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  1. #51
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    Hmm just re-read all of my posts, I dont see anywhere that I said it was an instant success path without skipping steps, all I have ever said was it was a very valuable tool in the path to my success and I would recommend getting an MBA if a career in construction management was his path.

    What I really said is unlike a design firm, I dont bleieve he needs to pursue a PE, unless he wants to design it is a waste of time, effort and money in my world.
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  2. #52
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    Life's too short for all this work shit.

    HTH.

    YMMV.


  3. #53
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    I have not read through all of this, but I will give what perspective I have. I REALLY don't know much about the field you are in, but I will bring perspective from the worlds of actuarial mathematics and statistics.

    As an actuary, you have to pass lots of professional exams to get to fellowship. The material is similar, although less theoretical than what one takes in a graduate statistics program. Most people have a couple of exams when they enter the profession, then take 4-7 years to pass the rest. It is grueling, the exams have about a 30% passing rate, and the general formula is that for a 3 hour exam it takes about 300 hours of studying to have a shot at passing. Typically companies give study time, you might get 10-12 study days during a 3-4 month exam study period. The way I did it was to study for about 2 before the office, study for 45 minutes at lunch, then take Friday off and study for about 10 hours. That is for the final 10-12 weeks when you are using your study days. For the first few weeks you just study in mornings. Different companies do things differently. My work week was always around 40-45 hours, and I did not have a commute, so this was doable, but tough. The process can be brutal, imagine an SAT, except the questions are focused on what someone would take as either an undergraduate statistics major or a stats grad student. Lots of people get sick of it and go do different things. In general, I don't think that helps. Finishing the exam process, and learning to apply the material to your actual work, makes you VERY valuable. I would say the people who stayed in the actuarial department did better in the long run than the people who left and went to other departments. Actuarial work is very fundamental to how an insurance company works, and a thorough understanding of it is very valuable if you are looking to get into management. But you have to master the actuarial element FIRST. If you really understand that area well it will make you valuable to the company management. A number of years ago, I'm out of the loop, there were a good number of CEO's of large insurance companies that started out as actuaries. In many cases they do not have MBA's. The idea that "I'll break in as an actuary then do something different quickly" does not always work all that well. The lesson is that you really want to develop your technical skills. I know lots of people who left the actuarial track to do other things, but they typically became statisticians or financial engineers. To reiterate, it will really help you to master the technical skills and thoroughly understand that element of the company BEFORE you leave it. Like others have said, it sucks working for a boss who does not really know what the fuck he/she is talking about. I would try to REALLY know what you are talking about in regards to engineering before you leave it.

    I am a statistician, and most of the statisticians I know who move up to management did so without an MBA, although there are lots of exceptions. I am in consulting, so I don't work directly for a large company, but like in the actuarial world the key is to become an integral part of the statistics department. You want to analyze lots of data, be REALLY good at that. Master what you are doing BEFORE leaving. That will make you better at management when you get there. Also, one of the things which is difficult in statistics is the explaining results which are sometimes complex to a non-statistician. I have to be very careful when transforming variables because sometimes that leads to a situation where a non-statistician won't know what the fuck I am talking about. It is easy to explain what the beta coefficients mean in a multiple linear regression. If you log transform the response variable interpretation becomes tougher. The ability to explain things well to people that don't have expertise in your field is VERY important. I have seen statisticians working for large companies who have M.S. degrees advance to higher levels than guys with phd's because, partially anyway, of their ability to explain there findings in such a way that an executive who has not taken any math beyond calculus can thoroughly understand the results.

    Like I said, I don't know how this applies to exactly what you do, but at this point I would try to become GREAT at what you do, and worry about getting into a management position later.

    You might want to consider getting at MS in engineering. I am not an expert on your field, maybe some others can chime in as to whether it is worth it.

    Take what I said with a grain of salt. I am familiar with the actuarial/statistics world, not so much with the world of engineering. I will add, however, that one of my buddies from college has an MS in mech. engineering from Stanford and an MBA from USC. I have not seen him in a couple of years, and I'm not sure exactly what his title is, but he has done quite well. The last time I spoke to him he said that the MS was MUCH more important than the MBA. I don't know how his world compares to yours though, things could be very different.

    So I would say master the engineering element of where you are FIRST. Figure out the rest later. You are young, there is plenty of time to do this.
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  4. #54
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    ^ I would agree with all of this, IF the OP was working at an engineering firm in the design field. He isn't, he is asking about pursuing a career in construction. In a design career and in managing designers a masters degree in the field is WAY more valuable, and in fact has become almost mandatory. In construction it would be a detriment, when hiring we would question why someone who has a masters degree wanted to waste that education in our field.
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleee View Post
    Pretty sure he said he is working for a construction company. Completely different requirements than a design firm. I graduated with a civil degree knowing absolutely nothing about the money side of the world, the MBA gave me a huge leg up in the construction side of the business, and despite what we technical nerds like to think, the world doesn't revolve around the laws of gravity but money.
    I am probably different than a lot of engineers though, I cant imaging staring at a computer cranking out design day after day so this avenue worked well for me. I have several registered engineers who work for me that would rather kill themselves than deal with the business side of our company. So really to each their own.
    I would say if you ever dream of starting your own construction firm an MBA will pay off in spades, especially if you can find an employer who is willing to help pay for it.
    This is what Iíve been realizing even just recently wrapping up school. The technical side plateaus in relation to pay - unless day you work for an innovative tech company or some pipe dream bs. Iím probably gonna drop you a PM here and get a little bit more on your backstory


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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleee View Post
    ^ I would agree with all of this, IF the OP was working at an engineering firm in the design field. He isn't, he is asking about pursuing a career in construction. In a design career and in managing designers a masters degree in the field is WAY more valuable, and in fact has become almost mandatory. In construction it would be a detriment, when hiring we would question why someone who has a masters degree wanted to waste that education in our field.
    I agree. A masters in civil especially CEM seems very pointless unless I wanted to teach or do research..


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  7. #57
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    An MBA to run a construction company seems a little much, unless "my own construction company" is hella capitalized and hella bondable.

    The civil construction end of development is ditch digging in one form or another - clearing/grubbing, trenches, road subgrades, holes for urban foundations, drainage structures, shitlines, water lines, etc - all shit you need a PE to assume liability for. So you will have to pay one or be one regardless.

    If you think you can take what you learn in ce + mba and start retaining and managing trades and professions to profit as "a developer"...I hope you have the connections and checkbook for it right now. Because that's what that path takes: connections and pockets not only deep enough to pay for inevitable mistakes, and the artfulness to use them, but the juice to move on something while it's cheap.
    Of course, if you already possess all that in sufficient abundance, the MBA or MAcct or JD is prob necessary for the heli-borne board room. "One of us"...Because, at some point in a path of erecting structures and edifices, you will have to get other people, serious people, to invest their careers and money in you.



  8. #58
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    Getting an MBA and skiing as much as possible

    Quote Originally Posted by J_Berg View Post
    Thanks. I haven't even gotten that far as I'm fresh out of school. But the owner of my company went the same route and now owns his own business so that's my motivation. Good points - thank you!
    You donít need an mba to own your own business.

    You need cajones.


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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cono Este View Post
    You donít need an mba to own your own business.

    You need cajones.
    And don't forget that more often than not, owning your own business will mean a lot LESS time to ski.

    YMMV.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Berg View Post
    Of course, like any sane person, I'm trying to get out of the technical realm of things, and into management as soon as possible.
    I didn't get beyond this. Wow, why study engineering if you don't like to be technical?







  11. #61
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    I skipped ahead. But my thought...work in a field you think you like for 2-3 years. Put the work in on the job. Advance.

    Then go to business school if it still makes sense. Ideally you have some experience and direction when you get to grad school youíll get way more out of it.
    Decisions Decisions

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by highangle View Post
    An MBA to run a construction company seems a little much, unless "my own construction company" is hella capitalized and hella bondable.

    The civil construction end of development is ditch digging in one form or another - clearing/grubbing, trenches, road subgrades, holes for urban foundations, drainage structures, shitlines, water lines, etc - all shit you need a PE to assume liability for. So you will have to pay one or be one regardless.

    If you think you can take what you learn in ce + mba and start retaining and managing trades and professions to profit as "a developer"...I hope you have the connections and checkbook for it right now. Because that's what that path takes: connections and pockets not only deep enough to pay for inevitable mistakes, and the artfulness to use them, but the juice to move on something while it's cheap.
    Of course, if you already possess all that in sufficient abundance, the MBA or MAcct or JD is prob necessary for the heli-borne board room. "One of us"...Because, at some point in a path of erecting structures and edifices, you will have to get other people, serious people, to invest their careers and money in you.


    Cheat?

  13. #63
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    Can someone please chime in on why an online MBA would or wouldn't make sense? IMHO, the OP could to an entrepreneurial track, as he is only doing it for himself. However, it also seems like you could get business startup classes from a community college, likely under the guidance of a DBA, and that could serve to guide for future education.

    Long Duc, I salute you. You clearly have patience for things I cannot achieve, and I have total admiration for that.

  14. #64
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    pareto optimal

    Quote Originally Posted by riser3 View Post
    Cheat?
    Toe!

    Point is, you don't just land on the roof and start telling people how it's gonna be, unless you are Steven Seagal or you write all the checks.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by BS720 View Post
    Can someone please chime in on why an online MBA would or wouldn't make sense? IMHO, the OP could to an entrepreneurial track, as he is only doing it for himself. However, it also seems like you could get business startup classes from a community college, likely under the guidance of a DBA, and that could serve to guide for future education.

    Long Duc, I salute you. You clearly have patience for things I cannot achieve, and I have total admiration for that.
    If you only want an MBA to have the toolset you need to start a business, IMHO there is nothing an online MBA can teach you that you cannot learn for the cost of a library card and/or the cost of several really good finance/accounting/business strategy/marketing books.

    I could see the case being made that an in-person MBA has some additional benefit of access to professors and/or access to VC/Angel/PE money (only at top programs), but I just don't see the value in an online MBA if you are in it just for the educational side of "how do I start a business."

    Smokan and others with MBAs may disagree.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by BS720 View Post
    Can someone please chime in on why an online MBA would or wouldn't make sense? IMHO, the OP could to an entrepreneurial track, as he is only doing it for himself. However, it also seems like you could get business startup classes from a community college, likely under the guidance of a DBA, and that could serve to guide for future education.

    Long Duc, I salute you. You clearly have patience for things I cannot achieve, and I have total admiration for that.
    Provided it's not a totally crap institution - nothing. If you're just checking a box for upper MGT qualifications, it's decent for that

  17. #67
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    I got selfish and was asking something I've been pondering for years, but didn't feel the need to start a new thread. I work in healthcare, but am pretty aware of the fact that unless I use one of two schools near me, I can't move out of healthcare. Stanford isn't an option. UC Berkeley could work, but it sure isn't cheap. I feel like UNC Chappell Hill would be a waste, as it would still be online and still ain't cheap. I suppose I could possibly get UCB covered at least partially by a foundation grant...
    "Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by BS720 View Post
    I got selfish and was asking something I've been pondering for years, but didn't feel the need to start a new thread. I work in healthcare, but am pretty aware of the fact that unless I use one of two schools near me, I can't move out of healthcare. Stanford isn't an option. UC Berkeley could work, but it sure isn't cheap. I feel like UNC Chappell Hill would be a waste, as it would still be online and still ain't cheap. I suppose I could possibly get UCB covered at least partially by a foundation grant...
    Are you in an organization of any major size? MBAs are basically universally funded by company education programs,at least partially.

  19. #69
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    Uh, yes. I have two jobs, one at a smaller "boutique" hospital, the other one is thriving. The boutique hospital has a foundation scholarship that is likely fairly generous(old school SF money). Wouldn't see that being less than 50-100% of tuition, if I could even get it. The other job has ties with local universities and has generous discounts, but the overpriced degrees wouldn't be worth shit. The other issue I'd likely encounter is one job is clinical and the other is not. Don't see the clinical job granting me tuition for an MBA. Or, at least maybe a big fight to get it. The non-clinical job gives me a whopping $3k a year.
    "Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by schuss View Post
    Are you in an organization of any major size? MBAs are basically universally funded by company education programs,at least partially.
    They used to. Not anymore. 3-5k tops per year though sometimes you can bank that, meaning even after you graduate if you stick with the company theyíll give you that 3-5 a year until itís paid off (or youíre paid back,more appropriately)
    Decisions Decisions

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by BS720 View Post
    Uh, yes. I have two jobs, one at a smaller "boutique" hospital, the other one is thriving. The boutique hospital has a foundation scholarship that is likely fairly generous(old school SF money). Wouldn't see that being less than 50-100% of tuition, if I could even get it. The other job has ties with local universities and has generous discounts, but the overpriced degrees wouldn't be worth shit. The other issue I'd likely encounter is one job is clinical and the other is not. Don't see the clinical job granting me tuition for an MBA. Or, at least maybe a big fight to get it. The non-clinical job gives me a whopping $3k a year.
    Iíd say UC would be a good option but a bitch and a half keeping that scholarship, the boutique job, and your ďotherĒ job. Part of the cost could be giving up that job that isnít paying for the mba if necessary.

    What do you want to get out of the degree? From my experience, the degree program and experience you have will help you get direction to what you think you want to do, and the degree program gives you a boost in that direction. But thereís a bit of sacrifice to start- time, money, energy. So do some thinking to maximize the positives and miiimize the negatives/sacrifice.
    Decisions Decisions

  22. #72
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    Getting an MBA and skiing as much as possible

    As someone who is currently getting an MBA in the Bay Area and is skiing a lot (I expect 80+ days this year and more next year), hereís my personal opinion.

    First, you need more work experience. Just about any decent school wonít admit you without at least 3 years of experience, and 5 is probably better. And thatís for your own goodóyou need to have a very clear story on why you want to go to business school, and that takes time to develop.

    If youíre paying for school (and likely even if youíre not due to the opportunity cost), I donít think itís worth getting an MBA from a school outside the top 10 of the rankings, potentially stretching to the top 15. This is coming from someone who doesnít personally value prestige highly, but the value of the MBA is prestige and the network it gives you. If you just want to learn about business, you can do that via free/cheap online classes and through actual job experience. One exception to the top 10/15 cutoff is if you know you only want to live in a specific area, there may be local schools that are well respected and have strong networks there.

    Those caveats aside, if you want to get an MBA, go for it. Itís incredibly fun and Iím meeting some amazing classmates that will be friends for the rest of my life. Last night I met the governor of a Papua New Guinean province and talked to him about how heís spurring development for his people through working with a blockchain startup to create a special economic zone for more blockchain companies to work on his nationís challenges. If that sounds interesting to you, thatís a pretty common experience here.

    Plus, I havenít missed many powder days this year and could easily ski over 100 days next year if conditions are good enough to warrant missing out on some school-related events.

  23. #73
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    You should transfer to USC.
    watch out for snakes

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdironRider View Post
    MBA's and law schools are pretty similar. You need to go to a top tier school or you are wasting your money.
    Late to the party but I find this highly amusing.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Landers View Post
    They used to. Not anymore. 3-5k tops per year though sometimes you can bank that, meaning even after you graduate if you stick with the company theyíll give you that 3-5 a year until itís paid off (or youíre paid back,more appropriately)
    My company pays back based on GPA. (4.0 = 100%... 3.0 = 90%, etc...)


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