MBA is it worth 180k?

Oct 6, 2018 31 Comments

I'm an engineering manager at Amazon in the bay area. I have been in this role for 2yrs (previously a swe for 8yrs).

I have recently started exploring the option of pursuing an MBA but most of the top schools (Berkeley, Stanford, Wharton) in the area have tuition fee of 185k for the whole program (2-3yrs).

I'm interested in learning the curriculum and exploring this option but the price tag is putting me off. I'm not sure if it would be worth spending so much if it doesn't add enough value to my career.

Thoughts by any engineering managers who did an MBA from these schools are welcome.


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TOP 31 Comments
  • Google


    They don't charge 180k because the program is worth 180k as an investment in yourself, they charge 180k because they can as top schools - supply and demand.
    Oct 7, 2018 0
  • eBay YAgV34
    Not worth it! Also 180k is not the real investment you also need to consider the missed earnings if u do full time. If u have a TC of let’s say 250k then the investment would actually be closer to 680k for 2 years. Ridiculous
    Oct 7, 2018 0
  • New EVlp62
    Dont you have high enough FANG TC that 180k over 2-3 years is insignificant?
    Oct 6, 2018 4
    • Amazon dunmatter
      Fair point. 180k is significant for me which is why looking to take inputs from others though this post
      Oct 6, 2018
    • Apple EXQB54
      What kind of comment is this? Not even fang TC is high enough to call 60k/yr insignificant
      Oct 8, 2018
  • Microsoft TellMyWifi
    It’s not worth it. Build up years of experience and kickass at your job. It’ll pay off in the same way but without the financial investment.
    Oct 6, 2018 0
  • Amazon tRzV31
    MBA is a networking degree. Not worth almost 200k debt. Though it may make sense of you are trying to transition to a PM role.
    Oct 7, 2018 6
    • Oath OPnd70
      Ah, I'd say no. EMs make more.
      Oct 7, 2018
    • Intel Tsc
      I mean the original comment on asking an EM to do MBA for transiting into PM doesn't make sense if EMs make more money.
      Oct 7, 2018
  • Intel / Mktg nononsense
    What do you want to do with your career? Answer depends on what your goals are.

    Do you want to switch careers? Not just dev to product manager, but fundamentally change and go into finance or brand management or ???

    Do you want to change companies? As someone else said, one of the largest values you get from an MBA is the network. They are great if you need to open doors at new companies.

    In general, MBAs aren't as valuable as they used to be. I do think only top tier MBAs make sense, and then only if you know specifically what you want to get out of them. Each school is also different, so you will pick your school based on what you want to do (Wharton - finance, kellogg - marketing, stanford - entrepreneurship, etc.)
    Oct 7, 2018 1
    • Apple vYfX46
      I agree w @nononsense’s approach. Plan your carrier path first, see how you can get there with and without the MBA. Compare the impact of the non-productive time you are about to endure. Think about what is holding you from doing it organically at amazon. If you are to switch away from engineering management do you have experience in product/business management so you know what you are about to jump into?
      Oct 7, 2018
  • Apple GtCI06
    90k per year is roughly 150k pre-tax. If you’re making for example a high TC like 450k, it means a third of your income flies. That’s not negligible
    Oct 6, 2018 1
    • Apple GtCI06
      Just saying this because is see OPs point on asking the actual ROI for this
      Oct 6, 2018
  • Amazon 12356.$/8/
    Go to a company that pays for MBA. Amazon is frugal
    Oct 7, 2018 5
    • Amazon 12356.$/8/
      As far as I know, Deloitte, McKinsey, BCG pays for your MBA. From tech companies, no idea
      Oct 7, 2018
    • Amazon / Product 📦 3
      Deloitte, MBB, etc don’t pay for MBAs for everyone. Only the special ones at the company get this benefit. Just adding this detail in the event anyone thinks consulting companies are just handing out free tuition.
      Oct 9, 2018
  • Microsoft Jeph bezos
    You’re already a manager at one of the top tech companies in the world. MBA is overkill at this point and it won’t help you climb the corporate latter any more than another 2 years as a level 6 would. Save your money.
    Oct 7, 2018 0
  • Cisco Avr1UsK
    May not help get you a better job. But definitely worth the ego boost. Plus all the fun of being at college !
    Oct 7, 2018 0


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