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Should I do an MBA?

m_wave

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Hi All

Some SF career advice if you please...

Background:

26 years old

1999 - Graduated HS
2000 - 2002 - Graduated Computer Science (Honours)
2002 - 2004 - Worked as a Software Engineeer (Programmer) small web company 20 staff.
2004 - 2005 - Contracted Business/Systems Analyst for Australian Government in Fiji
2005 - 2007 - Web Administrator (Major Local Government Authority) circa 1000 staff
2007 - 2008 - Business Analyst (same org as above) client facing
2008 - Present - Business Analyst (small UK based web company) circa 50 staff. client facing

A little disappointed with current position, but as I've just moved to the UK it's a stop gap. Basically I would like to see myself in a team leadership / high level business consulting role before I'm 30. Management / Senior Management / Own Company by mid 30's.

I enjoy the client facing aspects of my roles the most and I think this is my major aptitude. I don't see myself being directly involved in IT forever, but want to use this to segue into more business related roles.

I've been considering MBA, formal project management training (Prince 2) but would appreciate some career advice If you aren't from an IT background then some insight into how you climbed the ladder. Should I be looking at accounting / finance related education? Managers what sort of attributes would you be looking to recruit someone in my position to a Senior IT Consulting Role.

M~
 

Tardek

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Yeah, either an MBA or take a look at small software companies and get a good job title for poor pay, then use it as leverage to get the same name job for a larger company.

imho the second is a better option than the first. I think MBAs are overrated.
 

m_wave

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Thanks for the feedback so far. I'm in London currently and was looking into the MBA at LSE.. doesn't look as though I would fulfil the entry requirements.
 

tbone226

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Another option is to join one of the big global consulting firms (Accenture, IBM, etc) in their systems integration practices. With your experience you will most likely hired at the Manager level where you will be leading teams, workstreams, etc in large scale systems integration projects.
 

Pylon

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My personal opinion is that if the MBA isn't from a top business school (like Wharton, HBS, etc.) then it's not worth doing if the goal is truly to set yourself apart. Is the quality of the education that much better? Not entirely, but MBAs from average schools are a dime a dozen. Every mid-level manager knocks one out on their way up their chain because at some point they need those post-nominals there (regardless if it was online or from the local for-profit degree shop) to keep moving up.
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by m_wave
Thanks for the feedback so far. I'm in London currently and was looking into the MBA at LSE.. doesn't look as though I would fulfil the entry requirements.
This would be great, if possible.
 

mafoofan Jr.

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MBAs for the most part are worthless. Only a minority of graduates from top MBA programs like Stanford, Northwestern, Penn, Chicago, Harvard etc. made it to high executive levels.

I think it's a better choice to aim for a position with high latitude for career advancement and stick to that. As a CS major you are probably a lot smarter than the humanities and psychology majors so shoot for a professional field of some sort? Database developer, pharmaceutical software analyst, etc. all pay very well and required specialized, non extensive, training.
 

Gravitas

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I was kinda considering going the joint MBA/BS route with the Bachelor's being in Biology and then going for my JD. The combination should open a lot of possibilities, will this combination really serve to set me apart though?
 

gamelan

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Originally Posted by mafoofan Jr.
MBAs for the most part are worthless. Only a minority of graduates from top MBA programs like Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, Penn, Chicago, etc. made it to high level executive levels.

+1. if i'm going to be spending that time and money, it's top 25 or nothing (and i would imagine some would say top 10). whatever you do, i would highly highly recommend you pick up at least a basic understanding of GAAP somewhere along the way.

-Jeff
 

mafoofan Jr.

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Well, I attended a school with a top 5 MBA program in the nation, and as I know many of those guys personally since we shared a grad student apartment with each other, and now that I see where they are in their career, I will say that even if you make it to a top MBA program, your chance is still slim unless you already have a family or back up position. An MBA, and I tell this to all my idiot cousins, is not a career advancement degree.

However, with a CS background, the MBA will help you in life science/heath care VC enterprises where database development or software computation is important. My dad just hired a CS major grad, over several MBAs with useless knowledge, since he knew how to operate Filemaker pro.

QUOTE=gamelan;1640572]+1. if i'm going to be spending that time and money, it's top 25 or nothing (and i would imagine some would say top 10). whatever you do, i would highly highly recommend you pick up at least a basic understanding of GAAP somewhere along the way.

-Jeff[/quote]
 

Ludeykrus

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Originally Posted by Gravitas
I was kinda considering going the joint MBA/BS route with the Bachelor's being in Biology and then going for my JD. The combination should open a lot of possibilities, will this combination really serve to set me apart though?

JD? Jesus degree? I wouldn't mind being worshipped....
 

mafoofan Jr.

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It should. I think patent law in biomedical ventures should fit your ally, and lots of cash there. However, you'll most likely be some firm's legal bitch for the rest of your life. If you can live with that, then should be fine I think.
Originally Posted by Gravitas
I was kinda considering going the joint MBA/BS route with the Bachelor's being in Biology and then going for my JD. The combination should open a lot of possibilities, will this combination really serve to set me apart though?
 

crazyquik

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Originally Posted by Gravitas
I was kinda considering going the joint MBA/BS route with the Bachelor's being in Biology and then going for my JD. The combination should open a lot of possibilities, will this combination really serve to set me apart though?

I think a JD/MBA is highly overrated. Business folks should know that it's going to be cheaper to hire a lawyer and then hire a manager or consultant than to try and kill two birds with one stone. The exception would be small firms or startups that need to leverage their small headcount as much as they can. If you don't care about patent law as much, a few of the big consulting firms (Bain, McKinsey, etc) pursue joint degree holders. But again, you can get these jobs with just the MBA.

An aspiring patent lawyer with a JD/MBA would be pretty worthless to me. However after 5+ years of practice, you may be able to open your own patent boutique and technology startup consulting firm.

If you look at private equity guys, most of them have either an MBA or a JD. Few have both.

Schools push joint degrees, IMO, because they are cash cows. They get another year of tuition from someone who is a 'known quantity' already. I think the professional advantage of them is suspect for all but a small slice of people who get them.
 

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