Everyone & their mom has a top MBA - 2nd Masters or Doctorate to differentiate?

Seeing how everyone and their mom seems to have a top MBA now, which will only get worse in the future, does it make sense to do an additional graduate degree to differentiate? Both for getting into MBB initially but perhaps more importantly being more competitive when compared to an equal MBB alum when leaving.

I'm in my late twenties, few years out of a US News Top 10 MBA (not M7), non-target undergrad, working for top equity research group. White Canadian guy with US permanent residency if that matters. Didn't have interest in consulting until now, but I want to make a move to MBB. Would work for any office in the world. Not worth the opportunity cost IMO to stop working to do an additional degree as I already make great money, so I'm looking into programs that won't interfere much with work. No kids, expert in quickly doing schoolwork and research, beat out consultants for an F100 management job with case interviews before. Paying for one of these is not an issue.

Thinking of doing one of the following (assume I'll get in to any of these):
Masters
* Brown University's Master in Science and Technology Leadership (1 yr)
* University of Pennsylvania's Master of Computer and Information Technology (1.5 yrs)
* INSEAD Master of Change (1.5 yrs)
Doctorate
* Bocconi University's Doctor of Business Administration, Strategy focus (Bocconi is EU MBB target apparently?) (3 yrs)
* IE Business School's Doctor of Business Administration, Strategy focus (4 yrs)
* Tsinghua & University of Geneva Doctor of Applied Finance (3.5 yrs)
* USC Doctor of Education, Organizational Leadership focus (3 yrs)
* Rotterdam School of Management's PhD in Management (part time, making it same length as full time US PhD) (5 yrs)

Which would you choose? Are any of them even worth it? Any other ideas? Would you change answer for living in United States vs abroad?

Edit: MBA GPA was only 3.3, non-target undergrad was a BBA from a Canadian university that is also non-target within Canada (not Western [Ivey], Toronto [Rotman], or Queen's)

Comments (9)

Apr 20, 2019

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Most Helpful
Apr 24, 2019

What level are you looking to enter consulting at?

I don't believe any of these degrees will provide you a leg up in entering consulting (or exiting) outside of what you have from your Top 10 MBA. I'm not sure why you wouldn't just apply now with your background. At this point this would just be collecting degrees.

If you want to focus in tech or healthcare, a specialized degree in one of those fields might be beneficial, but not another business oriented degree. Even then - there is a reason that the MBA is considered a terminal degree. At this point everyone will be more interested in your work experience.

I don't think any of those degrees provide any exit ops advantage from consulting, unless you have a niche role in mind (e.g. tech). Even then, it will be the last thing they look at on your resume.

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Apr 27, 2019

Thanks, that's encouraging, looking to enter at the Associate level. I forgot to mention that why I was thinking it would be hard to get in with current degree is that my GPA was only a 3.3, and I'm thinking another degree would give me an opportunity to get it up so recruiters would see improvement. I'm probably just getting into my head too much and could grind to get an interview despite low GPA. From reading other responses on WSO recently I think I have a bit of an inferiority complex that I wasn't aware of, because my undergrad was a BBA at a non-target and it seems like most people in my MBA class had a really good undergrad degree behind them, and I feel like I have to compensate for that in some way. Seems like most big-time executives in the US have degrees from two top schools, but I only have one. However, that could just be correlation not causation.

Apr 29, 2019

Nobody will care about your GPA from any of those programs listed over that of your MBA.

That being said, 2-3 years out of MBA nobody looks at your grad school GPA anyways. It's all about experience.

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Apr 24, 2019

Get that Master of Computer degree. Automation, the internet, and computers are going to replace humans soon.

Its hard to believe that a Top 10 MBA grad believes that a part-time masters degree in something like Science and Technology is going to help them....

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Apr 27, 2019

Thanks for that, computer one is definitely in demand right now and should be for a long time. Penn is prob best option there, useful degree and good school. My thinking on the science & tech at Brown was less about the degree and more about the school (and also an opportunity to improve my grades, only had 3.3 GPA in MBA). Seems like most big-time executives in the US have degrees from two top schools, but I only have one. However, that could just be correlation not causation.

Apr 27, 2019

When you say you're from a non-target BBA and you're Canadian, does that mean you also went to a Canadian university? If so, what are you considering "non target"?

There are definitely people that get into MBB, and the Accenture/deloittes (within Canada - primarily Toronto) coming out of Canadian MBA programs like Rotman and Ivey. I don't know the numbers, and I suspect they are near or are the top students in their respective MBA class. And just out of curiosity looking at their pre-mba experience on LinkedIn ... while you might have some that came from Ivey HBA / Queen's and had done well (but just wanted to stay in Canada hence the Canadian MBA re-tour), and some were engineers, there are also some people whose backgrounds are how I would characterize as ok, but run of the mill.

If your goal is to stay in the US, it's best to target US MBA programs. There's really no need for extra degree on top of the MBA. Working in a top equity research role should allo you to target some M7s or schools outside of that like Darden, Stern, UCLA, Ross, Duke or others that still get some MBBs and other consulting firms. You should ask some of the mba consultants that frequent WSO for their advice.

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Apr 27, 2019

Yes, I went to a non-target Canadian university for undergrad, target U.S. university for MBA. Considering non-target as even non-target for top Canadian companies, like I didn't go to Western (Ivey), Toronto (Rotman), or Queen's. My goal is to stay in the U.S. long term because taxes in Canada are mind-boggling and get worse every year, however I would go back there (or anywhere in the world) temporarily if there was a good enough opportunity, with the goal of moving back to the States. As I mentioned in replies above, I feel like most American F500 execs (especially those who came out of MBB consulting) have degrees from two really good programs, but from these responses it seems like just having a good MBA is enough!

Apr 28, 2019
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