13

Stay put and retire early.

6/29/13

CFA is completely irrelevant for being a PM unless you work for a firm that requires it, hedge funds couldn't care less if you have one as long as you can pick stocks. The value of HBS diploma lies in unparalleled recruiting opportunities and meeting people, the education itself is pretty bad, particularly for finance. But as far as taking a two year break, hard to beat - and yes, you will make all the money that you didn't earn back in 3-5 years

Wharton is actually much better education, but people's egos are too big to pick Wharton over Harvard - I personally like Wharton grads undergrad and grad the best. Best skills and knowledge, human sized-egos. HBS people are smarter but often not so great to work with

6/29/13

CFA is completely irrelevant for being a PM unless you work for a firm that requires it, hedge funds couldn't care less if you have one as long as you can pick stocks. The value of HBS diploma lies in unparalleled recruiting opportunities and meeting people, the education itself is pretty bad, particularly for finance. But as far as taking a two year break, hard to beat - and yes, you will make all the money that you didn't earn back in 3-5 years

Wharton is actually much better education, but people's egos are too big to pick Wharton over Harvard - I personally like Wharton grads undergrad and grad the best. Best skills and knowledge, human sized-egos. HBS people are smarter but often not so great to work with

6/29/13
ILOVENYGUY:

CFA is completely irrelevant for being a PM unless you work for a firm that requires it, hedge funds couldn't care less if you have one as long as you can pick stocks. The value of HBS diploma lies in unparalleled recruiting opportunities and meeting people, the education itself is pretty bad, particularly for finance. But as far as taking a two year break, hard to beat - and yes, you will make all the money that you didn't earn back in 3-5 years

I work for a traditional Asset Management firm that highly recommends it. In fact, every PM I worked with that came from the research rank has it, except for one that has a Phd in Finance

6/29/13

How about about an executive MBA program? or a part-time one? so you don't have to quit your job

If it doesn't make dollars, it doesn't make sense.....

Dear Internet Users, Someday u will regret not reading me. Sincerely, Terms & Conditions....

6/29/13

Sub'd

http://ayainsight.co/ Curating the best advice and making it actionable.

6/29/13

Go to HBS.

6/29/13

Put your family first they're the only ones who truly give a shit about you. Respect.

6/29/13

You should go to HBS. If it wasn't H/S/W that you had been admitted to I'd consider not going - but in this situation it will be well worth it over the long run. If you want to be a PM at a top firm like BlackRock or PIMCO then HBS can help you to achieve that goal.

It's worth the money.

6/29/13

family first man

6/29/13

i am in a very similar situation (except for the admission to HBS). I am a year behind you. PM me if you want to chat

6/29/13

To echo the others, do you need HBS to advance in your current career? Do you enjoy the path you are on and does a career transition require an MBA? Consider the answers to these two questions. You already attended a great school and I am not a proponent of attending an MBA in the interest of prestige. Money walks, bullshit talks.

The opportunity cost of attending HBS is pretty high (FV of 600,000 at 10% after 30yrs is over 10 MILLION DOLLARS), so ask yourself, "will I earn an additional 10 million in the next 30 years because of HBS." Maybe you will, but I highly doubt it as you are clearly capable enough as is. Some may receive more gratification and intellectual masturbation through obtaining the HBS credential... But while they are patting themselves on the back and growing their ego, I would be counting my extra 10million.

But in all honesty, you cannot go wrong. I would assume you will be highly successful regardless, and greater success may be correlated with HBS, but not necessarily caused by HBS. If you are having doubts, do not go. Stay in the industry a while longer until you are firm in your decision to attend an MBA and when you truly need to decompress. It is not like you cannot apply again or suck it up and attend Wharton, Stanford, or Chicago (being sarcastic). Congrats though.

6/29/13
Situation:

The opportunity cost of attending HBS is pretty high (FV of 600,000 at 10% after 30yrs is over 10 MILLION DOLLARS), so ask yourself, "will I earn an additional 10 million in the next 30 years because of HBS."

... But while they are patting themselves on the back and growing their ego, I would be counting my extra 10million.

This is a little misleading
Can you achieve consistent 10% return through 10 mil?

6/29/13
qweretyq:
Situation:

The opportunity cost of attending HBS is pretty high (FV of 600,000 at 10% after 30yrs is over 10 MILLION DOLLARS), so ask yourself, "will I earn an additional 10 million in the next 30 years because of HBS."

... But while they are patting themselves on the back and growing their ego, I would be counting my extra 10million.

This is a little misleading
Can you achieve consistent 10% return through 10 mil?

10% on average is feasible, especially when you are working in AM or PM.
http://moneyover55.about.com/od/howtoinvest/a/mark...

OP, you made the right decision. You will be rewarded for your integrity and selflessness.

6/29/13

Why wouldn't you believe he makes $170k? I'm 24 and will make ~$150k this year, and by 26 I'd expect to be treading quite close, if not above, $200k. $170k isn't even a little bit unrealistic.

6/29/13
jimbrowngoU:

Why wouldn't you believe he makes $170k? I'm 24 and will make ~$150k this year, and by 26 I'd expect to be treading quite close, if not above, $200k. $170k isn't even a little bit unrealistic.

You're in IB, the OP is in IM. You're probably a 2nd or 3rd yr analyst about to break into pre-MBA associate. Those numbers makes a little more sense.

Basically, if i don't know you and I don't see you, I probably wont believe you. Again, that's just me. This shouldn't be such a big deal.

man made the money, money never made the man

6/29/13

help your family first then worry about the mba (yes, even though its hbs)

6/29/13

Opportunity cost is high for you but if you're already accepted either defer if possible and save some coin then go, or just go now. It's a great opportunity and will certainly open doors for you (especially if you decide to switch industries for whatever reason). You never know what will happen in your career and you'll find the decision won't get easier the more money you make and the more senior you get so the HBS door will close for good. Just go and don't look back. There are always student loans etc.

6/29/13

Take care of your family first

6/29/13

Sorry OP got off the subject. Family always comes first.

6/29/13

Agreed. Support the family. Just out of curiosity, what does your sister study at carnegie mellon?

6/29/13

In all seriousness: family first.

You should explain your situation to HBS. They might put your acceptance on ice, and even if not, if you're good enough to get in now, you surely will be X years from now.

6/29/13

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all your inputs. I really appreciate them.

Just a little update for those who care (I feel obligated to let you guys know since I asked for your opinions and you guys have been helpful), I have decided to forgo the HBS opportunity at this point. My parents are 60 and I just feel guilty putting them through tough times because of a little perceived marginal gain for myself. (I didn't try to get the admissions offer deferred or anything because it is highly unlikely for my family situation to change drastically in the next 2 or 3 years anyway). I also had a sit-down chat with my boss and a couple PM I work for and they told me I am on track to advance in 2 years or so to a full research analyst position, and that I don't really need the MBA to advance given the fact that I'll be getting my CFA charter soon enough. I guess I will be putting my PM dreams on hold or hope to get lucky and have APM spots open up internally

Here's to another worthy individual taking the spot that I so reluctantly have to give up :-p

6/29/13
What-to-do-What-to-do:

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all your inputs. I really appreciate them.

Just a little update for those who care (I feel obligated to let you guys know since I asked for your opinions and you guys have been helpful), I have decided to forgo the HBS opportunity at this point. My parents are 60 and I just feel guilty putting them through tough times because of a little perceived marginal gain for myself. (I didn't try to get the admissions offer deferred or anything because it is highly unlikely for my family situation to change drastically in the next 2 or 3 years anyway). I also had a sit-down chat with my boss and a couple PM I work for and they told me I am on track to advance in 2 years or so to a full research analyst position, and that I don't really need the MBA to advance given the fact that I'll be getting my CFA charter soon enough. I guess I will be putting my PM dreams on hold or hope to get lucky and have APM spots open up internally

Here's to another worthy individual taking the spot that I so reluctantly have to give up :-p

Good for you. At least you can say you rejected HBS instead of the other way around.

man made the money, money never made the man

6/29/13

Your PM dreams won't be on hold - you can still get there for sure. I totally respect your decision to put family first and as someone else mentioned, if you got in once nothing says you won't get in again if you find yourself needing to get an MBA down the line for whatever reason. Good luck.

6/29/13

mr1234, what field do you work in? HF/PE/AM all pay in that ballpark so $170k is very realistic. I made that much at that age and after taxes (in NY) its really not a lot of money.

Anyway, while I agree that family should always be your #1 priority at some point you need to realize that this is your life and your parents would want you to do what is best for you in the long run. You should not feel guilty that your father mismanaged his money and your sister is short on her student loans. You should live below your means and build an emergency fund in the event that you decide to attend HBS.

I think that you can get to where you want to be without an MBA from HBS but recruiting and fund-raising are made exponentially easier with a degree from HBS. This is obviously a very personal decision. Best of luck to you and congrats.

6/29/13
junkbondswap:

and after taxes (in NY) its really not a lot of money.

Haha I definitely agree with that, and I am not even in NY. I just wonder how much more my paycheck would shrink if I were in NY!

6/29/13
What-to-do-What-to-do:
junkbondswap:

and after taxes (in NY) its really not a lot of money.

Haha I definitely agree with that, and I am not even in NY. I just wonder how much more my paycheck would shrink if I were in NY!

It doesnt shrink too much in the short term. If you are their for the long haul, I would assume it presses dramatic effects on your savings capacity.

6/29/13

mr1234,

I was going on the assumption that he was at the Asset Management arm of a bank and not a pure AM shop. More specifically, I was responding to your statement "Then again, I wouldn't believe any 26 yr old who says they make $170K. But that's just me."

I am not as well versed in the compensation policies of AM and I was just trying to correct that overarching statement.

6/29/13

OP, your decision made my day.

6/29/13

This is where I got my info from:
http://www.analystforum.com/

And here:
http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/BlackRock-Associate-Salaries-E9331_D_KO10,19.htm

And by talking to people from here:
http://www.cfala.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1

A couple years back I was very interested in taking the CFA to break into IM, so I networked with some guys in the local CFA society. Out of the +20 people I talked to in the industry, $150K was the highest all-in comp quote I heard...the highest. Typically I heard 80-110K all-in. This is for buy-side pre-MBA associates with 1-3 yrs exp.

No need to try to convince me. If you know what the official comp #s are, then more power to you.

man made the money, money never made the man

6/29/13
mr1234:

This is where I got my info from:
http://www.analystforum.com/

And here:
http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/BlackRock-Associate-Salaries-E9331_D_KO10,19.htm

And by talking to people from here:
http://www.cfala.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1

A couple years back I was very interested in taking the CFA to break into IM, so I networked with some guys in the local CFA society. Out of the +20 people I talked to in the industry, $150K was the highest all-in comp quote I heard...the highest. Typically I heard 80-110K all-in. This is for buy-side pre-MBA associates with 1-3 yrs exp.

No need to try to convince me. If you know what the official comp #s are, then more power to you.

Just shut up, no one cares. Grow up Peter Pan - you are really annoying.

6/29/13

Well the good news is that you will probably just as successful with or without the business school, the bad news for you is that b-school is a ton of fun and you make the money back pretty fast - anyway, seems like you are a talented guy and based on your description of yourself will likely do better professionally than most people on this board (self included) - good luck!

6/29/13

No.

6/29/13

To expand: the content in almost any graduate business school is not real challenging or earth-shattering. Outside of accounting and finance, the in-class examples seemed like they were mostly pulled from popular books about social psychology - Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Ariely, Robert Cialdini.

6/29/13

Having audited MBA classes as an undergrad, no. Absolutely not. They are almost exactly like ugrad business classes (which are mostly bs anyways) but with more group work. If any learning occurs, it will be from your peers.

6/29/13

Great. Can't wait to dump 150K on my MBA over the next two years.

6/29/13

....

6/29/13
bcbunker1:

(minus the golf course)

Plus the golf course for me baby!! Cornell!!

6/29/13

Thanks for the input, that is kind of what I figured. I already have a masters so I don't know if I would go back for an MBA anyways unless my boss would require it for advancement.

6/29/13

I think this is why you are beginning to see a slight shift from the MBA requirement in some companies. Employers are realizing its not particularly efficient to have employees taking what amounts to a 2 year (possibly reimbursed) vacation.

6/29/13

depends on what you want to get out of it. for many people who are interested in M7 MBAs, the sub-10th ranked schools probably won't be viable substitutes.

6/29/13

You guys should read the comments in that WSJ article. He got ripped.

6/29/13

Is an MBA worth it? Maybe.

The value of an MBA is in helping you expand your network, giving you access to employment at prestigious companies, stamping that brand name on your resume, giving you a reset button as a career changer, and very nearly guaranteeing you protection against unemployment.

For individuals seeking the above who attend an M7/top 10 school, then it's worth it. However, if I'm already on track at my firm/fund without an MBA, and I'll continue to move up without it, then why would I want to go back to school, foregoing 2 years of earnings, 2 years of advancement, and all the costs of an MBA (unless you just really badly want a 2 year break from real work/responsibility).

As for the rankings, we know the M7/top 10 will open all the right doors and H/S/W will give you a little stardust to possibly open some hard to open doors to Narnia. However, once you go down in the rankings to schools that don't have that national brand, your best bet is going to school that is a regional powerhouse and can get you recruited in the industry/location where you want to work. Moving further down the rankings, the ticket price for an MBA stays about the same, but you see less and less return on your investment.

6/29/13

cinnamontoastcrunch:
Is an MBA worth it? Maybe.

The value of an MBA is in helping you expand your network, giving you access to employment at prestigious companies, stamping that brand name on your resume, giving you a reset button as a career changer, and very nearly guaranteeing you protection against unemployment.

For individuals seeking the above who attend an M7/top 10 school, then it's worth it. However, if I'm already on track at my firm/fund without an MBA, and I'll continue to move up without it, then why would I want to go back to school, foregoing 2 years of earnings, 2 years of advancement, and all the costs of an MBA (unless you just really badly want a 2 year break from real work/responsibility).

As for the rankings, we know the M7/top 10 will open all the right doors and H/S/W will give you a little stardust to possibly open some hard to open doors to Narnia. However, once you go down in the rankings to schools that don't have that national brand, your best bet is going to school that is a regional powerhouse and can get you recruited in the industry/location where you want to work. Moving further down the rankings, the ticket price for an MBA stays about the same, but you see less and less return on your investment.

^^Spot on.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

6/29/13

MBAs have really turned into cash cows for schools.

If you can graduate HBS as a Baker Scholar, an MBA is probably worth it. But even HBS has only about a 90-95% placement rate. And the new industries (tech, medicine) really aren't big on MBAs. So I would only go for an MBA if an employer is paying for it.

You should go back to school because that is what you want to do, and because you need something at school that you didn't get in undergrad. Taking a behavioral finance course at Princeton, taught by a guy who's gotten papers published in the Journal of Finance and runs his own hedge fund, was worth the $80K tuition for me alone.

So I am a firm believer in education, but I am also a believer in value over marketing. As individuals, we need to pursue an education that makes us more valuable as employees (or entrepreneurs) rather than an education that gives us prestige or other marketing benefits.

Good graduate degrees to get:

-Any Engineering, CS, Econ, Finance or Physics PhD (if it's funded)
-Any Engineering or CS master's degree if there are specific courses you think would help you with your current job.
-Any MFE or MFin if you are currently working in a role where that would be helpful.
-an MD or Nursing degree is still worth it.

6/29/13

I think it really depends on your background and what you want to achieve. At a top 10 you will get access to career tracks that if you weren't otherwise on you would never be able to pursue. You still gotta close. Im not as familiar with schools outside the top 10 but its probably some what similar just more competitive. As for the USC comment about 25% being unemployed - I'd guess that is partly for 2 reasons, not just at SC but anywhere. 1. internationals have a harder time getting US jobs regardless of school, so that can explain a portion, 2. some people are super picky in a specific sector and hold out by choice not because they couldn't have a job.

IlliniProgrammer:
MBAs have really turned into cash cows for schools.

Also, this isn't entirely true (I'm sure it depends on the school). We were told (and this assumes no one is lying and why would they) that the daytime MBA, ie normal program, is a loss leader and our tutution doesn't meet the over head. However the ranking/reputation of the school creates the ability to make a killing on the weekend/executive/corporate training stuff.

6/29/13

IlliniProgrammer:
I would only go for an MBA if an employer is paying for it.

Yeah, but you would only go to a steakhouse if it had a dollar menu.

6/29/13

IlliniProgrammer:

Good graduate degrees to get:

-Any Engineering, CS, Econ, Finance or Physics PhD (if it's funded)
-Any Engineering or CS master's degree if there are specific courses you think would help you with your current job.
-Any MFE or MFin if you are currently working in a role where that would be helpful.
-an MD or Nursing degree is still worth it.

1) The PhDs you mentioned are completely out of reach of the vast majority of the country (and yes, even this board). There are only so many 135+ IQ people out there.

2) What makes an engineering master's degree more valuable than an MBA? A master's degree is typically completely unnecessary for people working in both engineering and CS. The only people I know with master's degrees (I'm an engineer) are people in ultra-specialized fields and perpetual students. To be fair, you know far more than I do about how things are in CS land.

3) Agree, but only from elite programs. Also, why is an MFE or an MFin any more valuable than an MBA? Because of the shorter commitment?

4) Agree, though things are looking worse and worse for doctors these days.

6/29/13

IlliniProgrammer:

-Any Engineering, CS, Econ, Finance or Physics PhD (if it's funded)

lol the grass is always greener on the other side I suppose. Speak to econ phds outside of the top 10 and see how much whining and moaning about placement and opportunity cost there is. Most people would not recommend pursuing an econ phd unless it's top 20 and even then it's questionable. The job market is worse for physicists.

6/29/13

ChuckTaylor:
IlliniProgrammer:

-Any Engineering, CS, Econ, Finance or Physics PhD (if it's funded)

lol the grass is always greener on the other side I suppose. Speak to econ phds outside of the top 10 and see how much whining and moaning about placement and opportunity cost there is. Most people would not recommend pursuing an econ phd unless it's top 20 and even then it's questionable. The job market is worse for physicists.


Still beats being an undergrad math major.
Best Response
6/29/13

IlliniProgrammer:
MBAs have really turned into cash cows for schools.

If you can graduate HBS as a Baker Scholar, an MBA is probably worth it. But even HBS has only about a 90-95% placement rate. And the new industries (tech, medicine) really aren't big on MBAs. So I would only go for an MBA if an employer is paying for it.

You should go back to school because that is what you want to do, and because you need something at school that you didn't get in undergrad. Taking a behavioral finance course at Princeton, taught by a guy who's gotten papers published in the Journal of Finance and runs his own hedge fund, was worth the $80K tuition for me alone.

So I am a firm believer in education, but I am also a believer in value over marketing. As individuals, we need to pursue an education that makes us more valuable as employees (or entrepreneurs) rather than an education that gives us prestige or other marketing benefits.

Good graduate degrees to get:

-Any Engineering, CS, Econ, Finance or Physics PhD (if it's funded)
-Any Engineering or CS master's degree if there are specific courses you think would help you with your current job.
-Any MFE or MFin if you are currently working in a role where that would be helpful.
-an MD or Nursing degree is still worth it.

to sum up:

1) an MBA is worth it only if you can graduate from Harvard Business School as a Baker scholar (top 5%).
2) a single behavioral finance course was worth your $80k tuition for a MFin(?) degree at princeton.
3) while non-Baker scholar MBAs are a waste of money, a slew of other mediocre pay/high unemployment doctorates are actually a great idea.

i understand your brain sends the signal to type this shit but i don't understand how your fingers don't veto it. it's great that you have carved out a niche on this forum as the eccentric guy with off-the-wall ideas but aren't you worried that some kid might one day actually take what you say seriously? it's one thing to champion bizarre investment ideas or economic theories...it's another to actively respond to youngsters soliciting feedback on specific life decisions and provide dangerous, wacko advice.

6/29/13

DoubleBottomLine:

i understand your brain sends the signal to type this shit but i don't understand how your fingers don't veto it. it's great that you have carved out a niche on this forum as the eccentric guy with off-the-wall ideas but aren't you worried that some kid might one day actually take what you say seriously? it's one thing to champion bizarre investment ideas or economic theories...it's another to actively respond to youngsters soliciting feedback on specific life decisions and provide dangerous, wacko advice.

This.

6/29/13

IlliniProgrammer:
MBAs have really turned into cash cows for schools.

If you can graduate HBS as a Baker Scholar, an MBA is probably worth it. But even HBS has only about a 90-95% placement rate. And the new industries (tech, medicine) really aren't big on MBAs. So I would only go for an MBA if an employer is paying for it.

You should go back to school because that is what you want to do, and because you need something at school that you didn't get in undergrad. Taking a behavioral finance course at Princeton, taught by a guy who's gotten papers published in the Journal of Finance and runs his own hedge fund, was worth the $80K tuition for me alone.

So I am a firm believer in education, but I am also a believer in value over marketing. As individuals, we need to pursue an education that makes us more valuable as employees (or entrepreneurs) rather than an education that gives us prestige or other marketing benefits.

Good graduate degrees to get:

-Any Engineering, CS, Econ, Finance or Physics PhD (if it's funded)
-Any Engineering or CS master's degree if there are specific courses you think would help you with your current job.
-Any MFE or MFin if you are currently working in a role where that would be helpful.
-an MD or Nursing degree is still worth it.

You're a smart guy, but I disagree strongly with this post.

1. MBA is not exactly a cash cow, definitely not at top schools. I mean is it expensive? Absolutely. But the very term "cash cow" applies to programs that are overpriced relative to the value it provides the students. So an undergrad from say BU or an MBA from a #50 school could be seen as cash cows. Or say the masters in international affairs from columbia SIPA. No one in their right mind would say that HBS MBA is a cash cow since it does deliver very tangible benefits to students and graduates.

2. How is a 90-95% placement not impressive? And those people who don't get jobs right away are either doing startups or waiting for the right opportunity. This is especially true in hedge funds and investment management, where hiring can be quite ad hoc.

3. Plenty of tech and health care firms hire MBAs. Not as programmers or scientists of course but for product management, biz development, corporate rotational program, etc.

4. MFin and STEM degrees are fundamentally different from MBA and serve a different purpose. With those programs you are delving into difficult coursework and learning technical knowledge. That is not what the MBA is about; I feel like you're conflating apples and oranges.

6/29/13

Like a lot of people above said, it really depends on you because so many factors need to be counted. With that said, rarely, if ever, would it hurt you to have an MBA. The question of whether it's worth it in a strictly financial sense, is probably. Nowadays, take a look at job postings and you'll see that most at least "prefer" MBAs, if not require it for positions, even low-level positions. Of course, the higher the school is ranked is a factor, but my opinion is that it's more worth it than it's not, at the very least.

6/29/13

Also, that article is a joke. Not only is the author reportedly a 20 year old college drop out, the assumptions and analysis is firmly rooted in the cosmos.

How do you take the cost of the 'best' MBA and compare it to the salary of the 'average' MBA?!? That's the largest flaw in reasoning I've ever seen.

I will say that an MBA isn't for everyone, but how many people here are going to finish up their second year in IB and head to the computer coding school so you can make $80k?!?

As was pointed out, the international student population at a particular school would have a meaningful impact on the post-MBA employment numbers. Also consider just how weak and horrible the economy is in California. USC isn't a bad school by any stretch of the imagination, but the point that was made about regional schools is absolutely accurate. The region that is California currently sucks and I'm sure that's severely impacting employment. Just consider some other schools. Within 3 months of graduation, Goizueta (Emory) placed 98% of its MBA students and Owen (Vanderbilt) placed 92%, as opposed to the 76% placed out of USC.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

6/29/13

cphbravo96:
Also, that article is a joke. Not only is the author reportedly a 20 year old college drop out, the assumptions and analysis is firmly rooted in the cosmos.

How do you take the cost of the 'best' MBA and compare it to the salary of the 'average' MBA?!? That's the largest flaw in reasoning I've ever seen.

I will say that an MBA isn't for everyone, but how many people here are going to finish up their second year in IB and head to the computer coding school so you can make $80k?!?

As was pointed out, the international student population at a particular school would have a meaningful impact on the post-MBA employment numbers. Also consider just how weak and horrible the economy is in California. USC isn't a bad school by any stretch of the imagination, but the point that was made about regional schools is absolutely accurate. The region that is California currently sucks and I'm sure that's severely impacting employment. Just consider some other schools. Within 3 months of graduation, Goizueta (Emory) placed 98% of its MBA students and Owen (Vanderbilt) placed 92%, as opposed to the 76% placed out of USC.

Regards

Yup. USC takes a TONNNNN of international students.

6/29/13

^ pretty funny. true.

6/29/13

3) while non-Baker scholar MBAs are a waste of money, a slew of other mediocre pay/high unemployment doctorates are actually a great idea.

Said doctorates are free and leave you no less qualified than your undergrad did.

2) a single behavioral finance course was worth your $80k tuition for a MFin(?) degree at princeton.

It shook my doubt in inefficient markets. If you work in trading, that's huge.

1) an MBA is worth it only if you can graduate from Harvard Business School as a Baker scholar (top 5%).

I said it's worth it in that case. I didn't say it's not worth it in all other cases.

HBS has a 95% placement rate, but this is coming from people who LEFT jobs and HAD careers; most top five CS MS programs have similar placement rates for people straight out of undergrad.

Go back to school for the education. That's the only thing HBS or Stanford can really guarantee you.

6/29/13

IlliniProgrammer:
Said doctorates are free and leave you no less qualified than your undergrad did.
these are not cost-free decisions. they burn through many years of one's life while piling up huge opportunity cost and yield inferior employment/income trajectory prospects. i am not saying they are inferior to an MBA - i think STEM PhDs are very valuable but they are generally not a competing product. nobody decides between an MBA and a Physics PhD and certainly not on the basis of a cost analysis. they are meant for different categories of people.

It shook my doubt in inefficient markets. If you work in trading, that's huge.
sure but if you don't see why this is silly given your comments about MBAs and fixation on costs then let's just move on.

I said it's worth it in that case. I didn't say it's not worth it in all other cases.
you conceded utility only for HBS baker scholars and added that it's only worth attending if an employer is paying (in other words: not worth it otherwise).

this is obviously ridiculous. tell that to the armies of STEM grads who enter business school with $75k salaries and leave to make $250k in their first year out...forget about the millions of additional total career earnings. these are not one-off cases, they are all over the top 10 schools.

HBS has a 95% placement rate, but this is coming from people who LEFT jobs and HAD careers; most top five CS MS programs have similar placement rates for people straight out of undergrad.
do you really think that those 5% are unemployable or are struggling to get a job? no, they are struggling to get what they see as an HBS-worthy job. they could all sign up for six figure jobs immediately if required. also, since when is 95% shitty? that makes no sense.

Go back to school for the education. That's the only thing HBS or Stanford can really guarantee you.
this might be the most incorrect thing you've said. if anything the educational content is the smallest component of the value proposition and certainly the part that is most comparable to that of lesser schools. even a 15th-ranked school will teach more or less the same theories, methods, cases, etc. to its students. it's the brand power that lesser schools can't replicate. so if it's just the education you seek, the exact opposite is true...might as well not waste money on the brand.
6/29/13

DoubleBottomLine:

this is obviously ridiculous. tell that to the armies of STEM grads who enter business school with $75k salaries and leave to make $250k in their first year out...forget about the millions of additional total career earnings. these are not one-off cases, they are all over the top 10 schools.

Yep, the 27 year old programmer who quits Google, goes to a top 10 business school and gets a job in finance / consulting afterwards will almost certainly out earn his peers who continued to write code. STEM degrees top out after 5-7 years.

Good Bloomberg article about this -- http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-22/software-...

6/29/13

valleybandar:
DoubleBottomLine:

this is obviously ridiculous. tell that to the armies of STEM grads who enter business school with $75k salaries and leave to make $250k in their first year out...forget about the millions of additional total career earnings. these are not one-off cases, they are all over the top 10 schools.

Yep, the 27 year old programmer who quits Google, goes to a top 10 business school and gets a job in finance / consulting afterwards will almost certainly out earn his peers who continued to write code. STEM degrees top out after 5-7 years.

Good Bloomberg article about this -- http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-22/software-...

So true. Guys like Illini will be working for the Harvard MBA.

6/29/13

mbavsmfin:
valleybandar:
DoubleBottomLine:

this is obviously ridiculous. tell that to the armies of STEM grads who enter business school with $75k salaries and leave to make $250k in their first year out...forget about the millions of additional total career earnings. these are not one-off cases, they are all over the top 10 schools.

Yep, the 27 year old programmer who quits Google, goes to a top 10 business school and gets a job in finance / consulting afterwards will almost certainly out earn his peers who continued to write code. STEM degrees top out after 5-7 years.

Good Bloomberg article about this -- http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-22/software-...

So true. Guys like Illini will be working for the Harvard MBA.

You realize Illini is a trader, not an engineer, right?

6/29/13

triplectz:
mbavsmfin:
valleybandar:
DoubleBottomLine:

this is obviously ridiculous. tell that to the armies of STEM grads who enter business school with $75k salaries and leave to make $250k in their first year out...forget about the millions of additional total career earnings. these are not one-off cases, they are all over the top 10 schools.

Yep, the 27 year old programmer who quits Google, goes to a top 10 business school and gets a job in finance / consulting afterwards will almost certainly out earn his peers who continued to write code. STEM degrees top out after 5-7 years.

Good Bloomberg article about this -- http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-22/software-...

So true. Guys like Illini will be working for the Harvard MBA.

You realize Illini is a trader, not an engineer, right?

Yes, I'm aware of that. I'm a trader at a BB desk, and my boss' boss, the managing director, is a harvard mba. MBAs run a lot of top hedge funds and investment management firms. The point of that article, and my point also, is that it's the MBAs who run organizations while the technically skilled are those who do the grunt work for them. It's stable good jobs, but they will not advance as nearly as high as the MBA.

6/29/13

mbavsmfin:
Yes, I'm aware of that. I'm a trader at a BB desk, and my boss' boss, the managing director, is a harvard mba. MBAs run a lot of top hedge funds and investment management firms. The point of that article, and my point also, is that it's the MBAs who run organizations while the technically skilled are those who do the grunt work for them. It's stable good jobs, but they will not advance as nearly as high as the MBA.

I'm not buying this. Outside of a mortgage trader with a combined MFE/MBA from IIM (India), I've never met a trader with an MBA. I've met the occasional salesperson with an MBA. The head of Equities Cash Sales will have an MBA, probably a part-time one (because he was making too much money). The heads of Converts and listed equity options will have fairly elite STEM undergrads, a lot of stories about sports in college, gruff voices, and lots of gray hair. The head of the VIX desk will probably have all of that plus some sort of a STEM graduate degree.

For me, at least for this summer, an MFE worked out a lot better on pay and having interesting work than a Harvard MBA would have. But I could have had this two years ago if I'd cranked out a Finance PhD at Booth in four years, and had Booth pay for it to boot. I'd also have aged about 40% slower in academia than sitting in trading.

6/29/13

valleybandar:
DoubleBottomLine:

this is obviously ridiculous. tell that to the armies of STEM grads who enter business school with $75k salaries and leave to make $250k in their first year out...forget about the millions of additional total career earnings. these are not one-off cases, they are all over the top 10 schools.

Yep, the 27 year old programmer who quits Google, goes to a top 10 business school and gets a job in finance / consulting afterwards will almost certainly out earn his peers who continued to write code. STEM degrees top out after 5-7 years.

Good Bloomberg article about this -- http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-22/software-...

As a software engineer in the defense sector, I 100% agree with the Bloomberg article. There's definitely a shelf life on programmers. Engineers in the defense sector have a longer shelf life than most engineers due to the nature of the business. These contractors can't simply just hire an undergrad off the street; there's a lengthy vetting process that is more intensive than most people would care to undergo. Having the appropriate security clearance is nearly a prerequisite for working on the good projects. These background investigations don't stop at a simple criminal and credit check. Many involve investigators interviewing your high school teachers, college professors, neighbors, etc. as well as you taking a full scope polygraph examination.

Nevertheless, you want to find a way to transition from being a senior engineer into management. Being an Infantry officer in the Reserves is very complimentary to my role in my civilian career. I am always selected to travel with my supervisors when they are meeting with DoD officials and clients.

An MBA from a top business school would be an excellent addition for my career.

6/29/13

DoubleBottomLine:
IlliniProgrammer:
HBS has a 95% placement rate, but this is coming from people who LEFT jobs and HAD careers; most top five CS MS programs have similar placement rates for people straight out of undergrad.
do you really think that those 5% are unemployable or are struggling to get a job? no, they are struggling to get what they see as an HBS-worthy job. they could all sign up for six figure jobs immediately if required. also, since when is 95% shitty? that makes no sense.

Agreed. And consider this: Stanford GSB has an absurdly low 76% employed at graduation rate. However, I can assure you that those grads could snatch up a six figure job tomorrow if they wanted to. Instead, they're doing something entrepreneurial, holding out for something unique, or going after a company that hires JIT (think startup, VC, etc.).

While this happens more frequently at Stanford given its location, these factors can be used to explain an employment rate of under 99% at any of the very top schools.

6/29/13

There is a reason why so many engineers want to do MBA.

6/29/13

these are not cost-free decisions. they burn through many years of one's life while piling up huge opportunity cost and yield inferior employment/income trajectory prospects.

If you hold a math or physics undergrad, the opportunity cost is about $7.25/hour.

i am not saying they are inferior to an MBA - i think STEM PhDs are very valuable but they are generally not a competing product. nobody decides between an MBA and a Physics PhD and certainly not on the basis of a cost analysis. they are meant for different categories of people.

Sure. My point is that if you can be happy going for an Engineering PhD, it's more likely to meet your expectations than an MBA would if you can be happy going for that.

Engineering, CS, Econ, and Finance PhDs also have pretty nice lives when they graduate. Banks and hedge funds tend to treat them pretty well, because they can always leave for academia (typically an Econ or Finance PhD can land an assistant professorship immediately, and there are a lot of more applied jobs for Engineering and CS PhDs in industry). And most of the people actually developing trading strategies at banks tend to have PhDs. IMHO, a Finance PhD from a top four school gives you the most options if you're interested in anything within finance that does not involve IBD. MIT Finance PhDs tend to outplace Harvard MBAs at McKinsey, and Harvard MBAs tend to wind up working for Chicago Finance or Econ PhDs in the trading world.

That is, if the finance PhD *wants* to go work in industry. Academia/research is not really an avenue available to MBAs.

this is obviously ridiculous. tell that to the armies of STEM grads who enter business school with $75k salaries and leave to make $250k in their first year out...

Sure. But if they had joined a prop shop without the MBA, it could have been $300K for 50 hours/week. If they had spent the time and money on a startup, it could have been millions. (It could have also been zero.)

Most people who are qualified to get into HBS and are making $75K/year could be making $200-300 pretty easily somewhere else without an MBA.

do you really think that those 5% are unemployable or are struggling to get a job? no, they are struggling to get what they see as an HBS-worthy job. they could all sign up for six figure jobs immediately if required. also, since when is 95% shitty? that makes no sense.

CMU, Princeton, Berkeley, and a few other top MFE programs have had 100% placement rates.

this might be the most incorrect thing you've said. if anything the educational content is the smallest component of the value proposition and certainly the part that is most comparable to that of lesser schools.

Which is why MBAs suck IMO. At the very least, HBS should switch to teaching some of the content in an MFE program.
6/29/13

IlliniProgrammer:
these are not cost-free decisions. they burn through many years of one's life while piling up huge opportunity cost and yield inferior employment/income trajectory prospects.

If you hold a math or physics undergrad, the opportunity cost is about $7.25/hour.

i am not saying they are inferior to an MBA - i think STEM PhDs are very valuable but they are generally not a competing product. nobody decides between an MBA and a Physics PhD and certainly not on the basis of a cost analysis. they are meant for different categories of people.

Sure. My point is that if you can be happy going for an Engineering PhD, it's more likely to meet your expectations than an MBA would if you can be happy going for that.

Engineering, CS, Econ, and Finance PhDs also have pretty nice lives when they graduate. Banks and hedge funds tend to treat them pretty well, because they can always leave for academia (typically an Econ or Finance PhD can land an assistant professorship immediately, and there are a lot of more applied jobs for Engineering and CS PhDs in industry). And most of the people actually developing trading strategies at banks tend to have PhDs. IMHO, a Finance PhD from a top four school gives you the most options if you're interested in anything within finance that does not involve IBD. MIT Finance PhDs tend to outplace Harvard MBAs at McKinsey, and Harvard MBAs tend to wind up working for Chicago Finance or Econ PhDs in the trading world.

That is, if the finance PhD *wants* to go work in industry. Academia/research is not really an avenue available to MBAs.

this is obviously ridiculous. tell that to the armies of STEM grads who enter business school with $75k salaries and leave to make $250k in their first year out...

Sure. But if they had joined a prop shop without the MBA, it could have been $300K for 50 hours/week. If they had spent the time and money on a startup, it could have been millions. (It could have also been zero.)

Most people who are qualified to get into HBS and are making $75K/year could be making $200-300 pretty easily somewhere else without an MBA.

do you really think that those 5% are unemployable or are struggling to get a job? no, they are struggling to get what they see as an HBS-worthy job. they could all sign up for six figure jobs immediately if required. also, since when is 95% shitty? that makes no sense.

CMU, Princeton, Berkeley, and a few other top MFE programs have had 100% placement rates.

this might be the most incorrect thing you've said. if anything the educational content is the smallest component of the value proposition and certainly the part that is most comparable to that of lesser schools.

Which is why MBAs suck IMO. At the very least, HBS should switch to teaching some of the content in an MFE program.

Your last statement doesn't make sense. Why should an MBA teach part of the MFE content? They're totally different programs with different purposes. Should law schools teach some of the MFE content as well? First of all, an MFin/MFE is a TECHNICAL degree, one that serves to prepare graduates for quantitative research/trading roles at prop trading firms, banks, and hedge funds. An MBA is a GENERAL MANAGEMENT degree, one that aims to prepare graduates for leadership roles at major corporations and/or to run their own businesses eventually. Consequently, an MBA focuses a lot on networking and relationship building since those are critical components of doing business. In terms of the academic curriculum, an MBA introduces students to all aspects of business, hence sacrificing depth for breadth. An MFin/MFE is the opposite in this aspect.

As someone who applied to both MBA and MFin programs this year, I appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of each one. But please do not continue comparing apples to oranges in an attempt to elevate one over the other. They're fundamentally different, and each person should make a decision on which program is a better fit for him.

6/29/13

IlliniProgrammer:

Engineering, CS, Econ, and Finance PhDs also have pretty nice lives when they graduate. Banks and hedge funds tend to treat them pretty well, because they can always leave for academia (typically an Econ or Finance PhD can land an assistant professorship immediately, and there are a lot of more applied jobs for Engineering and CS PhDs in industry). And most of the people actually developing trading strategies at banks tend to have PhDs. IMHO, a Finance PhD from a top four school gives you the most options if you're interested in anything within finance that does not involve IBD. MIT Finance PhDs tend to outplace Harvard MBAs at McKinsey, and Harvard MBAs tend to wind up working for Chicago Finance or Econ PhDs in the trading world.

LOL yes a finance phd from top 4 school will set you up pretty nicely. there's about 10-12 of those positions open any given year and you have to compete with 4.0 MIT/Harvard kids or math geniuses from turkey/iran/france for the opportunity. What's the point of talking about that on a site such as this?

6/29/13

ChuckTaylor:

LOL yes a finance phd from top 4 school will set you up pretty nicely. there's about 10-12 of those positions open any given year and you have to compete with 4.0 MIT/Harvard kids or math geniuses from turkey/iran/france for the opportunity. What's the point of talking about that on a site such as this?


Because 75% of the people on here believe they're in the 0.05% that will become billionaires; why not be in the 0.05% that get into a top 4 school?
6/29/13

IlliniProgrammer:
ChuckTaylor:

LOL yes a finance phd from top 4 school will set you up pretty nicely. there's about 10-12 of those positions open any given year and you have to compete with 4.0 MIT/Harvard kids or math geniuses from turkey/iran/france for the opportunity. What's the point of talking about that on a site such as this?


Because 75% of the people on here believe they're in the 0.05% that will become billionaires; why not be in the 0.05% that get into a top 4 school?

Precisely. But I have no problem with them aspiring (or dreaming).

An Ivy League degree is worth its weight in gold and this is coming from someone who doesn't have one. I don't sweat it nor do I feel inferior, but respect is given when it is due. Rarity and exclusivity are major signals to the market, not sure why this is an argument.

I went to a top 5 undergrad, and to this day it boggles my mind how many opportunities I got simply because of what school i went to. Selectivity and prestige are signals to the market.
...
To them, the very fact that i was admitted signalled to them that i possessed the intelligence and work ethic to excel at their firms.

It gets tiring to listen to the same circle jerk over and over again, but hey, they have a right to do it!

holla_back:

And then you could buy a '91 Honda Civic to prove that you're "just a regular guy."

This reminds me that I need to look into purchasing a Prius to "give back" to the environment for the number of times I was too lazy to dig a slit trench. Watching people step in land mines is much funner anyway.

1337:
A big problem I see with relatively successful people that took non-traditional routes is that they think anyone can do the same. This is not the case and most of the time they are an exception to the norm. Compare that to 95% of people going to HBS (and making an average $150,000 first year-out) or whatever other good school you choose. Sure it is true that you can be a smart kid and make a quarter mil five years out of undergrad, but that doesn't mean that the vast majority of people should forgo a great degree with strong brand recognition just to try it. I would hope that someone smart enough to make money non-traditionally would be able to see that there was a good amount of luck/randomness that played a role in their career success and, consequently, their happiness. Taking that for granted is an oversight, at best.

See top. No one disagrees with you. He's addressing those with delusions of grandeur.

6/29/13

While I wouldn't consider it, I think it is worth noting that some of the 15-25 MBA programs are extremely small programs. Some of them target specific regions and specialties on par with their higher ranked counterparts. I don't think they are all cash cows, but some of the larger, lower ranked programs certainly are, such as Rochester and Illinois.

6/29/13

wannabeaballer:
While I wouldn't consider it, I think it is worth noting that some of the 15-25 MBA programs are extremely small programs. Some of them target specific regions and specialties on par with their higher ranked counterparts. I don't think they are all cash cows, but some of the larger, lower ranked programs certainly are, such as Rochester and Illinois.

Not HBS. It's a degree factory.

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarateBoy

6/29/13

Your last statement doesn't make sense. Why should an MBA teach part of the MFE content? They're totally different programs with different purposes. Should law schools teach some of the MFE content as well? First of all, an MFin/MFE is a TECHNICAL degree, one that serves to prepare graduates for quantitative research/trading roles at prop trading firms, banks, and hedge funds.

Not to mention analytics firms, big data roles, and other stuff that requires technical competencies that few people have or are able to have.

An MBA is a GENERAL MANAGEMENT degree, one that aims to prepare graduates for leadership roles at major corporations and/or to run their own businesses eventually. Consequently, an MBA focuses a lot on networking and relationship building since those are critical components of doing business. In terms of the academic curriculum, an MBA introduces students to all aspects of business, hence sacrificing depth for breadth. An MFin/MFE is the opposite in this aspect.

Most of the new businesses of the past 10-15 years haven't been started or run by MBAs. Networking is great, but it's not something you need to spend $160K to do. And a Booth Finance PhD along with a big three journal publication provides much better branding and startup opportunities than an MBA.

As someone who applied to both MBA and MFin programs this year, I appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of each one. But please do not continue comparing apples to oranges in an attempt to elevate one over the other. They're fundamentally different, and each person should make a decision on which program is a better fit for him.

I'm not comparing apples and oranges; I'm just stating that now that we have tangerines, and that anyone can grow them in their backyard, oranges may not be as valuable as they used to be.
6/29/13

Telling someone that ANY PhD is a better branding option is utterly ridiculous. IlliniProgrammer - I don't know where you come up with this stuff but a top 5 MBA will be FAR better career branding, and open up MANY more doors than virtually any PhD.

MIT PhDs outplacing Harvard MBAs at McKinsey? Straight up false.

I have an engineering PhD, so yes, I know how this works. Everyone in this thread needs to disregard his advice.

6/29/13

scleraxis:
Telling someone that ANY PhD is a better branding option is utterly ridiculous. IlliniProgrammer - I don't know where you come up with this stuff but a top 5 MBA will be FAR better career branding, and open up MANY more doors than virtually any PhD.

MIT PhDs outplacing Harvard MBAs at McKinsey? Straight up false.

I have an engineering PhD, so yes, I know how this works. Everyone in this thread needs to disregard his advice.

Well, I do think a STEM Phd from say a top 5 program could get a great private sector job if he so wanted to. Also, someone of that intellectual caliber would most likely do quite well on a MBB case interview; most of them prefer academia, so it boils down to self-selection.

However, I disagree strongly with Illini that a Phd in general opens more doors than a top MBA simply because it is more technical. And I agree with scleraxis that a top 5 MBA in general is far more versatile in the business world than Phd because it essentially allows you to transition to different industries and gives you the credibility to advance to high-level executive positions at major corporations. You see very few MIT CS Phd's as CEOs while Harvard MBAs are dime a dozen at those positions.

6/29/13

mbavsmfin:

Well, I do think a STEM Phd from say a top 5 program could get a great private sector job if he so wanted to. Also, someone of that intellectual caliber would most likely do quite well on a MBB case interview; most of them prefer academia, so it boils down to self-selection.

No way - you would be VERY surprised at how many PhD candidates want out of the academic track but cannot make it into MBB. McKinsey in particular interviews A LOT of PhD candidates from target schools. People with a research-heavy background typically are just not well suited to the case interview process or consulting in general. The exceptions to this are the ones that get hired.

STEM PhDs from top 5 schools do have other options but it's still not that easy. The PhD is a valuable degree you just need to know where it can be used and how to sell yourself, most do not.

6/29/13

scleraxis:
mbavsmfin:

Well, I do think a STEM Phd from say a top 5 program could get a great private sector job if he so wanted to. Also, someone of that intellectual caliber would most likely do quite well on a MBB case interview; most of them prefer academia, so it boils down to self-selection.

No way - you would be VERY surprised at how many PhD candidates want out of the academic track but cannot make it into MBB. McKinsey in particular interviews A LOT of PhD candidates from target schools. People with a research-heavy background typically are just not well suited to the case interview process or consulting in general. The exceptions to this are the ones that get hired.

STEM PhDs from top 5 schools do have other options but it's still not that easy. The PhD is a valuable degree you just need to know where it can be used and how to sell yourself, most do not.

I'm not an expert on MBB consulting, so you may be right on this. My impression though was that case interviews are about analyzing different pieces of data quickly and accurately and thinking logically about the company and industry. I have friends from college at top b-schools, who are not that smart, who managed to get MBB offers easily. I guess I have a hard time believing that my genius friends who are doing econ/math/physics phd at harvard/mit/stanford would struggle with case interviews.

6/29/13

mbavsmfin:

I'm not an expert on MBB consulting, so you may be right on this. My impression though was that case interviews are about analyzing different pieces of data quickly and accurately and thinking logically about the company and industry. I have friends from college at top b-schools, who are not that smart, who managed to get MBB offers easily. I guess I have a hard time believing that my genius friends who are doing econ/math/physics phd at harvard/mit/stanford would struggle with case interviews.

The skill set required is just different. The data analysis is usually not a problem, they often get stuck thinking about business situations (which PhDs are not familiar with).

6/29/13

scleraxis:
mbavsmfin:

I'm not an expert on MBB consulting, so you may be right on this. My impression though was that case interviews are about analyzing different pieces of data quickly and accurately and thinking logically about the company and industry. I have friends from college at top b-schools, who are not that smart, who managed to get MBB offers easily. I guess I have a hard time believing that my genius friends who are doing econ/math/physics phd at harvard/mit/stanford would struggle with case interviews.

The skill set required is just different. The data analysis is usually not a problem, they often get stuck thinking about business situations (which PhDs are not familiar with).

This is borderline ridiculous. Please keep in mind that kids out of undergrad ace case interviews with 1-2 months of prep. There is nothing extraordinarily difficult about a case interview that a MIT PhD couldn't grasp in 1-2 months of prep...

6/29/13

SlikRick:

This is borderline ridiculous. Please keep in mind that kids out of undergrad ace case interviews with 1-2 months of prep. There is nothing extraordinarily difficult about a case interview that a MIT PhD couldn't grasp in 1-2 months of prep...

I know MANY MIT PhDs that did not make the cut. It's not 'extraordinarily difficult' - it's just different. The bar is also much higher for PhDs than it is for undergrads, since they are hired at the same level as MBAs (at least at MBB). They can be raw in terms of finance knowledge but not in terms of presentation/speaking skills.

6/29/13

mbavsmfin:

I'm not an expert on MBB consulting, so you may be right on this. My impression though was that case interviews are about analyzing different pieces of data quickly and accurately and thinking logically about the company and industry. I have friends from college at top b-schools, who are not that smart, who managed to get MBB offers easily. I guess I have a hard time believing that my genius friends who are doing econ/math/physics phd at harvard/mit/stanford would struggle with case interviews.

Communication/presentation skills are nearly as important as analytical skills in a case interview. This might explain why the econ PhD who spent his life in academia might fare worse than an MBA who has spent 3-5 years in the business world.

6/29/13

That's pretty much what mbavsmfin said. Yes, people with very technical backgrounds run individual business units (or trading desks), but people higher up often have MBAs.

6/29/13

Schumpeter:
That's pretty much what mbavsmfin said. Yes, people with very technical backgrounds run individual business units (or trading desks), but people higher up often have MBAs.

Well, this is at banks. If you want to stay at a bank for your entire career, I guess you can do that. If you want to go to a hedge fund or a prop shop, an MBA may not be the best route.
6/29/13

It depends whether you want to reach a local maximum (in which case, yes, you can get an advanced technical degree) or reach the top ranks of an organization.

I've worked for a well-known prop trading company. The partners and directors had either bachelors (in STEM disciplines) or non-quantitative advanced degrees. Yes, the guys with STEM PhDs were working on cool stuff... as employees.

6/29/13

Schumpeter:
It depends whether you want to reach a local maximum (in which case, yes, you can get an advanced technical degree) or reach the top ranks of an organization.

I've worked for a well-known prop trading company. The partners and directors had either bachelors (in STEM disciplines) or non-quantitative advanced degrees. Yes, the guys with STEM PhDs were working on cool stuff... as employees.

Note that the OP hasn't specified which sector he works in. With that being said, I'm not going to spend the effort to stalk him and figure out, but I will take the original question in a very general context.

I believe what you said may be true for most sectors, however, an MBA is not a ticket to reach the top ranks of the sector that I work in (defense). The sector that I work in values your military service (rank, assignments, network, etc.) more than an MBA because it is this that will allow you to communicate with your clients. That is not to say that having an MBA won't help, it will definitely help.

Also, having an advanced technical degree is not mutually exclusive to an MBA. Understandably, it might in a field like finance for example where one has the opportunity cost of attending graduate school full time and not being employed. My employer sponsored me for a part-time MS CS program and this was definitely manageable because I only worked 40 hours a week.

As a baseline, senior software engineers with 5-8 years of experience, a Top Secret security clearance or higher, a MS degree, and solid network engineering credentials (CCNP) will net you somewhere around $150-170k/year in a low cost of living area. This is true even in organizations outside of defense such as telecom.

6/29/13

Studying bachelor degree in Europe and it is common here for people to do master degrees. However in the US, many just do their undergrad and end up in business school doing an MBA. From my point of view in wanting to work in the US one day, do employers not mind if I do not have an MBA if I have say a master in finance? I would see it as quite pointless in terms of academic knowledge gained to first have a master in finance and then an MBA in finance.

My career goals are in BB and later in PE.

6/29/13

No one here wants to work in a defense company debugging codes for a F35. I don't know why you keep preaching it everyday. I was a EE, and that's the last place I wanted to be since hanging out with 50+ year old coworkers wasn't my thing. I have friends with clearances that work for Northrop and Lockheed as Systems or Software Engineers, either got out or looking for a way out. $100K+ is all good, but come with hanging out in a base with nothing else in sight and stagnant work.

6/29/13

abacab:
No one here wants to work in a defense company debugging codes for a F35. I don't know why you keep preaching it everyday. I was a EE, and that's the last place I wanted to be since hanging out with 50+ year old coworkers wasn't my thing. I have friends with clearances that work for Northrop and Lockheed as Systems or Software Engineers, either got out or looking for a way out. $100K+ is all good, but come with hanging out in a base with nothing else in sight and stagnant work.

It's an MBA forum. Guess what? Not 100% of an MBA class comes from the finance sector.

Let me ask you this, are your friend with clearances still service members? They might be getting out because they don't see a future for themselves in the defense sector. They might be getting overlooked by people with the same technical credentials but an extensive client network.

At the end of the day, you're going to probably go with a role/path where you are well positioned.

Also, I understand that many might view it as stagnant and abhor the environment/culture of a military installation, but that's not how I view it at all. I work on a project that is a centerpiece of how a commander on the ground commands and controls his elements through a global satellite system. It's something that my life and the lives of my soldiers will depend on when we deploy/mobilize. That's enough of a purpose for me. I live in a metro area (Baltimore; trust me, I grew up around NYC and I'm not that impressed with it) and my commute is 25 minutes door to door.

As for income, I'm in my late 20s and I will be taking in anywhere from $220-240k/year after tax this from a combination of civilian income, real estate investments, and military income. How? I made a post here on the numbers: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/do-a-lot-of-...

How many can say they work 40 hours a week, work out twice a day, spend over a month per year on vacation, and have the time to bang their ridiculously hot girlfriend and pursue whatever hobbies + sports (tech diving, snowboarding, surfing, automotive sports, competition shooting), investments they want? You're damn right I'm living happily.

6/29/13

knivek:
It's an MBA forum. Guess what? Not 100% of an MBA class comes from the finance sector.

Not everyone comes from finance, not everyone goes to finance from a top MBA. For your stuff, instead of harping on here, you should sign up at the local directional State U part time MBA program like most of your colleague do. Your employer will pay you $8K+ in reimbursement (I think most took away the full coverage), and you can continue living your awesomeness.
6/29/13

abacab:
knivek:
It's an MBA forum. Guess what? Not 100% of an MBA class comes from the finance sector.

Not everyone comes from finance, not everyone goes to finance from a top MBA. For your stuff, instead of harping on here, you should sign up at the local directional State U part time MBA program like most of your colleague do. Your employer will pay you $8K+ in reimbursement (I think most took away the full coverage), and you can continue living your awesomeness.

Full coverage would be great for tuition reimbursement but I also have enough months remaining on my Post 9/11 GI Bill to cover an MBA at $35,000+/year.

But realistically, I'm not that concerned about the cost of an MBA.

knivek:

As for income, I'm in my late 20s and I will be taking in anywhere from $220-240k/year after tax this from a combination of civilian income, real estate investments, and military income. How? I made a post here on the numbers: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/do-a-lot-of-...

How many can say they work 40 hours a week, work out twice a day, spend over a month per year on vacation, and have the time to bang their ridiculously hot girlfriend and pursue whatever hobbies + sports (tech diving, snowboarding, surfing, automotive sports, competition shooting), investments they want? You're damn right I'm living happily.

I'm more interested in attending a top business school because it may be the difference between finishing my reserve career as Colonel (O-6) and a Brigadier General (O-7). My grandfather was an Major General (O-8) so a part of the reason I chose this line of work was to experience what he did and it turns out I love it. Not that many Asians make it into the flag officer ranks so, in my eyes, it would be a rewarding accomplishment - uncommon. It would be something that I could look back at my peers and know that I took a path less traveled with much more adversity. You're not remembered or noticed for following in the path of a herd, you're always remembered for standing out from the pack.

6/29/13

You have bigger things to worry about, like getting treated as a second class for being a reserve/non-academy (elitism exists even there), or being in a old white male dominated industry as an Asian. But whatever works. Enjoy coding.

6/29/13

abacab:
You have bigger things to worry about, like getting treated as a second class for being a reserve/non-academy (elitism exists even there), or being in a old white male dominated industry as an Asian. But whatever works. Enjoy coding.

I'm in my late 20s. I earn about a quarter of a million dollars after tax per year. I have over one million in assets. I haven't done anything illegal. I have tons of time to enjoy my life and my life's work. I'm living... life as most men dream.

What should I worry about? I have 99 problems, but trust me, they are not what you mentioned.

I've come this far from graduating average from a non-target and you think I can't handle a few elitists and a few racists? Are you serious?

6/29/13

knivek:

I've come this far from graduating average from a non-target and you think I can't handle a few elitists and a few racists? Are you serious?

At the end of the day, competence trumps prestige. Good for you; you are in a better situation than most MBAs.
6/29/13

Your whole ranking hounding is prestige hunting. Top MBA to make O7? Just trying to overcome your shortcomings. Getting a job at some defense contractor doing software coding from a non-target is not going that far. They recruit from pretty much any decent State U engineering programs, including New Mexico State.
http://www.lockheedmartinjobs.com/campus-events.asp

6/29/13

abacab:
Your whole ranking hounding is prestige hunting. Top MBA to make O7? Just trying to overcome your shortcomings. Getting a job at some defense contractor doing software coding from a non-target is not going that far. They recruit from pretty much any decent State U engineering programs, including New Mexico State.
http://www.lockheedmartinjobs.com/campus-events.as...

Again, what shortcomings are you speaking of?

knivek:

I'm in my late 20s. I earn about a quarter of a million dollars after tax per year. I have over one million in assets. I haven't done anything illegal. I have tons of time to enjoy my life and my life's work. I'm living... life as most men dream.

If I have any shortcomings in life, it is not career(s) related.

abacab, do you have some ridiculous sense of entitlement or some unfounded hatred for successful engineers, military service members, Asians, real estate investors, etc. or simply someone who didn't need a prestigious school to get to where they are? Your resentment is clear.

6/29/13

Our backgrounds are more similar than different and I don't have an entitled background either. But you forcing your defense job down our throat everyday to prove something is getting old. It's like that VirginaTech4Ever dude from fe