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Old 11-20-2012, 03:16 PM
 
181 posts, read 441,594 times
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*Edit: Sorry, should be "Math Degree" instead of "Major Degree" in title.

I work full time in NYC (for ~2 years now) but have a low salary of 40K a year. My job is a mix of business analysis, project management, and reporting/metrics handling. Without being too specific, my salary just isn't enough and I don't really feel challenged in my current environment...fortunately, my company will pay 10 000 a year in tuition reimbursement so I can get a master's degree. I was thinking of getting an MBA in Accounting from Baruch (zicklin school of business) - it's a cheap school, not top-tier but still reputable and has a significant alumni database which is more important IMO. My undergraduate major was in mathematics so I'm looking to expand my skill set into something a little less technical. Accounting seems like a good mix between business and quantitative reasoning.

My only concern is - so many people have MBA's these days and my choices are quite limited because of where I work and how little I get paid. I've always been 'an ends justify the means' kind of guy but I don't want to blow 4-5 years on an investment that yields very little results.

DO i have a reasonable approach here? My gut is saying "YES! take the risk and get that MBA!", but of course, I tend to overthink things.

Last edited by Namogel; 11-20-2012 at 03:28 PM..
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:43 PM
 
Location: NY/LA
4,642 posts, read 4,484,480 times
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I know a few MBAs from Baruch that took the exact path you're proposing and are pretty happy with the way things turned out. I'd recommend reaching out to someone from admissions and I'm sure they'd be happy to provide more info.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:34 AM
 
Location: Harrisburg, PA
2,336 posts, read 7,747,636 times
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Oh wow; $40K in NYC...you're right; that salary is just not competitive for the type of work you are doing in that region.

Given the information that you provided, the following points come to mind:

#1 - If you are planning on utilizing the tuition reimbursement benefit at your employer, understand that it is rare that these come with no strings attached. For example, my employer offers it. However, they must review your coursework and approve it in terms of relevancy to your position AND you have to remain employed by the company for 2 years after completing your degree. If not, then they deduct the reimbursement from your final paycheck(s). Needless to say, I declined this option from my employer; mainly because I only had 2 semesters left at the time of my hire date. Do you think they will offer you a raise or promotion once your degree is earned? If not, I might reconsider the opportunity cost of staying at that employer for many more years; even with the tuition reimbursement.

#2 - I went to CUNY Baruch's website for their MBA Programs. My assumption is that you want to work full-time and study for your MBA part-time. This is fine...many people do it. However just make a note that the program is 57 credit hours; unless you obtain waivers for some of the core courses. This may or may not be possible given your undergraduate major in math. At the graduate level, part-time studies are 6-9 credits per semester. Even with year round study, this means it will take several years to earn your MBA. I don't say this to discourage you. I plugged away at my MBA part-time. It will get done eventually. But for planning purposes, keep in mind that you'll have that degree in hand 3 or 4 years after the first day of your first MBA class. So factor that into your decision making and in shaping your career.

#3 - MBAs in Accounting usually are looking to become CPAs. Is that the direction you wish to go in or are you open? The only reason why I point this out is that if you wish to become a CPA, then you have to pay attention to the educational requirements for a CPA in NY (many times, they can be pretty specific in what subjects and courses you take). It is fine if that is what you want to do. Just realize that if you are unsure or if you want more flexibility, perhaps another MBA option would work out better.

Anyway, that's my $0.02.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:39 AM
 
181 posts, read 441,594 times
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thanks for the responses. My main problem is I feel like I'm in such a rut right now and feel like I'm approaching a quarter life crisis. Sure, I have a job, but it doesn't pay well and even though I may be better off than many of my friends, in a few years, they might find themselves with much better jobs than the one I have right now. Ultimately it comes down to not knowing what I want to do in life and the few things I did attempt (actuarial science), fell flat on me because I couldn't pass a test...not to mention there are like 8 more after those! I figure grad school would help me realize my potential more because I'm far from it in my current position, but many nights even I wonder if I'm really just trying to convince myself.

Miss,

I looked more into the MBA Accounting page at ZSB, but it looks they increased the credits to 72!
Assuming I can take 2 courses a semester for 3 semesters a year (fall, spring, summer), I guess I can make it out in 4 years, but it's a hell of a commitment. I could see myself taking and passing the CPA, though.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:55 PM
 
1,624 posts, read 4,846,689 times
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If your employer doesn't require a service committment, I'd just go to the very best school you can get into in your area no matter the cost.

You then take the absolutely minimum amount of classes necessary to not get kicked out, skip summers, etc. Hopefully, that would be below the $10K per year net of taxes.

You then use and abuse the career services staff to help you find a job (since you already have a degree, you don't have to wait until near graduation to find a job). You put that school and your pending MBA status on it. You network like crazy with professors and fellow students (they all will have jobs and may know of openings). You then find a higher paying job and decide later if you want to continue with the MBA or not.

You get a lot of benefits of being a Fordham or NYU student, without ever actually taking a lot of classes or spending a lot of money. This is a quasi scam called "renting" a degree.

Last edited by slim04; 11-21-2012 at 01:07 PM..
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Harrisburg, PA
2,336 posts, read 7,747,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namogel View Post
I could see myself taking and passing the CPA, though.
The CPA route is good. An MBA coupled with a CPA opens up a lot of doors professionally. I considered it for a little while myself. However I realized that I only enjoyed financial accounting and bookkeeping....and hated all of the other stuff (cost accounting, forecasting, taxes, etc.).
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:34 PM
 
181 posts, read 441,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slim04 View Post
If your employer doesn't require a service committment, I'd just go to the very best school you can get into in your area no matter the cost.

You then take the absolutely minimum amount of classes necessary to not get kicked out, skip summers, etc. Hopefully, that would be below the $10K per year net of taxes.

You then use and abuse the career services staff to help you find a job (since you already have a degree, you don't have to wait until near graduation to find a job). You put that school and your pending MBA status on it. You network like crazy with professors and fellow students (they all will have jobs and may know of openings). You then find a higher paying job and decide later if you want to continue with the MBA or not.

You get a lot of benefits of being a Fordham or NYU student, without ever actually taking a lot of classes or spending a lot of money. This is a quasi scam called "renting" a degree.
Interesting approach. Can't say I've ever thought of it but in theory, that might actually work. There is a service commitment of a year stay after your latest class though (whether it's the last class before the degree or simply the last class you decide to take).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissShona View Post
The CPA route is good. An MBA coupled with a CPA opens up a lot of doors professionally. I considered it for a little while myself. However I realized that I only enjoyed financial accounting and bookkeeping....and hated all of the other stuff (cost accounting, forecasting, taxes, etc.).
Agreed - plus if I ever get sick of the corporate world, I can maybe try to open up my own firm. The CPA is highly regarded so I'll definitely put in the manpower to see it through.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:39 PM
 
1,624 posts, read 4,846,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namogel View Post
Interesting approach. Can't say I've ever thought of it but in theory, that might actually work. There is a service commitment of a year stay after your latest class though (whether it's the last class before the degree or simply the last class you decide to take).


With a year service committment, that means you have to pay back the tuition reimbursed to you. So if you do the renting of the degree and find a new job, you have to factor in repaying the $10K or whatever in terms of whether it is worth moving. If it is a better paying job and more opportunity, $10K is nothing. Plus, you probably can negotiate to repay it over time. If they have a sloppy accounting or HR staff, they may never even ask yo to repay it (saw this happen a lot).

I just don't see the benefits of going to lower ranked school if you can get into a good one. Good Luck.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Maryland
18,630 posts, read 19,293,577 times
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Baruch is good if you want to stay in NYC, however if you're a minority, woman or can somehow prove your committment to diversity you may want to look into the Consortium or Forte. With one application you can apply to up to 6 schools and potentially get the full tuition paid.

Honestly that pay is very low in NYC, I made that working at Chase as personal banker a few years ago just on base alone. Maybe discreetly look for another job.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:55 PM
 
Location: NY/LA
4,642 posts, read 4,484,480 times
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Unless you get a scholarship, I would go with Baruch all day. If you were targeting Finance or Marketing companies, it might be worth it to spend a lot more on tuition, but for accounting? It's much less prestige-oriented. The Big 4 all recruit at Baruch and once you have that Big 4 on your resume (+ CPA) you'll have plenty of options.
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