I work as database analyst for a small company.
I got an offer to work for Big name company as database support person. (+15%)
But my career goal is unclear. I want to be manager one day. I think getting MBA would help me to get gob at international companies such as GE/BP.

I can't wait for MBA podcast, and should I take this technicl job that ?

Now I at least take part in business discussions with management. In this technical job I will be database watcher.


bflynn's picture

A suggestion - if thinking about holding off so you can get an MBA is your reason not to take the job, don't wait. Getting an MBA isn't a magic ticket to being a manager because most of the programs today focus on the science of management (six-sigma, operation, marketing, etc) and not the art of it (MT stuff). Having the science without the art limits how far you can grow.

Your ability to become a manager will depend far more on doing a great job and stretching your current position than it will on adding some letters after your name.

As far as whether to stay in the small company and try to move to management or move to a large corporation - your call. You usually have a better chance to move into management in a smaller company. If you can build a good network, you might find someone in a larger company that will take a chance - they can tolerate your learning. Either way, its a tough break.

My opinion - actual mileage may vary.


WVH's picture
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My thoughts on an MBA.

If you want to get one to increase your knowledge levels, by all means do so. It is also helpful as a distinguishing characteristic -- it can set you apart. In my group, my manager and my 2 co-worker managers all have MBAs. I think having the degree was a help in advancement within my company, but wasn't the reaosn I was hired.

I would hesitate to go get an MBA as a means to change employers, unless I was going to a top shelf program - Penn, Northwestern, Stanford, Columbia etc.


TimBryce's picture

Yes, go for the job.

Although having an MBA would be nice, it is not critical to get into
large companies such as GE/BP. Once you are in, companies such as
GE have some rather nice programs to encourage you to pursue an
MBA degree at night.

All the Best,

dennisstinissen's picture

I would agree and advise you to go for the bigger company and don't bother for the MBA.

If you want to extend your knowlegde? Yes go for the MBA or a master degree. But don't get your MBA to speed up your career. Chances will come, if you have the skills.

I've been studying IT management in my spare time and I experienced it as a drawback, because the study was so time-consuming, that it 'cost' me 'careervalue' because was studying in stead of networking and profiling myself.

Kind regards,

Nik's picture

There is a widely held misconception that all MBA programs are long on theory and short on practical skills. While this is certainly true of [i]some[/i] MBA programs, many are now focusing more on teaching tactical skills and techniques in addition to general theory.

Having just completed the MBA program at [url=]Colorado State University,[/url] I have to say that I am delighted with what I learned. I now have a much broader grasp of business, especially as it pertains to risk assessment and management, finances and accounting (key practical skills for ANY manager); as well as a solid grounding in marketing, leadership, and operations management.

While I could have learned these skills on my own through reading and podcasts, I would not have had the opportunity to collaborate with other professionals (CSU requires that all its MBA candidates have substantial business experience) and faculty, and would certainly have learned less.

Even in my current position, these skills have made me far more effective and more valuable to my superiors. Given that CSU made it easy for me to take classes while maintaining my job, and that it was reasonably priced, I think it was entirely worth it.

But, in contrast, my cousin-in-law who went to Denver University (a top ranked b-school), found it to be mostly theory and his cohort was predominantly recent college graduates with no business experience. As a result, while DU got him well connected with recruiters and he quickly found a lucrative job (not the experience I had from CSU!), he learned little of value and felt that he mostly paid money and time in order to get recruited -- not to learn.

Not that this is a terrible reason to go to b-school (or any school). And, for most IT-type workers, they're becoming managers of outsourced projects and consultants much moreso than they are hands-on workers. In order to grow, I think you need a broader knowledge base, and business schooling is sure one way to get that.

But, as others have posted, it's not the ONLY way.

Mark's picture
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There are only two good reasons to get an MBA - to get a really significant job, which can only be done through one of the top MBA programs (which are really, in my opinion, much more recruiting factories) or to develop your skills to help you do your present and near term promotional jobs more effectively.

Unless you're going to a top school, the MBA won't make you that much more marketable, but it will often help your skills, and in the right job will enable you to do better and get promoted.

I think you could probably do either, and I don't know enough to make a recommendation. Sometimes big companies are good, and the fit is right for you. Other times, moving up at a smaller company is easier, and you can later move to management at a bigger company from a management job at your small company. Without knowing more, hard to say.


obulay's picture

I am going to get MBA part time at Top 35-50 university to develop my skills. I already do my present job well. I work for small casino as the only anslyst and there is no promotion opportunity. I am going to use MBA to change a career to GE/BP, working in IT in management.

Big company is fortune 30 company. I think promotion opportunity are limited. Plus my IT support department is so easy may be offshored.


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge


Caution: don't rely on that top 35-50 school to get you that job. It's really only the top 20 schools that draw those companies into recruiting on campus. On the other hand, talk to the schools you're interested in about which companies DO recruit there. If the companies you want don't recruit there, DON'T GO THERE.

I know it sounds harsh, but this is what I tell my friends.


Nik's picture

As someone who spent a LOT of time shopping for the right b-school to get my own MBA at, I just want to echo Mark's advice.

Go to the school that will get you recruited by your next employer, if that's why you're seeking a degree. Moreover, go to the school that this employer recruits YOUR DESIRED POSITION from.

It's all well and good to go somewhere that will get you picked up by, say, GE, but if they only hire their accountants there and you want an general management role, you're out of luck (unless you want to work up from the accounting department).

Alumni organizations will be able to give you some guidance, and if you have any contacts with the HR department at your target employer, they should be able to give you some guidance. (And if you don't have contacts, they may well be open to cold calls.)