Is the pivot from software engineering to a B-school career worth it?

Capital One / Eng
UncleBobs

Capital One Eng

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500 Startups
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Aug 30 18 Comments

Let's say you have a passion for both engineering and product management related roles and are good at both. Is the pivot worth the trouble of going to b-school comp wise?

TC: 230 (DC)
YoE: 7

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TOP 18 Comments
  • LinkedIn ugjM43
    Not at your comp. just try and switch ladders. Capital should support that.
    Aug 30 2
    • Capital One / Eng
      UncleBobs

      Capital One Eng

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      OP
      This is fair. C1 would support a transition. I've built decent relationships with folks in product and have a path forward if I wanted to pivot internally.
      Sep 2
    • LinkedIn ugjM43
      It will be infinitely easier when you already know the business and the people. Talk about what kind of role and the problems you want to work on and see what they’ll offer.
      Sep 2
  • Chase
    ptgi36

    Chase

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    Neuberger Berman
    ptgi36more
    Lol if you’re 230 TC and you are thinking about B school then you are too dumb to have that high of comp
    Aug 30 1
    • Capital One / Eng
      UncleBobs

      Capital One Eng

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      OP
      Thanks boss.
      Sep 2
  • Tableau Kaczynski
    You can switch without doing an MBA if so inclined. I did. I dunno if I’d recommend it or not, and likely not for comp in the short term (longer term it becomes a more complicated equation). There are other pluses and minuses and it is hard to go back the other direction.
    Aug 30 2
    • Capital One / Eng
      UncleBobs

      Capital One Eng

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      OP
      That fuzzy area you hit on for the longer term is where I'm trying to get a better read. What factors complicate the equation for long term in your eyes?
      Sep 2
    • Tableau Kaczynski
      I think if you’re doing well it doesn’t make much sense short term because dev comp has exploded and typically PM will end up a bit less. My mention of longer term was for the positive, basically it can help insulate you from having to keep up with every new framework and faddish technology and griding leetcode. I suspect too their will be an turning point with the ridiculous comp and PM being a relatively less common role, proportionately, *might* be less affected. Finally, past a certain point the upward trajectory of engineering positions gets pretty difficult and I think given the business exposure and relatively fewer people with engineering backgrounds you may have a better shot moving upwards especially at director and above. A lot of those are subjective takes and I’m mainly offering some reasons it could make sense longer term, because again immediate term if high TC is the goal, given the market right now I don’t think it makes sense.
      Sep 2
  • Akamai Technologies / IT UyUP40
    Agreed - I did the pivot and regret it - not only you lose 2 years of peak productivity (translating to anywhere between 5-15% salary) but also u are considered “generalist” and apparently they are not in demand - it took me 2 years after mba to find a job that I would consider as good paying job (I finished Mba from top 5 school) - You already have a good pay - I will recommend what above user said
    Aug 30 1
    • Capital One / Eng
      UncleBobs

      Capital One Eng

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      500 Startups
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      OP
      I appreciate your insight
      Sep 2
  • Apple onepunch
    The best way to switch is to do a startup and be reasonably successful
    Aug 30 2
    • Chase
      ptgi36

      Chase

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      Neuberger Berman
      ptgi36more
      One paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhnch
      Aug 30
    • Capital One / Eng
      UncleBobs

      Capital One Eng

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      OP
      I've seen this turn out well too. This is something I've been considering if I can keep from taking too big of a pay cut.
      Sep 2
  • NIO L4ADC
    You don’t need a MBA to be a product manager. So if you are passionate about it, gain some experience at it in your current org and then evaluate. Do note that being a PM is “easier” from a hands-on work perspective vs an engineer so first figure out how much being hands on is important to you? Also like others have pointed out, your pay will take a hit at levels below Director/Sr Director. A director of engineering does way more people management than a director of PM.
    Aug 30 1
    • Capital One / Eng
      UncleBobs

      Capital One Eng

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      500 Startups
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      OP
      Appreciate this insight. I do have some avenues to product management in my current company based on relationships I've built. Definitely hear you on the people management piece. At least at my current company director+ gets an admin to make things a little bit easier. Which means all of us 1 level lower need to do all the things they do when we're stretching but without an assistant.
      Sep 2
  • Intel / Finance jamjams
    Lol post MBA salary is like 140TC
    Aug 30 1
    • Capital One / Eng
      UncleBobs

      Capital One Eng

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      500 Startups
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      OP
      Typically, yes. I would have an offer much higher than that if I boomeranged to any of my past or current gigs though.
      Sep 2
  • Autolist eFks14
    Your opportunity cost is too high it's not worth it. But if you are fired/ retiring it's good to have something to do
    Aug 30 0