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looking into getting a second degree

By Lumbergh77 ·
I have a B.S. degree in CIS and looking to continue my education. I am in a jack of all trades position (PC support, databases, programming, etc) and really do not see any benefits in getting a vendor certification. I would like to get some type of a business degree, however.

I've been weighing several options based on what is being offered at a local university.

1) MBA - the cost is approx $15,000 and it requires taking 18 courses

2) Masters in Management of Information Systems (MIS) - the cost is around approx $15,000 and requires approx 18 courses

3) A.S. in business - 8 courses (all pretty interesting), cost is approx $5000. The A.S. in business has many of the same types of classes as the masters (business law, marketing, etc). In addition to an AS, I was thinking of getting a B.S. in accounting OR some sort of tech school education (small engine repair or HVAC) to have something else to fall back on since this field is so volatile.

Is an MBA worth $10,000 more than an A.S. degree in business? While I have good people skills, I'm not too big on office politics and I'm thinking that politics would play a much bigger role in my career if I were to MBA. I would like to run my own business someday though and would like the extra business knowledge.

I'm curious if anyone has gone through any of the degree programs listed above, or have gotten a second degree in a field not listed. If so, was it worth the time and money? I'd like to do as much research and get as many opinions from as many different sources as possible before diving into anything. This is a diverse group of professionals and I would appreciate your feedback.

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A.S vs. Masters

by j.lupo In reply to looking into getting a se ...

In the A.S. you are looking at, is that an Associate degree? If so it is a considerably lessor degree then an MBA.

MBA has more value in the business community of corporate america then an A.S in business. However, depending on what you really want to do with your career should guide you as to how to spend your time.

Certifications can be gotten online at your leisure, or at least Brainbench type certs. No schooling or learning is ever wasted (this topic has posted before about learning for learning's sake). Which ever way you go, you want to make certain that it is inline with your ultimate career goals.

In my case, I have an A.S. B.S., M.S. and am finishing my doctorate. I didn't intend to get all the degrees, I just kept taking courses and going to school to make my skills and knowledge more valuable and because I love learning and growing in new ways. It is expensive, but I have found it worthwhile. When people ask me about it, I say "I have two true passions in life: my dogs and learning". All the rest I like doing, but they are not a true passion. :)

Good Luck.

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Some thoughts

by Salamander In reply to looking into getting a se ...

If I were in your shoes, I'd consider either the MBA or the Master's in MIS. I wouldn't necessarily consider getting an AS, because you already have a bachelor's...unless you were in a situation in which you were trying to change careers to a different field entirely (if you were going to be an RN, for example, that would be a good place to start). I don't think that, from a hiring perspective, an AS helps you that much, if you are remaining in your current field. If you are wanting to change fields, you may want to consider it. If you are looking for another skill to fall back on, you may be able to pick up a concentration in accounting for the MBA, depending on your background. There is certainly value in diversifying one's skill set.

A choice between the MBA and the Master's in MIS assumes that you'd want to stick more or less with your current field, and depends on where you want to go. You'll have to ask yourself if you want to look more into a broader, business/management perspective, in which case the MBA might be more appropriate, or whether your true interest lies in information systems.

My Master's isn't in either one of those areas, but I will be in the process of acquiring another one in an unrelated field that more closely aligns with my goals. You just need a clear picture of where you want to go, and the degree program will fall into place. It sounds as if you have a number of paths available to you. I'd just suggest that you choose the goal, live with the idea of it for awhile, and then select the educational path that will lead you there.

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deleted post

by Lumbergh77 In reply to Some thoughts

posted in the wrong location

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Masters gets you further

by jdclyde In reply to looking into getting a se ...

Think of it as three of a kind beat two pair.

A masters degree will take you a lot further than two BA's, and once you have a BA, the AS just drops off and they really don't even get looked at anymore.

When they ask years of college, it is based on how far you went into any one degree, not adding up smaller degrees.

Remember, the main thing any degree shows a potential employer is that you can finish what you started. Multiple BA's just shows you couldn't stay with anything. Get the masters.

Good luck.

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by Lumbergh77 In reply to looking into getting a se ...

Thanks for your feedback. I'm convinced that a master's would be much more valuable than an associates.

Next question is....

What's more valuable? A master's in MIS or an MBA? The goal would be a project management, systems analyst, database manager, or IT manager position in a small or medium sized company. Both degrees share many of the same business courses, although the MIS has an emphasis in IT.

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You answered your own question

by j.lupo In reply to MBA or MIS?

Because you are looking at IT/Project management I would say you want the MIS degree. It focuses on technology with business. The MBA is more diversified to open doors if you want to move out of IT and into the Business community.

If you really want Project Management, I would also suggest a PMI certification. It is much more recognized and desired today than a few years ago.

Good Luck, let us know how it goes.

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Agree with j.lupo

by Salamander In reply to You answered your own que ...

If you want to keep your fingers in the nitty gritty of IT work, the MIS is a good bet.

PMI certification will also help you. If you're curious about project management, there's an entry-level PM certification offered by CompTia (IT Project+). It might give you a taste of PM, to see if you'll like it, before committing to the substantial undertaking that PMI certification involves. PMI certification is very worthwhile -- I see it as a requirement more and more.

Good luck!

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