Is MBA worth it?

Groupon BoredCSGuy
Jun 22 413 Comments

250k tuition. 2 years lost income. Making only 200k out of MBA doing consulting. From a comp perspective MBA seems like a bad financial deal.

Are there any benefits to getting a top tier MBA?

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TOP 413 Comments
  • New 1hgty45
    I have an MBA from University of Washington Foster School and it was completely worth it. They have one of the best ROIs for cost to career opportunity post-grad. On average students pay off their loans in 4 years and greatly increase there income. My advice would be to really know what you want to get from it and pick a program that fits with that goal. Some jobs you really don’t need it. But I would have done it either way. It’s also a great way to make career transition if that’s what your looking for.
    Jun 22 20
    • Microsoft gakP50
      I complete agree with 1hgty45. I'd love to have an MBA. It provides a common language and understanding especially at higher level positions and adds to career longevity. I don't think it's worth it in the short term in many cases. Also UW Foster is highly underrated. Faculty is top notch and would compare favorably to any of the traditionally top ranked programs. I've also heard excellent things about the classroom format and atmosphere. I'm strongly considering saving up and applying for the program myself in a couple of years. Not really for the credential as much as for the skills, knowledge, and network.
      Jun 25
    • Facebook / Other
      Janitorque

      Facebook Other

      BIO
      Data scientist
      Janitorquemore
      Skills? Picked up at an MBA program? Lol - good luck with that, unless you mean hard drinking skills.
      Jun 25
    • Amazon jonnb
      Is there a cutoff in age that would make an MBA be pointless? And for those who have the UW MBA, is it the standard one or the tech MBA? Does it matter if its online, bothell or Seattle?
      Jun 25
    • Amazon Xode
      All the comments above won't convince anyone to pay 200K+ for MBA. Learning skills is not related to getting MBA. Anyone with a considerable good IQ can self learn.

      MBA is good for making connections and boosting self confidence so that people can think that now they can be successful. It's like a cool aid, if you are drinking it then you want everyone to drink and like it
      Jun 25
    • Intuit / Product
      BlindPM

      Intuit Product

      PRE
      Stealth Worker
      BlindPMmore
      Have a MBA from a top 5. As much as I’ve tried to think otherwise, it just wasn’t worth it for me. As someone with a business background, much of the coursework felt repetitive - my engineer peers, however, got a lot out of it since it was all new for them. I also think many of the schools are still following traditional academic models vs adapting to more hands-on / learning by doing (ex. work on a go-to-market strategy for a startup , launch a product, manage a portfolio etc). I guess this depends on the school but electives offered this type of learning that I was really itching for but it just came too late in the process.
      Jun 25
  • Nutanix / Eng syjdtub
    Generally it’s not worth it. Only consider if it’s Harvard/Stanford/UPenn.
    Jun 22 4
    • Groupon BoredCSGuy
      OP
      Yeah but I’m asking for the elite MBAs. They seem like bad investments too for the same reason
      Jun 22
    • Nutanix / Eng syjdtub
      Thing is that some of those guys and hit it off with some crazy connections. Those crazy connections = great opportunities.
      Jun 22
    • Groupon BoredCSGuy
      OP
      And you can’t do that while working at fang?
      Jun 22
    • Uber whales
      Fang connection is not the type of connection you can get at top MBA. The later worths every penny if you can leverage that.
      Jun 25
  • Uber / Mgmt
    GoronGuy

    Uber Mgmt

    PRE
    Uber, Gametime, Apple, Goldman Sachs, 3M, Medtronic, SendGrid, Sphero
    GoronGuymore
    Depends on what you want to do. I got my MBA from a top 15 program, but I was a science major changing fields so it was worth it for me for sure. My income trippled out of school.

    You have to evaluate it for yourself, it doesn't have to be 2 years of lost income, you can do a 1 year, or also a work+MBA program, lots of options.

    Overall, I think it's worth it if you believe you can leverage the network to help get good role
    Jun 25 6
    • Uber / Mgmt
      GoronGuy

      Uber Mgmt

      PRE
      Uber, Gametime, Apple, Goldman Sachs, 3M, Medtronic, SendGrid, Sphero
      GoronGuymore
      First; why does everyone respond wanting to know TC? It's like blind only thinks that anyone's opinion or information is valid if they are rich.

      You realize a ton of execs at uber and other tech companies are a product of right place right time more than skill, knowledge, or talent right? They got in early, rode a wave to the top of growth based promotion, and are now in way way way over their heads.

      Anyway, I make over 600, so if you think that number is high enough to value my opinion that's great, if not, well fuck off cuz your priorities are not in the right place haha you should open your mind more...
      Jun 25
    • Indeed getlikeme
      ^ lol love this
      Jun 25
    • PayPal / Eng kirakKohli
      Uber massacred Microsoft
      Jun 26
    • New / Consultant
      High IQ

      New Consultant

      PRE
      Microsoft
      BIO
      Original Rude Boy
      High IQmore
      @kirakkohli but Uber will die soon
      Jun 26
    • PayPal / Eng kirakKohli
      Why do you think so. As consumers that should be the last thing we should be hoping for. Uber (and likes) has made lives so easy. Otherwise the taxi drivers monopoly and unreasonable fare prices were a nightmare to deal with in pre-uber era.
      Jun 26
  • Nope. I was a FANG PM and one of my friends/coworkers did a Harvard MBA, then did the whole consulting thing and eventually returned to FANG PM doing the same job making the same money.
    Jun 22 12
    • Amazon jmkL35
      Agree most engineers don’t make a lot of money in long run but only few distinguished do
      Jun 25
    • Facebook / Other
      Janitorque

      Facebook Other

      BIO
      Data scientist
      Janitorquemore
      Yeah, that not having a talent part, it's a bit of a turn off. Not only do I disagree with the statistically weak assertions you make, I also recoil at the notion of working with jargon-spewing monkeys.
      Jun 25
    • SpaceX / Ops iNcu15
      Imagine thinking $200k means shit in the Bay
      Jun 25
    • Bloomberg / Eng
      FSCK<GO>

      Bloomberg Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      FSCK<GO>more
      Ex-FANG and saw much of the same thing.
      Jun 25
    • Panda Restaurant Group / Biz Dev ssssssh
      I think if you love coding then it doesn't make sense to do an MBA... however, if you want to move to the business/management side then MBA could make sense. I don't think one's career is purely a monetary decision since it's literally your everyday life
      Jun 25
  • Uber / Mgmt
    GoronGuy

    Uber Mgmt

    PRE
    Uber, Gametime, Apple, Goldman Sachs, 3M, Medtronic, SendGrid, Sphero
    GoronGuymore
    I see lots of comments here about it needing to be a top school.

    Having attended a top school I actually disagree. I have many friends from top 50 that are doing just as well, if not better than any of my Wharton classmates. Use the networks and pick the school strategically and you'll find a lot of value. For example, if you want entrepreneurship, pick Babson or Stanford, if you want consulting or finance pick a classic like HBS or booth.

    Lots of these schools are hyper focused on an industry as a way for the school to differentiate, and it is very effective, and can help your career a lot.

    Block out all the nonsense on this chain filled with guys clearly having a pissing contest about TC, and realize they all probably are trying to act big while crying at home about how shitty those comp or life is in general...

    Go get an MBA, it's super fun, it's valuable, and if you pick the right school for you it can be life changing in a great way.
    Jun 25 8
    • Uber whales
      Is 600 the new 350 now?
      Jun 25
    • Dunno
      Jun 25
    • SAP PLyV11
      This guy from Amazon is so full of shit. “I’m making over 600k too” -> KMA 600k.
      Jun 26
    • It's what my w-2 says 🤷‍♀️
      Jun 26
    • VMware / Product lRQQ72
      Agree with Amazon. MBA is good if you need to open the door. But once inside faang the work, product you launch conferences you speak at will determine the promotions not of you went to Stanford or HBS... The networks are great but you can get the same playing poker, golf or skiing. And save 200k in tuition
      Jun 26
  • Apple PlBV44
    There are 2 type of people in the world!! People who have MBA from top 10 Ivy League schools and people who don't... plain and simple!!
    Jun 25 7
    • VMware yehaaaa
      Wharton is not an Ivy League university. It is a school within UPenn which is an Ivy League university. Figure it out Wharton.
      Jun 25
    • Apple PlBV44
      Who cares my friend!! I make a million a year!! You can suck up your VMWare TC shut up
      Jun 25
    • Uber / Mgmt
      GoronGuy

      Uber Mgmt

      PRE
      Uber, Gametime, Apple, Goldman Sachs, 3M, Medtronic, SendGrid, Sphero
      GoronGuymore
      Haha dude, you can say Wharton, people know what that means and that it's a school I side of UPenn... It's as famous as HBS.
      Jun 25
    • Western Digital Seagate
      There’re two kinds of people in the world, assholes and non assholes.
      Jun 25
    • Uber whales
      Almost correct. There are 2 type of people in the world. People who have MBA from Harvard/Stanford and people who don't. Top 10 is just a PR stun.
      Jun 25
  • New / Eng
    Microsoft.

    New Eng

    PRE
    IBM
    Microsoft.more
    MBA == lol
    Jun 22 0
  • Bloomberg / Eng
    FSCK<GO>

    Bloomberg Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    FSCK<GO>more
    A top MBA is a like an adult summer camp after you've busted your a$$ as an investment banker or management consultant for a few years. Those two fields constitute about 70% of a given class. The rest are your special forces, FAANG engineers, IITians, Bill and Melinda gates foundation fellows (and similar).

    I calculated it would cost me $500k+ all-in. I then asked myself, will this MBA earn me $50k+ more by itself that I would not have earned otherwise (assuming 10 years payoff) and sadly the answer is no

    Only scenarios it works out.

    1. MBB or your bank sponsors you since it's a prequisite to advance. You won't get past a certain level without it.
    2. You have a shitty $60k a year and $180k a year is a more than you will ever make without an MBA.
    3. You are former special forces and the top schools want you. You will pay a small fraction of the list price. Smae goes for qualified underrepresented minorities. You could be Carlos Slim's kid and be considered a Latino and go for free.
    4. You are Asian or a Russian oligarch (or related) and mommy/daddy/uncle will pay for you to get the skills needed to help run the family business.
    Jun 25 10
    • Apple PlBV44
      It shows that you are inexperienced
      Jun 25
    • Google blah🤯
      @FSCK - agree with you
      Jun 25
    • Uber whales
      @FSCK - it is nothing like that. It is just delusional to think you can measure future gains well enough to tell an investment from a gamble in this case.

      It is not supposed to be net positive for everyone on average. If it is, it worths nothing. It is up to you to make sure it is positive for you.
      Jun 25
    • New YVad32
      Guys like u treat everyone else like “their”dumb and they can’t stop ppl from gaming the system...Carlos slim’s wouldn’t even check the box on Latino bc s/he wouldn’t have to apply. The ghosn children showed you that, and for some reason you think having military, and global contacts running large scales organizations isn’t worth it...you’re right, an mba wouldn’t work for you
      Jun 25
    • Bloomberg / Eng
      FSCK<GO>

      Bloomberg Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      FSCK<GO>more
      *they're

      As I said
      Is it with it? Maybe.
      Is it worth 500k of my one money? No

      Note EMBA and part-time programs are not the same things as their full time counterparts and have correspondingly less shine.

      I would do it if I a) I wasn't already making good money and b) I had $250k that I felt like spending.

      Personally, I'm looking at taking advantage of the fact that Bloomberg will pay for your CFA Level I prep work and use that a springboard to other things.
      Jun 26
  • Microsoft
    DjenNow

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Google, Amazon, Facebook
    DjenNow more
    Yea, I don’t see much value either
    Jun 22 3
    • Facebook huawd
      Unless it's an M5 MBA.
      Jun 25
    • Lyft PcKT80
      You mean M7?
      Jun 28
    • Facebook Ufdtedg
      Yeah
      Jun 28
  • PayPal its_andrew
    Yes if you get a hot wife from the program.
    Jun 25 0
  • eBay susbegbj
    If you are talking about elite MBA, it’s absolutely worth it in the long term. There are a lot less good product managers compared to engineers. The career growth is a lot more compared to what you can achieve being an engineer
    Jun 22 7
    • Uber djib46gd
      Bs. I've met so called top MBA PMS and its all crud. They cant even outperform junior PMS who are highly motivated and more tech savvy.
      Jun 22
    • General Motors GBqM81
      Agree^ . You can get a lot of mobility by familiarizing yourself with and mastering computer languages. VBA in python are powerful and good ways to impress management
      Jun 25
    • General Motors GBqM81
      VBA *and python
      Jun 25
    • Uber djib46gd
      More like SQL and SQL and excel. That's the lifeblood of a pm
      Jun 25
    • eBay susbegbj
      @djib46gd
      That’s what you think. But end of the day these guys are the ones who excel in their careers, like reaching executive levels, managing startups early on and making right decisions at right time.
      Jun 25
  • Bain & Company uqRH20
    MBAs, management consulting, etc. are some of the biggest 20th century SCAMS! Worthless degrees and jobs. Avoid at all cost. Do a coding or CS degree.
    Jun 22 6
    • Google blah🤯
      I am curious too
      Jun 25
    • SAP Man
      🍿
      Jun 25
    • Google cookie4u
      Tell us more
      Jun 25
    • Two Sigma blarh
      Ya i never understood why people in business school went into consulting instead of finance
      Jun 25
    • Bain & Company uqRH20
      I wouldn’t say it’s a common sentiment here—not yet—but it’s becoming more pronounced
      Jul 8
  • ANCILE Solutions, Inc. eNBa60
    You should google poetsandquants and read their articles. That’ll help you. FT MBAs can come out ahead if they crush the GMAT. They can get Full rides scholarships + paid Fellowships/internships so the “lost income” isn’t a big deal, especially with some of the signing bonuses they get upon post grad. Consulting is just one avenue. You don’t need an elite MBA to do that. There’s way more firms than just McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. Deloitte, KPMG, PWC, Accenture, Infosys, EY, etc hire a ton of MBAs every year. If you’re totally sure you want to do consulting you can always go to a 1 year MBA at Oxford, Kellogg, INSEAD, or Cornell.
    Jun 22 10
    • ANCILE Solutions, Inc. eNBa60
      No, those are NOT executive MBA programs. Exec programs are part time. Many of the FT European MBA programs are 1 year and some of the US schools are catching on. Look at their class profiles lol. Are you just trolling? The schools themselves give the Scholarships. If you look at GMATclub at the school threads you can see the awards the admitted students are getting from the schools.
      Jun 22
    • Bloomberg zvlE26
      MBA programs are always Cash cow. I never see a good MBA program with "full ride scholarship". Not sure what you are referring to
      Jun 25
    • Airbnb 575;:/6899
      Infosys?
      Jun 25
    • ANCILE Solutions, Inc. eNBa60
      @Bloomberg, it’s more complex than that. The Schools offer Full Rides or near Full rides to students with good/exceptional profiles. They’re subsidized by the other FT students like the Foreign ones and the students who applied in later rounds (or borderline profiles) who must pay full tuition for entry. In addition, the PT programs pay full tuition for access to the same faculty. All of those groups are the “cash cow” that you’re referring to. Again, look at the GMATclub awards section. People refer to their awards in dollar amounts. Look at the cost of the school and you can see whether that was a partial or full. For example, Duke gave out 90K total to a guy. That would be a partial. Anderson gave a guy 100K/year (full ride).
      Jun 26
    • Amazon jafrbfi
      I'm a full-time MBA student at an M7 school on a full ride. To be fair, $36k is coming from GI Bill/Yellow Ribbon program, but another $70k/yr from the school. I attended my school's Scholarship Donor event, and there were plenty of other students on similar scholarships there.

      To answer OP's question - it depends (of course). Full time > Exec as far as networking and recruiting opportunities. Exec is really only worth the extra expense it if your company is paying. Rankings DEFINITELY matter for many classic MBA jobs like banking and consulting - take caution lower than #10-#15, but rankings matter much less if you wanna stay in tech.

      But to be honest, I'm thinking of adding an MS in CS at the end of my MBA and going back to a tech role. I've definitely learned a lot of useful stuff, but I've never staid up all night working on a financial model or slide deck. I have, however, stayed up all night programming for a hobby project, then gone to work only to come home and do it again. I like coding so I think that's what I'm gonna do in the end of the day.
      Jun 27
  • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
    The percentage of MBA among wealthiest people speaks for itself.
    Jun 22 13
    • Amazon prod:~#
      Jeff makes a little more than that
      Jun 22
    • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
      Maybe jeff’s girlfriend’s bff
      Jun 22
    • Amazon copycat
      E*Trade
      If you’re not good at reasoning, no education will help you!
      And TC?
      Jun 23
    • Microsoft / Eng micro-hard
      Percentage of MBA among wealthiest people speaks that wealthy people like the paper that says they are MBA.
      Jun 25
    • Facebook / Other
      Janitorque

      Facebook Other

      BIO
      Data scientist
      Janitorquemore
      Current state is not equivalent to future state.
      Jun 25
  • Microsoft / Product
    Brazuka

    Microsoft Product

    PRE
    Bain & Company
    Brazukamore
    If you want to stay as an engineer (or ladder up engineering track) then it doesnt. MBA is worth for people to career switch from low paid business roles to high paying business roles. It was worth for me that made 55k working 60h weeks in my country to move to US and get paid 200k for 40h weeks
    Jun 22 6
    • OpenTable rIMd58
      Not everyone is interested in being an engineer
      Jun 25
    • M&T Bank Px14
      Brasileiro?
      Jun 25
    • Nvidia he!$enberg
      Now that is a good reason to do MBA. If you are going for the experience/knowledge it is worth it. But a lot of people working in engineering/product feels that MBA is gonna somehow magically give them a crazy career boost.
      Jun 25
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      Bain & Company
      Brazukamore
      @px14 yes
      Jun 25
    • Salesforce / Mktg blind7827
      This is exactly what I did. Non-engineer that went from $60K before to $180K immediately after with an MBA (top school but not H/S) in the middle.
      Jun 26
  • Expedia produxtBrah
    yes because you have a one year career after your mba and nothing from the mba at all helps you in anyway. totally not worth it.. totally.

    y'all are dumb
    Jun 25 4
    • Amazon testingPM
      Salty? Not making enough? You should get a Snickers
      Jun 25
    • Expedia produxtBrah
      it's called sarcasm son
      Jun 25
    • Expedia produxtBrah
      and i make more than enough
      Jun 25
    • Amazon testingPM
      Butttttt did you get that Snickers??
      Jun 25
  • Goldman Sachs otoh
    I had been to a talk by Joi Ito. He had mentioned a trend which I think is very true.
    Pre 2000: ideas used to come from MBAs, it used to attract capital. And then Engineers used to be the implementers.
    Post 2000: ideas come from engineers, they implement it by brute force by sheer will. Capital moves towards most crazy idea. Time comes when the idea needs to scale, that’s when MBAs come in. To make it sustainable.

    It was not meant to belittle engineers or MBAs. But to state the fact that both roles are required in different stages of a firm. Just the order has changed.

    Now with that context, IMO, MBA still holds great value. But it is valuable as long as somebody other than you, your spouse or your parents are paying for it. The biggest benefit of MBA is the network. To certain extent these days it’s available through any course in a school. But during MBA it’s one thing that is actively pursued.
    Jun 25 2
    • Amazon rhmbs
      I don’t think I’ll need help from an MBA holder to scale my company. Sure, I’ll give them some suitable boring house keeping work but they will not be needed for the survival of my company.
      Jun 25
    • Microsoft Bwahah4!
      The MBAs I work with, and I work with quite a few, have skill sets more suited to managing an already large ish, somewhat stable company. Don’t get me wrong, this is an important skill set for tons of places, but outside of maybe Stanford which has a huge startup bend I wouldn’t look to an MBA for scaling/initial growth and GTM
      Jun 26
  • New / Legal
    k21255

    New Legal

    PRE
    Playboy, The Walt Disney Company, Seyfarth Shaw, Paul Hastings
    BIO
    Labor and Employment; Intellectual Property
    k21255more
    I see your POV -- MBA's starting to go down the line of law school scams.
    Jun 22 2
    • Groupon BoredCSGuy
      OP
      MBA bubble is bursting. Even the most elite MBA program at Harvard saw big declines in enrollment and applications
      Jun 22
    • Panda Restaurant Group / Biz Dev ssssssh
      That's been the case with all boom cycles though. As soon as the economy slows, enrollment at schools goes up again.
      Jun 25
  • New xQyV36
    I went for an evening MBA at Fosters (UW) along with a bunch of Microsoft and Amazon people back in 2010. Microsoft paid half of the tuition cost and my out of pocket was 30K over 3 years. What matters is what you want to get out of it. It's great for changing careers into Management consulting and Finance. I wanted to become an entrepreneur and learn how to run an organization. Now own 2 businesses (cash flow biz) worth about 1.5mil each. It was absolutely worth it for me. My mindset was quite insular when I went it.
    Jun 25 4
    • Wells Fargo qUyB01
      Nice! What kind of businesses do you run? Looking for a side gig of my own and curious to learn what it is you do
      Jun 25
    • New xQyV36
      I own a pet products company and a kickboxing studio. Dont own a pet and dont know kickboxing either :)
      Jun 25
    • Wells Fargo qUyB01
      It’s your own company or a franchising opportunity?
      Jun 25
    • New xQyV36
      Pet products is my own. The kickboxing studio is a franchise called ilovekickboxing.
      Jun 25
  • Perficient redbirds
    Tier 1 (top 5) B-Schools (Wharton, Stanford, HBS, Sloan (MIT), Booth (UChicago) - Overwhelmingly worth it.

    Tier 2 (6 - 20) B-Schools - Depends on current role/income and whether you want to change the scope of your career (e.g. from engineering to consulting)

    Anything below top 20 - Not worth it unless someone else is paying for it
    Jun 26 8
    • Expedia produxtBrah
      Disagree, it goes to about top 25-30. After that they're all pretty trash bar a few state flagships
      Jun 28
    • Google htks
      But the rankings always change outside the top 3 so there's not really a clear cut-off.
      Jun 28
    • Expedia produxtBrah
      sure but i'm talking about reputation not actual rankings
      Jun 28
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      Bain & Company
      Brazukamore
      You're pushing the edge on that. anyhting beyond top 20 makes little sense for full time MBA (it might for part time)
      Jun 28
    • Amazon / Product dInl50
      Negatron. T25 is usually the rule of thumb.
      Jun 28