Since you’ve probably seen me rail on the MBA (despite sending a solid number of candidates in each year), I’m addressing another aspect: the candidate who needs the degree as a check mark. I’ve reframed the question just a touch. If you essentially have to have the MBA for a career step down the line, does it make sense to get just any MBA or should it be top tier?
This is still a challenge for those in the Fortune 500. Big companies still have mountains of people in management who may need MBAs for promotions.
For someone in this situation, go for a top tier EMBA program if you expect to be in or near the C-suite, and choose a local part time MBA if you’ll be thrilled with middle management.
Turns out recruiters of those in and near the C-suite are hyper sensitive to the ranking of the school from which you got your EMBA. Despite the premise of EMBA programs that they prepare you for internal promotions, many candidates end up underwhelmed with the current employer’s response to the new degree. So they bounce. Or get poached. So if you want to be poachable, get the best EMBA you can. Attending a local part time MBA (unless local is Columbia or Wharton and a few others) is pure folly.
If you’re happy with landing in middle management or you’re trying to get back into the work force after an extended absence and you are wedded to a location, your best local part time MBA program will be fine. This won’t preclude you from advancement, but it also won’t set you up for an aggressive advancement track. You’ll have to light that fire with your employer.
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