Normal MBA: dime-a-dozen or worthwhile goal?

I’m not talking about Kellogg or Harvard or INSEAD, I’m talking about State U. (or similar) MBA programs. I know those programs rock, but right now I can’t pack my family up to go attend one. (I’m pretty sure I could get into a top-tier with my BA from Colorado College and 7 years international experience, but most are 2 years long and would throw us into serious debt as well as force us to move to parts unknown).

It seems to me that most everyone has been getting an MBA for a long while now. Has this ‘watered-down’ the whole thing? Are MBA’s common enough to be passe?

I am thinking of attending the United States Business School, Prague ( It’s got a good reputation here in the Czech Republic, but back in the US it will get thrown into league with its affiliated school Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The program is one year, costs around $16k and I won’t have to uproot my fam. The courses covered seem to be the general ones:

Courses in Curriculum

  1. Role of General Manager
  2. Financial Accounting
  3. Economics of the Firm
  4. Political Economy
  5. Decision Science
  6. Operations Management
  7. Financial Management
  8. Technology Management
  9. Marketing Management
  10. Management Accounting and Control
  11. Investments
  12. Leadership
  13. Macroeconomics
  14. Institutional Framework
  15. Ethical Issues of Business and Government
  16. Strategic Management

I just wonder what people’s experiences are surrounding the MBA and the decision to go. My main reason right now is that I feel it would hone my experience and give me guidelines for handling situations more effectively. I have a lot of scope from the past 7 years, but not a lot of scale in any one area.


Aww, c’mon…someone has to have an opinion about MBA’s!


I just got my MBA in May of this year from Roosevelt University, which is a smallish school in Chicago. The main reason I started the degree was because it was easily accessible – Roosevelt U. had a partnership with the company I was working for at the time, and would come onto my employer’s campus and teach classes. Heck, I got through 3/4 of my degree without ever having to actually set foot on campus.

I got my degree not necessarily because it would make employers throw bags of money at me just because I have my MBA, but because I thought it would give me good tools for when I eventually become a manager-type Big Dog. It sounds like your reasoning is much the same.

In my experience so far, the only MBAs that really make someone sit up and take notice are from schools like Northwestern or University of Chicago or an Ivy League school. Those are the types of very prestigious MBAs that, for instance, most management consulting firms look for (or so I’ve been told).

But for those of us who just want to use them as another tool in our toolbox for later on, as long as you’re going to a good school (and not someplace like Bob’s House of Chicken, Live Bait and MBAs), it’s a worthwhile degree. I sure learned a lot during my classwork, especially in my economics, accounting and strategy classes.

I enjoyed my MBA experience and got a lot out of it and consider it a worthwhile time investment. It hasn’t really improved my job prospects that I can see, but I think in the long run it makes me more knowledgeable and flexible.

Yes, I admit, I am looking for new tools. I see this as a new goal for myself, something to work for. Yes, Harvard would be veerrrryyy nniiiccceeee…but this will help.