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Do Engineers Need an MBA?

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jmiller
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Platinum
Re: Different tracks
jmiller   9/25/2012 10:43:52 PM
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I think any continuation of education, (MBA or PE) will help open the doors to more interviews and more opportunity.  And I agree currently the opportunitites do tend to be more in management and less in areas of technical expertse.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: More valuable after the fall-out
jmiller   9/25/2012 10:48:16 PM
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I think you're right on some of your points.  I would recommend if the companies willing to foot partr or all of the bill you should take what you can get when it comes to education.  I don't think an MBA is going to close any doors.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Probably not
jmiller   9/25/2012 10:51:24 PM
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One of the big thinks I have seen from the people I know with MBAs is they have the ability to view things from outside of the engineering box.  It can be helpful to at least understand what the accountants, sales and marketing teams are seeing.  We may not agree with them because we are engineers and afterall that makes us right.  But we can at least understand where they are coming from.

MBAEng
User Rank
Iron
An engineer with an MBA
MBAEng   9/26/2012 9:31:19 AM
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As a degreed engineer with an MBA, I would say having an MBA has been very advantageous in helping me to see the larger business picture when making engineering decisions. It can always be debated whether or not possessing the MBA will help anyone's career, because we all make personal choices which also affect our career paths. However, I certainly do not regret my decision to pursue an MBA instead of higher-level degrees in engineering.

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Probably not
Jack Rupert, PE   9/27/2012 3:58:26 PM
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jmiller - that's one of the reasons I got my MBA (along with helping to justify a promotion here and there).  If nothing else, it allows me to be able to speak the language that other departments use...and that in itself is a big advantage in getting your points across.

In answer to the more general question posed here, yes, I'm happy that I got my MBA and would do it again.  In my case, it was part-time over a number of years so I ended up with the business degree along with the ongoing engineering experience.  I don't think it would gain anybody fresh out of school to immediately get a full-time MBA degree unless there were special circumstances.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Probably not
Charles Murray   9/28/2012 5:37:23 PM
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I agree, Jack. Engineers fresh out of school don't gain as much from an MBA as they might a few years down the road. I believe that some of the best MBA programs, such as Northwestern University's, don't accept a student straight off graduation for that very reason.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Probably not
jmiller   9/30/2012 6:00:37 PM
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I agree with everything you said.  I am glad I have my MBA.  I waited a couple years after being in my field to go get it and would encourage any other engineer to do the same.  I don't see any reason to get it right after college unless, like you say, there are extenuating cercumstances.

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Re: Probably not
notarboca   9/30/2012 9:22:11 PM
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Don't have an MBA, but I can surely see how it would have been beneficial to my career at various junctions.  As others have said, being able to speak the language and see outside the pure engineering box gives a great insight.  There is no way I would have wanted to pursue it right after graduation--was too eager to get into the workplace!

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Probably not
Charles Murray   10/8/2012 7:01:31 PM
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Interesting to see how many commenters are pro-MBA. So I'm wondering: What does an MBA cost these days? And for those who did it, do you believe it was a good investment? How long did it take to pay for the extra schooling?

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Probably not
jmiller   12/31/2012 11:11:54 AM
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Mine cost nearly $20K or so.  I do believe it was a good investment.  It opened up several doors for me and it did pay for itself.  However, I am not a financial genius and while I should have paid for it several years ago.  I am still paying.

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