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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default To Master's or not to Master's?

    I am just stuck with this decision. I should be done with my BS at WGU by the end of the year and am considering going on to MBA or MA in IT Management. If I went to WGU for my MBA if I could get it done in a year it would only cost me about 7-8000 dollars and I can work at my own pace. The only problem there is the online stigma.

    My other option is to go to a local university (mostly online) and it would cost me around 20,000 for the degree. I would also have to work through the traditional semester system.

    So my question is that it is even necessary to have a Master's to get into management in IT? I've thought about waiting but then I worry that once I am out of school that I will have a hard time getting back into it.
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    My $.02. Others may differ.

    Get your master's degree when it will provide immediate or near-immediate benefit in your career. I almost enrolled in grad school right after undergrad, but I'm so happy I haven't yet. It's always best to get into your career first and take it from there. If you join any grad program you'll notice 90% of the class have begun their career already. They've reached a point where they can no longer advance, or they're seeking a career change. In my opinion, the master's will have little bearing for a management position when you don't have a management background.

    If you want to get a Master's degree for personal achievement then disregard the above. Good luck in whichever choice you make.
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  4. PMP-Wannabe! erpadmin's Avatar
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jmasterj206 View Post
    I am just stuck with this decision. I should be done with my BS at WGU by the end of the year and am considering going on to MBA or MA in IT Management. If I went to WGU for my MBA if I could get it done in a year it would only cost me about 7-8000 dollars and I can work at my own pace. The only problem there is the online stigma.

    My other option is to go to a local university (mostly online) and it would cost me around 20,000 for the degree. I would also have to work through the traditional semester system.

    So my question is that it is even necessary to have a Master's to get into management in IT? I've thought about waiting but then I worry that once I am out of school that I will have a hard time getting back into it.

    I am in the same boat you're in, and have already answered some of your questions for myself. You may/may not come to the same conclusion as I did.

    First of all, it isn't necessary to have a Masters to break into IT management. In fact, you don't even need a college degree to break into IT management. However, you have a better shot at winning the lottery and getting struck by lightning than getting (and keeping) a management gig without so much as a degree. Good work experience, plus a BS degree plus a MS or MBA can only help get that management gig at some point. That's why a lot of GOOD-GREAT schools won't even consider MBA candidates without good work experience.

    The cost of school is irrelevant for me personally, as I plan on getting a good chunk of loans forgiven after 10 years in the public sector through Public Sector Loan Forgiveness.

    Working the traditional route is not a concern for me either, so long as I can complete the program in three years. (Which is why WGU works for me...I could spend a maximum of two years doing a BS program.)

    And while WGU is touted for it's regional accreditation, that same mentality needs to be applied when looking for AACSB-accredited schools. (Even if it's not Harvard or any Ivy League schools). AACSB holds weight and there are a number of programs that I have found both online and local that are fitting the bill. That's really why WGU is not and will not be considered for my masters. I don't care about going online...but online has to be attached to a B&M school so that the "stigma" is not so bad...
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    I'm in the same boat as you, but seeing as how these guys been through the same situation, I'm going to work a few more years and decide later.
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5

    Default Cost/Employment

    I would base my answer on employment and income. If you have a career in IT now, and you make enough to easily pay back the student loans (if you need them), then you might as well stack your deck with enough credentials and experience as possible.

    I talked with an admissions rep for WGU and I decided that it is not the school for me, I don't really like the pass/fail approach, I would rather have a grade. The online only degree is also unappealing to me right now; as much as I embrace online learning, some companies still frown when it's only online...but that will change over time.

    I'm looking at capitol-college.edu for my MS, they appear to have a good program and I have a former co-worker that went there and he recommends it. Good fortune with your decision.
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