Looking for advice: is a Harvard/Stanford MBA worth the time and expenses?

Google noobi
May 13 62 Comments

I recently joined Google as L3 with zero work experience. My long term goal (in 15 years) is to be a Director/VP at Google (maybe a different team). I may also decide to pursue a venture of my own after the said time period. Will an MBA be helpful towards this goal (consider 2 years of time investment and resulting debt)? I have been talking to a lot of folks and I get mixed responses. Any advice/opinion is appreciated. Thanks

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TOP 62 Comments
  • Facebook ⭕w⭕
    Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But more importantly, I think it's kind of sad that your 15 year goal in life is to be a director / vp at Google. Really? You need to dream a little bigger kid.
    May 13 10
    • Microsoft Sexybeast
      Just curious, what would be a bigger dream? To be the next Einstein?
      May 13
    • VMware TigerShrof
      @facebook : Mark is that you ? Congratulations on your success.
      May 13
    • Oracle pzd
      Honestly, can't you guys think of a bigger dream than director/vp at Google? The emphasis is on "dream".
      May 13
    • Northrop Grumman HowCouldYu
      @OP an MBA doesn’t equate to CEO. I know you already know that but I just wanted to make sure it’s said. If you really wanna be CEO, you already know the path. It’s not CEO, or climbing the ladder.... go get that VC money or bootstrap your company amigo. You can do it
      May 13
    • Netflix / Eng sherules
      This answer is great but a bit naive and outdated especially in tech
      May 15
  • Deloitte broadway74
    Why not go part time and have google pay for it? Just take whatever max they reimburse a year so no out of pocket. If you plan on staying at google then it doesn’t matter how long it takes
    May 13 8
    • Autodesk DouP01
      Haas is a 2nd tier MBA, sorry
      May 13
    • Google nfsmw
      Yea, Haas and Chicago Booth have part time MBA but not ranked in top 3
      May 13
    • Microsoft HudiBaba!
      Satya was part time mba for Chicago. Just saying 🤷‍♂️
      May 13
    • Thermo Fisher / Sales zeussical
      2nd tier since when? Deloitte said top 20. Haas is top 10.
      May 13
    • Oracle chloe5
      If your goal is stay at Google, then get them to pay for your MBA. Of course you will need to go part time.
      HaaS Berkley, Columbia Wharton exec program (for this u will need to be at least L5 I'd think). That said, Stanford and Harvard are certainly gr8 brand names. Ignore what others say. Becoming a Director or VP at Google isn't easy and is definitely a good goal. Recognize that your goals may change over the years. Good luck kid.
      May 13
  • Deloitte broadway74
    Definitely don’t quit google to do an mba. No one cares about the school once you have experience. Literally no one has ever asked me what school I went to
    May 13 2
    • Lyft ztni32
      I second this. If you can get great roles any great tech companies without an MBA then definitely do it. If you find that you hit a ceiling at those companies then maybe an MBA makes sense. Although I believe that leveraging that experience to go to a great startup is even better experience than an MBA. In summary, work really hard and ride the wave. When that wave runs out then get an MBA.
      May 13
    • F5 Networks buzz-word
      May I ask what’s your title?
      May 13
  • F5 Networks buzz-word
    MBA will take you to places. Coding won’t get most of the folks past an architect role by the time they retire.

    And people who say that MBA is all about networking, don’t know what they are talking about
    May 13 8
    • F5 Networks buzz-word
      Right out of the college, my first job was as a Director of a multi billion corporation.

      Work with CXOs of almost all companies I have been in. And people seek your advice not because you graduated from a top bschool, but because your advice is worth it.
      May 13
    • New KKnf67
      Completely wrong @buzz-word. What you just described is covered in a ugrad biz degree yet those same folks still go to b-school. Wonder why?

      B-school is all about networking. There's a reason why they do worse than ugrads on the same tests (even after multiple years of i-banking, trading, etc). Simply put, they're too busy traveling, drinking, and making connections, connections they'll later use to make sales.
      May 13
    • F5 Networks buzz-word
      Not everyone does an undergrad in Business. I don’t see the value in doing an undergrad as well as grad in business.

      Not everyone is into sales after an MBA. There is some merit in your points but I have to disagree that MBA is all about networking.
      May 13
    • New KKnf67
      Yet the scores of consultants, i-bankers, etc do. Perhaps they know something you don't?
      May 13
    • F5 Networks buzz-word
      Perhaps!
      May 13
  • Zillow Group P90x
    I asked myself this question for years and years. So, some advice.

    Don’t talk yourself out of it. You don’t even have the option yet. It’s tough to get in, period. The fact that you’re asking this question means you likely don’t have many ties to the alumni network or connections, which yes, will make it harder. I interviewed at HBS and attended a few interviewee events - and it is painfully clear how many folks were accepted the day they were born. You’re going to have to fight for it, and get a little lucky too.

    At 24, 25, 26 years old, it is absolutely worth it. Hands down. Not because it will get you to VP at Google, but because it will expose you to people, problems, and opportunities you can’t even think of now. If you stay in the Bay Area/tech, you’ll be leaps ahead in terms of how you present yourself and who you know. And if you ever choose to leave tech, you’ve got a great foundation to stand on. It’s more than a stepping stone, it’s a life experience. And it doesn’t make much of a career difference at 30, but at 40, 45, 50 - it will.

    It’s absolutely worth it while you’re single, your opportunity cost is low, and you’re open to relocating.

    I waited too long. I applied at 29, with TC at almost $400k. The opportunity cost was huge. I would be 31 when I graduated and tried to re-enter the market. It would have lowered my market value, not raised it. Now my ceiling will likely be Dir/VP level. If that’s your goal, no, you definitely don’t need it. But like the others here said: think bigger.

    Make an impact over the next 2-3 years, kick ass on your GMATs, and put your full effort towards your application when the time comes. Put the work in and stop second-guessing yourself.
    May 13 1
    • Netflix / Eng sherules
      Where did u go ? And why didn’t you do emba instead? Did you graduate or not? What’s your title now?
      May 15
  • Google / R&D
    vnzF53

    Google R&D

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    Google, WeWork
    vnzF53more
    Love this thread!
    May 13 0
  • Apple industry
    Create a poll dude
    May 13 0
  • PayPal Kkr15
    If you have to "think" about getting an MBA then you are not ready yet.
    May 13 1
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      Yes, when you see dem brochures, you will instantly feel a spark in you heart and weakness in your knees. You can't "think" or force this feeling.
      May 13
  • Assuming you can get into HBS or GSB, probably since you are young and the opportunity cost is low-ish.
    May 13 0
  • Microsoft / Eng
    MgIr74

    Microsoft Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    MgIr74more
    I thought about trying to get into a top MBA program a couple years ago. I got a 730 on the GMAT, but the opportunity cost is so high I don’t think I’ll do it.
    May 13 12
    • Netflix / Eng sherules
      Emba from top 10 is not the same as online
      May 16
    • Microsoft / Eng
      MgIr74

      Microsoft Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      MgIr74more
      Executive MBA?
      May 17
    • Google blah🤯
      Yea, online MBA has very less value addition
      May 17
    • Netflix / Eng sherules
      Yes executive. But only from top 10 school. Online mba I’d say is the same as full time from top 50+ - no one cares, waste of time and money
      May 17
    • Microsoft / Eng
      MgIr74

      Microsoft Eng

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      Amazon
      MgIr74more
      Oh ya I’ve heard online or less than top 10 isn’t worth it.
      May 17
  • Lyft lmpT52
    Harvard MBA yes. Stanford MBA not so much. Both are top tier if you want to do an MBA. If MBA is only a optional need for you then do it from Harvard. This assumes you can get into both. Once you reach GM or Director role in any of the FAANG then incremental value MBA adds is much lesser.
    May 13 7
    • Oracle chloe5
      Stanford is so elite. You cannot imagine the sheer amount of opportunities it presents in terms of people, and the exposure to a different type of thinking. Unless u r an entrepreneur who made it big without a US degree, having a Stanford or Harvard in your resume will open doors on own.
      May 13
    • Google nfsmw
      True, an MBA opens doors to great opportunities, but correct me if I am wrong, aren't the opportunities same as 4-6 years of tech+managerial experience at Google or similar?
      May 13
    • F5 Networks buzz-word
      Not any MBA, one from the top 5 is totally worth it.

      But it all depends upon what you want out of it and your career in general.
      May 13
    • Oracle Ninamyers
      Its mostly the networking part. in my honest opinion, if OP is looking to stay in tech, no need for an MBA.
      May 13
    • Netflix / Eng sherules
      Ninamyers - If you want to be dev or manager in tech - sure, no need. Definitely yes in every other case, any leadership or director-vote ambition above the lowest level of management in tech where you need no knowledge or experience or people skills to succeed
      May 15
  • Bloomberg Stan Ford
    If have ideas and you like politics go for it. To me it’s not worth it when I can make 500K at a hedge fund or Netflix.
    Jul 25 1
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      But do you make 500k tho?
      Jul 25