If it is worth studying MBA


Hello,

Background: Master degree from Swedish University, work in Automotive industry in Sweden for 8 years as powertrain engineer, including one year product owner. And will be expatriate to China as project leader.

I finally received an offer from Manchester Global MBA program. And I have just applied for illinois iMBA program today and dont know when I can receive the result.

Post MBA program, I seek to join a project management team in an international automotive company such as Volvo Group, Volvo Cars Group. My future career goal is to advance to a senior-level management position dealing with international strategic management or project portfolio management for a multinational automotive corporation. In an ultimate stage, I aim to become senior vice president in Asian Joint Venture of the automotive corporation.

Now today I had a dialogue with two of my close friends/colleagues regarding MBA in general.

One clearly stated that it is not worth doing MBA in Sweden and people will not learn more than one learn from the job.
The other thinks MBA in general is prestigious which can be valued in the countries such as UK, France, Switzerland and most of Asian countries.

I basically have two questions:
1. Is MBA really worth? and what kind of knowledge or skill does people learn from studying MBA?
2. Which MBA should I take it?

Any comment is welcome!
Hello,

Background: Master degree from Swedish University, work in Automotive industry in Sweden for 8 years as powertrain engineer, including one year product owner. And will be expatriate to China as project leader.

I finally received an offer from Manchester Global MBA program. And I have just applied for illinois iMBA program today and dont know when I can receive the result.

Post MBA program, I seek to join a project management team in an international automotive company such as Volvo Group, Volvo Cars Group. My future career goal is to advance to a senior-level management position dealing with international strategic management or project portfolio management for a multinational automotive corporation. In an ultimate stage, I aim to become senior vice president in Asian Joint Venture of the automotive corporation.

Now today I had a dialogue with two of my close friends/colleagues regarding MBA in general.

One clearly stated that it is not worth doing MBA in Sweden and people will not learn more than one learn from the job.
The other thinks MBA in general is prestigious which can be valued in the countries such as UK, France, Switzerland and most of Asian countries.

I basically have two questions:
1. Is MBA really worth? and what kind of knowledge or skill does people learn from studying MBA?
2. Which MBA should I take it?

Any comment is welcome!
quote
Duncan
It would take you hundreds of lives to learn on the job what you learn in a world class MBA. There is no world class MBA in Sweden, so a Swede will struggle to understand. But ask them about the country's leading business school, the SSE. Does attending that make a difference? Even asking the question is ridiculous. The Swedish elite attend that school, the way the Norwegian elite goes to NHH and BI, and the Finnish elite goes to Aalto and Hanken, and the way the Danish elite goes to CBS. If it doesn't make a difference why do these schools even exist?
It would take you hundreds of lives to learn on the job what you learn in a world class MBA. There is no world class MBA in Sweden, so a Swede will struggle to understand. But ask them about the country's leading business school, the SSE. Does attending that make a difference? Even asking the question is ridiculous. The Swedish elite attend that school, the way the Norwegian elite goes to NHH and BI, and the Finnish elite goes to Aalto and Hanken, and the way the Danish elite goes to CBS. If it doesn't make a difference why do these schools even exist?
quote
George Pat...
I don't think there are many options in Sweden, but I think Gavle is offering MBA for free.
Free has very very good return on investment, as you invest... zero.

However it is still better to go to a world class MBA, the benefit in outcomes will still be greater. I just don't know where the line is when the Free from Gavle becomes worse

[Edited by George Patsoulis on Apr 12, 2019]

I don't think there are many options in Sweden, but I think Gavle is offering MBA for free.
Free has very very good return on investment, as you invest... zero.

However it is still better to go to a world class MBA, the benefit in outcomes will still be greater. I just don't know where the line is when the Free from Gavle becomes worse
quote
It would take you hundreds of lives to learn on the job what you learn in a world class MBA. There is no world class MBA in Sweden, so a Swede will struggle to understand. But ask them about the country's leading business school, the SSE. Does attending that make a difference? Even asking the question is ridiculous. The Swedish elite attend that school, the way the Norwegian elite goes to NHH and BI, and the Finnish elite goes to Aalto and Hanken, and the way the Danish elite goes to CBS. If it doesn't make a difference why do these schools even exist?


I do not get any proof about the ROI of studying MBA and I have not really tried to figure it out. I apply for MBA program and would like to study mainly because I assume MBA will benefit me in a way or another.
Yesterday night I was just thinking about the actual benefits, and I dont want to search that information on the internet based on someone talks about it probably he/she is studying MBA or have MBA degree. I published this post here since I believe the people here is objective and honest.

[Edited by Bincheng Jiang on Apr 12, 2019]

[quote]It would take you hundreds of lives to learn on the job what you learn in a world class MBA. There is no world class MBA in Sweden, so a Swede will struggle to understand. But ask them about the country's leading business school, the SSE. Does attending that make a difference? Even asking the question is ridiculous. The Swedish elite attend that school, the way the Norwegian elite goes to NHH and BI, and the Finnish elite goes to Aalto and Hanken, and the way the Danish elite goes to CBS. If it doesn't make a difference why do these schools even exist? [/quote]

I do not get any proof about the ROI of studying MBA and I have not really tried to figure it out. I apply for MBA program and would like to study mainly because I assume MBA will benefit me in a way or another.
Yesterday night I was just thinking about the actual benefits, and I dont want to search that information on the internet based on someone talks about it probably he/she is studying MBA or have MBA degree. I published this post here since I believe the people here is objective and honest.
quote
I don't think there are many options in Sweden, but I think Gavle is offering MBA for free.
Free has very very good return on investment, as you invest... zero.

However it is still better to go to a world class MBA, the benefit in outcomes will still be greater. I just don't know where the line is when the Free from Gavle becomes worse


Gavle is out of my consideration since I would like to pay for MBA since I believe that Manchester or Illinois are worth in terms of ROI. It is just which one is more suitable for me.
[quote]I don't think there are many options in Sweden, but I think Gavle is offering MBA for free.
Free has very very good return on investment, as you invest... zero.

However it is still better to go to a world class MBA, the benefit in outcomes will still be greater. I just don't know where the line is when the Free from Gavle becomes worse[/quote]

Gavle is out of my consideration since I would like to pay for MBA since I believe that Manchester or Illinois are worth in terms of ROI. It is just which one is more suitable for me.
quote
Ayon
Here is what I think.
1) Is the MBA worth it? well this is a loaded question and cannot be answered in an abstract. One has to evaluate where one is. As in purchasing power, career stage, function, industry, company, economy, country/region. Then one has to evaluate where does one want to be.
And can MBA from xxx bridge that gap?

I worked for 6 years in India as Telecom Engineer. My salary was pretty less by global standards. Less than $10,000 by today's exchange rate in 2013. Most optimistic scenario it would have doubled to $20,000 in 2019.
I did my MBA from College of William & Mary in USA. A relatively risky choice given very little scholarship it required large investment. However when I graduated my salary was entry level 6 figure. So that's a 10X multiple. although it has to be adjusted for PPP but still I can undoubtedly say that post MBA my purchasing power increased many folds. I am able to break even in 3.5 years (ROI). From a commercial point of view. Was my MBA worth it? Then answer is yes. But it may have to do more with pay scale in two different economies and the exchange rate between them.

I felt that MBA taught me too many subjects - Finance, Accounting, Operations, Strategy, Marketing , Supply chain so that I can view a situation from multiple lens. Now that may or may not be helpful for my career. I am still in Telecom. I couldn't change my industry. Companies in US won't hire me for generic roles - like no one will consider me a strong candidate and pay me $100,000 if I want to do Brand Management. Experience triumphs education. I am working as a Consultant in Telecoms now and have moved to Canada.
For US citizens. that wasn't the case an English literature major with couple of years of experience working in Starbucks could become a Project Manager for construction company or a Change Management consultant in Big 4.
That's the power of MBA from a good school, which is appreciated by the job market in US for US Citizens. And some spillover to Internationals.

in many parts of the EU, the MBA degree is not valued as such by recruiters. Good to have, but not necessary. People working in startups or big IT companies in Estonia don't run after top 5 B school MBAs.

You'll get a ton of exposure to different aspects of business during your MBA. Whether you get to use 10% or 70% of it to your current job needs will be determined by needs of your company.

Even though I got roughly 10X on my purchasing power. ROI of 3.5, able to achieve geographic mobility. In my current role I am still not using even 5% of what I learned during my MBA. So is it really worth it? I leave that for you to decide - given your situation - not in abstract. Standing right now, you cannot predict your future. Joining the dots is easy looking back in time. Looking back I feel that I could have done another degree - maybe a 1 year specialized course and saved on my investment and attained even faster ROI. Or something like a Rotterdam MBA or even SPJain PGPM (which I turned down facepalm along with Copenhagen Business school and ESSEC).

2) Which MBA should I take it? Do some research, come up with a list. Go for a program that provides you maximum exposure - culture and subject wise and requires minimum financial investment. It is true that some markets value MBA more than others. US/UK/SE Asia / Middle Eastern countries value MBA more than Eastern European or Scandinavian countries. I would say you should look into Copenhagen Business School or the likes and go for a exchange program in China.

[Edited by Ayon on Apr 12, 2019]

Here is what I think.
1) Is the MBA worth it? well this is a loaded question and cannot be answered in an abstract. One has to evaluate where one is. As in purchasing power, career stage, function, industry, company, economy, country/region. Then one has to evaluate where does one want to be.
And can MBA from xxx bridge that gap?

I worked for 6 years in India as Telecom Engineer. My salary was pretty less by global standards. Less than $10,000 by today's exchange rate in 2013. Most optimistic scenario it would have doubled to $20,000 in 2019.
I did my MBA from College of William & Mary in USA. A relatively risky choice given very little scholarship it required large investment. However when I graduated my salary was entry level 6 figure. So that's a 10X multiple. although it has to be adjusted for PPP but still I can undoubtedly say that post MBA my purchasing power increased many folds. I am able to break even in 3.5 years (ROI). From a commercial point of view. Was my MBA worth it? Then answer is yes. But it may have to do more with pay scale in two different economies and the exchange rate between them.

I felt that MBA taught me too many subjects - Finance, Accounting, Operations, Strategy, Marketing , Supply chain so that I can view a situation from multiple lens. Now that may or may not be helpful for my career. I am still in Telecom. I couldn't change my industry. Companies in US won't hire me for generic roles - like no one will consider me a strong candidate and pay me $100,000 if I want to do Brand Management. Experience triumphs education. I am working as a Consultant in Telecoms now and have moved to Canada.
For US citizens. that wasn't the case an English literature major with couple of years of experience working in Starbucks could become a Project Manager for construction company or a Change Management consultant in Big 4.
That's the power of MBA from a good school, which is appreciated by the job market in US for US Citizens. And some spillover to Internationals.

in many parts of the EU, the MBA degree is not valued as such by recruiters. Good to have, but not necessary. People working in startups or big IT companies in Estonia don't run after top 5 B school MBAs.

You'll get a ton of exposure to different aspects of business during your MBA. Whether you get to use 10% or 70% of it to your current job needs will be determined by needs of your company.

Even though I got roughly 10X on my purchasing power. ROI of 3.5, able to achieve geographic mobility. In my current role I am still not using even 5% of what I learned during my MBA. So is it really worth it? I leave that for you to decide - given your situation - not in abstract. Standing right now, you cannot predict your future. Joining the dots is easy looking back in time. Looking back I feel that I could have done another degree - maybe a 1 year specialized course and saved on my investment and attained even faster ROI. Or something like a Rotterdam MBA or even SPJain PGPM (which I turned down facepalm along with Copenhagen Business school and ESSEC).

2) Which MBA should I take it? Do some research, come up with a list. Go for a program that provides you maximum exposure - culture and subject wise and requires minimum financial investment. It is true that some markets value MBA more than others. US/UK/SE Asia / Middle Eastern countries value MBA more than Eastern European or Scandinavian countries. I would say you should look into Copenhagen Business School or the likes and go for a exchange program in China.
quote
laurie
That's great advice!
That's great advice!
quote
Here is what I think.
1) Is the MBA worth it? well this is a loaded question and cannot be answered in an abstract. One has to evaluate where one is. As in purchasing power, career stage, function, industry, company, economy, country/region. Then one has to evaluate where does one want to be.
And can MBA from xxx bridge that gap?

In my current role I am still not using even 5% of what I learned during my MBA. So is it really worth it? I leave that for you to decide - given your situation - not in abstract. Standing right now, you cannot predict your future. Joining the dots is easy looking back in time. Looking back I feel that I could have done another degree - maybe a 1 year specialized course and saved on my investment and attained even faster ROI. Or something like a Rotterdam MBA or even SPJain PGPM (which I turned down facepalm along with Copenhagen Business school and ESSEC).

2) Which MBA should I take it? Do some research, come up with a list. Go for a program that provides you maximum exposure - culture and subject wise and requires minimum financial investment. It is true that some markets value MBA more than others. US/UK/SE Asia / Middle Eastern countries value MBA more than Eastern European or Scandinavian countries. I would say you should look into Copenhagen Business School or the likes and go for a exchange program in China.


Hello Ayon,

I really appreciate your time and thinking for my post.
I actually have been looking at your reply several times in the past several days that is why I waited until today to say thanks to you.

I buy your calculation of ROI and I guess it was a risky choice for you but at the end it is not so bad. It is a bit sad that you cant go for generic roles, like Brand Management.

And 5% of what you learned during your MBA is used in your current role. It probably leads to that you would like to have done shorter specialized program.

I will be expatriated to China from Sweden for the next two years. Therefore I will go online (illinois)/Blended (Manchester) due to limited time of energy and can't choose full time MBA. That will limit myself about industry change, for example enter in management consulting roles. Great possibility is that I will stay in my current industry but try me best to take on the role like strategic management.

In the long term, if I consider to move back to Asia, the alumni network of Manchester is much better than illinois.
[quote]Here is what I think.
1) Is the MBA worth it? well this is a loaded question and cannot be answered in an abstract. One has to evaluate where one is. As in purchasing power, career stage, function, industry, company, economy, country/region. Then one has to evaluate where does one want to be.
And can MBA from xxx bridge that gap?

In my current role I am still not using even 5% of what I learned during my MBA. So is it really worth it? I leave that for you to decide - given your situation - not in abstract. Standing right now, you cannot predict your future. Joining the dots is easy looking back in time. Looking back I feel that I could have done another degree - maybe a 1 year specialized course and saved on my investment and attained even faster ROI. Or something like a Rotterdam MBA or even SPJain PGPM (which I turned down facepalm along with Copenhagen Business school and ESSEC).

2) Which MBA should I take it? Do some research, come up with a list. Go for a program that provides you maximum exposure - culture and subject wise and requires minimum financial investment. It is true that some markets value MBA more than others. US/UK/SE Asia / Middle Eastern countries value MBA more than Eastern European or Scandinavian countries. I would say you should look into Copenhagen Business School or the likes and go for a exchange program in China.[/quote]

Hello Ayon,

I really appreciate your time and thinking for my post.
I actually have been looking at your reply several times in the past several days that is why I waited until today to say thanks to you.

I buy your calculation of ROI and I guess it was a risky choice for you but at the end it is not so bad. It is a bit sad that you cant go for generic roles, like Brand Management.

And 5% of what you learned during your MBA is used in your current role. It probably leads to that you would like to have done shorter specialized program.

I will be expatriated to China from Sweden for the next two years. Therefore I will go online (illinois)/Blended (Manchester) due to limited time of energy and can't choose full time MBA. That will limit myself about industry change, for example enter in management consulting roles. Great possibility is that I will stay in my current industry but try me best to take on the role like strategic management.

In the long term, if I consider to move back to Asia, the alumni network of Manchester is much better than illinois.


quote
Larry

And 5% of what you learned during your MBA is used in your current role. It probably leads to that you would like to have done shorter specialized program.

This may or may not be true for everybody who graduates with an MBA. However, the value of an MBA goes beyond actual in-class 'learning' - it's also in the networking opportunities, career services, and other levels of support that are provided by business schools. Typically the better the school, the more meaningful these support mechanisms will be. As is the case with almost anything, it's not what you know, it's who you know.
[quote]
And 5% of what you learned during your MBA is used in your current role. It probably leads to that you would like to have done shorter specialized program.[/quote]
This may or may not be true for everybody who graduates with an MBA. However, the value of an MBA goes beyond actual in-class 'learning' - it's also in the networking opportunities, career services, and other levels of support that are provided by business schools. Typically the better the school, the more meaningful these support mechanisms will be. As is the case with almost anything, it's not what you know, it's who you know.
quote
Duncan
And later in your career you might be in a role where you use a lot more!
And later in your career you might be in a role where you use a lot more!
quote
And later in your career you might be in a role where you use a lot more!


Yes, I have almost decided to study part time MBA program.
Manchester’s acceptance deadline is clicking. I am afraid that I can’t wait for Illinois iMBA.
Do you think it is a good choice to select Manchester Global MBA?
[quote]And later in your career you might be in a role where you use a lot more![/quote]

Yes, I have almost decided to study part time MBA program.
Manchester’s acceptance deadline is clicking. I am afraid that I can’t wait for Illinois iMBA.
Do you think it is a good choice to select Manchester Global MBA?
quote
Karl182
It would take you hundreds of lives to learn on the job what you learn in a world class MBA. There is no world class MBA in Sweden, so a Swede will struggle to understand. But ask them about the country's leading business school, the SSE. Does attending that make a difference? Even asking the question is ridiculous. The Swedish elite attend that school, the way the Norwegian elite goes to NHH and BI, and the Finnish elite goes to Aalto and Hanken, and the way the Danish elite goes to CBS. If it doesn't make a difference why do these schools even exist?


Being from Norway, I can unequivocally say that the 'Norwegian elite' does not attend BI. BI is by far and away considered a very 'meh' school for people that don't know what to study.
[quote]It would take you hundreds of lives to learn on the job what you learn in a world class MBA. There is no world class MBA in Sweden, so a Swede will struggle to understand. But ask them about the country's leading business school, the SSE. Does attending that make a difference? Even asking the question is ridiculous. The Swedish elite attend that school, the way the Norwegian elite goes to NHH and BI, and the Finnish elite goes to Aalto and Hanken, and the way the Danish elite goes to CBS. If it doesn't make a difference why do these schools even exist? [/quote]

Being from Norway, I can unequivocally say that the 'Norwegian elite' does not attend BI. BI is by far and away considered a very 'meh' school for people that don't know what to study.
quote
Duncan
Maybe true for many schools of social sciences... But a glance at BI's alumni suggests that something happens there that gives students different outcomes from, say, studying in Tromso.
Maybe true for many schools of social sciences... But a glance at BI's alumni suggests that something happens there that gives students different outcomes from, say, studying in Tromso.
quote
Karl182
Yes, I would agree with that. But doesn't give an edge compared to studying at NTNU, UiO, UiB or UiS, which are all public schools and don't cost 40k eur.
Yes, I would agree with that. But doesn't give an edge compared to studying at NTNU, UiO, UiB or UiS, which are all public schools and don't cost 40k eur.
quote

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