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MBA by Distance Learning or Online...bad idea?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Anybody have a Master's Degree by distance learning? I am thinking about it as I want to get the degree but need to keep working...and I am in Japan.

Would appreciate any words of wisdom.
post #2 of 19
I do not, I earned my master's in residence, but have worked with a few folks who did DL. I would have to say that it depends on your goal and your industry. If you are just trying to learn more about business or your industry doesn't care where you got your MBA from, then fine. If you are in Finance or Consulting, it could be a liability, because most of the DL programs are still not well regarded.
post #3 of 19
I wouldn't do it. I also wouldn't recommend an MBA from anywhere but a top 10 school.
post #4 of 19
I would strongly recommend against distance learning for an MBA. An exec program is more ideal.

1) distance learning means zero networking possibilities. MBA programs are probably 75%+ about networking with classmates, professors, recruiters, and alumni.

2) anything you want to learn in an MBA program isn't very difficult material. It can easily be learned on your own. Thus paying a huge amount of money for those classes without the benefit of the networking is a bad value, IMO.

3) many people regard DL MBAs as inferior when evaluating your resume.

4) here is a business week article about MBA pay Business week "Riches for some, not all"
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flambeur View Post
I wouldn't do it. I also wouldn't recommend an MBA from anywhere but a top 10 school.
I was thinking about this to myself a few hours ago; basically when you wrote this post. What is the market value for a Yale MBA? They are not a top 10 school, but then your resume does say Yale on it. They are ranked about in the mid-20s aren't they? Or am I looking at the wrong rankings/wrong top 10?
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyquik View Post
I was thinking about this to myself a few hours ago; basically when you wrote this post.

What is the market value for a Yale MBA? They are not a top 10 school, but then your resume does say Yale on it. They are ranked about in the mid-20s aren't they? Or am I looking at the wrong rankings/wrong top 10?

Well, recruiters who work with MBAs always keep the top schools in their heads and understand the rankings. At the same time, brand name still matters. Regardless, Yale is a good program somewhere in top 10-15, and comparable to NYU, Michigan, etc. It will still be a target school for most of the top MBA recruiters, and while it won't carry the prestige of Harvard, it is still damn good and will be beneficial throughout your career. For people who aren't familiar with MBA rankings, Yale will carry even more prestige than most schools outside of harvard/stanford. For example, in law Yale is consistently the top school in the country.

Anyway, I think the whole concept of a "target" school is important to understand for potential MBA students. Most schools in the top 20 are target schools for good companies (BB, Big3, etc) and that matters a lot. Target schools also play a role further in your career because those top schools that produce quality graduates automatically give you a +1 every time your resume is reviewed.
post #7 of 19
An online MBA is rarely a good investment.

What are you looking to get out of it?
post #8 of 19
MBA via distance learning isn't worth it. There is practically no networking, and that's what a good MBA program is all about.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, guys. To be honest, I really just want the degree listed on my resume to keep the job I currently have, not to network or find new opportunities (though those would be good fringe benefits). Basically, all of my peers and most of my subordinates have an MBA or other Masters degree. I have sailed by on street smarts and talent in the field but feel it is time that I may get left behind without the credentials.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to study full-time so I either have to do it online or through some sort of blended learning or part-time program. I am going to look into intensive executive MBA programs but they seem to be beyond my budget.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter View Post
Thanks for the advice, guys. To be honest, I really just want the degree listed on my resume to keep the job I currently have, not to network or find new opportunities (though those would be good fringe benefits). Basically, all of my peers and most of my subordinates have an MBA or other Masters degree. I have sailed by on street smarts and talent in the field but feel it is time that I may get left behind without the credentials. Unfortunately, it is not possible to study full-time so I either have to do it online or through some sort of blended learning or part-time program. I am going to look into intensive executive MBA programs but they seem to be beyond my budget.
There are plenty of good part-time/weekend/executive programs out there.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flambeur View Post
There are plenty of good part-time/weekend/executive programs out there.

But he is in Japan.

Is your company so bureaucratic that you'll need an MBA to move up, or even just stay? Personally, I'd rather be known as the guy who made it without the MBA.

I think the MBA schools your peers went to will also be a factor.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by warmpi View Post
But he is in Japan.

Is your company so bureaucratic that you'll need an MBA to move up, or even just stay? Personally, I'd rather be known as the guy who made it without the MBA.

I think the MBA schools your peers went to will also be a factor.

Well, there are some English-language part-time programs here...but mostly in Tokyo. Unfortunately, I am in Osaka. But there is one attractive program here through a major Japanese University (Ivy League-ish). I have contacted them to hear about the program so that may be the solution.

The company I work for isn't so bureaucratic but we were recently acquired by a much bigger company so the opportunities for me to move up the ladder just expanded...and the MBA would open a lot of the doors faster. In truth, just the fact that I am working on an MBA will be enough even if I don't graduate.

And thankfully, the MBA programs my peers went to were nothing special. But the MBA tag does carry a lot of weight in Japan, even if the University behind it is not so well know. Of course, if you happen to have the degree from a major brand-name University then it is like gold.

Again, thanks for the insights! It is helpful.
post #13 of 19
Hey Alter, I'm a full-time MBA at UCSD (currently too new for a ranking, probably will soon be a top 25ish school), and an acquaintance of mine is doing the Drexel distance program. I feel like I made a good decision, and so does she, which seems to go against the wisdom in this thread. (Caveat: I'm here tuition-free, so my take on the ROI is a bit different). There are a few Japanese dudes in my program, they by and large like it here. The MBA decision is pretty specific to each individual, feel free to PM me to talk it out.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by warmpi View Post
Personally, I'd rather be known as the guy who made it without the MBA.

This is my claim to fame, ha ha, the youngest and least qualified person amongst the 12 peers I was hired with... but 2nd to signed on permanently.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flambeur View Post
Well, recruiters who work with MBAs always keep the top schools in their heads and understand the rankings. At the same time, brand name still matters. Regardless, Yale is a good program somewhere in top 10-15, and comparable to NYU, Michigan, etc. It will still be a target school for most of the top MBA recruiters, and while it won't carry the prestige of Harvard, it is still damn good and will be beneficial throughout your career. For people who aren't familiar with MBA rankings, Yale will carry even more prestige than most schools outside of harvard/stanford. For example, in law Yale is consistently the top school in the country.

Anyway, I think the whole concept of a "target" school is important to understand for potential MBA students. Most schools in the top 20 are target schools for good companies (BB, Big3, etc) and that matters a lot. Target schools also play a role further in your career because those top schools that produce quality graduates automatically give you a +1 every time your resume is reviewed.

Do you just not know anything and like to talk? Is that it?
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