Consulting

Change my mind: MBA’s do not have a good ROI if you already make $150+ The only benefits I see are: -2 year sabbatical -Build irreplaceable network (arguably makes it worthwhile but no guarantee)

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My 2 cents: when you’re 80 and look back on your life, you’re much more likely to smile back on those 2 years at bschool and be glad you experienced them than 2 more random years in the workforce out of the 30+ years you’ll work anyway. Thinking about the cost of an MBA (especially from an elite program, which implies that you’ll be a high earner for the remainder of your career) is necessary but in the grand scheme of things it won’t be THAT big a deal beyond the relatively small percentage of your life when you’re paying it off

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Yeah, everyone should individually figure out their priorities and what’s right for them. E.g., you can also retire by ~32-35 if you just stick to consulting and don’t do the mba, which may be a favorable option to a subset of folks

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Depends. Pivot from B4 to MBB pays off pretty quick. 5th year out for us is 325-400. And I'm about to jump a year before that for 1 of 2 offers in low-mid 4s.

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C2 - 1/3 divided by 2/3 is 50%. That’s consistent with my simplified model. Bunch of aspiring consultants don’t end up on this industry for many reasons. And yes, getting into a target school is hard. That actually accounts for much of the value an MBA provides on the labor market... as a screen and a matchmaker.

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I’m in the same boat. Currently make right under 150k, can’t justify the two years of forgone salary, and cost especially while I’m on an upwards path. For people in my situation, I think it only makes sense if you REALLY just want an MBA, or if you want to switch careers.

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Agreed, I’ve been in consulting since undergrad as well, and plan on staying. So I always ask myself, is it worth it if I know I want to stay in consulting? Even if it’s sponsored and I have to commit 3 years to my firm? The 2 years of forgoing a salary is hard to swallow

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I learned way more about life perspective and made way more hilarious and valuable *personal* memories in undergrad than I believe I will in my next four years of working (1 year in at this point). I really want to go to one particular M7 school to meet the next class of people I'll do this with. I'm not having deep philosophical conversations, gaining perspective on what I want out of life, and partying on weekdays with my coworkers because we're all too busy working. Is that worth $500k? I don't plan on retiring early so it definitely is for me :)

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It depends ...

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😂 #plzfix

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I was in this boat a bit over 10 years back. Did the simple math: - Two years of comp and comp increases - Two years of career progression - Cost of business school At the time, that easily added up to $500K in total costs. It’s a lot of money. My view was that if I wanted to go to business school, I damn well needed to have a clear enough picture of my goals that it would feel okay to drop half a million on it. I stayed at my firm; became a partner, and haven’t looked back. Your mileage may vary.

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Some many “ifs” to BCG1s outcome. It’s if you get into M7, if you get into BCG, if your survive the brutal first year let alone 5 years.

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Call me ignorant - I definitely value education and would jump at the chance to go to Ivy league - but I failed out of undergrad once. Finished w/ 2.5 gpa. After 30, It’s more about how you work and build relationships than your school. I’ve had offers from MBB, but staying to make partner in B4.

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C1. No I haven’t

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Totally agree. I made $150k after a couple of years in consulting and I’m north of $400 now. No MBA, no debt associated with getting it

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Are you a partner? Lol

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Not doing an MBA doesn’t necessarily mean you keep on working. Why not take a leave of absence and travel for 6 months, take online classes, volunteer somewhere etc. plenty of things that you could do for a shorter time that don’t require huge tuition payment.

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Was waiting on someone to say this. There are plenty of other ways to learn and expand your horizons/network besides an MBA.

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Totally disagree Mk2. Those 2 years mean ~$400k of earnings on average. Now apply the time multiplier to Investements and that means I can retire early and do what I want. I’m going to be totally done with this rat race at 45 with a few million to enjoy life. I wouldn’t trade that for 2 years of B school and the opportunity cost and real costs associated with that.

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@EY2 and that’s a totally valid choice! This is my point - if you go off the assumption that all of us fish have roughly the same earning potential available to us over the course of our careers (obviously untrue for many reasons but bear with me), then it’s a question of what you prioritize within that context. Some may look back and be happy for the 2 years of bschool. Some may look back and be happy for X years of maximized, comfortable retirement. Some may look back and be happy for the X minus 10 years of more luxurious retirement. Some are gonna make so much money that in the end this is all a question of how much their kids inherit! It’s all about preferences and priorities

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Harvard MBA here. Don’t do it. Waste of time and money if you are already well paid. An MBA gets you in the door - that’s it. When I interview MBAs the only part of their degree I consider is the tenacity to complete it.

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You’ll never know the friends you didn’t make and the potential spouse you didn’t meet.

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As if you can't meet people in normal day to day life

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Here’s a question - if you’re already in consulting, do u need a MBA? In the US it seems many people do it to get into consulting. I have temporarily paused my part time MBA because I’m not sure I believe in the value now (I’m ten years into consulting)

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Run an NPV analysis and see what the difference is. If the NPV happens to be negative, ask yourself if the intangibles are worth that cost.

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I believe that’s exactly what I just described.

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I assume if one is making $150+, is beyond the level of senior consultant. Aren’t MBAs most commonly used by consultants to reach to reach that level? I believe at that point it would be worthwhile to get the MBA to switch industries, like EY 1 above said

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@pwc2 and mck2 Decent arguments for both sides really. A major trade-off is if you want to delay your earnings + consumption or bring it forward. For well-performing consultants I think it's generally true that you can retire comfortably, if not extravagantly, in your mid/late forties, should you so choose.

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That’s the hope from my side C4. Obviously it has required some sacrifices in the short term in order to put away that kind of money, however as with any strategy like this, time is more important than anything else. If you can’t put away 6 figures, that’s ok...anything is better than nothing and the longer it ‘marinates’ the more it becomes.

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As I have found out during my decision making process, this is not a decision that can be made by listening to people on fishbowl. There are too many variables, different priorities, different values, and different potential outcomes. You can have harvard mbas who think their mba has not helped them sufficiently (yet), and you can have lower-ranking mbas who had an amazing experience, gained an invaluable life-long friend group, and had the right doors open for them. Each person needs to decide what he or she values and what his or her aspirations are, and determine what seems right based on these. There is no general right answer.

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I guess the 2 main questions I would ask myself are: 1. Is it an education I desire? 10/20 years from now, regardless of my financial stature, would I be glad I went for it? If it personally makes me feel good, then the financial ROI is irrelevant. 2. Can I get a better, more paying, possibly C-level job with my experience alone? Current earning power can easily change (for better or worse overnight). Answers to those should determine how important the education is for you.

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Im doing it even though i make more than 150. Even though financial ROI might be hard to justify, i think the - time, learning, network, ability to explore other opportunities, ability to restart in another field, belonging to an elite club of mbas (assuming good school) and the tangible and intangible benefits this brings over the course of your life - are invaluable. At least that’s how I’m thinking about it.

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I agree with M1. Even if it didn’t open the door to BCG for me, the connections, experience, and personal growth were absolutely worth it to me. I would make the same decision again in a heartbeat. While the story is anecdotal, it’s not uncommon. I think most people at a top school would tell you the same thing. Also, the network alone is probably worth it.

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