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Was your MBA worth the time and money? Please share your experience.

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I had an MBA in Europe but didn’t get into the strategy consulting. But my school is a good one: many of my classmates entered the tiers 1 or at least tiers 2.
My salary is no better than mine before MBA.
But I’m grateful that I learned things in my MBA, and I had the opportunity to move to Europe and joined as the first foreigner in my team.
I won’t have the chance to immigrate without my study, but it’s really expensive.
I often blamed myself for not being able to monetize my MBA.
Very complicated feeling for me to look back to my experiences:
For someone like me from a quite poor family in a less developed area of an Asian country, MBA was a super expensive investment: it consumed all my savings (I still need to pay back a small amount of loan now).
But looking back to where I was, what I have now seems a luxury for me: though it’s the bottom line for my classmates from a West European middle class family and who had better salary or position than mine before their MBA.
(If you find my text is not well organized logically, it’s because I really have very conflicting views about the MBA.)

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Makes sense. I appreciate you sharing. Although I asked about money, that’s not the most important thing in the world. Best of luck to you.

Yes, 100%. But then I made idiosyncratic choices. Not all MBAs are worth the resources for YOU.

TLDR: 3 months post unsexy Canadian MBA, I am debt free, I was able to pivot out of academia and more than doubled my income.

Here's why mine worked for me:
- I picked a PT program I could cash flow (didn't want to shackle myself to a high paying job afterwards);
- I picked a program in the local language of the place I immigrated to (not English) to build a local network and it worked;
- I wanted to meet & network with folks my age (30+) and the average age of the program was 38. I met really cool and inspiring people I'll keep in touch with;
- I wanted to make connections outside of my former industry (10 yoe in academia) & field (no one from my neck of the social sciences in the cohort) which helped me expand my mindset and outlook;
- I had no expectation that the MBA would be a magic bullet. Even with that low bar, I didn't learn as much as I hoped on business: the program actually was more about re-labelling tools I already had. Some of the instructors were underwhelming, but on average it was a serious program;
- I entered it minded to learn (from anything: people, situations, ancillary stuff - not just course content) and I learned things I wasn't expecting to learn (for example, it changed my perspective on my own teaching activities);
- Comp pre MBA around 90kCAD; 3 months out, I've signed a consulting contract and will make 90kCAD in 6 months as a part-time external consultant for a B4, they're already talking about expanding it;
- With a handful of colleagues we started looking into investing in multi-family properties, and it's promising.

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Unequivocally. It’s a two-year vacation that employers smile upon, and some of the most fun I’ll have in my life. Plus lifelong friends, amazing travel experiences, etc

likehelpful

Totally worth the time AND money! Generally the classes are straight forward, friends are a huge boost, and a masters sets you apart from all of the common folk. ;).

likehelpful

Yes, I did a weekend MBA at a top 20 school and then landed a post-MBA role at a T2. Two years after that I landed a senior manager strategy role at a midsize tech company @ ~$250K TC.

My pre-MBA salary was $80K.

likehelpful

Remote.

Company is headquartered in Seattle.

My whole team is remote and will be indefinitely. Still unclear which teams will return to the office full time.

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Wish I could go back for a second MBA

likefunnyhelpful

Same.

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Definitely worth it if you can go to a top program. I am 2 years out from a T10 and boosted my TC from 95K to 270K. It’s also such a fun time. 😇

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Sorry, I’m not trying to de-anonymize myself here. But it’s a big 4.

Pre MBA I made ~$30K and lived in a third world country. 7 years after graduation I live in the US and making 10x that. I am pretty happy about my decision :)

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D1 - where did you do your MBA from?

Literally the best two years ever - I have found that the only people who say an MBA is not worth it are those that did not go get an MBA 😜

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There are MBAs from top tier schools and there are mbas

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Yes... Since I was having a lot of success in consulting already (not looking to change careers) and didn't want to lose two years of professional growth, I chose a part-time program with flexibility. I learned a lot, because I had ~10 years of experience post undergrad that allowed me to relate to the content differently than in my younger years. I don't think it played a direct role in me making partner, but certainly glad I earned the degree. A part time program can be pretty cost effective too, if you're picking up the bill.

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Agree with P1. If you’re looking to transition to something different, then I’d recommend a full time program. It gives you a chance to intern and make the pivot.

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Yes - got a scholarship, had an amazing time, learned relevant skills and built a great network and friends and colleagues. Went from 75k to 170k TC and now at 275k three years later. To be fair - WLB completely went down the drain as TC went up

likesmart

College humanities major here. Went in making $90k total comp and will leave making $230k total comp. Completely has changed my mindset and stretched and challenged me. Have much more confidence and public speaking skills. Went to T10 weekend MBA program. I highly recommend.

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AE1 - I think the top PT MBA programs are Booth, Kellogg, Haas, and Stern,

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For sure. Went from making ~$130k in consulting before school to ~$350k TC now 2 years out of school. Made several lifelong friends. Had a great time. Actually learned a lot, looking back on it.

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McK4 - Not at Google, but I’m in Tech with an MBA, have hired someone for my team with an MBA and am actively hiring right now for another role and might hire another person with an MBA (though also might not - depends on the candidate).
Also - if interested in the Bay Area and based in the US feel free to dm me

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Did my MBA part time at night while working a few years back. This was a few years ago when I’d actually go to work 5 days a week, then go to campus at night 2-3 days depending on course load.

The time commitment between classes and projects was brutal but I thought worth it. Taught me serious time management, prioritization, and presentation skills. Additionally I met some great people in a ton of different companies. Recommend you do in person if possible, more than 50% of the value is the interacting IMO.

I didn’t have to pay for it out of pocket so I can’t give a complete answer on the monetary value. I will say there is absolutely no way I’d pay ~$80-100k if I was doing it fully remote.

likehelpful

Where were you prior to MBA and now? Comp wise.... especially curious how the part time MBA makes a difference, since I'm enrolled in one now as well..thanks!

helpful

$120k>$280k after a 2-year vacation. Yeah I’d say it was worth it

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100% for me. Even without the significant pay bump, it completely changed my perspective on so many things. Plus all the fun trips and parties 🎊

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Completed my MBA from the highest ranked school here in Canada. Post MBA salaries are not worth it here. Program driven by international students looking for easier immigration options. From a financial perspective not worth it because a selected few make above 150k. From a social lens, parties galore. Made insane connections and lifelong friends.

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Yep Rotman grad

I have a close friend who has an MBA from NYU and it's been almost 10 years since he has graduated and he is STILL paying off student loans, HOWEVER, he learned the finance system and understood that student loans is good debt and is able to invest his money to grow while paying it off.

If you simply want to get the degree to get a higher paying job to save more money, unfortunately that's the wrong way to go. You have to understand finanace and know that the money you didn't spend on paying off that loan you have invested it to grow while you're not looking at it. it's the way of the USA and there is no other way around it.

likesmart

Student loan debt is not good debt unless you can get your interest rate below 3%. That person likely made more in the market but that doesn't mean it was the right choice.

Yes, interest rates have been low for about 5 years, but you couldn't refinance a 10 year note below 4% in 2011-15.

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I had an amazing time, lived abroad (in 2 different continents), met some great people, then got a job in strategy and more than doubled my salary.

I even learned a few things!

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Absolutely. Went in with $100K salary; making $250 2 years out.

Not only that, but there are some opportunities open to MBAs that I wouldn’t have even been considered for if I didn’t have it. That continues well after you exit. The stamp alone is a life long benefit.

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Absolutely. By a wide margin. But if you go for it, get it from a top tier school. Helps a lot with network

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Definitely an outlier but I did a pt MBA (evening classes in person while working) and went from 55K salary to over 200K now a year out of my MBA. Went from R&D in bio pharma to FAANG

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Wow that’s great! I am also planning to switch from R&D and finishing my MBA next month.

In most cases, MBAs are a scam. But y’all not ready for this conversation

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