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Is an MBA worth the investment for mid-career?

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Is an MBA worth the investment for mid-career? [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2011, 11:59
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I am approaching the 20 year mark in the US military after which I can retire so I'm trying to prepare myself to make the transition into a new career field. I would prefer to go into management consulting.

I have a BS in French from a military academy and a Master in Public Policy from a top tier graduate school with a 3.6 GPA. Of course I have experience in addition to the education but wonder if I need additional education to compliment.

My question: is an MBA either necessary, good to have, or not worth the investment? At this point, I would be looking into part-time programs in the DC area.

Thanks.
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Re: Is an MBA worth the investment for mid-career? [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2011, 07:20
I think the knowledge you get from an MBA program can be valuable - but then again you don't have to enroll in an MBA program to get that (you can find a lot of the textbooks and material by buying them on Amazon and studying them on your own). Also, strangely enough, you can get a lot of info just talking to business owners casually - at the store, at a restaurant, hotel, etc. etc. - a lot of people love to talk shop - go to any small business and ask them how their business is going, and you'll find so many will love to talk, whether it's complaining about vendors, landlords, banks, dealing with employees, etc. Do that enough times, and you'll develop a real instinct for what makes businesses work and what doesn't - knowledge which you can learn in a b-school, but the instinct which no b-school can really teach (if you know what I mean by the difference between knowledge and intuition).

As a credential, it can also be valuable too, without it having to be a top tier program especially for someone with no business background.

So in terms of the actual education itself and the credential, it can be valuable.

BUT, it hinges on cost.

In short, I don't think paying $100,000 in tuition is worth it for someone like yourself at your stage in your career/life. But if you are able to get a degree for free or it's nearly free (through a combo of scholarships and the GI bill - I assume that the military is willing to pay for your education?), then the only cost to you is time, and so if you're willing to spend the time doing a part-time degree at very little cost, go for it.
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Re: Is an MBA worth the investment for mid-career? [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2011, 05:56
Thanks, Alex. Great points to consider. Unfortunately there's a little risk attached to either course.
Re: Is an MBA worth the investment for mid-career?   [#permalink] 01 Nov 2011, 05:56
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