Pleased with your MBA?

They’re just making this too convenient, gosh darn them all to heck.

I recently became aware of the MBA High Tech program in lock-step format at ASU. The way it works is that you go to class from 6-10PM Tue and Thur (or Mon and Wed) during the school year (I believe you get summers off, unless you take electives at that time) for two years and receive your degree. Not only does this take place after work, but the classes are taught at the research park where I work, making it even more convenient, those farging bastages.

My background: I work as an analysis and simlulation engineer for a small company. My job entails verifying component integrity using Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) and/or closed form equations (usually the former) before the parts are built and tested. I also train people to use the aforementioned CAE software. I’m fortunate in that I have the opportunity to get involved not only with the engineering work and training I do, but with the business side of things as well. That being said, I feel as though I’m lacking some fundamentals when it comes to making sound business decisions and understanding the inner workings of the business–not that I’m completely in the dark, I just see some room for improvement. For some time, I’ve thought it would be a good idea to get some business-type (management, finance, accounting, etc.) classes under my belt. If I’m going to go that far, I figure it may be a good idea to go ahead and get the degree as well. Plus, the field in which I work could use more people with both engineering and business savvy. To summarize, I’m not really interested in letting go of engineering to become CEO of General Electric, I just want to have a “well-rounded” career.

Now that I’ve done all that jabbering, I’m wondering what those of you who have an MBA have gotten out of it, how pleased you are with it, and any other thoughts you may have to share. Even though I value anyone’s input on this, I’m particularly interested in the experiences of other engineers with MBAs, since we’d be in the same boat. Thanks to all in advance.

Since so many schools are offering MBA’s these days and printing so many newly-minted MBA’s every semester, IMHO the most important factor is choosing the best program that will have you and then deciding if that program is good enough.

Eight hours a week, thirty weeks a year for two years to get an MBA sounds awfully light. Sixteen credit hours for an MBA? Sounds “too good to be true” from here. At the University of Illinois it was 80 quarter hours which I believe translates to about 54 semester hours, more than three times what you describe.

I would check the veracity of the courseload and see what kind of promotions engineers graduating from that program have typically attained. Maybe you’ve stumbled upon a gold mine.

There was a recent thread on whether MBA’s were worth it overall that you should look for - I tried to find it, but since I am working out of my home office today, my connection is acting up and kept timing out during the search. :mad:

Anyway, CompSci undergrad and an MBA here (I went full time to a top tier school, a different situation than you describe); my thoughts:

  • Lorenzo makes some good points - check it out
  • Given the common nature of MBA’s, the more prestigious program you can go to, the better (I discuss this further in the other post) - a pain, but true.
  • If you want to make a career change, going to a full time MBA program is a great cut-off point. If all you want is more business acumen to supplement your tech degree, your approach is fine - just don’t expect your MBA to provide much “oomph” on your resume - at most, you should expect it to be a tie-breaker (“hey between the two candidates for this position, this one has some business education” - the problem with that is that your competition are likely to have something, too).

Hope this helps.