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MBA without the teeth?
March 10, 2003 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Want an MBA - without spending half your life doing it? It seems as if Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey has put together a 12 week "no frills" program with "just the essentials" to get what they term a "mini MBA". Now I'm not sure what this "mini" certificate will mean when you go to apply for a job and show it to your prospective employer, but apparently some folks are filling out the classes for $2495 each term. You can read more about it in this pdf, check out page 3.
posted by djspicerack (13 comments total)

 
Lots of colleges have been offering this program for a while now. Before that accelerated programs were pretty widespread. I guess its taken a while for New Jersey to catch up to accelerated states like Missouri.

I'm also not sure it should ever take you half your life to get an MBA, unless you're one of those child prodigy kids and you get yours at 4 or something!
posted by Pollomacho at 9:16 AM on March 10, 2003


I know too many people who have gone the "part time" route and ended up taking 4+ years to get their degree put together, if not longer. I tell them they're getting close to re-matriculating...

Does this kind of degree hold any weight, if anyone's gotten one themselves...?
posted by djspicerack at 9:21 AM on March 10, 2003


Yeah this is something I'd be curious about as well (whether these programs have any real impact) I've started considering going back for an MBA after 5-6 years of down my career path. And I noticed a program like this at San Francisco State while checking out local MBA programs.
posted by bitdamaged at 10:22 AM on March 10, 2003


I've always been surprised at how little (besides common sense and basic math skills) was taught for an MBA.

It also surprises me how many people go into middle or upper management with only an MBA and little to no actual management or people skills.
posted by aaronscool at 10:22 AM on March 10, 2003


From my experience with people in middle or upper management, that doesn't surprise me in the least.
posted by jennyb at 10:32 AM on March 10, 2003


Mini MBA? - I'll save it for my newly cloned Mini me........hmm......on second thought, get away from that credit card, you little bastard! it's mine, mine I say....awk!.....
posted by troutfishing at 10:39 AM on March 10, 2003


I wouldn't expect it to hold as much weight as a full-length professional program, but I would expect it to hold as much weight as an undergad minor in business or econ. Something which this holder of a B.S. in Math could use (I'm increasingly realizing its vocational uselessness, largely on account of the fact that 90% of the world doesn't even know what I learned. I am a bitter man).
posted by namespan at 11:15 AM on March 10, 2003


Now I'm not sure what this "mini" certificate will mean when you go to apply for a job and show it to your prospective employer ...

In my experience, it will mean very very little. In fact, even full MBA's don't mean as much as they used to unless they're from name schools ... there's a glut of unemployed MBA's currently on the market.

In fact these mini-MBA's (or "Executive" MBA's as the schools like to brand them) can actually hurt. (Picture, for instance, someone responsible for hiring that sacrificed for two or three years, and went deeply into debt to get a full MBA - now picture the sort of mood they'll be in when they see an applicant using "MBA" on his/her resume after having completed a 12 week course of studies). These things have been around for several years now, and they're often viewed with more than a little cynicism.

It's hard to generalize, but as often as not that sort of degree makes one slightly suspect - paints a picture of someone that takes short cuts, that wants a title without doing all of the work.

It's very easy to see why universities created these - they were turning down MBA applicants, and it seems quite foolish to leave money on the table. But large companies fully understand what these things are. The standards for getting into them are often quite a bit lower than those required for good MBA programs, and the character traits demonstrated by withstanding two years of a full MBA aren't required. Upper Management - as someone said above - may well be clueless about some things, but not about this.

Save your money.
posted by MidasMulligan at 12:00 PM on March 10, 2003


Reminds me of a lawsuit here in Illinois a few years back. A woman with a "degree" in Burgerology (the certificate you get from a weekend McDonalds training course for managers) wanted to trade it in for an MBA.

I'd say the mini-MBA is worth about the same as the degree in Burgerology.
posted by skallas at 3:40 PM on March 10, 2003


Note: It is NOT a degree - not an MBA, not a graduate degree...it is a Certificate program. Worthwhile, perhaps, but NOT a "degree."
posted by davidmsc at 5:08 PM on March 10, 2003


I got my MBA from the University of Washington in 2001. Whether or not it helps depends on who you're dealing with. I does help you with other business school graduates. It does give you some credibility with whomever you might manage. The people I manage saw me going to class every night when they were going home to TV and dinner, and I never, ever lord over them that I have it, and there is a respect I feel from them because they know what I went through to get it. And that's the biggest value of a degree. The harder you work for it, the more it says you are capable of. A three-year (Evening program) MBA is inherently worth more than a 12-week one.

One more thing though. I am extremely humble out in public discussing my MBA, even though I'm plenty proud of it. But World Com and Enron scandals (much more so than the dot-com bust) have done much to devalue the cachet of an MBA.
posted by vito90 at 7:38 PM on March 10, 2003


For the record: McDonald's has long called their training course Hamburger University, although they've toned down some of the cutesier stuff like "Bachelor's Degree in Hamburgerology" in recent years, and it remains among the world's premier corporate training programs, responsible for consistency and quality across 30,000 international stores, and though it isn't an MBA program by any means, it is accredited and worth up to 32 credit hours, about the equivalent of a year in college: I have no idea whether any of that would be accepted by a worthwhile MBA program, but some of it might.
posted by dhartung at 8:37 PM on March 10, 2003


The one point I see about this Rutgers certificate program is that they say you can get 4 (I think) Continuing Education Units (CEUs).... That explains it, actually.
posted by djspicerack at 5:33 AM on March 11, 2003


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