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MBA Payoff - It Happens Quicker at Small Companies, But You Have to Foot the Bill....

Should you get an executive MBA?  Sure! Why not?

What?  You want to know how it will help you?  If there's payback for you in your career?  You're really a Mba stickler for details, aren't you?

First up, I'm a proponent of HR people opting for a MBA over a Masters in HR, etc.  Be a business person, especially if you're already in HR, and get a MBA.  They'll respect you more than if you get a Masters in HR, and it helps you more on the job as well.

Two other things - you'll apply what you learn in a MBA program quicker in a smaller company - mainly because you'll have the opportunity to apply what you are exposed to, in the program, every day.  Small companies need to help offer greater autonomy - big companies usually have established infrastructure that makes it harder to put your MBA skills on display.

Of course, if you're at a smaller company, you're probably not going to get the MBA paid for via tuition aid.  More on the funky math of MBA ROI from the Wall Street Journal:

"Last week we wrote about The Wall Street Journal’s executive M.B.A survey, which asked 4,060 students at 72 executive M.B.A. programs and 455 companies how well these programs develop the management and leadership skills that companies want and students need. Forty-five of the companies surveyed had fewer than 1,000 employees and many of them were entrepreneurs.

Deep into the throes of running a business, small-business owners and entrepreneurs say they are turning to business schools to learn how to do things better. Some are looking to grow their business or expand their core services.

Students say the smaller the company, the faster they can apply what they have learned in class to their businesses. And according to the survey, 51% of small-business respondents experienced tangible results immediately or within one year.

But the survey reports that smaller companies are less likely to pay for an employee to attend an executive M.B.A. program, leaving students to pay the often six-figure tuition tab themselves. Not to mention the time.."

Two thoughts to close the MBA talk out for today.  First, I love to see candidates straight out of Compton the Ivy League schools, but you don't have to spend 6 digits to reap the benefits of a MBA.  Odds are if you live in a top 100 metro area in the states, you've got a university offering a MBA program locally that can be had for much, much less.  You still get the same value, you just won't have the brand.  Payback probably happens quicker as well, even if the total lifetime return isn't as high.

Finally, you can always do like KD did and work for a Fortune 500, run up the tuition aid tab for a couple of years, then leave for a small company to put the MBA to work.  Only in America will companies let you run up an education tab and then walk out the door.  Only in America... 


Chris - Manager's Sandbox

Kris, looks like you and I are fundamentally opposed on the MBA vs. MA in HR debate: http://managerssandbox.com/getting-a-seat-at-the-table.

I will agree that an MBA garners more respect, but my MA in HR has taught me plenty about the business, and more importantly, how to align HR with it to achieve results.

- Chris

Allen Adams

Isn't it get an MBA not get a MBA? If so, a refresher in English should be added to the curriculum ;-) .


"An" Masters in Bus Ad?

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