The Dividing Line for MBA's - Top 10 or Bust?

A lot of people say that ponying up the cash (and absorbing the opportunity cost) for an MBA is only worth it if you go to a top 10 school.

Top 10 schools according to US News leaves out Stern, Fuqua, Darden, and a number of other highly recognizeable names.

So my question is - where do you draw the line for whether an MBA is “worth it” or not?

Obviously the answer to this depends on the situation of the individual considering B-School but, as best we can, let’s speak generally.

To me, a general rule may be that it would be worth it to go to a school that has a high probability of showing up in the top 10 in at least one of the three years you will be preparing to attend/attending the school - if you are desperate for a career change, the line falls down the list in accordance with your level of desperation.

its worth it if you think you can learn something and get a decent job after…whether its top 10 is not a top 3 reason in my opinion…

Depends on the individual. It also depends on the opportunity cost. If you got laid off in March of 2009, best B School you could get into would be a good bet.

I don’t get the bend about Top 10. I did not go to a top 10 and I’m doing very well in a good firm. Some of my coworkers have a Top 10 and I wouldn’t trust them to wipe my dog’s a$s (I have a feeling they were the caboose of the class). The entitlement and snub factor are profoundly annoying.

It is what you make of it. I don’t identify myself as a MBA grad. I identify myself for who I am. For those who identify themselves as a CFA, MBA, AF Poster BSD, I feel sorry for you. Successful people don’t need all that. They simply need to work hard, respect others, keep a positive encouraging attitude, and keep a solid moral compass. Did anyone else see Lil Jon own everyone on The Apprentice? The ATL rapper school all these silver spoon types who had formal education. Successful people will be successful regardless of the reputation of their education.

I’m sure I’ll get flamed with, “Yeah, but Goldman, Citadel, Bain, Fidelity, bla bla bla don’t recruit at any school but x, y, and z.” Sure they don’t. So what. They are not the only employers out there and furthermore, just because you go to said school doesn’t guarantee you a spot at any firm.

I draw the line at who has the hottest undergrad co-eds. I don’t need the MBA to be successful. I do need lots of quality ass to be happy.

The rankings move around, but generally the “top 10 schools” are the well known ones even if they don’t “land in the actual top 10” in a particular year. So, don’t fret if a school you want ends up 11 or 12.

Secondly, definitely top 10 schools or bust, don’t waste your time and money at all with anything worse.

Producing results and hard work will ultimately determine your longer term paycheck and job, but you need that initial “foot in the door” opportunity to show you can do it. That foot in the door is far easier to get in if you do a top 10.

You can do a shitty MBA, and work your way climbing and climbing with a lot of hard work, but it can take much longer, much more sacrifice, and you need more luck.

^ agree. While ‘shitty’ MBAs correlate to lazy, dumb people in some cases, for others the GMAT and Undergrad GPA are the limiting factor. IF you can get into a top 10, by all means do it. If you cannot, and you want an MBA, don’t fret going to a lower ranked school.

If any of you guys think going to Duke or NYU is a waste of time if you are in your mid 20s I really have to laugh unless you are really getting paid. As you get older more goes into the evaluation process. I’m in my late 30s and am going to check out grad programs at Stanford and maybe the law program at SCU just because I am out here (all part time)…

the problem with Duke/Darden is that you get alot of rednecks out there.

I went to UVA undergrad, didn’t see any rednecks. It was more of a small Austin, TX vibe - pretty liberal. I’m from Virginia and Charlottesville along with northern VA and Richmond are kind of liberal hotspots in an otherwise red state.

Blake, why in the world would you need a MBA or lawyer degree…you already established…

I think you need to consider geography as well. While you can’t really go wrong with a perennial top 10 school, Darden, Fuqua or Kenan-Flagler will serve you quite well if you’re inclined to live in Richmond or Charlotte. Similarly, McCombs will open as many Dallas and Houston doors as any top 10 school.

I think part of the value depends on where you went for undergrad and does it show that you’re “moving up”. If you went to a complete non-target for undergrad, then any top 25 would be good. If you went to a top 25 undergrad, then aim for top 10. If you already went to a top 10, then aim for H/S/W (for finance). If you already went to H/S/W… you prob don’t need advice from random people on the Internet.