Thursday, November 10, 2011

More information when considering professional business schools

As I started my research on part-time and executive MBA programs, I noticed that a lot of these programs complete for the same pool of qualified students by jostling with each other and competing with various ammunition at their disposal.

One of these is the school ranking among its peers.  Depending on the publication and the criteria that they judge each school, the rankings can vary.  End of the day, I have decided that as long as I stay within the top 10, I should be okay.  To be honest, who will not hire someone solely based on the individual going to say, Haas vs. Columbia?

If you are interested in the specific ranking of each program based on metrics used by Business Week, you can find them here:
  1. Part-time/ Evening MBA Program
  2. Executive MBA Program

The tool provided by Business Week is very interesting, and allows you to search for a program and find out their particular rankings.  Do I really believe that the University of Nevada, Reno's part-time MBA program is really better than the Berkeley Haas program, when the actual degree you receive is the same as students who attend full-time?  Not really.  If you look at the full-time programs, they're not even in the same ballpark.  Considering the faculty for the full-time program teaches for the part-time, I really don't think the BusinessWeek comparison is objective beyond creating incremental content to monetize.

My biggest struggle at this point is deciding if I should attend the executive or the part-time/evening program.    There are pluses and minuses for attending either program, so I'll just list them out here:

Executive Haas MBA Program:
  • Dual degrees from Columbia business school and Haas
  • Alumni to both campus and access to both school's resources
  • 19-month program
  • Missing significant amount of work (several seminars start on Wednesdays and Thursdays)
  • Living in residence at a hotel in NYC and Berkeley
  • $150,000 (in just over 2-years)
  • No financial aid
Part-time/Evening Haas MBA Program:
  • Same degree as the Haas full-time students
  • 2.5-3 year to graduation
  • Evening or weekend courses outside of work hours
  • $105,000 total tuition, but over 3-years (~$35K/year)
  • Limited financial aid

Definitely hard decisions.

To get a personal insight into the programs, it's actually pretty interesting to just watch their commencement to both get a perspective of the student dynamics as well as an understanding of the caliber of the enrolled students.

Executive MBA Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2011

EWMBA Haas Commencement Student Speech

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