MBA Complete – Was It Worth It?

by The Happy Rock on March 18, 2008

harvard-business-graduation.jpgThis past Sunday I handed in my final paper for my MBA degree(Marketing concentration)  at Drexel University’s Lebow College of Business. The finality is so fresh that the end of my long two and half year journey hasn’t sunk in. It is starting though…Tuesday is my normal class night and I got to stay home with my family!

The first question most people will ask is “was getting an MBA worth”? On a personal level, it was a truly great experience. One that has given my a lot of confidence, motivation, purpose, and energy.  On a business and pure learning level, I am not so sure. I think something like the Personal MBA or selected great texts from Amazon and a business mentor would have been more useful and practical.

The degree cost about $55,000 in tuition and books, but that was 100% covered by my employer. I even made money, since I sold most of my books on Amazon after the class was over. The degree also cost me time, commitment, and family sacrifice.

As for salary, it will be a while before I know.  I don’t get a single penny more from my current employer for finishing an MBA.  We will see if that changes in the future.

One article suggests that

According to one salary guide, an MBA is worth about $10-30,000 a year over a bachelor’s degree, but the salary increase you could see may be much less — or much more. Factors that can affect your salary include:


  • whether you stay with your current employer or seek a job with a new employer.
  • the amount of relevant experience you have for the job you are seeking.
  • the reputation of the graduate school you attended.
  • the type of job you are seeking — and the level of supply/demand for workers.
  • the industries where you are seeking a job.
  • the location of the jobs you are seeking.

A fellow blogger with an MBA, FMF @ Free Money Finance, reported that he almost doubled his salary in 5 years during the 90’s. I have no doubt that I might see similar returns.

All in all, I am glad to be done, but it was a great experience.

[Update 6/2011] – I am still with the same employer and haven’t received any direct raises because of my MBA.  I have gotten a few years of better rankings and raises that are almost a direct result of the confidence and business acumen that was cultivated during my MBA journey.  I would estimate a $3,000 – $5,000 direct return on my MBA investment so far.  I also have a few other endeavors in the pipeline  were shaped by my experience of getting an MBA which could prove lucrative.  The actual knowledge I gathered in my MBA is not helping me very much.  I have learned much more from a few keys books and my interest in Lean Startups.

Quote Source: Quint Careers
Note: Picture is not me, but a graduation at Harvard the most prestigious business school in the US.