A Better Way to Get Your Master’s Degree?

Graduation CapCheck out the PMBA (Personal MBA)- a guided tour through the best business books on the planet, claiming to replace the $100,000 MBA. There might be something to this . . . .

I’ve considered getting my Master’s Degree. Still not opposed to it. But one of the things I always get snagged on is the return on my time (and my money). Deep down, I think I’m convinced I’ll learn more through trial and error on the job than in a classroom. Plus, from what many friends tell me, most schools’ approach to business has not caught up with how business is actually done these days anyway.

On the other hand, I respect the schooling for the sheer fact that education in a group setting is a really good thing – the group itself provides a great deal of education. Plus, the accountability is a very good thing. These days, however, so many programs offer online courses and come-and-go class settings where you only have to actually show up once a month, which seems to take away some of these benefits.

I guess I’m saying something like the PMBA listed above might not be such a bad idea.

Any of you have your Master’s? Or are you getting it? Has it been worth it? Could you possibly be just as far ahead today without it, or has it been a key to your success?

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5 responses to “A Better Way to Get Your Master’s Degree?

  1. Any degree depends 100% on what you want to get out of it. A Master’s degree is NOT about the information, that would just be a silly idea. There’s more information out there than any degree could give you, and there’s no secret informatiion out there that a specific degree is going to give you access to. The advantage to a degree are 2: 1. you get to put it on your resume for stupid people who think degrees = ability/wisdom and 2. first hand application of information. I’m working on my second Master’s degree. It’s not that I could not get that information myself, in fact, I mostly am by writing my Thesis. The great advantage is the structure within I gather than information and the first hand ability for me to work with my Thesis advisor. My advisor is an expert in the field of New Testament and a Scholar in that field. After I do the work, and he puts his seal of approval on me and my work, I’ll be one too (that would be December 2007). So, it’s not about getting the information, it’s about the access to the experts. All that said, if it is about the information for you, just read the books and save the money. BUT, if you need the degree on the resume, bite the bullet and get the degree, but don’t just get the degree, if you’re going to pay for it get the most out of it!

  2. Harris – nicely put.

    Knowing that you are getting your degrees from theological seminaries, I think it’s interesting that churches seem to be one of the most disciplined in requiring a master’s degree to be in most positions.

    I think your point on access to the experts is a good one. Guess it’s dependent on who you see as an expert (and how close they live to you!).

  3. Hi Brett

    I have an MBA from Deakin University here in Australia. http://www.deakin.edu.au/

    I completed it about 10 years ago, I was in my early 30’s at the time. I did a fair chunk of the degree by correspondence (I was living in Papua New Guinea at the time). I was very pleased with the content of most of the units and still call on some of the concepts in the workplace today. I’m an accountant by profession but find I am able to hold my own in discussions with people from other disciplines, eg marketing, IT, HR as a result of having covered a fair bit of the theory from these areas.

    There was a formal, underlying theme to my degree – Leadership – which I feel has also added to my skill set both at work and outside of work.

    Some of the units I did were residential, whereby I had to spend 8 days on site 24/7 covering the carriculum for the subject in question. One example was a subject called Enterpreneurship, which involved among other things a session with real life Venture Capitalists, a session with various people in the franchising business, development of business plans for start ups etc etc. I found these exercises enjoyable and as I said early they have helped me in my work ever since. I definitely felt the material we covered was relevant at the time, but this was when the web was just a twinkle in its father’s eye, so can’t comment if technology has passed the standard MBA by.

    PS – I realise of course that things will be very different in the USA

  4. Bruce – so it sounds like you definitely appreciate your MBA work. That’s 2-0, so far, in favor of doing it.

    That’s pretty cool about the entrepreneurship class, meeting with the venture capitalists. That is something every college should do, I think.

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