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MBA or MIS

Hi everyone,
I have 3 year of work experience in the IT field and would prefer being in the same field itself. But i am confused over the various options
-Do a MIS ?
-Do MBA with IT as core

Leave the options and get IT certifications done from MS and continue in this pattern..

Any help will do :)

Thanks,
Jacob
Jacob Jose Neroth Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
Option 3: Save your time and money. invest your money and build up your reserves for a rainy day or your retirement.

I have an MBA and a Masters in Software Engineering. The MBA is useless crap (I went to a ranked program too... all MBAs are crap) and my Software Engineering masters helped with a few marginal things that I would have learned at work or on my own anyway.

You won't get more money from having this. The highest paying jobs don't care about degrees. It is only the low to middle wage jobs that care about credentials. Seriously... I know this from experience.

I am a contractor. Whenever I get a call from some idiot who is excited about my pretty resumes with my degrees and my certifications alarm bells go off  "they don't pay anything". The ones that pay well ($80/hour+) never ask about this stuff. They just want to find out if you can do the work.
Contractor Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
What do you want to be doing 5 years from now?

Ten?
Matthew Heusser Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
I would still like to be an active coder /programmer 5-10 years down the line. Try out new technologies and things.
Jacob Jose Neroth Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
If you want to stay a coder, why would you even consider an MBA?

Do you want to go management into management at a large company in 15 or 20 years?  (Small to medium, an MBA won't matter)

Do you want to go into business consulting (which means travel) or finance, or investment banking, or teach business at a community college?

If the answer to all of those are no, why are you looking at an MBA?

Also consider: For the effort involved in a master's of any type, you could write a book.  When you write a book, they pay /you/ ...
Matthew Heusser Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
MBA does not teach you anything about management... you can't learn how to be a manager from professors who have never had real jobs in their life.

these degrees really do not make you more marketable or more money.

this is from experience. I get the high paying work based on showing in an interview that I can do the job. They don't care about my degrees.
Contractor Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
Hi Mathew,
When i mentioned MBA , it was MBA in Information Systems.
Basically continue in the IT field itself. The problem is with
recession, the coders jobs are becoming risky and it's difficult to get a good job and ppl with just a btech degree are getting less noticed when u try out at new places..

Cheers,
Jacob
Jacob Jose Neroth Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
Contractor,
Even for them to know whether u are capable of doing the Job.
During the initial filtering of the Resumes, they will just scan through and from the initial scanning itself when they find B.tech, they just don;t consider you.(Considering this company has got 100 odd resumes )
Jacob Jose Neroth Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
Let's assume what contractor says is true: An MBA doesn't help you do the work.

Who gets the job?  The person who can best do the work?

Who gets promoted?  The person who can best do the work?

So, an MBA is more of a declaration that you belong to a management caste - and are willing to invest a year of your life, or two, into proving that declaration.  If you aggressively network while you are in school, it can also provide you with a contact network.  (That doesn't apply if, for example, you go online MBA.)

If what contractor says is true, An MBA might help you get the job, and get promoted.  So the question is  - do you want to continue to propagate such a system based on class?

There are other reasons to pursue an MBA - if, for example, you want to teach business at the community-college level.

I think if you want to be intellectually honest and pursue and MBA, you've got some serious thinking to do about your goals and values. I'm not saying an MBA is "bad", or even agreeing with contractor - I'm just saying that he makes some valid points, and, if you go after an MBA, it's best to decide before class starts - lest you end up the main charater in "the goal" - without the physics PhD dude to help you out.
Matthew Heusser Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
In the near future, I'm hoping to enroll in a program that will grant me a double major consisting of both an MBA and an MIS (this school doesn't offer IT as a core focus of their MBA).  However, I want to do so because I'd like to be a CIO or a IT director by the time I retire.  By getting the degree, as others pointed out, I'm expanding my professional network and making it easier to get my foot in that particular door.

If you're not interested in being that kind of executive, then the program would be a waste of your time.

In a nutshell, MBA programs are designed to expose you to various ways of building and funding a business.  The better programs walk you through everything from developing a business plan, raising capital, managing a product and budgeting resources.  (Most of that information will be useless but the point here is simply knowing that the possibilities exist.)

An MIS program is designed to expose you to various strategic goals that a company may want to accomplish and how technology can assist or hinder those goals.  For example, at which point does securing networks become cost ineffective?

An MBA and/or an MIS would provide zero value to someone who's primarily interested in being a programmer.  When companies hire you to develop an ASP.NET web site, they'd give a rat's patooey how you'd leverage the company's stock price to raise capital for investing in a "hot backup" data center located on the other side of the country.

If you're interested in taking the program in order to further your own intellectual curiosity, then by all means go ahead and spend the $20,000 plus to get the degree.

If you're trying to get a raise in your current programming job or you want a better, more challenging programming job, you're probably better off getting a master's degree in computer science, mathematics, physics, engineering or similar technical field that heavily uses computers.
TheDavid Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
Responding to something TheDavid said:
"An MBA and/or an MIS would provide zero value to someone who's primarily interested in being a programmer.  "
That's true, mostly, but how many people have you known who started out their career convinced that they wanted to cut code until they die?  And how many of those people eventually burn out on never getting to call the shots?  Nobody starts out programming thinking they want to be a PHB, but after the first decade or so, at least in business software, you really do run out of interesting problems to solve.  I'm not sure how to differentiate who is more likely to stay a programmer vs who is going to want to manage, but my experience is most of us starting the career were not very self-aware of what we really wanted to do.
noodling Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
I personally went with a M.S. in Computer Information Systems as it provided a nice balance between business and computer science.  I had a lot of useful courses, especially one in I.T. Project Management, that have really helped me in the workplace.

I'd say it all depends on the curriculum required by the degree and what your plans are for the future.  If you're wanting to stay highly technical, then a M.S. in Computer Science or Engineering would probably be a better way to go.
jread Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
We need to have a ban button or a point detracting button like they do in stackoverflow so we can ban TheDavid. This guy voices stupid opinions and doesn't even check anything.  He has been doing it for years.

"In a nutshell, MBA programs are designed to expose you to various ways of building and funding a business.  The better programs walk you through everything from developing a business plan, raising capital, managing a product and budgeting resources.  (Most of that information will be useless but the point here is simply knowing that the possibilities exist.)"

Points.

1. funding a business: you won't learn a single thing on how to raise capital.
2. building a business: what does this mean? This is vague. you don't get any lessons on "how to build a business" or anything even related to that. Your professors won't understand what you are talking about if you ask a question about that topic.
3.  "The better programs walk you through everything from developing a business plan, raising capital, managing a product and budgeting resources. "

No they don't. There is not a single required class in MBA programs that cover writing a business plan. (you can actually get a book on this... there are tons of them). The vast majority don't offer electives that even brush on it. You might get 1 lecture on this in an elective somewhere.
No you do NOT learn anything on raising capital. All you learn is the difference between debt and equity and why you want to get debt first. However, you don't go into details unless you take electives in Corporate Finance. The core does not cover this. This is not HOW to do it, just what it is.

You get very vague stuff on budgeting. You will get a management accounting class that covers some theory on this and a little bit. Nothing really practical. Absolutely NOTHING on how to write a project management plan. Your professors won't even know what this is.

You can learn how to write a project management from the PMP Book of Knowledge anyway.

As stated before. Companies paying $80k may be impressed with your degrees. When I hire people at $160k-200k, I can completely care less. So do all my clients. It is "can you do the job or not".
Contractor Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
I really like TheDavid posts!

I can't say either way. I can say that I decided against and MBA and MIS. Personally, I'm going to study for my PMP certification this fall. I figure 10 hours a week for about 15 weeks and I'm done. It would take me a lot longer for an MBA.
Patrick From An IBank Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
Respectfully, I was speaking in extremely generic terms, opposed to bringing out a University catalog and describing the curriculum on a point by point basis.

Yes, many of the examples I touted, you can learn on your own.  The point that I was trying to make was that an MBA program is essentially a structured learning plan to ensure that you cover all of the topics they deem relevant, not just the ones that are immediately practical to you.  In fact, if you look again at the section you quoted, I did say that "much of that information would be useless."

As an analogy, assuming you have a computer science degree, how much of that stuff you learned, do you use on a daily basis?
TheDavid Send private email
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
 
 
The contractor, I don't know which "ranked" school you went to, but you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Just because you hated your MBA and saw 'no value' in it doesn't mean everyone else does. And because wherever you went to had clueless professors and bad electives doesn't mean every other place does.

At least from your post it appears you are one of those 'I got the degree but I look down upon it because it elevates my importance' types.
uwf - WorkWolf.com Send private email
Thursday, May 07, 2009
 
 
I know people who went to harvard who thought their MBA was garbage. I know executives at large companies who have MBAs and think it is garbage.


btw, the Executive MBA is worse. They charge you exponentially more (well over $100k for name programs). You get an MBA condensed to 2 days/week for 1.5 years. You are paying more money for less so you get your diploma faster. Even my professors said that. They just skim over stuff and go through it so fast you really can't retain it.
Contractor Send private email
Thursday, May 07, 2009
 
 
Contractor is a hypocrite, just one of many on this forum, especially when it comes to MBA's. Most of these folks are just talking out of their ass.

He has said that an MBA is worthless, but he gets one anyway for some reason. Then he has said that anything other than a "Top 10" MBA is worthless, but goes ahead and gets his MBA from Virginia Tech, which isn't a "Top 10" MBA school by a long shot. 'Nuff said.

Are you paying more for the Executive MBA because you get your degree faster? Duh! Of course you are. They know it, you know it as well.

If you're planning to move into management, start a business or do something else along those lines within the next few years or so, then getting an MBA is worth it. Otherwise, don't bother. If you're going for an MSCS, see if you include some business courses as part of your degree. Some schools are pretty good about that.

Sure, perhaps the MBA itself is worthless on its own, but it's really more of a credential that you've gone through - sort of a "rite of passage". Then again, it also depends on what program you choose as well. Many MBA programs from "Top 10" schools aren't really that much better than others, other than the name recognition and alumni network.

You really need to figure out what business specialty you want (finance, entrepreneurship, etc.) and then go to a school that's good in that category.
QADude Send private email
Thursday, May 07, 2009
 
 
Think about the skill set it takes to administer a large college, like, say, the University of Michigan - as a "dean"-level executive.

/That/ is administration.

Now think about the skills to start up a new community college in a middlin' sized city in the midwest.

That's organization of an entirely different kind.

If you go MBA, keep in mind, the skills you'll learn are predisposed toward the former, not the latter, skill set.   

You may build a contact network and demonstrate a commitment to a certain type of upper-middle-class lifestyle/standard/way of work. 

But keep in mind, the skills you'll generally get are to keep the machine running smoothly - not start it.

If you want to go a startup, I suspect you won't get much help in most MBA programs.  It might be better to seek out mentors who have founded businesses.
Matthew Heusser Send private email
Thursday, May 07, 2009
 
 
It's not worth borrowing a lot of money and taking two years off from work, unless (1) you get into a top 10 MBA school; and (2) you're looking to change careers and get out of IT.

On the other hand, you should do an evening MBA program if you want to, it won't hurt your resume, and might make you look more presentable to eventually work as Team Lead and then as Director of Software Development. Everyone should know how to read a balance sheet and compute net present value anyway.
The Contrarian Software Developer Send private email
Thursday, May 07, 2009
 
 

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