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Mba Vs M.s. In Marketing & Communication

Posted by Anonymous on 250 Points
I am an adult learner who has been working in IT a little over 10 years now. At a crossroads and wanting a career change, I went back to school to work towards my undergrad degree in eMarketing.

I am two classes (one month) from completing and looking towards grad school. This is where I have a dilemma. I've been trying to decide between the MBA and MCM (M.S. in Marketing & Communication) programs. My goals? That seems to be the problem. I tend to have numerous interests. I could see myself staying in IT if it were in a management capacity, or possibly something in marketing/design. I like really like the creative/design aspect of marketing. The behavior side is appealing as well.

MBA's are more recognizable in the industry, but I am not so na´ve that I think obtaining one will instantly make offers pour in. Not to mention, I am not going to a top 10 business school either ( The thing that worries me about the MCM is I don't want to be tied into one profession in the event I don't like marketing (I've heard about the high stress levels). Seems like the MBA would afford more flexibility.

Looking at the course descriptions, I definitely like the marketing curriculum more and it seems like the communication portion would slightly help with different career paths, but I just have no clue because what I have 'liked' in the past has kept me stuck (and broke). And as sole breadwinner with a wife and children to support, I'd be misleading you if I didn't say salary is a big factor.

Thus the reason I am seeking professional/peer advice. I know there is no one that can make this decision but me and I have to determine what I truly want, but I would love to hear input and weigh your comments into consideration. From your various backgrounds in your respective industries, would be better to go towards a specialized masters, or a MBA?

  • Posted by Levon on Accepted
    I would go with the MCM degree because that coupled with an IT background would take you to the next logical step which is Internet and Tech Marketing.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    Have you talked to your existing company or other companies you might like to work for to find out their hiring needs? Before you choose, spend some time doing informational interviews so you don't wind up with a degree doing something you don't love.
  • Posted on Member
    Is it even worth getting an MBA from a school like Franklin? I'm under the impression that when it comes to MBAs, it's all about where you went. If you're not going to get your MBA from a top 50 program, you'll probably get very little value added over your undergrad marketing degree. If I was you, I'd shoot for a higher MBA or just start working with your undergrad degree (which would probably also help you figure out whether you like marketing). At that point, you could reassess whether you should go for the MCM, higher ranked MBA, or keep working.
  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Accepted
    Dear jmccarthy56,

    I have neither an MBA nor a masters and although I'm sure one,
    or the other (or both) are nice things to have, their necessity is,
    I think, over rated.

    You have many roads ahead of you: choices, options, duties, decisions, and roles. But what you do not have is a dilemma because a dilemma is a choice between two or more options, the outcome of any of which is equally disagreeable.

    What's best for you? That's a question that only you can answer.

    But an observation of mine is that there are laws of business and rules of business.

    Business laws are meant to be adhered to because to break them can land one in jail.

    But business rules are made to be broken, rewritten, adjusted, and toyed with to suit one's self and to work for the betterment of one's self and the people one loves.

    The MBA rule that far too many people play with involves measuring themselves against everyone else: the schools they went to, the courses they studied and so on. Mine's bigger, better, wider, fatter, more expensive, older than yours.


    Does this mean that the person with the older, fatter, wider qualification is any brighter, smarter, or more intelligent than you?

    No. It does not. In fact, it often means precisely the opposite.

    I know and have worked with many people with advance degrees and doctorates and not one of their qualifications has made any of them nicer people to be around, to work with, or to work for.

    Too often, our qualifications equip us with the delusion that we are somehow better, wiser, or more in the know than our less well educated colleagues.

    The truth is, our poop smells just as much as anyone else's and we put tour pants on one leg at a time, just like everybody else.

    You are not everyone else, you're you, and WHERE you get your MBA or your MCM and what you wind up with (MBA, MCM, whatever) is rather less important than what you DO with it, how you apply it, and how you use it to add value to the lives of other people.

    On first glance it might appear that I've failed to answer your question, and yes, there's probably a lot more I could say.

    But over the years I've learned and realized that the less I worry about the opinions of other people, the happier and the luckier I've become.

    I suspect the same may be true for you.

    Regardless of the advice you read here you might find the greatest help away from the world of marketing. Truth be told, yes, you CAN make a lot of money in marketing and yes, there IS a lot of stress. In the end,
    it all depends what's best for you and what you want out of life.

    This said, I think the last words here must go to Judy Garland and Jamie Lee Curtis.

    Judy Garland advised people to "Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else."

    Jamie Lee Curtis said "The more I like me, the less I want to be like other people."

    I hope this helps. Good luck to you. And may you choose wisely.

    Gary Bloomer
    Wilmington, DE, USA
    Follow me on @GaryBloomer
  • Posted on Accepted
    As I re-read my post, I realized that I did a bad job explaining myself. First, I'd like to say that I think Gary is right on point (as usual) in that qualifications can be overrated and your success will really come down to a lot of personal characteristics like hard work, ability, creativity, people skills, etc. With that said, an MBA (supposedly) offers people two benefits: 1) a credential, and 2) a network. This is why I said that one should usually shoot for a high ranked MBA, or none at all. A Masters in Marketing or an undergrad degree plus work experience is probably much more useful than a low ranked MBA, since you'll be missing out on two major reasons that the MBA is useful, namely credentials and networking. Obviously this is my personal opinion, and the right choice for everyone is different, so in the end, only you can decide what is right for you. I just urge you to keep these things in mind and ask others much more knowledgeable than myself if these concerns are true.
  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Member
    Dear pokeronomist,

    Thanks for your support.

    I also agree with your point that IF jmccarthy56 is going to shoot
    for the moon, so to speak, the better the qualification obtained, the better (in an ideal world) for the end result.

    Likewise, I agree with the MBA from a great school and a few years of actual work rather than a run of the mill MBA from an OK school and no work history.

    So yes, apply to the best colleges you can and give it everything.

    I hope this helps.

    Gary Bloomer
    Wilmington, DE, USA

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