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Planning for next steps after BSBA: MBA+MSML, MBA+Grad Cert, PhD?
#1
I'm debating my next steps after my BSBA is conferred. I really enjoy learning and now that I've got the degree bug, I want to make sure I can earn credit for the learning I do. I'm a planner, so I like to understand my options and have developed a decision tree for each of them to make sure I don't miss out on opportunities. So I'm thinking a bit further ahead than I probably need to.

In any case, I have been planning to head to WGU and complete both their MBA and MSML degrees, but the more I think about it, the more it seems like a waste of time and money to get two closely-related business degrees from the same low-ranking business school, even though I could do both fast and cheap. I'm more interested in the MSML but the MBA will probably be more useful.

So, I've been debating whether it makes more sense to just focus on the MBA from WGU and then work on a leadership-related graduate certificate from a well-known school like Wharton, Harvard, or Cornell to make my academic history look a bit more prestigious since WGU is relatively unknown. A grad certificate is fairly close to the time and cost investment of a second masters degree from WGU. It isn't as nice as an MBA degree, but I'm not about to drop $200K for a Wharton MBA, assuming I can even get in, and I don't want to spend two years getting it.

I want a business master's degree because it will reinforce what I've already learned as an entrepreneur and business manager. However, the degree will also be helpful to me in my career when doing consulting, adjunct teaching, or when a new employment opportunity arises. So I'm debating what looks better, particularly given I already have a strong professional background in tech. Because of that, it's hard for people to see my business acumen.

Additionally, I'm planning to apply to the Georgia Tech OMSCS program. I don't know if can get into that program, but if so, that would be my next step after the MBA is complete. I'd mainly be going that way because I enjoy the subject matter and it would be a feather in my cap career-wise. An MBA and an MSCS would be a perfect complement in my career since I leverage both areas concurrently.

I'm also considering a PhD program after I complete a masters. If I go for the PhD, it wouldn't be with any specific goal other than, perhaps, to open the door to teaching down the road when I'm no longer interested in traditional employment. I've been looking at a DBA or PhD from a school like Cal Southern, Heriot-Watt, U Cumberlands, or Northcentral U. UoP has a DBA and DM (Management) program that I find appealing, but that school is tainted in many eyes, so might not be worth consideration.

Technically I could also start a PhD right after the BSBA via Heriot-Watt, though that would take a lot longer than two masters programs via WGU, and I think it would be more beneficial to get at least an MBA done first since I should be able to easily knock that out in 3-6 months.

I'm interested in opinions, particularly from people who've already been down a similar path and continue to be interested in advanced degrees.
In Progress: MBA (IT Management), Western Governors University (31/35cu | Nov 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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#2
I will be 100% honest here. I have spoken to friends of mine who work at Devon Energy in Oklahoma City and they have stated that most hiring managers do not care where your degree is from as long as you have experience and are competent in the needed area. I have personally decided that I am going to pursue a graduate certificate from either Cornell or Wharton as they are the best price wise. That said, I am a stickler on accreditation and I PERSONALLY wanted my MBA from an AACSB-Accredited program. Many could care less about that though. Lol


East Central University
Bachelors of Science - 2015
Biology

Southeastern Oklahoma State University
AACSB-Accredited
Masters of Business Administration - 2019
Management
_____________________________________________________
Master of Science (MS) - Finance
University of Missouri
AACSB-Accredited
Beginning Spring 2020

Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Management
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
AACSB-Accredited
Conferred 2019

Bachelor of Science (BS) - Biology
East Central University
Conferred 2015
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#3
(11-24-2018, 08:43 PM)ThatBankDude Wrote: I will be 100% honest here. I have spoken to friends of mine who work at Devon Energy in Oklahoma City and they have stated that most hiring managers do not care where your degree is from as long as you have experience and are competent in the needed area. I have personally decided that I am going to pursue a graduate certificate from either Cornell or Wharton as they are the best price wise. That said, I am a stickler on accreditation and I PERSONALLY wanted my MBA from an AACSB-Accredited program. Many could care less about that though. Lol


East Central University
Bachelors of Science - 2015
Biology

Southeastern Oklahoma State University
AACSB-Accredited
Masters of Business Administration - 2019
Management

As a hiring manager I completely agree. I usually don't even look at education, I look at what someone has accomplished and what they have the potential to accomplish for me.

However, these days I work in executive management, so experience only gets you so far... academic credentials are still important to other people in senior management and to boards of directors. Luckily this hasn't been an issue to me so far since I've had the advantage of being in at the ground floor in several businesses where the ability to deliver is more important than academic credentials. Plus I usually end up in a tech-management role like CTO, CIO, or VP of Engineering.

However, my interests lean more toward COO and CEO roles these days. Despite having decades of business operations experience most people can't see beyond my tech background, so I am hoping that adding some academic business credentials might help illustrate the diversity of my capabilities.

Yes, having an MBA from a lesser-known school doesn't really help distinguish anything, but that where I hope having the certs might be a differentiator since I don't have the time or interest in going into debt to get a really expensive degree that isn't likely to generate enough ROI to make it worthwhile.
In Progress: MBA (IT Management), Western Governors University (31/35cu | Nov 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)

[-] The following 1 user Likes Merlin's post:
  • ThatBankDude
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#4
(11-24-2018, 09:04 PM)Merlin Wrote:
(11-24-2018, 08:43 PM)ThatBankDude Wrote: I will be 100% honest here. I have spoken to friends of mine who work at Devon Energy in Oklahoma City and they have stated that most hiring managers do not care where your degree is from as long as you have experience and are competent in the needed area. I have personally decided that I am going to pursue a graduate certificate from either Cornell or Wharton as they are the best price wise. That said, I am a stickler on accreditation and I PERSONALLY wanted my MBA from an AACSB-Accredited program. Many could care less about that though. Lol


East Central University
Bachelors of Science - 2015
Biology

Southeastern Oklahoma State University
AACSB-Accredited
Masters of Business Administration - 2019
Management

As a hiring manager I completely agree. I usually don't even look at education, I look at what someone has accomplished and what they have the potential to accomplish for me.

However, these days I work in executive management, so experience only gets you so far... academic credentials are still important to other people in senior management and to boards of directors. Luckily this hasn't been an issue to me so far since I've had the advantage of being in at the ground floor in several businesses where the ability to deliver is more important than academic credentials. Plus I usually end up in a tech-management role like CTO, CIO, or VP of Engineering.

However, my interests lean more toward COO and CEO roles these days. Despite having decades of business operations experience most people can't see beyond my tech background, so I am hoping that adding some academic business credentials might help illustrate the diversity of my capabilities.

Yes, having an MBA from a lesser-known school doesn't really help distinguish anything, but that where I hope having the certs might be a differentiator since I don't have the time or interest in going into debt to get a really expensive degree that isn't likely to generate enough ROI to make it worthwhile.


That last paragraph resonated for sure. In what my wife and I have planned for our family, an actual degree from an Ivy League school or another top university is not in the playing cards. I cannot afford to uproot my family to move nor do I want to spend $200,000+ on a degree. If I was going to spend that much I would have gone to dental school or medical school! Lol

I agree though, I am hoping to get a Business Analytics and a Management certificate from an Ivy League school to help bolster my resume a little. At 26 years old, I am in no hurry though. I am in a leadership role with the financial institution I work at with an opportunity to become a VP in April 2019. That said, I do want to move into a President and/or CEO role by the age of 40. Ambitious goals but I am persistent.

Given your experience, I would find a brick and mortar school that is offers a MBA online that may be more well known to your employer. Then follow it up with graduate certificate(s).


East Central University
Bachelors of Science - 2015
Biology

Southeastern Oklahoma State University
AACSB-Accredited
Masters of Business Administration - 2019
Management
_____________________________________________________
Master of Science (MS) - Finance
University of Missouri
AACSB-Accredited
Beginning Spring 2020

Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Management
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
AACSB-Accredited
Conferred 2019

Bachelor of Science (BS) - Biology
East Central University
Conferred 2015
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#5
Merlin, you have several options, too many to think of (like laddering them all), but you should focus on three main ones. Since education for most is lifelong learning, I wouldn't rush it just for the sake of getting a promotion up to VP/C-Level or something.

1) Get a graduate certificate in what you want to "specialize in", such as Accounting, Finance, whatever it may be.
2) Get a Masters in that specialization of choice, this will take slightly longer, but you may be able to finish both MSML & MBA in a year or less
3) Go for a Ph.D. instead, it's the final frontier of academic education - go the distance (be done)

If I was in your shoes (and I love ACBSP or AACSB accredited programs), I would stick with a MBA/MSML combo and finish that first at WGU.  That will get you the ACBSP Masters (two of the cheapest/easiest/fastest ones out there to boot!).  My second goal  would be finding that "elusive specialization cert" in whatever you want to do from that "ivy school of choice".  Lastly, doing the PHD by taking the time when you're in the position you want - VP/C-Level, take the time then to do the PHD...
Done: TESU ASNSM Biology, ASBA/BSBA (ACBSP Accredited in 2017)
Working on: TESU BA Biology & Computer Science
Deferred: **Deciding on several Masters/PHD programs**

2018 BALS and BSBA Spreadsheet using mainly SL/Study.com (post#28,31)
The Basic Approach | DegreeForum Community Supported Wiki
~Review Beginners Guide sticky for info on TESU BALS/BSBA in 4 months (post #16)
~Note: Read Wiki guide links for TESU equivalency - CLEP/DSST/SL/Study.com, etc
[-] The following 1 user Likes bjcheung77's post:
  • ThatBankDude
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#6
(11-24-2018, 09:47 PM)bjcheung77 Wrote: Merlin, you have several options, too many to think of (like laddering them all), but you should focus on three main ones. Since education for most is lifelong learning, I wouldn't rush it just for the sake of getting a promotion up to VP/C-Level or something.

1) Get a graduate certificate in what you want to "specialize in", such as Accounting, Finance, whatever it may be.
2) Get a Masters in that specialization of choice, this will take slightly longer, but you may be able to finish both MSML & MBA in a year or less
3) Go for a Ph.D. instead, it's the final frontier of academic education - go the distance (be done)

If I was in your shoes (and I love ACBSP or AACSB accredited programs), I would stick with a MBA/MSML combo and finish that first at WGU.  That will get you the ACBSP Masters (two of the cheapest/easiest/fastest ones out there to boot!).  My second goal  would be finding that "elusive specialization cert" in whatever you want to do from that "ivy school of choice".  Lastly, doing the PHD by taking the time when you're in the position you want - VP/C-Level, take the time then to do the PHD...

Right now I'm taking a sabbatical from work to focus on my education, so I'm trying to get as much done as possible before I need to throw myself back into the daily grind. I gave myself 12 months, which will basically be done when my BSBA is conferred. Though I get headhunted now and then so I may end up starting something new even before that. Either way, a job shouldn't interfere with the ability to complete a WGU MBA or MSML in a few months (and maybe get someone else to pay for it) but then I have to wait around for conferral.

I'm already at VP/C-Level, but just not the types of positions I really want to be in. A PhD would be ideal, but that's at least 2-3 years extra, maybe longer depending on the dissertation and defense process. I can look for an applied non-dissertation doctorate (like a DBA, DM, or executive PhD) but that might not really do much for me if I want to get into teaching down the road. At least not for tenured college-level roles (though I may be outside the age demographic to consider that a valid option).

I consider myself a lifetime learner and plan to continue to be. I just want to try to focus my education into ways I can earn degrees or credentials since I'm investing the time and money anyway. Smile
In Progress: MBA (IT Management), Western Governors University (31/35cu | Nov 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)

[-] The following 1 user Likes Merlin's post:
  • ThatBankDude
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#7
You already know how I feel about leadership degrees. I'm glad you're coming to your senses.  Big Grin

Seriously, I don't get the point in having an MSL and MBA. WGU doesn't teach anything, so you can read leadership books and articles on your own. If you want more, I would think you'd have a better experience attending lectures from leadership experts.
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
CSU
Sys Analysis & Design, Programming, Cyber
SL
Intro to Comm, Microbio, Acc I
Uexcel
A&P
Davar
Macro, Intro to Fin, Man Acc
[-] The following 1 user Likes sanantone's post:
  • jsd
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#8
(11-25-2018, 01:20 AM)sanantone Wrote: You already know how I feel about leadership degrees. I'm glad you're coming to your senses.  Big Grin

Seriously, I don't get the point in having an MSL and MBA. WGU doesn't teach anything, so you can read leadership books and articles on your own. If you want more, I would think you'd have a better experience attending lectures from leadership experts.

Hehe. Yeah, well I'm already a leadership-focused manager and have already read many of the books and watched hundreds of hours of lectures of the years, so the MSML should be a cakewalk for me. It would be my preference if it weren't for the fact that it doesn't really have the punch that an MBA does on a resume. But I am coming to the rationalization that having an MSML and MBA is kind of a waste of time and money if it doesn't look any better than just the MBA. Now if I did the MBA and MSCS, that would be much more valuable. particularly if the MSCS is from a named school like GA Tech.

When I think about it, I've been learning business and computer science skills on my own for years with no academic credentials to show for it, so really the main reason for the degree is for those credentials. Which is really to pad my resume, and to be taken more seriously among people who still think a degree is important. Plus I might want to go into teaching or academic research in the future, and I can't even get my foot in the door there without at least an RA bachelor's.
In Progress: MBA (IT Management), Western Governors University (31/35cu | Nov 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)

Reply
#9
If I were you, and you mentioned that people look at you as a "tech guy", I would get the MBA (no MSML necessary) to show that you have the business skills. That's pretty much all you need at this point. You've already proven the tech side, and the leadership, and the MBA just checks a box that many people want to see.

The GA Tech degree if you really wanted it, would mostly be for fun, and probably wouldn't do anything to advance your career, I'm guessing.

I have no opinions on the PhD - although I did actually enjoy having professors who had real-world experience in business. There is nothing like learning business from some guy who has never done anything in his life except gone to school and earned degrees! So have at it.
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
[-] The following 1 user Likes dfrecore's post:
  • Merlin
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#10
Academia can be rather snooty, so I'd avoid the non-traditional schools, such as Northcentral, unless you just want to teach at a CC. I had CC adjunct instructors with Capella and University of Phoenix degrees, so they don't care. A lot of smaller, regional schools also don't care.
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
CSU
Sys Analysis & Design, Programming, Cyber
SL
Intro to Comm, Microbio, Acc I
Uexcel
A&P
Davar
Macro, Intro to Fin, Man Acc
Reply


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