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Could use some advice
#1
Hi. 

I'm 6 months away from finishing my bachelors in entrepreneurship from APUS. Smile  Super excited of course. I know I want to get a master's upon finishing. 

So my debate is what degree to get. I had a plan but it changed because I changed my business focus. 

I am debating a traditional MBA degree that is either the IT management degree from WGU or the general business degree at LSUS . They are both affordable and should take me about a year to complete -- maybe 2 for the WGU degree.

But I'm also debating a niche specific degree. Specifically one in game development. My top choice is the Mobile gaming degree from FullSail. It cost twice as much. It will take 1 year.  I can take online certificate courses that are a fraction of the cost to learn the industry at the same pace. That is my pickle. 

Any idea on how to pick? What is better niche specific vs general education?  Huh

I appreciate any input. 

Chimica
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#2
Stay far away from "Full Fail". Their programs do not carry much value in the workplace.
The market for general MBAs is very saturated. MBA grads are a dime a dozen. It can be valuable if you have relevant work experience and connections, but there's a lot of competition out there. MBA with IT probably has the most value/flexibility IMHO.
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#3
(06-27-2019, 01:03 PM)elbebopkid Wrote: Stay far away from "Full Fail". Their programs do not carry much value in the workplace.
The market for general MBAs is very saturated. MBA grads are a dime a dozen. It can be valuable if you have relevant work experience and connections, but there's a lot of competition out there. MBA with IT probably has the most value/flexibility IMHO.

 Does Full Sail provide good quality education despite the negative view in the work environment? I'm working towards an entrepreneurship degree currently. Thus, I'm starting businesses. I have no intent on working for anyone.

 I agree that an IT concentration is way more flexible. 

Thank you!

Chimica
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#4
@sweetcrabhoney if you plan on starting your own business and working for youself, it won't matter which one you do....
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#5
(06-27-2019, 01:03 PM)elbebopkid Wrote: Stay far away from "Full Fail". Their programs do not carry much value in the workplace.
The market for general MBAs is very saturated. MBA grads are a dime a dozen. It can be valuable if you have relevant work experience and connections, but there's a lot of competition out there. MBA with IT probably has the most value/flexibility IMHO.

"Full Fail." Hahaha! I have to add that to my arsenal of for-profit school nicknames e.g. University of Penis, Deprive University, and Slayer University. 

(06-27-2019, 01:11 PM)sweetcrabhoney Wrote:
(06-27-2019, 01:03 PM)elbebopkid Wrote: Stay far away from "Full Fail". Their programs do not carry much value in the workplace.
The market for general MBAs is very saturated. MBA grads are a dime a dozen. It can be valuable if you have relevant work experience and connections, but there's a lot of competition out there. MBA with IT probably has the most value/flexibility IMHO.

 Does Full Sail provide good quality education despite the negative view in the work environment? I'm working towards an entrepreneurship degree currently. Thus, I'm starting businesses. I have no intent on working for anyone.

 I agree that an IT concentration is way more flexible. 

Thank you!

Chimica

Why anyone would spend that much money at a for-profit school that will accept anyone with a pulse is beyond me.
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#6
(06-27-2019, 01:03 PM)elbebopkid Wrote: Stay far away from "Full Fail". Their programs do not carry much value in the workplace.

As a hiring manager who has worked in game development for decades (and whose wife is a game design professor at a different school), I have mixed opinions about this statement. On one hand, I do agree that a full sail degree isn't the best idea. But for different reasons. Their degrees are actually fairly well regarded in the industry. They used to have a bit of a stigma early on, but that changed about a decade ago. This is due in part to the fact that they have some amazing instructors along with a pretty decent degree program. However, the reason I don't recommend them is two-fold:
  1. They are nationally accredited rather than regionally accredited. This isn't as big of a deal because this doesn't matter on the hiring side. They are considered a trade school for entertainment disciplines rather than a general college. However, this hurts people's options when pursuing additional education options elsewhere. In recent years a number of regionally accredited colleges have developed their own game development programs which while being less well established in the industry, are generally equivalent in instruction.
  2. Full Sail charges way too much for tuition. For what you get, I feel their program is overpriced compared to the alternatives. They also take a bit of a predatory approach to student recruiting like many for-profit schools do, milking people for their financial aid. There are cheaper options.
On the other hand, Full Sail has deep connections in the game industry and they are very successful in placing graduates into big-name development studios. When I was at Electronic Arts, they were one of the schools who sent my studio interns every year and they tended to be well prepared and able to quickly contribute at a high level.

(06-27-2019, 01:03 PM)elbebopkid Wrote: The market for general MBAs is very saturated. MBA grads are a dime a dozen. It can be valuable if you have relevant work experience and connections, but there's a lot of competition out there. MBA with IT probably has the most value/flexibility IMHO.

Honestly, unless you already have some success in the business world (or are planning to start your own business), an MBA isn't really all that valuable. Yes, any MBA will teach (or reinforce) relevant business management skills. However, the real value of an MBA is a combination of the brand and connections it provides. If you're looking for a top tier job, the name recognition of the school is paramount, and the connections you make while at the school can be very useful for opening doors in the business world. This is why Wharton/Stanford/Harvard, etc. MBA's are so expensive; you're paying for the brand and connections they offer. They also have more prestigious instructors but it can be argued that their education is comparable to that at less highly-ranked schools.

That said, for someone who is planning to start their own business or already has an established brand and reputation and is just looking for an MBA to fill in the gaps in their academic resume (which is what I'm doing) then getting an MBA from a less well-known school is just fine. In my case, I also just enjoy learning so I'm also doing it for that reason. While I wouldn't mind a Wharton MBA, I'm certainly not going to pay $200K for one nor do I really need to at this point in my career.

I also agree that the IT Management focus is a great MBA specialization if you plan to work in technology. Particularly if you're interested in technical and/or project management roles. The general MBA is typically focused more on traditional businesses (manufacturing and retailing) outside of the tech space (which tends to be more services focused). But ultimately they are both MBAs so it doesn't really matter too much. At WGU the difference between the two comes down to two classes.
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#7
@Merlin

Wow. Thank you so much for your valuable information. I appreciate the detailed insight about Full Sail. My fear is that their cost is too high based on the courses offered. And because the program is a year long I'd have to rush and miss out on valuable information despite the price I'd be paying. But with such a direct niche I would build great connections with teachers and my classmates. You noted that there are cheaper options for a similar degree. Could you tell me those options? I've looked online and many are specific on their admission requirements or are 3-year programs which increase the cost. 

You are going through the WGU IT management program right now? I'm fearful of the workload and the structure of the courses. What are they like? 

 My focus on getting a masters or an MBA is the element of just having one because I worked hard for it. The entrepreneurs I admire all have MBA's. I want one too. 

Thank you again. 

Chimica
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#8
I just finished my MBA. At 26 years old I am the Assistant Vice President in a bank thanks to my degree. That is without any undergraduate business education. So I will say that an MBA is a useful degree despite what others have said. It all depends on your location.

That said, I am differentiating myself with a MS in Finance from a pretty dang good business school with the hopes of moving a position in OKC or moving into a PhD program.
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#9
(06-27-2019, 08:28 PM)ThatBankDude Wrote: I just finished my MBA. At 26 years old I am the Assistant Vice President in a bank thanks to my degree. That is without any undergraduate business education. So I will say that an MBA is a useful degree despite what others have said. It all depends on your location.

That said, I am differentiating myself with a MS in Finance from a pretty dang good business school with the hopes of moving a position in OKC or moving into a PhD program.

The fact that your undergrad is not in business means that you probably couldn't get the job you have without having the MBA.  So you're in a different boat than someone with a BSBA.
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#10
(06-27-2019, 07:44 PM)sweetcrabhoney Wrote: Wow. Thank you so much for your valuable information. I appreciate the detailed insight about Full Sail. My fear is that their cost is too high based on the courses offered. And because the program is a year long I'd have to rush and miss out on valuable information despite the price I'd be paying. But with such a direct niche I would build great connections with teachers and my classmates. You noted that there are cheaper options for a similar degree. Could you tell me those options? I've looked online and many are specific on their admission requirements or are 3-year programs which increase the cost.

I'm not up to speed on all the colleges offering game development related degrees. I know there are a ton of them since a lot of my former colleagues work in academia now spread across the country in a number of different schools.

However, when I mentioned similar options for similar education, I am talking more generally and was comparing the full sail bachelor's degree in game design to options available elsewhere. I wasn't specifically talking about the Full Sail mobile gaming master's degree.

That said, according to a quick Google search, a lot of the top schools offer masters level game development degrees these days. Check out this link for some ideas of places to start looking. I didn't do any research to validate any of the suggestions in that list but can say that I do know people who teach in the game development program at several of those schools (my wife's school is included in there) so it seems fairly legit. Many of them are cheaper than full sail and offer a more recognized name.

(06-27-2019, 07:44 PM)sweetcrabhoney Wrote: You are going through the WGU IT management program right now? I'm fearful of the workload and the structure of the courses. What are they like? 

Honestly, the WGU program is not really that much different than doing courses at Straighterline or Study.com. Just double the time investment and expect a lot more analysis and writing.

WGU provides all the course materials (which consists of online textbooks, video lectures, powerpoint presentations, and interactive web conferences). If you have trouble with the material or in passing the assessments, you can also schedule 1-on-1 time with the instructors to get help and coaching with mastering the information.

WGU also specifies the context for what you're expected to do to demonstrate competency. These consist of:
  1. Performance Assessments (PA): papers, projects, or presentations
  2. Objective Assessments (OA): a proctored exam
  3. A combination of both
Most courses either require (1) a combination of 2-3 PA tasks, (2) a combination of 1-2 PA tasks and an OA exam, or (3) a single comprehensive OA exam. Personally, I prefer the PA's since the single OA courses tend to require a lot more study since you won't know what will be tested on.

As for the workload, each course is designed to be completed by working adults within 8 weeks, but many people can complete them much more quickly. Particularly if they have prior career experience to draw upon. Personally, most courses have taken me about 2 weeks on average; the shortest took me a few days to complete and the longest took three weeks.
In Progress: MBA (IT Management), Western Governors University (31/35cu | Sep 2019)
Up Next: Perhaps an MSCS or a DBA/DM/Ph.D.

Complete:
BSBA in Computer Information Systems, 2019, Thomas Edison State University
ASNSM in Computer Science, 2019, Thomas Edison State University

B&M CC: 8.68cr, TESU: 3cr, CLEP/DSST: 15cr, Study.com: 57cr, Straighterline: 19cr, ALEKS: 9cr, TEEX: 6cr, The Institutes: 2cr, Sophia: 2cr
(121.68 credits total. 95 credits earned in 10 months, with 45 of those earned in ~3 months)
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