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MBA or MS in IT or...something else.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Long time SF member (not posting much recently). I value the opinion and expertise of the membership here and I'd like to float something that has been on my mind lately.

I'm considering taking some graduate courses and maybe pursuing a masters, but I am not 100 percent sure what is the best use of my resources. I'm pretty much exclusively considering doing something at the state university where I live in some kind of blended online format (I travel a ton for work and doing something in the evenings is not feasible right now). I have what I consider to be a significant amount of debt from my law school experience and while it isn't overwhelming, I do not wish to take on any additional loans for education at all. I'd utilize tuition reimbursement from work, which is part of my motivation for considering this path, but it covers a max of 3k per year. I'd consider dipping into my pocket a little more, but not more than a grand or two a year.

Some background about myself: I have an undergrad in Economics and History from a well regarded lib arts college and a JD from tier 3/non-big timer law school. Currently I work in a field that I would call a blend of litigation support and IT project management.

On the one hand I think a masters in IT or in Information Systems would add some technical chops to my resume. however, a few people I've spoken to working either at my firm (software vendor) and consulting firms seem to feel that the job experience I have makes any technical degree kind of superfluous. Thus, I am considering whether something broader and more business based (basically an MBA) would make more sense for me. My thinking is that the MBA/JD would make me appear more versatile than just the JD and maybe a better candidate for business development opportunities and supervisory opportunities.

I see myself staying in the field, but possibly leaving my firm in the next few years. Ideally I'd like to find a position at a consulting company and then perhaps go in house at a large corporation. That said- I've always found my flexibility has lead to success, so I'd consider something like sales (of our specific type of software or services) or perhaps if I was at a consulting firm getting exposed to some other disciplines like computer forensics etc.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
post #2 of 10
Don't know how you blend litigation and IT project management... It sounds very nichey (no not a word), but IT degrees are worthless. Seriously. Only thing that matters is experience. An MBA is probably a much better use of your time and will be useful outside of this one job that you currently have.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post

Don't know how you blend litigation and IT project management... It sounds very nichey (no not a word), but IT degrees are worthless. Seriously. Only thing that matters is experience. An MBA is probably a much better use of your time and will be useful outside of this one job that you currently have.

I don't want to get into specifics, but it is not as nichey as you would think. I could have easily said I am in "litigation support," but I wanted to provide a bit more detail and where my motivations lie.

I appreciate the thoughts on the IT degree being of minimal value. My general thoughts are the an MBA may offer a bit more flexibility.

Thanks.
post #4 of 10
An MBA focused on IS sounds right the right middle ground to me. I'm with GQg on the overall value of a pure IT degree. The exception to that would be if you want to get a research or senior architect type of position at one of the large computer companies, in which case you could go for a PhD in Computer Science but that doesn't align with either your state interests or available resources.
post #5 of 10
so...


your location is Boston/Houston.


Just putting it out there.. You could apply to Boston University's MS/MBA program. Both MS and MBA degrees at the same time. Then you can play both cards.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by graphite View Post

so...
your location is Boston/Houston.
Just putting it out there.. You could apply to Boston University's MS/MBA program. Both MS and MBA degrees at the same time. Then you can play both cards.

Interesting, but as I said I am not interested in spending $50k+ on this endeavor. The dual program could be a good idea, but as I said I am exclusively considering state schools, most likely UMass since I would be able to qualify for instate tuition. Thanks for the input.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTGuy View Post

Interesting, but as I said I am not interested in spending $50k+ on this endeavor. The dual program could be a good idea, but as I said I am exclusively considering state schools, most likely UMass since I would be able to qualify for instate tuition. Thanks for the input.

don't let the cost hold you back - it's an investment in your career and future.

knock out your GMAT. i mean, really knock it out of the park. gmat is gonna be a huge qualifier for merit-based scholarships. a good education may be more affordable than you think.


i qualified for in-state at UMass too, in addition, my tuition would have almost entirely been covered. i also had a full ride to another local school. i ended up going somewhere else, despite the high price tag. not trying to brag about myself, i'm just trying to say that if you're going to do something (especially something that is a 2-year commitment and a lifelong education/network), do it right.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by imatlas View Post

An MBA focused on IS sounds right the right middle ground to me. I'm with GQg on the overall value of a pure IT degree. The exception to that would be if you want to get a research or senior architect type of position at one of the large computer companies, in which case you could go for a PhD in Computer Science but that doesn't align with either your state interests or available resources.

Just for the record, I don't consider CS to be an IT degree. CS is CS and is a worthwhile pursuit, though probably not for CT.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by graphite View Post

don't let the cost hold you back - it's an investment in your career and future.
knock out your GMAT. i mean, really knock it out of the park. gmat is gonna be a huge qualifier for merit-based scholarships. a good education may be more affordable than you think.
i qualified for in-state at UMass too, in addition, my tuition would have almost entirely been covered. i also had a full ride to another local school. i ended up going somewhere else, despite the high price tag. not trying to brag about myself, i'm just trying to say that if you're going to do something (especially something that is a 2-year commitment and a lifelong education/network), do it right.

I appreciate the input.

I already have a JD and the debt to go with it. I see the MBA as a worthy investment if my company is going to pay for it, but I am not willing to borrow money. The idea of financial aid or some kind of merit based scholarship is tempting, so perhaps I will consider that option. Honestly, I am very gun shy about taking on additional educational debt- a personal goal of mine is to pay off what I currently owe as quickly as possible and move on with my life.

I also don't think it's realistic that I will be accepted to Harvard, Tuck, some other tier one/Ivy league school and that is about the only situation (at this point in my life) that I would consider taking a risk on debt and a life time earnings ROI.

Maybe I am selling myself short though, you've given me some thoughts to chew on. Thanks.
post #10 of 10
cool i hoped i helped.


also i know a guy who is also a JD and in the MS/MBA program. nice guy and would for sure be willing to provide some insight, given he's gone through the situation that you're considering. if you want to chat, shoot me an PM.
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