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Graduate Program indecisiveness
#1
Sad 
Huh Between Master of Science in Administration- Leadership, and MBA. Which one is better.
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#2
MBA is a more recognizable degree from a resume standpoint but the best degree is the one you’ll finish (to steal a phrase I believe Jennifer said here once). So pick the one that will interest you and motivate you enough to keep going, and is within your budget.

I’m having a similar internal battle over doing a MS in Cybersecurity & Information Assurance or an MBA in IT Management.
BS IT Security, Western Governors University, 2018
BA Psychology, Thomas Edison State University, 2016
AA Sociology, Chaffey College, 2015
IT Industry Certs: CCNA Security, CCNA, CCENT, Linux+,
   LPIC-1, Security+, Network+, Project+, A+, & CIW SDA.

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  • cegbule
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#3
cegbule - yours is a no-brainer, the MBA will definitely advanced your career more.

jsd - yours is more difficult, as they each have their place. I would probably do the Cybersecurity, as I think it's probably more relevant to what you're doing. I think they care less about MBA's in the space you're in (just guessing, but I think I'm right).

In either case, your best bet is to go to the job you eventually want to work in (dream big), and all jobs in between, and see what they ask for. cegbule, no one ever asks for an MS in Leadership. jsd, I don't think you'll see many requests for an MBA, unless you get REALLY high up in a fairly large company, even then, I'm not sure they'll ask for the MBA.
TESU BSBA in HR, 2018
WVNCC BOG AAS,
 2017
GGU Cert in Management, 2000

EXAMS: TECEP Tech Writg, Engl Comp 2, LA Math, Public Rel, Computers  DSST Computers, Pers Fin  CLEP Mgmt, Mktg
COURSES: TESU Capstone  Study.com Pers Fin, Microecon, Stats  Ed4Credit Acct 2  PF Fin Mgmt  ALEKS Int Alg, Coll Alg  Sophia Proj Mgmt The Institutes - Ins Ethics  Kaplan PLA
B&M COURSESPalomar CollMission Coll, Golden Gate Univ, San Jose State Univ
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#4
Without giving away the company, I’ll say I work in a Fortune 10 company that definitely values MBA degrees (but luckily for me, is not picky about where those degrees come from). But I’m not at all “REALLY high up,” and your assumption that my field in particular wouldn’t care about the MBA as much is likely accurate.

I’ll probably go with Cybersecurity... but after completing back to back bachelors I’ve run out of steam and I don’t think I’ll be jumping on anything too soon Big Grin
BS IT Security, Western Governors University, 2018
BA Psychology, Thomas Edison State University, 2016
AA Sociology, Chaffey College, 2015
IT Industry Certs: CCNA Security, CCNA, CCENT, Linux+,
   LPIC-1, Security+, Network+, Project+, A+, & CIW SDA.

View all of my earned credits on my Omni Transcript!
Visit the DegreeForum Community Wiki!
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#5
(06-13-2018, 09:57 PM)dfrecore Wrote: cegbule - yours is a no-brainer, the MBA will definitely advanced your career more.

jsd - yours is more difficult, as they each have their place.  I would probably do the Cybersecurity, as I think it's probably more relevant to what you're doing.  I think they care less about MBA's in the space you're in (just guessing, but I think I'm right).

In either case, your best bet is to go to the job you eventually want to work in (dream big), and all jobs in between, and see what they ask for.  cegbule, no one ever asks for an MS in Leadership.  jsd, I don't think you'll see many requests for an MBA, unless you get REALLY high up in a fairly large company, even then, I'm not sure they'll ask for the MBA.

Can I get your opinion as well? Smile

Now that I'm certain I'll be completing my BA, I'm starting to look at graduate programs. I was just hired on as a Senior Benefits Analyst for a large healthcare organization. I'll be doing benefit planning, design and strategy - exactly where I want to be. 

From here, future steps would include being a Benefits Manager, and further down the road, perhaps a Total Rewards Director (if I can get there before I age out!).

Knowing the above, I know that I have options to do a straight MBA (WGU), an MBA-HRM (LSU Shreveport among others), or an MPS-HRM (Fort Hays State University).

Since I know you've been in HR for a long time as well, I'm curious as to what you might suggest.

Thanks in advance!!
BA - Psychology - TESU (in Progress) - 112/120 units complete
Previous College Coursework Completed - 69 units
Online Coursework Completed - 43 units
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#6
(06-13-2018, 09:57 PM)dfrecore Wrote: cegbule - yours is a no-brainer, the MBA will definitely advanced your career more.

jsd - yours is more difficult, as they each have their place.  I would probably do the Cybersecurity, as I think it's probably more relevant to what you're doing.  I think they care less about MBA's in the space you're in (just guessing, but I think I'm right).

In either case, your best bet is to go to the job you eventually want to work in (dream big), and all jobs in between, and see what they ask for.  cegbule, no one ever asks for an MS in Leadership.  jsd, I don't think you'll see many requests for an MBA, unless you get REALLY high up in a fairly large company, even then, I'm not sure they'll ask for the MBA.

Thank you, I will go ahead and inform the admission counselor to enroll me in the MBA program instead.
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#7
(06-13-2018, 10:30 PM)Nodaclu Wrote:
(06-13-2018, 09:57 PM)dfrecore Wrote: cegbule - yours is a no-brainer, the MBA will definitely advanced your career more.

jsd - yours is more difficult, as they each have their place.  I would probably do the Cybersecurity, as I think it's probably more relevant to what you're doing.  I think they care less about MBA's in the space you're in (just guessing, but I think I'm right).

In either case, your best bet is to go to the job you eventually want to work in (dream big), and all jobs in between, and see what they ask for.  cegbule, no one ever asks for an MS in Leadership.  jsd, I don't think you'll see many requests for an MBA, unless you get REALLY high up in a fairly large company, even then, I'm not sure they'll ask for the MBA.

Can I get your opinion as well? Smile

Now that I'm certain I'll be completing my BA, I'm starting to look at graduate programs. I was just hired on as a Senior Benefits Analyst for a large healthcare organization. I'll be doing benefit planning, design and strategy - exactly where I want to be. 

From here, future steps would include being a Benefits Manager, and further down the road, perhaps a Total Rewards Director (if I can get there before I age out!).

Knowing the above, I know that I have options to do a straight MBA (WGU), an MBA-HRM (LSU Shreveport among others), or an MPS-HRM (Fort Hays State University).

Since I know you've been in HR for a long time as well, I'm curious as to what you might suggest.

Thanks in advance!!

Sure - giving advice is my favorite thing!

So, I try to keep my hand in HR/Benefits/Compensation, if only to see what I want to do in the future, and what it's paying and all of that.  And what I'm seeing as a requirement in the HR/Compensation field is a CCP (Certified Compensation Professional designation from World@Work).  I'm guessing that if you were to look at the field, and some higher-up positions, they might be looking for a CBP (Certified Benefits Professional, same company).

If you do see this, then try to see if your company will pay for it, and GET IT!  This is highly specialized (and expensive), and if your company will send you to a class or three a year (or pay for the binder/learning materials so you can self-study), then that would be a huge benefit to you.  It's about $12k for the CBP (about $1200 per course x 10 courses), The CBP is a bit less (only 7 courses).  If you like that cert, then you can shoot for the WLCP (Work Life Certified Professional) afterwards.

And, once a company pays for this type of thing, they usually pay for the CEU's that you have to get as well, which are also fairly expensive.  The good news is that the CEU's keep you in the industry, keep you current, and help you network in many cases.

The other good thing about these types of certifications - unlike tuition reimbursement, most companies don't make you agree to stay for a certain length of time - they're more like IT certs, they WANT you to keep up on this stuff, as it benefits them in a much more direct way than the MBA would.

So check it out and tell me what you think (of what's required of higher up jobs that you'd like, as well as the certs).  I could be wrong in what the Benefits side looks for, as opposed to Comp.  But I have a friend who is a Compensation Manager, and she was studying for the CCP (she got promoted a couple of times, and they asked her to get it), and then she got promoted to an even higher position overseeing both Comp and Benefits (of which she was not familiar) and the next thing I knew, she was studying for the CBP.  So I think it may be a thing.

EDIT: I forgot that you're getting a BA in Psych. So, you may want to look at the jobs to make sure that your degree is going to work. A lot of HR/Comp jobs want a Business degree. If you find that to be the case, then you may want to get the WGU MBA, just because you're going to need that "business" in there somewhere, and Psych won't do it for you. If you find that it doesn't matter on the Benefits side, then don't worry about it. But I suspect you may need it eventually - although I'm not sure if I'd get the MBA before the CBP or not - the CBP would certainly be more helpful to you in your current career, as well as being able to have something to say when a project comes up, and you volunteer and say "I just took this course in the CBP and have some insight on what's currently going on in the industry!" Something an MBA really can't help you with, it's just going to be a check-the-box degree as you move up.
TESU BSBA in HR, 2018
WVNCC BOG AAS,
 2017
GGU Cert in Management, 2000

EXAMS: TECEP Tech Writg, Engl Comp 2, LA Math, Public Rel, Computers  DSST Computers, Pers Fin  CLEP Mgmt, Mktg
COURSES: TESU Capstone  Study.com Pers Fin, Microecon, Stats  Ed4Credit Acct 2  PF Fin Mgmt  ALEKS Int Alg, Coll Alg  Sophia Proj Mgmt The Institutes - Ins Ethics  Kaplan PLA
B&M COURSESPalomar CollMission Coll, Golden Gate Univ, San Jose State Univ
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#8
(06-14-2018, 12:06 AM)dfrecore Wrote: EDIT: I forgot that you're getting a BA in Psych.  So, you may want to look at the jobs to make sure that your degree is going to work.  A lot of HR/Comp jobs want a Business degree.  If you find that to be the case, then you may want to get the WGU MBA, just because you're going to need that "business" in there somewhere, and Psych won't do it for you.  If you find that it doesn't matter on the Benefits side, then don't worry about it.  But I suspect you may need it eventually - although I'm not sure if I'd get the MBA before the CBP or not - the CBP would certainly be more helpful to you in your current career, as well as being able to have something to say when a project comes up, and you volunteer and say "I just took this course in the CBP and have some insight on what's currently going on in the industry!"  Something an MBA really can't help you with, it's just going to be a check-the-box degree as you move up.

Thank you so much! (I chopped the quote down a bit, because replies in this forum software get ungainly after awhile...)

It's interesting that you brought up the certs, as I had been wondering of late whether or not I should work on the cert(s) post-BA, but pre-Masters. It sounds like you are thinking along the same lines.

It's interesting how regional these things can be. I see the CCP designation everywhere on the Comp side, but around here at least, on the Benefits side, the CBP is almost non-existent. Instead, the CEBS rules supreme. That's a benefit for me however, because the CEBS *only* runs around $4,000 - cheap in comparison.

My new employer will pay up to $2,000/year for certs, with no attachments. On the degree side, they will pay up to $75,000 in tuition reimbursement for a Masters degree (yes, really!). BUT, you have to stay with them for 5 years after completion. That's still incredibly generous, but since I'm going to have a say in these things going forward Big Grin I'm going to look into possibly creating a tiered structure, where you can "borrow" less, in exchange for less service time. We'll see how that goes.

I've expressed interest in cross-training in my role, and my manager is very supportive. My team is actually a Benefits & Retirement CoE, so I'll pick up plenty of additional opportunities on the retirement side. Comp will be tougher, but I think I can make some inroads there in the longer term. Getting my CCP would certainly help in that regard.

I'm going to continue to think on this some more (I have until the first of the year to sort it out), but I'm definitely leaning in the direction of at least one certification first, before pursuing a Masters.

Thank you for your advice! Smile
BA - Psychology - TESU (in Progress) - 112/120 units complete
Previous College Coursework Completed - 69 units
Online Coursework Completed - 43 units
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#9
(06-13-2018, 10:17 PM)jsd Wrote: Without giving away the company, I’ll say I work in a Fortune 10 company that definitely values MBA degrees (but luckily for me, is not picky about where those degrees come from). But I’m not at all “REALLY high up,” and your assumption that my field in particular wouldn’t care about the MBA as much is likely accurate.

I’ll probably go with Cybersecurity... but after completing back to back bachelors I’ve run out of steam and I don’t think I’ll be jumping on anything too soon Big Grin

There's also that Cybersecurity is a bit of a hot topic, and is likely to remain so.

(06-13-2018, 07:29 PM)cegbule Wrote: Huh Between Master of Science in Administration- Leadership, and MBA. Which one is better.

I will say that a good friend went the Leadership route, and in her case, actually learned the leadership skills she needed to get a high-profile CFO job, something she had been unsuccessful in achieving for years. I don't think the degree, as a credential, was the deciding factor, it was the actual skills she developed and networking that occurred (it was an in-person program).
TESU BA in Comp Sci completed. 51 units completed in 20 months.
TECEP:Env Ethics (2015); TESU PLA:Software Eng, Computer Arch, C++, Advanced C++, Data Struct (2015); TESU Courses:Capstone, Database Mngmnt Sys, Op Sys, Artificial Intel, Discrete Math, Intro to Portfolio Dev, Intro PLA (2014-16); DSST:Intro to Anthro, Pers Fin, Intro Astronomy (2014); CLEP:Intro to Soc (2014); Saylor.org:Intro to Computers (2014); CC: 69 units (1980-88)

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#10
There is high variability among leadership programs, so what you'll learn is practically unknown. MBA programs, on the other hand, are mostly uniformed. Even if the courses required are somewhat different, you can easily tell what each course is about. Accounting will always be accounting; economics will always be economics. Leadership courses can be about anything.
PhD (in progress)
Masters and Graduate Certificate
AAS, AS, BA, and BS
CLEP
Intro Psych 70, US His I 64, Intro Soc 63, Intro Edu Psych 70, A&I Lit 64, Bio 68, Prin Man 69, Prin Mar 68
DSST
Life Dev Psych 62, Fund Coun 68, Intro Comp 469, Intro Astr 56, Env & Hum 70, HTYH 456, MIS 451, Prin Sup 453, HRM 62, Bus Eth 458
ALEKS
Int Alg, Coll Alg
TEEX
4 credits
TECEP
Fed Inc Tax, Sci of Nutr, Micro, Strat Man, Med Term, Pub Relations
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Sys Analysis & Design, Programming, Cyber
SL
Intro to Comm, Microbio, Acc I
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