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Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA

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Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA

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Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2017, 20:36
Hello everyone, my name is Taufan from Indonesia. I am an aspiring product manager with interest in data science/business analytics. I have recently been admitted to Duke Master of Engineering Management (MEM) and deferred it for 2018 as I would like to secure a scholarship to fund my study. However, I came across Cornell Tech MBA and it is quite compelling. I'm currently considering whether it is worth it to apply for the Tech MBA or just stick with the MEM program.

Here are some comparisons I've compiled regarding the two programs:
- Location: Durham > Ithaca and NYC; better weather and cheaper living cost
- Internship: MEM > Tech MBA; Cornell Tech MBA does not have an internship component, which I think would be a very valuable experience esp for international student like me
- Curriculum: Tech MBA > MEM; Cornell Tech MBA has a more intensive curriculum with a total of 58.5 credits while MEM has only 30 credits including an internship. However, the MEM program enables student to extend the study to three semesters thus allowing more courses
- Flexibility: MEM > Tech MBA; Duke MEM program allows students to take courses from many other departments, including Fuqua courses, which I think is a good opportunity to tap into the Fuqua network and experience albeit not the same (obviously) as an MBA student
- Prestige: Johnson Cornell > Pratt Duke; While they're not exactly comparable given that Johnson is a business school and Pratt is an engineering one, Cornell having the 'Ivy League' tag makes it has the slight advantage here
- Degree Awarded: MBA > MEM; I think an MBA degree is more well-known than MEM
- Program History: MEM > Tech MBA; Duke's MEM program was founded in 1997 while Cornell Tech MBA was just recently founded in 2012

I might be wrong with the comparisons and I would greatly appreciate any feedback/suggestion as it would help my final decision :)
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Re: Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2017, 22:36
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Hi Taufan,
I did an Engineering Management kinda degree from NUS, Singapore and now I'm going for an MBA, hence I believe I'm sufficiently knowledgeable to comment on this.

My question to you is, do you plan to work in US after graduation? If Yes, then are any of these (or both) degrees come under STEM category? If you do a STEM masters from US you'll be able to explore much more career options in US since your OPT period will be 36 months hence your H1B is almost a surety. So,
If only one of them is STEM categorized, choose the STEM one.
If none are STEM categorized, choose the MBA or the one with lower overall cost (play safe)
If both are STEM categorized, choose the MBA.

If you don't plan to stay back in US, choose a degree that gels up better with your existing work profile. It may be difficult to switch careers with either of these hence look for a program that will best boost/enhance your career in your present industry/function.

Still confused? Toss a coin :lol:

taufans wrote:
Hello everyone, my name is Taufan from Indonesia. I am an aspiring product manager with interest in data science/business analytics. I have recently been admitted to Duke Master of Engineering Management (MEM) and deferred it for 2018 as I would like to secure a scholarship to fund my study. However, I came across Cornell Tech MBA and it is quite compelling. I'm currently considering whether it is worth it to apply for the Tech MBA or just stick with the MEM program.

Here are some comparisons I've compiled regarding the two programs:
- Location: Durham > Ithaca and NYC; better weather and cheaper living cost
- Internship: MEM > Tech MBA; Cornell Tech MBA does not have an internship component, which I think would be a very valuable experience esp for international student like me
- Curriculum: Tech MBA > MEM; Cornell Tech MBA has a more intensive curriculum with a total of 58.5 credits while MEM has only 30 credits including an internship. However, the MEM program enables student to extend the study to three semesters thus allowing more courses
- Flexibility: MEM > Tech MBA; Duke MEM program allows students to take courses from many other departments, including Fuqua courses, which I think is a good opportunity to tap into the Fuqua network and experience albeit not the same (obviously) as an MBA student
- Prestige: Johnson Cornell > Pratt Duke; While they're not exactly comparable given that Johnson is a business school and Pratt is an engineering one, Cornell having the 'Ivy League' tag makes it has the slight advantage here
- Degree Awarded: MBA > MEM; I think an MBA degree is more well-known than MEM
- Program History: MEM > Tech MBA; Duke's MEM program was founded in 1997 while Cornell Tech MBA was just recently founded in 2012

I might be wrong with the comparisons and I would greatly appreciate any feedback/suggestion as it would help my final decision :)
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Re: Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2017, 04:33
Rohit6,

Thank you for responding! As of now, chances of working in the US after graduation is remote because the available scholarships I'm after requires awardees to return to Indonesia after graduating. That aside, Duke MEM is confirmed to be a STEM degree while Cornell Tech MBA is still unknown on that matter.

I think I need to get that coin ready :)
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Re: Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2017, 04:43
Wow! That's a smart way of giving scholarship. First time I heard about this. If the amount isn't significant I would suggest go without scholarship. A STEM masters will most probably get you a job in US. Given your profile is at least descent. Even if you work there for a few years you'll earn/save more than the scholarship amount.

All the best...

taufans wrote:
Rohit6,

Thank you for responding! As of now, chances of working in the US after graduation is remote because the available scholarships I'm after requires awardees to return to Indonesia after graduating. That aside, Duke MEM is confirmed to be a STEM degree while Cornell Tech MBA is still unknown on that matter.

I think I need to get that coin ready :)
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Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 30 Mar 2017, 19:11
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taufans wrote:
Hello everyone, my name is Taufan from Indonesia. I am an aspiring product manager with interest in data science/business analytics. I have recently been admitted to Duke Master of Engineering Management (MEM) and deferred it for 2018 as I would like to secure a scholarship to fund my study. However, I came across Cornell Tech MBA and it is quite compelling. I'm currently considering whether it is worth it to apply for the Tech MBA or just stick with the MEM program.

Here are some comparisons I've compiled regarding the two programs:
- Location: Durham > Ithaca and NYC; better weather and cheaper living cost
- Internship: MEM > Tech MBA; Cornell Tech MBA does not have an internship component, which I think would be a very valuable experience esp for international student like me
- Curriculum: Tech MBA > MEM; Cornell Tech MBA has a more intensive curriculum with a total of 58.5 credits while MEM has only 30 credits including an internship. However, the MEM program enables student to extend the study to three semesters thus allowing more courses
- Flexibility: MEM > Tech MBA; Duke MEM program allows students to take courses from many other departments, including Fuqua courses, which I think is a good opportunity to tap into the Fuqua network and experience albeit not the same (obviously) as an MBA student
- Prestige: Johnson Cornell > Pratt Duke; While they're not exactly comparable given that Johnson is a business school and Pratt is an engineering one, Cornell having the 'Ivy League' tag makes it has the slight advantage here
- Degree Awarded: MBA > MEM; I think an MBA degree is more well-known than MEM
- Program History: MEM > Tech MBA; Duke's MEM program was founded in 1997 while Cornell Tech MBA was just recently founded in 2012

I might be wrong with the comparisons and I would greatly appreciate any feedback/suggestion as it would help my final decision :)


Hello Fellow Aspirant,

Just to throw an important information out there. MEM's are not regarded as MBA's but rather close to MS. Even though you mentioned this in your brief I want to highlight your focus on this. The post program salary difference could be as big as 40%. I am not sure how the program cost difference is though.
Engineering Mgmt programs are more closer to Industrial Engineering Programs offered by Engineering Schools in US. They offer you to take some courses from business school and make it like a sandwich program. While the learning is great you also need to consider the profiles of the class. Most of them would be freshers or have <= 2 yr experience. Also from recruiters point of view even if you have >=4 yr experience bridging the salary gap will not be possible. So consider this fact as well while making your decision.

Originally posted by ag111 on 30 Mar 2017, 14:12.
Last edited by ag111 on 30 Mar 2017, 19:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2017, 17:11
Hello ag111,

Thank you for replying! I am quite aware with the situation you've described. I myself have < 5 years of working experience so I thought I would be at a disadvantage even if I apply to top B-schools. Furthermore, in Indonesia the gross enrollment rate for higher education is just 11.5%, that means I would still have an arguably significant career advantage when I bring home a degree from the US even if it's not an MBA. Those are my primary reasoning when I applied to some MEM programs earlier. But I'd like to hear your suggestion more, would you recommend me to apply to 2nd tier B-schools instead of enrolling to MEM program?
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Re: Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2017, 17:29
If by second tier you mean top 15-25 programs then "yes".


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Re: Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2017, 19:10
It seems like Cornell better aligns with what your are looking to get out of grad school, so I would go with Cornell and the Tech MBA
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Re: Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2017, 19:26
VeritasPrepDozie wrote:
It seems like Cornell better aligns with what your are looking to get out of grad school, so I would go with Cornell and the Tech MBA


Thank you for the response VeritasPrepDozie, to confirm, do you mean that the Tech MBA better align for a product manager?
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Re: Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2017, 15:05
Yes, I would say so, the program seems to better immerse you into the skills and industry you desire
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Re: Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2017, 20:22
Definitely Cornell Tech because
1. Cornell itself is strongest Ivy League engineering school
2. MBA degree is much better regarded that a MEM degree, UNLESS you already have many years of industry experience
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Re: Duke MEM vs Cornell Tech MBA &nbs [#permalink] 03 Apr 2017, 20:22
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