Harvard MPA (100% scholarship) or Univ. Maryland MBA (25% scholarship)

Which one should I take? I’m leaning towards Harvard because it’s free; the only problem is it’s an MPA. The Univ. of Maryland MBA, executive program, will cost 60k out of pocket. It’s not as well known as Harvard but it’s an MBA; a more usefull degree. I have 20 years of government work experience and I’m trying to transition into private sector/general business.

harvard trumps

I fail to see how adding an MPA to 20 years of gov’t work will help you transition into the private sector, but perhaps I’m missing something.

shouldn’t it kind of matter what you want to do when you’re done? is an mpa, no matter where it is, going to help you get a good job in “private sector/general business”? this is me guessing, but i would think you’d have to work a lot harder getting the kind of job you want coming out of harvard with an mpa than maryland with an mba. besides, it isn’t like maryland is some kind of crappy business school.

You do realize that UMD MBA is one of the top 25 MBA programs in the nation, right? I mean, it’s not a Harvard MBA, but it’s a well respected MBA, especially if you want to get into private practice in the DC area.

I remeber reading one of your other threads on an career change. Did you apply to HBS? I know they have a joint MBA/MPA with the KSG. It does require admission to both schools. If not, you can cross-register and take a couple courses, up to 6hrs at HBS each semester. Now, how that fits in with your program and how many courses are allowed, different story. You could leverage a few classes into a full-time admission or joint degree program. I would choose Harvard, because of the cross-register aspect, and the 100% tuition. Not sure if Exec. MBA is a typical career change program to the same degree a traditional Full time MBA claims to be.

The Harvard MPA is the 1 year Mid-Career program (paid leave) I’m allowed to take 2 classes from the B-school. The military won’t give me the 2 years off for HBS since I retired and came back. My plan is to retire…again, in 5 years. This will be my 2nd master’s; I already have a M.A. in Criminal Justice.

Hmmm. I think that having the Harvard name is going to be pretty impressive. I do see the point that was made about putting an MPA “on top” of 20 years of govt work. If your plan is to retire again in 5 years, then you need to make the most of the time you have left. If you can use the same recruiting center as the B School students at harvard, then I think you should go there. Probably have an interesting story to tell and lots of corporate recruiters do tend to favor ex-military. Content wise - MPA vs. MBA - some of the courses are the same (probably wouldnt get marketing), but big orgs are big orgs. Big budgets, big projects etc. Ultimately, in my opinion, it really can come down to the story that a candidate can tell being the differentiator. Good Luck.