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Programs Get a PhD or an MBA?

  1. Mar 27, 2006 #1
    Im graduating soon with a B.S. in chemistry and I was planning on going to gradschool to get a PhD in chem. Im starting to rethink this and I was looking into other options. I heard that getting an MBA is a good choice. Has anyone here ever got some kind of science degree and then got a MBA?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 27, 2006 #2
    If you do decide to go after the MBA, you should be careful. You might die from boredom. :biggrin:
  4. Mar 27, 2006 #3
    Obviously, this depends a lot on what you want to do with your life (and whether you have a soul :biggrin: )

    I know plenty of people who spent 6 years earning a PhD and end up working for someone who spent 2 years getting their MBA. Doesn't seem fair does it?

    If you're just talking maximum earning potential, I'd say you should go with a MS/MBA route. Get an MS after undergrad, go work an engineering job at a company for two or three years, and then go back for an MBA. Most top-tier business schools won't even look at you without work experience, preferably with a big name company. Generally speaking, this sets you up pretty well for a management/executive career, especially with a technology company. It's not necessarily selling out either. There are plenty of ways a businessperson can be technical and analytical.

    As a PhD, you can also work in business but it's harder to break out of the egghead/lab rat mold. A PhD heavy in computational modeling will get you attention from Wall Street companies looking for people to run their financial models. Management consulting firms also hire PhDs but positions are very competitive. Otherwise, you may have to work up the ladder from a research/manufacturing PhD and into management.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2006
  5. Mar 27, 2006 #4
    How hard is it to find jobs with a MS/MBA or what if I do a BS/MBA?
  6. Mar 27, 2006 #5


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    I thought an MBA was for business only.
  7. Mar 27, 2006 #6
    *I'm not an MBA, but know a lot of them and did a business school minor during my PhD. Grain of salt.

    This obviously depends on a lot of factors. People with technical and business skills are pretty rare and pretty valuable, so generally job prospects are good. If you go to a top-tier business school I wouldn't worry too much about finding a job. There is recruiting even in the worst of times. And mid-tier schools often have strong regional placement. There are cyclical variations in the demand for MBAs, but overall the competition out of business school seems to be for spots at the elite firms (Goldman, McKinsey, BCG, Morgan, PWC, etc), not for jobs in general. The summer internship in between first and second year is often viewed as extremely critical because it often turns into a job offer at the end of the summer (often at $90-100k plus).

    The BS/MBA is a perfectly reasonable path, I only suggest the MS because it qualifies you for a better job when you work which generally improves your B-school application. Don't take my word on this, it is just my experience that many of the science BS folk who end up in business school seem to have an MS in a technical area. You could also do your master's work in a cross-over field such as operations, IT, or manufacturing.

    Business school is the arguably the professional school where school reputation counts the most, so where you go can have a significant impact on your career prospects. The good ol' boy, protect your own mentality is alive and well in many top firms. Even most MBAs will concede that networking during business school is just as important as the classwork. Business is networking, so who you know can get your resume on top of the pile. That being said, if you don't care about working for a high-prestige Big Four consulting firm, where you go doesn't matter nearly as much. And there are plenty of non-elite business schools that have excellent reputations in certain fields and great placement programs.

    A different option would be to start working for a company using your BS, migrate towards a business-y position after a few years, and then have your company send you to business school (with the promise that you have to work for them for a few years after your MBA).

    The http://www.vault.com" [Broken] is a very popular site for business school information and discussion that exceeds my knowledge.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  8. Mar 28, 2006 #7
    That website looks really good, thanks for the help. Im going to look into different grad programs for next year. My school offers a masters in engineering management which looks intresting. Although I may end up in gradschool for chemistry anyway.
  9. Mar 29, 2006 #8


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    Why would you want an MBA?

    Do you want a job in the 'real world'?

    Do the PhD :biggrin:
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