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And the top 5 dudes listed here are: H/S/W, MIT and Kellogg.

As a non-American with little to no real desire to work in the US in the near future, I'd throw INSEAD and maybe LBS into the mix as well.

Discuss!


Last week, the Wall Street Journal wrote an article questioning the value of an MBA but I could have already told you that. As a graduate of the 2002 Wharton MBA program and a member of the Wharton Admissions Committee as a student, I get a lot of aspiring MBA candidates asking me the following question: "What do I need to do on my application to get into an MBA program?"

However, before candidates can even ask me that question, I ask them: "Why do you want an MBA and what schools are you applying to?"

The sad reality is that an MBA is not as valuable today as it was 30 years ago. Stanford University published data stating that from 2005 to 2008, over 94% of graduates had jobs by graduation. However, since then, only about 75% of graduates had jobs lined up at graduation. Stanford is a top MBA program, so you can imagine it being worse at other schools. In fact, 21 schools that are ranked by US News & World Report said that for the past few years, nearly 50% of their graduates did not have jobs at graduation.

MBA programs were created in the 1950s because large corporations felt that new employees lacked general management skills and as a result, many talented hires had to be taught on the job the basics of business such as accounting, finance, market research, etc.

Corporations started to demand that schools give them better trained employees. In response, many schools designed MBA programs as a two-year crash course for talented individuals to get a fundamental overview of how big business worked. MBAs were not designed to help you advance your career, they were designed to make you a great employee at a large firm. In fact, most large firms paid for your MBA and you, in return, committed to joining them for several years.

Fast forward to today, and you'll notice that many people are opting for a different career path in business than simply joining a large corporation and working there for 25 years. MBA programs were not designed to teach students how to be entrepreneurs, run small businesses, or manage their personal career goals in an ever-changing world. While most programs have tried to adapt to this shift, they still fall back to teaching traditional courses that prepare students for great middle management careers at Fortune 500 firms.

Many of my classmates from the Wharton Class of 2002 complain that their MBA was only valuable during their first job out of school. Once they went looking for another job, no one really cared what school they went to or how well they performed at the school. It was as if their degrees were rendered meaningless in all future jobs. Some classmates who work at startups actually hide the fact that they have an MBA from their work colleagues. Most startups look down on candidates with an MBA. They do not consider MBAs "rebellious" enough to be part of a startup or they find them lacking in core skills needed in an early stage startup: engineering, fundraising experience, bootstrap-marketing expertise, previous startup experience.

So, if you are planning on having a long career at GE or Bank of America, then an MBA is still a worthwhile investment. However, most MBA programs do a poor job of preparing students for the uncertain economic reality we live in today, which makes an MBA a poor investment.

In addition to this, there are several other factors that make an MBA less desirable. First, the cost of an MBA has increased dramatically over the past 15 years. With less large companies paying for an MBA, the cost is absorbed by students who usually already have an undergraduate loan they are still paying off.

What's more, an MBA is no longer an entry to an exclusive club. Most universities now offer the degree and as the Wall Street Journal article mentions, most schools also have part-time and executive MBA options to go along with their full-time programs. These programs results in higher profits for the school, but at the cost of brand exclusivity. Twenty years ago, an MBA candidate would be competing with just his classmates for a job. However, today, he also has to compete with those graduating from the school's executive and part-time programs.

Finally, the economic conditions that exist today have resulted in companies paying less and hiring less. MBAs just cannot get the job offers that their peers got several years before. An even more painful fact is that most employers now only hire a few MBAs and only recruit from a select few schools. So, those students going to second-tier MBA programs are finding less job opportunities at top firms.

Ten years ago, I used to tell candidates that an MBA was a great investment, regardless of which program they went into, as long as they had a general idea of where they wanted to take their career. Today, I cannot state that belief anymore. In fact, I tell candidates that if they want an MBA, then go to one of the top five schools: Wharton, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and Kellogg. If they cannot get into one of these schools, then don't even go to another school. The return on investment is just not there.

By Jay Bhatti -- January 15, 2013
Jay Bhatti is an investor and advisor to startups in New York City. Previously, he was the co-founder of the people search engine Spock.com. He also worked as a product manager for Microsoft. In 2002, he received his MBA from the Wharton School.

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Comments (72)

  • shorttheworld's picture

    except tucks network lasts indefinitely and has been marked as even better, although not as broad, as HBS

    MIT as top 5? maybe for startups, usually i hear kellogg and chicago as top 5

    and hes probably really afraid of listing booth in the top 5 seeing as some are getting the perception that booths approach is overcoming whartons

    and to counter his argument of 'if you want a career at bank of america or GE.. if you want to do a startup or something rather non corporate-ish then ytf are you even getting an MBA, even if it is HBS or wharton?

    also tell this to all the people making 50-70k a year and who get jobs at deloitte or in IBD from top 15 schools who go ahead and instantly triple their salaries

    an MBA isnt for everyone, the rankings are rather bullshit and you can largely do 90 percent of the same jobs from any of the top programs (unless you want to do PE or IM largely or some of the specific top corporate finance tracks)... and as such you cant apply cookie cutter 'its not worth it' 'it is worth it' to everyone adn their career path

    and good for him working @ microsoft, a rather corporate job, and then going into startups

  • shorttheworld's picture

    ALTHOUGH, now to play devils advocate, we also live in a bubble of thought here on WSO. when we read articles like this, we think 'oh, the only other programs are the top 15' which is obviously far from true. i think most of us on here would arch an eyebrow at attending a non 'top 15' (which is more than 15 schools in reality) and even more so realistically top 25 and top 30, depending on what your career goals would be and what region you want to work in. also, in the grand scheme of things all of these programs are considered 'top tier' even though here on WSO and on the street we stratify it as HSW/M7(which is really an elite 8 with Tuck)/T15(which is really like 17 or 18 schools) and then no mans land of 'LOLMBAs'

    should u pay 50k a year for some masters program at circlejerk u? no, probably not

    is school uber expensive? f yes. if you can get a full ride at a 'second tier' school and get into the field you want to get into its probably much better than goign to Wharton for IBD

  • jtbbdxbnycmad's picture

    Yet another established MBA who worked at the slowest software company in the world pontificating to everyone. These guys are really dull and predictable.

  • BlackHat's picture

    MBAs should only be for people trying to reset their career trajectories

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • inkybinky's picture

    I often ask established people whether the various credentials they earned (MBA, JD, CFA, or whatever) was actually worth it. They often say no, which is curious because these people are typically far more successful than the general population.

    The fact is that, although not required, you'll find that most executives have these kinds of credentials. They serve not just as networking tools or educational experiences, but as stamps of approval by organizations that want to hire people who are responsible, intelligent, and who have the right skills.

    Part of the problem is that these credentials are often sold (usually by universities) and natural stepping stones. They suggest that by acquiring one, you're basically guaranteed to move up. That's not the case. You still need to perform.

  • In reply to BlackHat
    sonibubu's picture

    BlackHat:
    MBAs should only be for people trying to reset their career trajectories

    Bingo. The only reason I did it is to go from engineering into IM. Almost no other way for me to do so.

    If I had started off in financial services, no way I drop $55k/year to get an MBA.

  • In reply to shorttheworld
    Poff's picture

    shorttheworld:
    You'd drop 55k a year for 150 to 200k a year two years later I hope lol

    This is assuming you can get a top job in banking or consulting. I know plenty of top 5 MBA guys who didn't end up with offers in either. They're now working the same jobs (making okay money, nonetheless) as people without an MBA. Conversely, I also know plenty of Top 5 MBAs who are working in banking and consulting making great money... I guess my point is that it's largely dependent on the person and a top MBA doesn't guarantee anything.

    Let's face it, there are lots of people in M7 schools that are very "meh" in terms of either work experience or personality. In my opinion, the people who are successful post-MBA are the ones who were pretty successful pre-MBA, and would've been successful even if they had decided to forego getting an MBA.

  • guyfromct's picture

    The top 5 idea is laughable, it ignores so many schools that are excellent. I'm hard pressed to say Haas or Tuck or Fuqua wouldn't be worth it. If you're looking to get from an F500 role to MM IB, you could probably do that easily enough out of a top 25/30 school. The value of the MBA depends on your goals.

  • MFFL's picture

    Top 5 is really more like top 7 or 8, and even after that, there is some value. I would argue that McCombs (University of Texas), which is generally ranked around 17 - 20, is worth it for plenty of people, particularly if they're interested in O&G

    "Well that's even more than less than unhelpful." - Jack Sparrow

  • In reply to MFFL
    fitzmanon's picture

    MFFL:
    Top 5 is really more like top 7 or 8, and even after that, there is some value. I would argue that McCombs (University of Texas), which is generally ranked around 17 - 20, is worth it for plenty of people, particularly if they're interested in O&G

    Completely true. I want to work in O&G in Texas after my MBA. I got into Booth but I am still not sure McCombs wouldn't be a much better choice (close to target employers, huge network in the industry, cheaper cost ...)

    'Oh, yeah, that's right. That's what's it's all about, all right. But talkin' about it and bein' it, that's two different things.'

  • guyfromct's picture

    Also, why Sloan and Kellog, Booth is definitely better than Kellog and I'd take CBS any day over Sloan, I would also take Tuck over it too.

  • dmm001's picture

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014241278873242...

    I find it interesting that he uses the WSJ article as an initial reference point. WSJ wrote about a MBA graduate from University of Louisville, which is miles away from any tier 1 program...or any tier 2 program for that matter.

    I think he makes a valid point about the diluted value of the MBA, but it is a bit unreasonable to say only his top 5 programs are worth it. I feel his frame of thought seems to skew more towards entrepreneurial side of business and start-ups, where prestige and high level of college education is not necessarily a requirement.

  • HG14's picture

    Futuredoc, it probably came down to his perceived rankings. While Booth may be ranked better then Kellogg, lots of people would rather go to Kellogg. The culture at Booth isn't for everyone, and it put it down a couple notches in my personal ranking. For me, it was H/S/W, then Kellogg/CBS/Tuck, then Booth/MIT. Obviously not your typical ranking.

  • In reply to guyfromct
    The Kid's picture

    futurectdoc:
    The top 5 idea is laughable, it ignores so many schools that are excellent. I'm hard pressed to say Haas or Tuck or Fuqua wouldn't be worth it. If you're looking to get from an F500 role to MM IB, you could probably do that easily enough out of a top 25/30 school. The value of the MBA depends on your goals.
  • bhollowa's picture

    I read that article and the first thing I thought was "Where is Louisville ranked?" I looked it up and it's not even in the top 100. In my opinion, the problem is that schooling has become so easy to come by, that people assume that if they can go back and get another degree that it should automatically make it easier for them to find a job. I don't agree that you need to get into a top 5 program to be successful, but if you get an online MBA from your local community college instead of going to a top 25 school, those degrees aren't going to hold equal weight.

  • In reply to med2CPA
    Scott Irish's picture

    TheMightyProle:
    As an accountant trying to move into finance I'd be happy with a top 15
  • mongoose's picture

    I think I'd like to work in the Energy Industry someday. Would happily go to McCombs.

  • In reply to bhollowa
    mappleby's picture

    bhollowa:
    I read that article and the first thing I thought was "Where is Louisville ranked?" I looked it up and it's not even in the top 100. In my opinion, the problem is that schooling has become so easy to come by, that people assume that if they can go back and get another degree that it should automatically make it easier for them to find a job.

    I live in Colorado Springs and when I tell people I'm moving in the summer to go to business school almost everybody here makes some comment to the effect of, UCCS (U. of Colorado - Colorado Springs) has a great MBA program have you looked at them? I always struggle with how to say UCCS isn't even ranked in the Top 100 so no, I haven't looked at their bullshit program, without sounding like a dick. I usually respond with something about how being in Manhattan will put me closer to the employers I want to work for, blah blah blah. I just don't understand how people who know where I'm going would even mention a school like UCCS or Boulder.

  • In reply to mappleby
    guyfromct's picture

    mappleby:
    bhollowa:
    I read that article and the first thing I thought was "Where is Louisville ranked?" I looked it up and it's not even in the top 100. In my opinion, the problem is that schooling has become so easy to come by, that people assume that if they can go back and get another degree that it should automatically make it easier for them to find a job.

    I live in Colorado Springs and when I tell people I'm moving in the summer to go to business school almost everybody here makes some comment to the effect of, UCCS (U. of Colorado - Colorado Springs) has a great MBA program have you looked at them? I always struggle with how to say UCCS isn't even ranked in the Top 100 so no, I haven't looked at their bullshit program, without sounding like a dick. I usually respond with something about how being in Manhattan will put me closer to the employers I want to work for, blah blah blah. I just don't understand how people who know where I'm going would even mention a school like UCCS or Boulder.

    I would be a dick and say it's an unranked school, not in a major job market with shitty placement. It isn't that dickish to be honest. It's like the friend of mine who is so excited to get into Suffolk Law School, it's a shit third tier school, at some point you need to disabuse these people of their idiotic notions, maybe that way they won't make the stupid decision to plunk down serious cash on a degree that isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

  • In reply to mappleby
    STIBOR's picture

    mappleby:
    bhollowa:
    I read that article and the first thing I thought was "Where is Louisville ranked?" I looked it up and it's not even in the top 100. In my opinion, the problem is that schooling has become so easy to come by, that people assume that if they can go back and get another degree that it should automatically make it easier for them to find a job.

    I live in Colorado Springs and when I tell people I'm moving in the summer to go to business school almost everybody here makes some comment to the effect of, UCCS (U. of Colorado - Colorado Springs) has a great MBA program have you looked at them? I always struggle with how to say UCCS isn't even ranked in the Top 100 so no, I haven't looked at their bullshit program, without sounding like a dick. I usually respond with something about how being in Manhattan will put me closer to the employers I want to work for, blah blah blah. I just don't understand how people who know where I'm going would even mention a school like UCCS or Boulder.

    Sometimes I have the same issue. I'm usually just honest. "[Arbitrary local school] is ranked 9,643. The world, where I'm going is ranked 5" or whatever. The way I think about it if they don't understand the situation, they're not really worth talking to in the first place!

  • jdrdeer's picture

    my top 5 would be more like h/s/w/booth/cbs

  • In reply to mappleby
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    mappleby:
    bhollowa:
    I read that article and the first thing I thought was "Where is Louisville ranked?" I looked it up and it's not even in the top 100. In my opinion, the problem is that schooling has become so easy to come by, that people assume that if they can go back and get another degree that it should automatically make it easier for them to find a job.

    I live in Colorado Springs and when I tell people I'm moving in the summer to go to business school almost everybody here makes some comment to the effect of, UCCS (U. of Colorado - Colorado Springs) has a great MBA program have you looked at them? I always struggle with how to say UCCS isn't even ranked in the Top 100 so no, I haven't looked at their bullshit program, without sounding like a dick. I usually respond with something about how being in Manhattan will put me closer to the employers I want to work for, blah blah blah. I just don't understand how people who know where I'm going would even mention a school like UCCS or Boulder.


    Just take it as a compliment that they don't want you to leave town and move on.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • pariahdog's picture

    A little too presumptuous. Your way or the highway right?

  • cruel3a's picture

    Sometimes these people simply don't know what they are talking about and the best, and honest, answer is that you are going to a better school that will help you more to land the job you are looking for. It does happen that some people were not lucky enough to be able to get into a top program (not smart enough, not rich enough, some random family issue) and answering them implying that they are stupid or cannot look beyond their own nose it is not only arrogant, it is stupid.

    I'm grateful that I have two middle fingers, I only wish I had more.

  • Outsider's picture

    CBS is meh

    How big is yours?

  • HG14's picture

    The average person knows nothing about higher education or business school, and this is something I have run into especially with my friends and family from New England. Typical comments include: Wharton - never heard of it. Stanford - they've got a football team, right?. Kellogg - the cereal? Booth - Huh?/ U Chicago - Is it like U Mass?. MIT - They have a business program? They know Harvard, but then consider schools like BC, BU, Northeastern 'really good' and the next best thing.

    My point is that no matter where you are from, people will have a very regional-centric view. It isn't worth being mean to them, because it won't change anything. Rationalization will perpetuate itself well after you inform the person about top schools. Give them simple answers such as "Stanford is a great school along with Harvard and is widely considered one of the two best b-schools in the world" or "Wharton is the largest b-school in the world and generally regarded as one of the top 3 schools along with Harvard and Stanford."

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    mappleby's picture

    SirTradesaLot:
    mappleby:

    I live in Colorado Springs and when I tell people I'm moving in the summer to go to business school almost everybody here makes some comment to the effect of, UCCS (U. of Colorado - Colorado Springs) has a great MBA program have you looked at them? I always struggle with how to say UCCS isn't even ranked in the Top 100 so no, I haven't looked at their bullshit program, without sounding like a dick. I usually respond with something about how being in Manhattan will put me closer to the employers I want to work for, blah blah blah. I just don't understand how people who know where I'm going would even mention a school like UCCS or Boulder.

    Just take it as a compliment that they don't want you to leave town and move on.

    I'm not offended by it or anything and I appreciate the sentiment. It just shows to me how little people understand the value of an MBA. They assume that having an MBA from anywhere means you've checked the box and anybody looking for an MBA to hire will look at your resume. The tuition for UCCS is only around $20k a year which is cheap compared to a top program but people will still be paying $40,000+ and leaving work for 2 years to earn a degree that really has no value to employers.

  • pjj229's picture

    really...kellogg over booth on a finance site? someone clearly has not looked at employment reports.

  • HG14's picture

    pjj229, I understand what you are saying about Booth's employment reports, but two things to consider. First, just because Kellogg doesn't have a huge number of grads going into finance doesn't mean it has poor placement for those who actually want to go into finance. Rather, these top schools have a self selecting applicant pool, and most finance-background-types or those with finance goals aren't nearly as interested in the teamwork and marketing reputation/branding of Kellogg. Hence it is a system of inputs and outputs and less people want to go into the finance field after graduation.

    Second, being a student or possessing an MBA from a top school doesn't get your the job. Rather, it gets you past the first screening and will likely get you an interview. After H/S/W, which grant access to a few exclusive employers especially in fields such as PE and VC, the next batch of schools all grant access to roughly the same group of recruiters. Personally, I have not heard complaints about the career services at either Kellogg or Booth, and the data would support this position. http://poetsandquants.com/2012/02/04/worlds-best-m...

    Overall, I don't think that Kellogg would be a bad choice if you want to get a good job in finance post-MBA. The obvious downside would be the much smaller portion of the network that is in finance compared to some of the schools more traditionally known for finance.

  • thedude12r43w's picture

    I think the MBA is really valuable for someone looking to break into business from an unrelated field (engineering, etc) or for someone from a weaker UG background looking for credentials/rebranding to enter another area of business. I do not really see the value of an MBA for someone who has a BBA from a strong undergraduate program. You will pretty much learn the same material as MBAs minus the insight gained from the working experience. The only reason BBAs get MBAs is for the network, break into an unrelated industry I.e. corp fin -> IBD, rebrand to gain credibility if not from a prestigious UG program, or because its a prerequisite for career advancement (VP+ level in corporate finance.)

  • jgc2122's picture

    The fact that UChicago is not on this list and therefore according to you not worth it is just stupid

    "If Henry Ford had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." -Steve Jobs

  • In reply to guyfromct
    bhollowa's picture

    futurectdoc:
    mappleby:
    bhollowa:
    I read that article and the first thing I thought was "Where is Louisville ranked?" I looked it up and it's not even in the top 100. In my opinion, the problem is that schooling has become so easy to come by, that people assume that if they can go back and get another degree that it should automatically make it easier for them to find a job.

    I live in Colorado Springs and when I tell people I'm moving in the summer to go to business school almost everybody here makes some comment to the effect of, UCCS (U. of Colorado - Colorado Springs) has a great MBA program have you looked at them? I always struggle with how to say UCCS isn't even ranked in the Top 100 so no, I haven't looked at their bullshit program, without sounding like a dick. I usually respond with something about how being in Manhattan will put me closer to the employers I want to work for, blah blah blah. I just don't understand how people who know where I'm going would even mention a school like UCCS or Boulder.

    I would be a dick and say it's an unranked school, not in a major job market with shitty placement. It isn't that dickish to be honest. It's like the friend of mine who is so excited to get into Suffolk Law School, it's a shit third tier school, at some point you need to disabuse these people of their idiotic notions, maybe that way they won't make the stupid decision to plunk down serious cash on a degree that isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

    I guess that finance is just an elite group and the standards are much higher. With that being said, I would never insult someone who is going to an unranked school. Everyone is at a different place in their life and whatever works best for them is what they should pursue. The thing that annoys me is seeing an article where a guy is bitching that he can't find a job even though he got his MBA from Phoenix University.If my wants to get his MBA online/ at community college for the pursuit of knowledge and the ability to, let's say, better run his family's small business then thats fantastic. If that same friend thinks he can get an MBA from a weak school and then become a high level CEO then he needs a reality check. What that article highlights is that people associate MBAs with higher pay/rank, regardless of where the MBA comes from.

  • In reply to bhollowa
    inkybinky's picture

    bhollowa:
    futurectdoc:
    mappleby:
    bhollowa:
    I read that article and the first thing I thought was "Where is Louisville ranked?" I looked it up and it's not even in the top 100. In my opinion, the problem is that schooling has become so easy to come by, that people assume that if they can go back and get another degree that it should automatically make it easier for them to find a job.

    I live in Colorado Springs and when I tell people I'm moving in the summer to go to business school almost everybody here makes some comment to the effect of, UCCS (U. of Colorado - Colorado Springs) has a great MBA program have you looked at them? I always struggle with how to say UCCS isn't even ranked in the Top 100 so no, I haven't looked at their bullshit program, without sounding like a dick. I usually respond with something about how being in Manhattan will put me closer to the employers I want to work for, blah blah blah. I just don't understand how people who know where I'm going would even mention a school like UCCS or Boulder.

    I would be a dick and say it's an unranked school, not in a major job market with shitty placement. It isn't that dickish to be honest. It's like the friend of mine who is so excited to get into Suffolk Law School, it's a shit third tier school, at some point you need to disabuse these people of their idiotic notions, maybe that way they won't make the stupid decision to plunk down serious cash on a degree that isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

    I guess that finance is just an elite group and the standards are much higher. With that being said, I would never insult someone who is going to an unranked school. Everyone is at a different place in their life and whatever works best for them is what they should pursue. The thing that annoys me is seeing an article where a guy is bitching that he can't find a job even though he got his MBA from Phoenix University.If my wants to get his MBA online/ at community college for the pursuit of knowledge and the ability to, let's say, better run his family's small business then thats fantastic. If that same friend thinks he can get an MBA from a weak school and then become a high level CEO then he needs a reality check. What that article highlights is that people associate MBAs with higher pay/rank, regardless of where the MBA comes from.


    ConocoPhillips' CEO doesn't have an MBA and got his bachelor's at Montanta Tech. Just sayin'.
  • fleetersamuelli's picture

    Guys, traditional careers are so passe. Forget about B school entirely and carve your own path. The world has become far to turbulent a place to plan what path you take. By the time you get to he next bend in the path, the rain will have washed the trail away. stop trying to "connect the dots going forward" and just trust that it will work itself out so long as you apply yourself.

  • malhotrasahil29's picture

    So if you are unable to get into a top 5 B-school, what do you do to change your career path? Currently working as an engineer with an automotive company, but I want to shift to Finance. Will a CFA provide me with the necessary core skills? or should I go for a Masters? Are there any other options?

  • In reply to malhotrasahil29
    holla_back's picture

    malhotrasahil29:
    So if you are unable to get into a top 5 B-school, what do you do to change your career path? Currently working as an engineer with an automotive company, but I want to shift to Finance. Will a CFA provide me with the necessary core skills? or should I go for a Masters? Are there any other options?

    The Top 15 schools (maybe even Top 25-ish depending on what you're looking for) will give you the opportunity to change careers; they make transitioning to something like BB IBD or MBB consulting possible.

    What sort of finance do you mean?

  • In reply to holla_back
    malhotrasahil29's picture

    holla_back:
    malhotrasahil29:
    So if you are unable to get into a top 5 B-school, what do you do to change your career path? Currently working as an engineer with an automotive company, but I want to shift to Finance. Will a CFA provide me with the necessary core skills? or should I go for a Masters? Are there any other options?

    The Top 15 schools (maybe even Top 25-ish depending on what you're looking for) will give you the opportunity to change careers; they make transitioning to something like BB IBD or MBB consulting possible.

    What sort of finance do you mean?

    But I want to get some pre-MBA experience in corporate finance before taking the plunge. How do I make that transition?

  • In reply to malhotrasahil29
    guyfromct's picture

    malhotrasahil29:
    holla_back:
    malhotrasahil29:
    So if you are unable to get into a top 5 B-school, what do you do to change your career path? Currently working as an engineer with an automotive company, but I want to shift to Finance. Will a CFA provide me with the necessary core skills? or should I go for a Masters? Are there any other options?

    The Top 15 schools (maybe even Top 25-ish depending on what you're looking for) will give you the opportunity to change careers; they make transitioning to something like BB IBD or MBB consulting possible.

    What sort of finance do you mean?

    But I want to get some pre-MBA experience in corporate finance before taking the plunge. How do I make that transition?

    You go out and network, also read up on corp fin. Echoing Holla_back, what sort of job do you want within finance? It's a huge arena and there is a world of difference between IB and F500 roles.

  • CountryUnderdog's picture

    CBS should be in the top 5. I'm butthurt :(

    But in all seriousness, for getting into finance Kellogg is not top 5.

    For finance, and specifically banking, I would say Top 5 is H/S/W/B/C

    "They are all former investment bankers that were laid off in the economic collapse that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have no marketable skills, but by God they work hard."

  • In reply to HG14
    Jeff8700's picture

    HG14:
    Futuredoc, it probably came down to his perceived rankings. While Booth may be ranked better then Kellogg, lots of people would rather go to Kellogg. The culture at Booth isn't for everyone, and it put it down a couple notches in my personal ranking. For me, it was H/S/W, then Kellogg/CBS/Tuck, then Booth/MIT. Obviously not your typical ranking.

    I'm always interested in whether people that still perpetuate the "Chicago culture sucks" stereotype have ever interacted with a group of recent students / alums. I'm attending the school next year and have visited a handful of other schools and I love the people at U Chicago. Everyone is extremely down to earth and they love to have fun. It might not be as tight knit as Kellogg, but the culture is outstanding regardless.

  • In reply to fleetersamuelli
    mbavsmfin's picture

    fleetersamuelli:
    Guys, traditional careers are so passe. Forget about B school entirely and carve your own path. The world has become far to turbulent a place to plan what path you take. By the time you get to he next bend in the path, the rain will have washed the trail away. stop trying to "connect the dots going forward" and just trust that it will work itself out so long as you apply yourself.

    Although I appreciate the general sentiment of this post, I REALLY hate this sort of wishy-washy "carve your own path" type of messages. In today's society, pedigree is more important than ever before, for top companies are using them as signals. This is not to say that you can't be successful without one, but a top MBA opens a ton of doors and hedges career volatility by basically ensuring that you will be making six-figures regardless of the economy. An MBA can also be used in almost every industry imaginable, not just "traditional careers."

  • In reply to Jeff8700
    hedge's picture

    Jeff8700:
    HG14:
    Futuredoc, it probably came down to his perceived rankings. While Booth may be ranked better then Kellogg, lots of people would rather go to Kellogg. The culture at Booth isn't for everyone, and it put it down a couple notches in my personal ranking. For me, it was H/S/W, then Kellogg/CBS/Tuck, then Booth/MIT. Obviously not your typical ranking.

    I'm always interested in whether people that still perpetuate the "Chicago culture sucks" stereotype have ever interacted with a group of recent students / alums. I'm attending the school next year and have visited a handful of other schools and I love the people at U Chicago. Everyone is extremely down to earth and they love to have fun. It might not be as tight knit as Kellogg, but the culture is outstanding regardless.

    I visited Booth a few weeks ago, and I have to say I was very impressed by the school. While I will say they did seem to love their Nobel prize winners, by no means did the student body seem as nerdy as the stereotypes I had heard. There were actually a few lookers in the class I sat in on. That said, while in Chicago I visited Kellogg and wasn't feeling it at all.

  • In reply to hedge
    mbavsmfin's picture

    hedge:
    Jeff8700:
    HG14:
    Futuredoc, it probably came down to his perceived rankings. While Booth may be ranked better then Kellogg, lots of people would rather go to Kellogg. The culture at Booth isn't for everyone, and it put it down a couple notches in my personal ranking. For me, it was H/S/W, then Kellogg/CBS/Tuck, then Booth/MIT. Obviously not your typical ranking.

    I'm always interested in whether people that still perpetuate the "Chicago culture sucks" stereotype have ever interacted with a group of recent students / alums. I'm attending the school next year and have visited a handful of other schools and I love the people at U Chicago. Everyone is extremely down to earth and they love to have fun. It might not be as tight knit as Kellogg, but the culture is outstanding regardless.

    I visited Booth a few weeks ago, and I have to say I was very impressed by the school. While I will say they did seem to love their Nobel prize winners, by no means did the student body seem as nerdy as the stereotypes I had heard. There were actually a few lookers in the class I sat in on. That said, while in Chicago I visited Kellogg and wasn't feeling it at all.

    I like Booth's building, and the students are pretty ok but think it's trying to hard to re-invent themselves as that school that is good in other areas aside from finance. I don't mind diversification at all, but i know a lot of mediocre people who got in there recently.

  • In reply to mappleby
    Vinsanity's picture

    Maybe it's the finance-centric nature of this site, but a lot of the perspectives in this thread are a bit delusional (from my experience). From what I've seen, once you've gone through the first 1 or 2 jobs, no one really gives a crap about where you went to school. Employers will look at your job-related accomplishments first. Beyond that, having "MBA" on your resume from anyplace will simply be icing on the cake. Of course, there are a few schools that are generally looked down upon, but any school (especially a regionally reputable one) will be viewed well.

    Unless "Harvard" or "Yale" is on your resume, most people won't be excited because, in the real world, people don't keep up with school rankings. The mentality here is a classic example of people getting excited while in a bubble and not realizing that, outside of the bubble, no one cares.

    I hate to break it to you, but that's the way that it is...maybe finance is different, but I seriously doubt it. Once you've gotten past "breaking in," most people won't care one bit about your school, and a top school certainly isn't a guarantee of 6-figures. I have a lot of buddies who aren't making near that because they were naiive in the way that some of you seem to be. What I learned from the MBA and the connections/experiences that I got from student organizations and mixers have been much more useful than the name that's on my resume. School is what you talk to kids about. Adults generally don't care.

  • pnb2002's picture

    mbavsmfin:

    hedge:
    Jeff8700:
    HG14:

    Futuredoc, it probably came down to his perceived rankings. While Booth may be ranked better then Kellogg, lots of people would rather go to Kellogg. The culture at Booth isn't for everyone, and it put it down a couple notches in my personal ranking. For me, it was H/S/W, then Kellogg/CBS/Tuck, then Booth/MIT. Obviously not your typical ranking.

    I'm always interested in whether people that still perpetuate the "Chicago culture sucks" stereotype have ever interacted with a group of recent students / alums. I'm attending the school next year and have visited a handful of other schools and I love the people at U Chicago. Everyone is extremely down to earth and they love to have fun. It might not be as tight knit as Kellogg, but the culture is outstanding regardless.

    I visited Booth a few weeks ago, and I have to say I was very impressed by the school. While I will say they did seem to love their Nobel prize winners, by no means did the student body seem as nerdy as the stereotypes I had heard. There were actually a few lookers in the class I sat in on. That said, while in Chicago I visited Kellogg and wasn't feeling it at all.

    I like Booth's building, and the students are pretty ok but think it's trying to hard to re-invent themselves as that school that is good in other areas aside from finance. I don't mind diversification at all, but i know a lot of mediocre people who got in there recently.

    And I know a lot of "mediocre" people who got into HBS as well... A lot of b-school is about how to sell your story (in addition to doing well on tests). Given how big these schools are, there are always going to be people who you think are "mediocre" at each of these schools. I don't know why people think H/S/W MBAs are all amazing people that will somehow blow your mind away.

  • greekisgreat's picture

    shorttheworld:

    except tucks network lasts indefinitely and has been marked as even better, although not as broad, as HBS

    MIT as top 5? maybe for startups, usually i hear kellogg and chicago as top 5

    and hes probably really afraid of listing booth in the top 5 seeing as some are getting the perception that booths approach is overcoming whartons

    and to counter his argument of 'if you want a career at bank of america or GE.. if you want to do a startup or something rather non corporate-ish then ytf are you even getting an MBA, even if it is HBS or wharton?

    also tell this to all the people making 50-70k a year and who get jobs at deloitte or in IBD from top 15 schools who go ahead and instantly triple their salaries

    an MBA isnt for everyone, the rankings are rather bullshit and you can largely do 90 percent of the same jobs from any of the top programs (unless you want to do PE or IM largely or some of the specific top corporate finance tracks)... and as such you cant apply cookie cutter 'its not worth it' 'it is worth it' to everyone adn their career path

    and good for him working @ microsoft, a rather corporate job, and then going into startups

    Please, MIT is a rock solid top 5 if not the #4 business school. You clearly grow up or live in midwest who doesn't even have the slightest perception of what constitutes as a global powerhouse. The OP is talking about business school reputation on a global scale. As great as Tuck or Booth are in the States, they simply don't possess the same global brand as MIT does.

    Again, the OP and the article he quoated from WSJ is talking about having a MBA or an association with a business school or university that can grant you global recognition. Tuck and Booth might be great in niche area like finance or "network lasts forever"....they just don't compete with H/S/W/MIT on a global scale. No body knows what Booth is in Europe or Asia.

    However, the argument of "Booth MBA might be a better choice than MIT MBA if you want to work in banking in the US due to its large class-size and more alums in the industry" is more acceptable.

    And also, for the love of god, Booth is no where near Wharton and won't "overcome" it for a long long time if never will. Have you been to NYC and worked in finance there?

  • hamm0's picture

    greekisgreat:

    Have you been to NYC and worked in finance there?

    lol.

    rankings wars are just silly..like short said - anything in the top 15 or so gets you ~ the same job unless you want to go PE/IM/VC. There are corp fin gigs that have HBS grads as well as Johnson grads going to them..

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