This article is a guest post by my friend Ganesh, who had completed his MS and MBA and is currently working as a database developer. If you have questions after reading this article, leave a comment and he will respond to you in the next post.
MBA in the US has become a buzz word recently. Lots of people want to earn an MBA for many reasons. The most prevalent reason is the catchy salary it offers as soon as you graduate and the fast career growth after that.
Everyone wants to graduate with an MBA from Wharton or Thunderbird or Kellogg School of Business, get jobs in top consulting firms such as McKinsey with a sign-on bonus of $20,000, and an annual salary of $250,000 to start with.
Let’s face it, this will come only in one in a million. So every individual has to analyze his or her own situation and decide whether it’s right to study MBA or not.
MBA or MS?
As an example, let us assume you have completed BE. You then decided to do a master’s degree in the US. However, you are confused whether to take an MBA or MS. How do you decide?
There are many paths you can take for your career ahead. There are 2 most prominent ones. One is the technical career path — where you become a software engineer, senior software engineer, designer/architect and so on…where you work and don’t manage people.
These are ideal careers for people who don’t like handling the affairs of others. They like to just come to the office, attend meetings, do you own job at your own timing (believe me — I have friends who come at midnight and work ’till 7 am and come to office during daytime only for meetings) and they kept on going.
Another path is — the management line after being in technical/engineering careers — engineer, sr. engineer and manager — where you will start managing your own team — do appraisals, give pay raise, if required, and — like in this economy — even fire people.
If the second path looks more attractive to you — you should chose an MBA program. If the first path brings more out of who you are — you can chose an MS.
Of course, after coming to the U.S., you still have the choice of taking MBA after completing MS or study MS after earning an MBA — as there are no age limits whatsoever.
FAQs – MBA at U.S. Universities
Now, if you have decided to do MBA, there are many questions that need to be answer. I will try to tell about a few of them.
Please do remember, these are very general statements. Every university in the U.S. is different in its own way.
How many courses to finish an MBA?
The typical time it takes to complete MBA is 16 — 3 credit hour courses.
What is a credit hour?
Typically, one credit hour means 1 hour of class per week. So, a normal 3 credit hour course will be 3 hours a week, which can be 3 days of one hour each or 2 days of 1.5 hours or one day of 3 hours.
How long will it take to complete 16 — 3 credit hour courses?
Most international students take 3 courses in Fall semester, 3 courses in Spring semester and 2 courses in summer.
In this way, one can finish MBA within 2 years. This is a little longer than the usual MS programs.
How about funding for MBA programs?
It is tougher to get funding for MBA programs compared to MS programs. MBA programs do give out full scholarships even for the best applicants.
At the same time, the cost of MBA program is also comparably higher than MS programs. It has more expensive per credit hour fees and you need to complete more credit hours than MS.
When should you do MBA ?
Most of the top business schools in the U.S. require some work experience before admitting students into MBA. Generally, schools ask for around a 3 year work experience to get eligibility into an MBA program.
Read about the New Harvard 2+2 MBA Program.
Image Credit – Mooby