Author Topic: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement  (Read 9096 times)

ryanht13

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Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« on: February 13, 2015, 07:06:50 AM »
23 (with a fairly high paying job) and considering a top 25 MBA program in a couple of years:

I want to achieve FI very early, but then "work" in retirement. Early retirement work preferably involves an entrepreneurial combination of Real Estate, Small Business, and Investment Management. 

There is a math component to this, as I feel I could earn well over 100k (mid-60s now) after a quality, on-campus MBA. Also missing income for 2 years.
Then there is an emotional, gratification component. I feel I would enjoy business school and laying a foundation in finance/business for my ER work.

Do any Mustachians have MBAs? I am disciplined enough to not let my higher salary influence my spending. I welcome all opinions and advice.

rmendpara

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2015, 07:28:50 AM »
23 (with a fairly high paying job) and considering a top 25 MBA program in a couple of years:

I want to achieve FI very early, but then "work" in retirement. Early retirement work preferably involves an entrepreneurial combination of Real Estate, Small Business, and Investment Management. 

There is a math component to this, as I feel I could earn well over 100k (mid-60s now) after a quality, on-campus MBA. Also missing income for 2 years.
Then there is an emotional, gratification component. I feel I would enjoy business school and laying a foundation in finance/business for my ER work.

Do any Mustachians have MBAs? I am disciplined enough to not let my higher salary influence my spending. I welcome all opinions and advice.

So your total opportunity cost of getting your MBA is:
1) Tuition/fees
2) lost expected wages

I'll ignore living costs, since you'd pay that anyway.

In your case, many private top-25 programs are ~90k (+/- 10k), unless you happen to live in state and can attend Berkeley or a handful of other public ones. Let's assume you don't to be more conservative. Lost earnings will be roughly 140k (70 x 2) total comp and cash value of benefits. So a total opportunity cost of 230k (midpoint guesstimate).

In order to be "worth it" the value of your MBA, in my opinion, comes in 3 components:
1) expected increase in earnings (i.e. what your MBA will allow you to do that you likely couldn't do before... be careful not to confuse this with gross earnings). Ex: You get a post-MBA job paying 115k vs 65k prior, so your marginal benefit here is ~50k/yr.
2) personal satisfaction (i.e. how much more you can get laid now that you're cool?)
3) optionality in career (i.e. future earnings and opportunities, either financial or otherwise, that are potentially available to you due to your enhanced credentials and network and new/improved skills). Ex: You likely would work in the US forever at X total comp, but having your MBA helps you get into an intl. assignment (assuming this is valuable and something you want) but pays the same X total comp (any additional earnings fall into #1 above).

(1) is possible to come up with a reasonable estimate. (2) and (3) are much harder, but it's usually easier to back out (1) and determine if 2+3 will likely pay off during your career. Assuming a 5-year "normalization" period post-MBA (the time that your MBA really jumps you ahead... assuming that afterwards you either make or break it based on competence/ability/networking/etc anyway), in this scenario you will earn back ~250k in gross value within 5 years (roughly break even from just #1), and zero expected benefit afterwards (again, assuming you would make up for no MBA eventually but just take longer to get to the same place), plus benefits of (2) and (3).

Conclusion: Seems like you have a solid chance of paying it back, but it all hinges on your expected earnings without the MBA and if it really catapults you into a place with significantly better opportunities.

For what it's worth, I'm in a similar scenario, and am also considering going back for my MBA. I'm at a bit higher comp level, ~95 total comp, so the payback becomes a bit more challenging unless I get into big consulting, banking/research, top tier corp. finance, corp strategy, brand mgmt, etc. I'm also working in a place where I'd be expected to move into a sr. analyst role within 2-4 years (sort of up or out type place) where total comp is likely in the 120k range (base, bonus, cash value benefits, etc) which is also the level that most MBA new hires come in at.

Anyway, tough decision, but for me factors 2 and 3 are really what should help you decide. It's likely you will make back the cost roughly within 5 years, but that's also heavily dependent on your opportunities before your MBA and what they will be afterwards.

Good luck!

Retire-Canada

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2015, 07:28:55 AM »
Do any Mustachians have MBAs? I am disciplined enough to not let my higher salary influence my spending. I welcome all opinions and advice.

I have an engineering degree. Considered a number of M.XX degrees to boost my income as I spent 10yrs in the army post university [free education].

MBA was one of the options, but I ended up doing more advanced engineering and advanced project management studies.

Running into MBAs post my own studies I met a lot of useless people. This is not to say there aren't MBA folks who are amazing or that MBA degrees are useless. From the outside it seems to me a lot of people get them just 'cuz. They figure it's just something to do to advanced their careers. I think that leads to uselessness.

I'd look at the courses where you are considering going. Look at your career path and evaluate how you will apply the main areas of study. Be a bit ruthless in this regard.

If you can nail down how you will be better at your job go for it.If it's just sort of a vague I need an MBA 'cause other people have them who are where I want to be I'd skip it and develop your own education plan become a Rockstar at what you need to do.

Nobody asks Rockstars in companies to show them their degrees. They just swagger in the room listen, solve the problem and walk out to the next important meeting. Look at what will make you a Rockstar...will that be a MBA?

I ended up not getting any advanced degree, but I did complete most of the work for two M.Eng degrees. Once I got the knowledge I wanted I looked at what I would lose in income if I didn't got to work now vs. 1-2 more years to get 1-2 degrees.

I punched out and made well over $100K/yr because I was one of the most competent people in the company.

ThatGuy701

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2015, 07:29:00 AM »
It all depends on what your end goal is. If getting to ER as soon as you possibly can then getting your MBA wouldn't be a good choice.
However, if you want to get to ER so that you can do what you want to do for work well then your MBA may be a good choice now because that is what you would enjoy doing currently and who knows maybe you can start working on your own business ideas while getting your MBA.

When asking yourself these questions don't only focus on the money aspect. Focus on what your end goals are and what you need to do to achieve them. If you only focus on the money portion you will start making choices that don't make you happy.

Debtless in Texas

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2015, 07:30:21 AM »
In my particular segment of the marketing industry, an MBA is not necessary and is worth less than real world experience. I thought about it (and could have most of it paid by GI Bill), but the amount of $ that I would have to throw down is better spent earning interest.

That being said - consider it an investment. A top 25 program will probably be pretty expensive (I looked into UT and ouch!), but if it is something you want to do and will increase your earning potential in your career field, why not go for it? Look at it like an investment that will pay off 5, 10, or 20 years down the road.

I would really think hard about it. Will going to one of these top programs actually make you more than going to a state school for the MBA? Is it an ego thing or is it a reality that you have to have one of these names on your resume? Ultimately, a lot of jobs just want someone to have an MBA - be it HBS or Idaho State, if you suck at your job you wont move up. If you are a rock star, you will.

Hoosier Daddy

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2015, 07:34:41 AM »
I have thought about this as well. I have run the numbers and going to grad school or not I retire same time, but I'd have a much higher earning potential if I stayed.

That being said, MBA is also useful to switch careers if you hate what you do or want to do something in another city that doesn't have a lot of opportunities in what you do. So for me,I love Miami and work in manufacturing. If I wanted to move there I could get an MBA to switch to banking industry that is very in demand in that market.

Also if you want to take a sabbatical to do things you want to do while your young like hiking the US etc, ending that sabbatical with a MBA will make employers much less nervous than hiring someone who disappeared from the map for 3 years and then came back looking for a job.

JLee

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2015, 07:36:47 AM »
Can you get any tuition reimbursement from your employer, or do you just want to do on-campus full time school?

so.mpls

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2015, 07:54:53 AM »
What it comes down to is if you actually want to put the time and work in.  At 23 years old and going to a top 25 program, you almost certainly will come out ahead financial.  Even if you retire at 35 and pay $200k for your degree, you'll only need to average ~25k per year in salary over what you'd be making otherwise to cover the cost of the program.  You'll crush that.


MrsK

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2015, 08:01:36 AM »
Every major corporation and many smaller ones will pay 100% of your MBA.  You can't go full time as you need to be a full-time employee, but I found that getting an MBA while working was a great approach as I could use things I learned in class immediately.  I also did all of my projects with real work-- For example, I approached the PR department about what kind of research they needed and finished my thesis project while also greasing the skids for a promotion a few years later.

I have never understood going full-time for an MBA.  Over 10 years I had 3 employers pay 100% of my tuition and send me on some awesome retreats that earned credit.  My ROI is fantastic!  Inevitably I would have a partner or two in each group project who was paying their own way.  This was a very expensive, elite program and tuition was like $10K per class (and this was 10 years ago!).  I found that while I was in school, saying "I am working on my MBA" was as valuable for career moves as actually having it.  I also was able to network quite a bit with other people who were also working at major companies in the area.

I did feel that the full-time students and those of us working and going part time kept to our own groups to some extent as we just naturally had more in common.  So the people who needed to network the most (IMHO) were a bit shut out, while I often was going out for drinks with some interesting, employed people who I did use to get future jobs and a few I have hired. 

So if you want to FIRE and you also want to actually use the MBA to network, I would advise not going full time.  If you want to be a full-time student for 2 years that is another story . . .
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 10:34:29 AM by MrsK »

ryanht13

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2015, 08:19:27 AM »
My employer would reimburse roughly 4,000/yr in tuition for a part-time MBA. To complete the degree would take about 3-4 yrs. Where I live, there is a decent state school, but it certainly doesn't carry any national weight or recognition. Which leads me to my next point:

In my opinion, it seems that part-time MBAs are much more cost effective for a box-checker. However, part-time programs do not have near the recruiting network, and don't have that refreshing "reset button" that comes with a full-time experience that allows them to totally enter another industry or job function. Much of the curriculum is not as in-depth. Many of the schools I'm considering post average starting salaries into the 100k and serve as an opportunity to literally say "I can work anywhere I want" because high-paying employers actually recruit there. I've never seen a part-time program that even posts avg starting salary stats.

I realize there are squishy MBA people out there who are too academic or too hot-shot. I like to think I'm pretty staunch and pragmatic so I wouldn't be one of those people. I've got a sales/mgt track record of success and would use the degree as intended. I'd try to leverage sales/mgt experience in capital intensive industries with a concentration in finance to move into investments or upper management in corporate strategy. 

ioseftavi

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2015, 08:49:59 AM »
I chose to skip it.  I'm in NYC, in the financial industry, with advanced certifications / licenses / designations other than the MBA.

I was extremely pragmatic about it, I think.  I basically ran the numbers on what I made now, what I might make with an MBA, and what a decent program might cost me.  I also tried to figure out how much more upward mobility the degree would give me vs. what I'm doing now, and the honest answer is "not a great deal more".

If I had an employer who would foot the entire bill or most of it, I'd do it - especially if I could go to Columbia or Stern.  But for me, at present:
-I make fine money without it
-I work in the part of the industry I want to without it
-My trajectory is just fine without it
-Degrees are expensive as hell and I'd have to pay for it myself
-I am not at all certain that I could get into a program competitive enough for me to feel that the cost was "worth it"

And then the big one, for mustachians:

-I am not sure I'd work a "typical" enough job, for enough years, to make the ROI competitive.

I don't plan in staying in the workforce forever - there will be a point where I want to work on my own projects and investments.  At that point, I estimate the value of an MBA will drop dramatically - the only benefit that it would bring me is networking opportunities and a small amount of extra credibility.

Goldielocks

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2015, 08:51:37 AM »
To the poster who wrote that employers will fund tuition for an MBA, it is not true.  I worked for a fortune 50 company as a manager, and their policy was a $6k lifetime max on tuition reimbursement, regardless of degree, and you had to show final passing mark to get the money.

To op, please wait until you are 25, an MBA without work experience first is not very valuable to you, and you have little to offer your peers in the program.  Many employers who hire the 24 y.o. top 25 MBA grad want someone to work grueling hours, too.  Think about it.


Weedy Acres

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2015, 07:35:18 PM »
I got a top-10 MBA 15 years ago to enable a career change.  My advice:

1.  Don't get an MBA to "check a box."  Only invest that time and money if you've got a specific goal you're working towards.  That will focus your studies and you'll get way more out of the program.

2.  Top-10 (or -25) schools have better recruiting of FT grads.  If you are using the MBA to launch in a different direction, then this is a better way to go than PT, which tends to be people working to move up the ladder in their current company.

3.  Don't start the program until you've got at least 5 years of work experience.  Those years are critical to helping you figure out what you really love and hate and what you want to be when you grow up.  I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I was 25.  Turned out I was wrong.  I figured out the real passion 7 years later.  Dabble in these 3 things you think you want to do (RE, small biz, financial mgmt) with your own money for the next few years and see how you like them and how good you are at them.

4.  Pick a school with good credentials in the field you realize you want to be in over the next 5 years. It'll make a difference in the education you get, the peers you will be able to interact/collaborate with, and the employers that will recruit there.

I actually made less coming out of B-school than I did going in, because I was very well paid in my previous career.  But I didn't go for the instant money, I went for the longer-term getting on the career path that made me happy.  So it can be a bit about money, but that's not the only reason to get an education.

thedayisbrave

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2015, 07:51:00 PM »
You've gotten some solid advice here, OP.  I'm about in the same boat with you, with eerily similar goals - namely, I don't envision ever fully retiring, but envision "retirement" and FIRE being a mix of managing my own investment properties, managing my investment portfolio, maybe doing a little angel investing and investing in private/local businesses.  Right now I work in real estate.

I did a quasi-MBA program... it was uniquely designed for those who don't have a business background (mine is in foreign language/social science) but wanted to gain business skills.  I spent a year learning about strategy, marketing (had taken a basic marketing/econ class before), innovation, creativity in management and picked up a lot of very useful knowledge and experience (we had practicums each semester, with a company that allowed us to apply what we were learning).  This was *perfect* for me because I was contemplating an MBA, but this program was quicker, cheaper (because it was shorter and not a top 25 business school).  Anyway, seems to me that many, many people have MBAs that don't use them... I know a COP who has an MBA! It's a personal decision but if you'd be doing it more for learning, then I'd lean more toward a program that's not in the top 25.  You can still get a great education, learn a ton, meet a lot of neat people, but without that hefty price tag.

El Marinero

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2015, 07:59:36 PM »
I graduated from a (barely) top 25 state school a long time ago.  I agree with just about everything Weedy said.

For me, it was worthwhile.  It provided a way to leave a low paying industry and earn a substantially higher wage with lots of upward potential.  The in-state tuition at the time was low enough that I paid my way with savings from my first 6 years in the workforce and graduated without debt.

I went to a full time program, and recommend it.  It was a lot easier to concentrate on school without juggling work responsibilities.  I had more fun in Biz school than I did as an undergraduate, but I think that says more about me than the school :)

If you are truly a driven individual, try for a top 10 school.  The elite schools provide a set of career opportunities that second tier school grads don't get.



Exflyboy

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2015, 08:03:54 PM »
I Have an engineering batchelors and an MBA.

I learned a heck of a lot about myself doing the MBA.. but did it help my career?.. Thats hard to say to be honest.

Frank

w@nker

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2015, 09:55:23 PM »
Well - this is my first post here.  I have some perspective on this topic, so I figured I'd chime in. 

I have a top 5 MBA and can tell you without hesitation that it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.  I tripled my salary directly after graduating...and that grew to nearly 10x my starting salary just a few years later.  Depending on what you want to do, a top program can simply open doors that are unlikely to be open to you otherwise.  Many of the posters here have great perspectives in terms of the types of industries in which it matters - and I echo those comments. 

I'll add that the experience itself is incredible.  You will be challenged.  You will have a ton of fun.  You will develop an incredible skill set that will empower you as a business leader.  And, you will meet and engage with some of the smartest and most driven people you will ever meet...many of whom will be tomorrow's CEOs. 

This is going to sound awfully elitist, but I wouldn't even bother getting an MBA unless it was from a top school...and a full-time program, for that matter.  The degrees might share the same name, but all MBAs are not created equal, and employers know this.  Some are absolutely positive ROI endeavors...others most certainly are not.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 09:02:09 PM by w@nker »

aschmidt2930

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2015, 11:21:42 PM »
If you're convinced an MBA is required to have the career you want, then do it. If you're doing it for the money, do some math first.  For the typical member of this board, I would say it's a bad decision. When you add up tuition cost, lost earnings, the interest on the loans, and the lost investment gains, it ends up getting very few people to ER more quickly.

SnackDog

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2015, 07:39:44 AM »
The MBA degree has always been a mystery to me.  I know quite a few people at work with MBAs, but they don't seem to know any more about business than the rest of us. If you are smart enough to be an engineer or scientist, then business is very obvious and intuitive (unless you lack basic people skills, but business school may not save you in that case either).  The people I knew in school who were pursuing MBAs were typically not so bright but very eager to earn money.  I sort imagine them as brand managers for Palmolive Dish Soap or something.

One field of study which will help you immensely in business but also as an investor, is understanding corporate finance and how to read financial statements.  Heaven help you if you ever have to actually do this yourself, but having a strong grasp of it will serve you well.   It is basic arithmetic, but there are many rules and conventions involved.  Financial metrics literally define each business, so you better understand them.  The rest of it (marketing, management, HR, legal, production, etc) you can pick up on the job to the extent you need them.

NathanDrake

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2015, 11:18:45 AM »
I asked this board the same question a year or so ago, decided against it. If you're already in a solid career, then two years and some salary raises later you'll be pretty close to what someone from a top MBA makes in an industry F500 type role. You can make a substantial amount more as a consultant or investment banker, but the lifestyles to what I imagine your job is like now are not even remotely comparable.

I'm an engineer in a low cost of living area and can save 70% of my income (which is just around 100K). I'd lose out on 140K savings, and pay 100K+ in school related costs. $240K (minimum) dumped in the market will conservatively yield an additional 12K per year in compensation over the long term.

Technically, I'm already FI, but not yet comfortable enough to RE. Depending on how the market does, I could be ready to retire around 35-40. If you're already in the MMM mindset, it's somewhat difficult to recommend because posters on this board simply aren't going to be satisfied with degrees, status, or corporate roles they've achieved. The whole point of RE is to stop caring about the circus of corporate life and start living on your own terms. I'd only really recommend the MBA if you genuinely do care about the corporate rat race and want to be in it for over a decade after you graduate with an MBA.



Nicodemus

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2015, 12:19:48 PM »
I work in financial services and wrestled with this question earlier in my career.  Ultimately I chose not to do an MBA for the following reasons:

1.  I already had many of the skills one is taught in MBA school and would have "passed out" of almost all required courses.

2.  The jobs that would make the MBA "pay" would be even higher stress than my current job and my current job was stressful enough.

3.  I don't enjoy classroom settings for learning as much as other ways to learn

4.  If I did go back to school I'd probably want to do something unrelated to money (e.g., MFA or something)

5.  I couldn't stomach the lost wages / tuition / cost.  I always want to maintain maximum flexibility in terms of whether I keep working and in what field.  An MBA would have "tied me down".

6.  I tend to distrust "generalist" degrees that don't provide specific skills.  MBA is about general business skills and management.  I ended up doing the CFA because I could do it at home and because it was specifically focused on the skill of valuing securities etc.

So that was me.  Many of these considerations may not apply to you in the same way so it could make sense for you even though it didn't for me.  If you want to be in certain fields or companies an MBA may be required.

gradstudent

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2015, 03:35:26 PM »
I'd caution about thinking that a top 25 school is your ticket. Frankly, there aren't 25 resident MBA programs worth attending. If I were you, I would target the top 4, and be happy in any one of the top 10 US programs, or top 2-3 international ones. After that, given that tuition is around $65k, living expenses of ~$30k (good programs are in cities with expensive rents), and foregone wages of ~$75K per year, you are looking at ~$350k of opportunity cost to attend school. Absent attending one of those top 10 programs, the odds of you recouping that in any sort of reasonable time period are small, especially when you consider that you lose the chance to grow that money over time. Having been through the process, students from those schools are very smart and driven. This will sound elitist, but getting an MBA online or from most schools that offer it is a waste of time and money and doesn't really develop your skills. It's a check in the box, and why many people think an MBA is a useless degree. They are right-most MBA's are useless, but the ones that aren't (see the top 4 / top 10 schools) are extremely valuable.

If you want to change your career, and MBA will certainly provide you with the ability to do it. However, all it does is open doors. It's still possible for you to do that without going to school, just harder without a brand name degree.

Full disclosure-I went to a top 4 school, and have done admissions consulting on the side for students and I tell them the same thing.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2015, 07:12:39 PM »
I got my MBA from Sam Houston State University - not on any magazine's top 25 list.  I enjoyed it immensely, even the 150 page papers!  An MBA is kind of silly in a lot of respects (it is a generalist degree to an absurd level.)  But that is the point.  You take all kinds of different people and you make the soft skills people suffer through THE HIGH AND HOLY MATH; and you make math nerds suffer through "squishy stuff" and you make both do public speaking.  It's a stretching exercise that makes you better able to work across various lines of expertise and personality types in the work place.  You are training to become "that sticky stuff that holds all the pieces together."

The brand name behind my degree didn't open any doors but developing some soft skills that this geek desperately needed let me move from about 35k to six figures over about 7 years.  I went FIRE in 2012 at the age of 40.  Couldn't have done it without the MBA experience.

I'm doubtful a big name degree is worth it at six figures.  I paid in state tuition of about 1200 a semester and finished with no debt.  Six figures of debt would have pushed my FIRE date out about 3 years.  Harvard will open doors but it doesn't guarantee you are competent.  They produced Dubya Bush and Jeffrey Skilling for example.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2015, 03:40:28 AM »
Well - this is my first post here.  I have some perspective on this topic, so I figured I'd chime in. 

I have a top 5 MBA and can tell you without hesitation that it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.  I tripled my salary directly after graduating...and that grew to nearly 10x my starting salary just a few years later.  Depending on what you want to do, a top program can simply open doors that are unlikely to be open to you otherwise.  Many of the posters here have great perspectives in terms of the types of industries in which it matters - and I echo those comments. 

I'll add that the experience itself is incredible.  You will be challenged.  You will have a ton of fun.  You will develop an incredible skill set that will empower you as a business leader.  And, you will meet and engage with some of the smartest and most driven people you will ever meet...many of whom will be tomorrow's CEOs. 

This is going to sound awfully elitist, but I wouldn't even bother getting an MBA unless it was from a top school...and a full-time program, for that matter.  The degrees might share the same name, but all MBAs are not created equal, and employers know this.  Some are absolutely positive ROI endeavors...others most certainly are not.

EDIT:  I am FI and plan to FIRE before 40.  After that, my MBA and resulting experience will allow me to stay engaged at my own pace through exciting entrepreneurial endeavors, consulting work, or even board positions.

Ok, didn't go to top 5 school, but top 20 school. On-campus full-time program. It absolutely helped me. Changed my frame of reference. It was the hardest and best decision. Personally rewarding and financially rewarding.

It burns me when people talk of having an MBA. Like it's a commodity. Those that are in a strong program consider others (like an online MBA) to be less than (sorry!) and employers know this too. These employers pay a premium for the students from these programs. Many people I know that did a part-time MBA find that it didn't help their career at all.

Met my husband there too. We could retire today (34/35) but waiting a few more years to fund our luxuries.

johnstein

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Re: Friends or Enemies? MBA and Early Retirement
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2015, 03:11:13 PM »
Let me offer you a different perspective here.  I graduated from a top 20 program about 4 years ago.  I was in finance (NYC) before school so I knew I wont get a big raise after school, i was going for a career and geography change.  Hoping to find a career I love.  Frankly, I was sick with the cold weather and wanted to move the south.   It was extremely hard to get a job in another city with the type of job you want, so I chose MBA.

I ran into a series of "bad fortune" upon graduation, I had 14 months of experience in my first job after MBA and the company cut 40% of workforce.  I was out of work for about 4 months, nobody could really help unless I go back to my previous work in NY.  I have about 6-7 years of experience, many headhunters told me I was above the entry level jobs, but am too junior and too inexperience for mid management for the type of work I desire.  Right now, I took a job with even bigger pay cut and not really in my desired area.  I do get to live in a warmer city, I guess you cant have everything.

p.s. still have about 50k of student loans outstanding from MBA, and I cant claim student loan interest expense on tax because the combined income with me and my wife just went over the limit.