Re: Grad School Feedback/Advice Requested
Rule of thumb when making this decision (a decision I faced 7 years ago),if you're looking for a career enhancement - in other words, staying with the same company and/or in the same field but just looking to add to your credentials to help you advance - save your money and pick the cheaper option.
If you're looking for a career change, go with the school that has the best program in what you want to go into. In some cases, depending on your field, if you're looking to change companies it may benefit you to have the better name on he resume. Again, just a rule of thumb that could differ depending on your circumstances. There are plenty of instances where the quality of the program makes a difference in the opportunities available at the end, but there are plenty where it makes no difference at all.
Honestly, having gone to a top tier B-School, I think the value that comes from them is mostly in their recruiting and placement offices. The value in these programs are the companies that come to recruit and hire. Pretty much the only way to go into the field I wanted to get into was to go full-time to one of a handful of schools as that's where these companies did virtually all of their hiring from. My criteria for schools was how many of the top companies recruited and hired regularly from the different programs. It worked out great for me as virtually every company I had any interest in working for had a major presence in the program and hired multiple people every year. All I had to was show up and they wanted to talk to me. If you have no use for their placement or recruiting services, the chance that you'll benefit from the better name diminishes significantly, IMO.
Another consideration is to what degree the difference in prestige of the programs are. If you're talking about a top 5 program vs a second or third tier program, more will be gained from choosing the top tier program. But if you're talking about second or third tier, or even slots within those, it probably matters a lot less. It's not linear.
You have to know why you want your MBA in the first place. Too many people go back just to get the MBA without really knowing why or how they were going to use it. Those were the ones who hard time finding a job.
I went back full time when I had a wife and 3 kids to support and a pretty good career at the time. It was a tough decision for me so I was probably on the extreme end of researching out all the different options and counseling with lots of people in a position to give good advice. Feel free to shoot me a PM if you have questions.
Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David
Last edited by MWM; 05-12-2011 at 10:38 PM.