MBA (Masters of Business Administration) Benefits?



I have a college education and have continued to educate myself with seminars and such over the years. Recently completed a HACCP certification for the feed industry. In this business environment, having multiple avenues for a future income source is critical, and my responsibilities are QA, Safety, and Environmental regulatory matters, including writing all the manuals and getting things implemented.
I have been advised that perhaps a "Masters" of some kind would be wise; perhaps an MBA. I am 58, have to work for many years yet, don't want to just vegetate, and enjoy working.
Asking for opinions and advice here; is/would an MBA be a good thing to pursue, along with the various certifications? Do you think that the management heads out there would pay more attention to someone who had such a degree, especially at this age? I don't really want to spend all my time in study, but then, if you don't advance, you go backwards. There is no such thing as sitting still, whether personally or in business.
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Re: MBA benefits?

Continuous learning should be considered both a goal and a luxury (not all people have the opportunity). As far as an MBA, I found a generalist program was best for me (one that covered all areas of business). There are MBAs that are focused on just HR or Accounting, etc. - and you need to ponder whether such a focus is really going to benefit your personal knowledge and career options (notice I said options, not path) in the future.

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Competition is tight and the MBA is held in even higher esteem as the SSBB, if only because it's more widely applicable.

Therefore, chances are good (but it's impossible to say how good) that an MBA would give you a competitive edge. Certainly I have seen ads that specify a Masters level degree. Others specify a Bachelors and hope for a Masters.

When considering the program myself, I looked through the list of classes involved and decided my philosophy, skills and talents would work out better in an Organizational Leadership program. Choosing the "right" list might even provide a "bonus" as in a Masters Certificate in HR, as I now have.

How much all that is worth depends on the hiring person's perspective and your increased capabilities to succeed in the role. Just like with certifications.


I can only speak from personal experience. For the amount of work required to gain MBA vs. the pay off it is worth it. It just seems to open a lot more doors.


Having a Masters degree in something business related can be key differentiators in a job search situation. Personally, I got two Masters degrees concurrently - one in Environmental Policy and Management; and the other in Technology Management. The Technology Management one was more like a technology focused MBA with a lot of emphasis on leadership courses. The options are great these days with many of the courses being online. Recently I did an EHS Thought Leader interview that discussed the issue of obtaining an advance degree online. There is also another EHS Thought Leader interview that discusses that advantages of having a MBA. Click on the above links and take a look at them. Best of luck.
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Bill Pflanz

I have an MBA and also teach as an MBA adjunct professor. The MBA has value if you have identified a career path that requires it and that career path may be outside the field of quality. Considering the time and expense, it is too costly to get without thinking about what payback you will get.

Bill Pflanz


Super Moderator
I finished my MBA not really too long ago (I'm pushing 60 hard now) and it will open doors. Just like Bill has done I am doing and that's going after some adjunct teaching time at a university. The MBA is a door opener whereas with the other stuff most folks go "HUH?"

Kevin H

My personal experience with getting an MBA is the opposite of most of the other posters. My undergraduate degree is a BS in Metallurgy and MAterials Science from Carnegie-Mellon University (1974) My MBA with an emphasis in operations is from the University of Pittsburgh (1990). Whenever possible, I've picked up additional certifications/training such as CQA, CQM/OE, spectrometer school from Panalytical, etc. Even now, 36 years after the fact, the BS usually generates more interest than the MBA. I'm not certain if it's a perception of the schools involved - CMU is usually considered to be a top notch engineering school, while Pitt is usually considered to be a solid tier 2 business school, or if it's the relative rarity of the Metallurgy degree - not all engineering schools offer a metallurgy or materials science option, and classes are usually much smaller than other engineering paths such as electrical, civil, and mechanical.

I'd probably be pursuing graduate level metallurgial engineering classes, except it's a heck of a commute 1 way to the nearest school offering them (80 miles and 2 hours), and the company changed it's re-imbursement program so that if you don't complete a degree there is no reimbursement and if you leave before a degree is complete or within a short time of completeing it you have to pay back their re-imbursement.
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