On-line MBA Suggestions

cyfanbr

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Dec 13, 2013
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Alright gang, so knowing CF has wealth of knowledge and great advices. I figured I’d ask for some suggestions or advices on online MBA programs.

I graduated from ISU with an engineering degree and have been working in manufacturing since then. While I really enjoy engineering, I am not sure it will be the career that I will retire on. It might be, but there is also a good chance that I will pivot to something else at some point.. If I had to re-do college, I’d probably have gotten a finance degree I think.

So this brings me to my current situation. I’m really considering getting an MBA (online), as I think it aligns with my interests and would help me pivot in the future. Whether the pivot is to a new industry, engineering/business leadership roles, or even entrepreneurship. I don’t have kids yet, so figured now would be the time to do it, while I still have some free time.

I’m struggling with trying to find a good balance between cost and quality/brand of the institution. The MBA is more than a check mark for me. I also want a quality learning experience. Anyhow, any suggestions on which programs to consider or not consider? Any random tips or related stories?

Thanks

Ps: I have already checked us news rankings, and started a spreadsheet like any engineer would lol.
 
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CompCy

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Apr 7, 2006
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I graduated from ISU with an engineering degree. I recently finished getting an MBA from the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium. I really enjoyed the program and would definitely recommend it. One requirement for the program is a business degree, but they do offer a “Business Fundamentals” program to get you to an equivalent starting point.

The program is structured as 4 semesters of core modules and then you fill in the rest with electives. Modules are a full semester, but electives are 4-7 weeks and can be taken in summer and winter semesters as well. If you take fundamentals courses, they are all 7 weeks long. So you will get to fit a whole subject like accounting or finance into 7 weeks.

Feel free to ask me any other questions on the program.
 

cyfanbr

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Dec 13, 2013
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I graduated from ISU with an engineering degree. I recently finished getting an MBA from the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium. I really enjoyed the program and would definitely recommend it. One requirement for the program is a business degree, but they do offer a “Business Fundamentals” program to get you to an equivalent starting point.

The program is structured as 4 semesters of core modules and then you fill in the rest with electives. Modules are a full semester, but electives are 4-7 weeks and can be taken in summer and winter semesters as well. If you take fundamentals courses, they are all 7 weeks long. So you will get to fit a whole subject like accounting or finance into 7 weeks.

Feel free to ask me any other questions on the program.
This program did catch my eye when I was starting to consider the idea of getting an MBA. Think what caught my attention was their cost per credit hour, but I haven’t done a deep dive on the program yet.

I am assuming you had to do the business fundamentals program? If so, how long is the program and do you remember the rough cost of it? Do they have GMAT waivers? What made you select their program over others?
 

carvers4math

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Mar 15, 2012
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Son got his at ISU concurrently with engineering degree but has a friend who got an online one at Indiana and only had good things to say.
 

Dopey

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Nov 2, 2009
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Going to get dislikes, but.....

I’d look at Iowa. Generally well respected and much cheaper than U of Minn or U of Indiana’s online programs.

Even if you do get reimbursed, you could end up paying taxes on anything over the $15k-ish yearly limit, so the cost still does matter a bit.
 

clone4life82

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Dec 17, 2008
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Wife is currently going for her online mba at drake and she looked at a few different programs and that one came out one of the more reasonable ones from a timing and cost standpoint. Not sure where they rank as far as schools.
 

CycloneDaddy

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Sep 24, 2006
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Wife is currently going for her online mba at drake and she looked at a few different programs and that one came out one of the more reasonable ones from a timing and cost standpoint. Not sure where they rank as far as schools.
Bro in law did the Drake MBA program and liked it. His was some online and some weekend classes on campus.
 
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CompCy

Active Member
Apr 7, 2006
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Ames
This program did catch my eye when I was starting to consider the idea of getting an MBA. Think what caught my attention was their cost per credit hour, but I haven’t done a deep dive on the program yet.

I am assuming you had to do the business fundamentals program? If so, how long is the program and do you remember the rough cost of it? Do they have GMAT waivers? What made you select their program over others?

I had to take the GMAT. I didn't think it was that bad. I just took a couple practice tests and then took the real one.

Yes, I did take the business fundamentals. The fundamentals courses cost less than the MBA courses. Unless they have changed the format, it is 10 credits which I did in 3 semesters. The courses that you take can vary based on your existing degree. For example, you might not have to take statistics. I didn't take any of the Econ courses since I took them at Iowa State.

I finished the MBA program in 3 years after finishing fundamentals. It would have been less if I wouldn't have waited on certain electives to be offered and taken some winter/summer time off.

I added up the receipts that I have. Here is a breakdown:
  • Business fundamentals tuition: $9,450
  • Business fundamentals books: $1,560
  • MBA tuition: ~$25,000
  • MBA books: <$1000
I chose Wisconsin over the locals because Iowa, ISU and Drake required you to be in-person when I started working toward the degree. I looked at other out of state programs, but they didn't really compare to Wisconsin.

Going to get dislikes, but.....

I’d look at Iowa. Generally well respected and much cheaper than U of Minn or U of Indiana’s online programs.

Even if you do get reimbursed, you could end up paying taxes on anything over the $15k-ish yearly limit, so the cost still does matter a bit.

Just anecdotal evidence here, but I know someone who got an MBA from Iowa and I have not been overly impressed. I don't know if the program wasn't as good or if they just didn't put in the effort to really learn what was being taught.
 

Dopey

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2009
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I had to take the GMAT. I didn't think it was that bad. I just took a couple practice tests and then took the real one.

Yes, I did take the business fundamentals. The fundamentals courses cost less than the MBA courses. Unless they have changed the format, it is 10 credits which I did in 3 semesters. The courses that you take can vary based on your existing degree. For example, you might not have to take statistics. I didn't take any of the Econ courses since I took them at Iowa State.

I finished the MBA program in 3 years after finishing fundamentals. It would have been less if I wouldn't have waited on certain electives to be offered and taken some winter/summer time off.

I added up the receipts that I have. Here is a breakdown:
  • Business fundamentals tuition: $9,450
  • Business fundamentals books: $1,560
  • MBA tuition: ~$25,000
  • MBA books: <$1000
I chose Wisconsin over the locals because Iowa, ISU and Drake required you to be in-person when I started working toward the degree. I looked at other out of state programs, but they didn't really compare to Wisconsin.



Just anecdotal evidence here, but I know someone who got an MBA from Iowa and I have not been overly impressed. I don't know if the program wasn't as good or if they just didn't put in the effort to really learn what was being taught.

No online program is going to be overly selective and the curriculum will all be similar. Going to be all about the effort of the person.
 

Mr.G.Spot

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Apr 22, 2020
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TMK, Iowa eliminated their full-time, in-person MBA. They have lost the battle of trying to get people to move to IC for two years. Either on-line or like an executive MBA program on Saturday and weekday for a few years.

If you want finance (my major) and to move to a major metro area (NYC, Chicago, LA) then crush your GMAT and find the best on-line you can get

If you want to remain in the Midwest and compliment your engineering degree then get into the IVY MBA. They love your type and have structured their MBA product for your next step. 97% job placement.....top 5% of all MBA programs for placement%.

I could go on, but where u want to live and industry are really the drivers of your decision.
 

vacyclone

Active Member
Nov 17, 2012
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I also have an engineering degree from ISU and an MBA, so I'll throw in my 2 cents. I did an evening in-person program at the University of Richmond several years ago. The Navy had just sent me to Richmond to be a recruiter after my submarine tour, and I ended up staying after meeting my wife.

For me, at least 75% of the value of my MBA has been the networking connections I made. Being able to connect with a lot of the young "movers & shakers" in a new city was huge, and I don't think I would've gotten the same thing from an online program. It's very similar to what a lot of Ivy League people say about their degrees.

Depending on where you live and what's available nearby, it's worth considering an in-person program or at least a hybrid. If that's not an option, I guess you should "meet" as many classmates as you can virtually and make the most of what you have.
 

wxman1

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Jul 2, 2008
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I have been taking a couple of classes through Mount Mercy and I am fairly pleased. Going to take a few more years as I only take a couple of classes in the winter and none in the summer. Did that once and hated it.
 

Pat

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Oct 20, 2011
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Is an MBA even worth it anymore?

A few decades , when tuition was substantially cheaper (adjusted for inflation), a final group project for a 300-level Econ class was to analyze the best time to get an MBA to maximize lifetime earnings.

To the professors chagrin, the best answer was after entering the workforce (assuming 100% employer reimbursement, which was a thing at the time). It COST money to do it immediately after finishing undergrad, and it was largely a wash to self-fund while working.

Since then, tuition has gone up, employer reimbursement has gone down, and I’d argue that, outside of a few select career paths, the MBA is probably a wash for most. It sounds like that’s not the case for OP though.
 
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cyfanbr

Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2013
609
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IL
Son got his at ISU concurrently with engineering degree but has a friend who got an online one at Indiana and only had good things to say.
Indiana would probably be my pick, but the cost is ~$75k. I probably won’t do the MBA if I have to take out a loan. If I was sure that I would change career or jobs right after getting the degree, then maybe I could justify the cost as an investment.
 

cyfanbr

Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2013
609
565
93
IL
Going to get dislikes, but.....

I’d look at Iowa. Generally well respected and much cheaper than U of Minn or U of Indiana’s online programs.

Even if you do get reimbursed, you could end up paying taxes on anything over the $15k-ish yearly limit, so the cost still does matter a bit.
My current company only pays for like $15k total for the whole program, so I could keep it below the $15k/yr mark.
I didn’t search for Iowa on the online rankings, but I think for traditional MBA ISU Ivy College is ranked higher than Iowa.
 

cyfanbr

Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2013
609
565
93
IL
I had to take the GMAT. I didn't think it was that bad. I just took a couple practice tests and then took the real one.

Yes, I did take the business fundamentals. The fundamentals courses cost less than the MBA courses. Unless they have changed the format, it is 10 credits which I did in 3 semesters. The courses that you take can vary based on your existing degree. For example, you might not have to take statistics. I didn't take any of the Econ courses since I took them at Iowa State.

I finished the MBA program in 3 years after finishing fundamentals. It would have been less if I wouldn't have waited on certain electives to be offered and taken some winter/summer time off.

I added up the receipts that I have. Here is a breakdown:
  • Business fundamentals tuition: $9,450
  • Business fundamentals books: $1,560
  • MBA tuition: ~$25,000
  • MBA books: <$1000
I chose Wisconsin over the locals because Iowa, ISU and Drake required you to be in-person when I started working toward the degree. I looked at other out of state programs, but they didn't really compare to Wisconsin.



Just anecdotal evidence here, but I know someone who got an MBA from Iowa and I have not been overly impressed. I don't know if the program wasn't as good or if they just didn't put in the effort to really learn what was being taught.
Thanks, this is very informative. The business fundamentals adds some time and cost, that I hadn’t considered yet. I’ll have to keep this one on the list and do some more research
 

cyfanbr

Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2013
609
565
93
IL
TMK, Iowa eliminated their full-time, in-person MBA. They have lost the battle of trying to get people to move to IC for two years. Either on-line or like an executive MBA program on Saturday and weekday for a few years.

If you want finance (my major) and to move to a major metro area (NYC, Chicago, LA) then crush your GMAT and find the best on-line you can get

If you want to remain in the Midwest and compliment your engineering degree then get into the IVY MBA. They love your type and have structured their MBA product for your next step. 97% job placement.....top 5% of all MBA programs for placement%.

I could go on, but where u want to live and industry are really the drivers of your decision.
I’m still in the Midwest, but not in Iowa/DSM area otherwise I’d probably consider getting a degree from ISU. Being honest, that is part of my struggle, I am not 100% sure what I want yet.

Don’t think my future is in a large metro area. I really like finance and it is pretty much all I read about and listen to on my spare time. Problem is, I am currently maximizing my savings and trying to be smart about portfolio composition. That way I can have enough money set aside to have the freedom to do whatever I want professionally in the future. This kind of goes against dropping a whole bunch of money in an MBA that I might not use.
I know I’d enjoy the courses, and maybe the degree would lead to a higher future value by sacrificing cash flows today, but maybe I can still get there without the degree? Anyhow, I’m sure I’ll have many more beers and whiskeys trying to figure out what to do hahaha
 

cyfanbr

Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2013
609
565
93
IL
I also have an engineering degree from ISU and an MBA, so I'll throw in my 2 cents. I did an evening in-person program at the University of Richmond several years ago. The Navy had just sent me to Richmond to be a recruiter after my submarine tour, and I ended up staying after meeting my wife.

For me, at least 75% of the value of my MBA has been the networking connections I made. Being able to connect with a lot of the young "movers & shakers" in a new city was huge, and I don't think I would've gotten the same thing from an online program. It's very similar to what a lot of Ivy League people say about their degrees.

Depending on where you live and what's available nearby, it's worth considering an in-person program or at least a hybrid. If that's not an option, I guess you should "meet" as many classmates as you can virtually and make the most of what you have.
I agree with the value of networking, and maybe I really do need to check on face to face options near by as a potential option too.
 

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