View Full Version : Will an MBA help me?

07-23-2001, 10:19 PM
Here is my situation. I graduate from college in December with a solid G.P.A, and a profitable landscaping company. My salary doing this is better than most entry level jobs. Nonetheless I am really feeling a push by some like my father, to continue my schooling and get an M.B.A.. Now I have plenty of time to decide but I was just curious what some of you out here think. I mean a good M.B.A. has a larger salary than most lawn care operators, but there are tradeoffs with everything. Anyone have any advice?
Maybe the M.B.A. will just be a very worthwhile experience, or a waste of $60,000?

07-23-2001, 10:29 PM
As I understand it, many of the good MBA programs don't even want to see you until you've had a few years of work life under your belt. You still have time to decide.

As for whether it will help, it depends on what your future intentions are. One thing to note, MBA's are getting to be like lawyers - more than the market needs. You'll need a good pedigree to make good jack. If you're using that knowledge to better your business, I dunno. I don't have an MBA so I can't speak with any authority, but I know I've learned a ton in the field that I'd never learn from schooling.

And I don't think the MBA will impress your customers at all. For that you'll want a hort degree, or a civil engineering degree if you're doing lots of hardscapes.

07-23-2001, 10:34 PM
thanks for the reply stonehedge.

here is what i want

financial freedom

the big question seems to be can I attain this doing what I am doing now?

Time will only tell or some of you older members can maybe shed some light on the subject.

07-23-2001, 10:59 PM
Well, here's what I can tell you about your goals -

I've worked in corp america and been on my own. With an MBA as your entrance, even if you aren't that bright you can likely get a decent job working for a big company. However, you will never be the sole determinant in your success. Corporate circumstances beyond your control may find you downsized, or you may have a boss that no matter what you do or say, he has it in for you.

But you are in control of your destiny as the prez of your biz. If you are successful, it's because of you. If you fail, it's because of you. There's a freedom in that you can't find in corp america. As for $$ potential with an MBA, sure, the current stats may say that you'll start at X, progress at Y rate, with a typical ending salary of Z at the end of your career. Notice those are all finite numbers. If you are really good at building a biz, there's no ceiling to the potential. But you could also wind up with nothing.

Safe route = MBA and job wearing suit and tie.

Courageous route = keep blazing your own trail and take your biz as far as you are capable.

And don't let Dad choose for you.

07-24-2001, 07:57 AM
dmk395 - I give vocational and educational advise everyday for a living. Not too many years ago, the conventional wisdom was that the more education = the more marketable you are. An MBA was big bucks. In the last few years, this idea has been turned upside down. Many companies want technical skills - not generalists. Unless you graduated MBA from Harvard or similar school, the salary generally did not justify the extra time/expense. Many MBAs wound up with jobs they could gotten with a bachelor degree or in a field unrelated to their specialization in Business. However, with our current economic state of affairs, it is really hard to make sense of what is happening and even harder to predict even near future hiring trends. My best advise - do what you think will please you best.

07-24-2001, 09:50 PM
WOW, i am thinking about doing the same thing.

Does anybody know if your undergrad degree has any relavance wheather u get into grad school or not??
My Undergrad degree is in Architecture. very different from business.

There are many schools even some around my house that offer online classes. I know that University of Michigan offers there MBA on-line.

Anybody taken an On-line class??

its true that your work experience and technical knowleged are very important, an MBA PROVES that you have worked hard, well at least at some time.


07-25-2001, 07:34 PM
I have a marketing degree from 6 years ago and had planned to continue with an MBA. After doing the math (cost of class time) I dicided that I will get in with a company that will pick up the tab.
The problem is that the reimbersment programs are okay, but who has the time?
An MBA is great if you want to work for IBM, Microsoft, etc. It may open many more doors than a BA, but how would it apply in the Landscape business? It may give you more training on how to create a succesful business.
If you plan to stay in the landscape business, concentrate on how you business can compete and grow.
That's my plans. I have basic knowledge from college. Now it's time to sharpen my skills as a business owner.
I feel the only way to make the big bucks is, just like ANY business, is grow, hire employees who will pay you.
My CPA once told me: "When my payroll grows, my profits will follow".

07-25-2001, 07:51 PM
I think you are right Kurt. I have a feeling there a are few lawnsite members making more money that most MBA's.

07-27-2001, 08:30 AM
A lot Top Business schools MBA Programs are almost exactly similar to thier BS Programs. You can find a school were the BS program is better than thier Masters. I had to take a couple Masters classes since I couldn't get schedualed for the undergrad. Where the professor was the same and the same material was covered. The only difference was that you were required to particapte a lot more.

If you are going to work for someone, a MBA is nice to have. But as an Entrepreneur, many kids(24-35) want to start thier own business, fear they don't have enough education, so they waste most of thier time in school like the MBA's writing great business plans that never matierialize because once they get out they are a bit older with more responsiblities, and lack the real business skills.(you may call it street sense). Don't get me wrong about education, I think it is very important in life. I am for continual education be it on the streets or in the classroom.

BA, BS and MBA programs are funded by Companies to train future employees the matierial nessary for entry level postions.

07-27-2001, 08:37 PM
Stay in school.....

07-31-2001, 08:32 AM
I agree with Kurt. If you want to work for a major corporation with little chance of becoming one of the top few, I would look at the MBA program.

However, if you like lawncare, are making a decent living, and like having a good deal of control over your situation, I don't think the MBA makes a lot of financial sense. I don't think any of your lawn care customers will care whether you have an MBA in business, or just an undergraduate degree in advanced basketweaving, or for that matter any degree at all. As long as you provide good service at a fair price your customers will be happy.

That being said, picking up business courses from whatever source is a good idea to help you in your business. I just don't think the MBA would be worth it.

Fantasy Lawns
07-31-2001, 07:57 PM
Take the GMAT first ........ http://www.gmac.com/

than even see if your motivated to do that ..... I was in the same boat years ago when I got my graduates in business ….I took the test ...... passed ....... decided that the MBA would be great in an office environment ....but I’m running a Grounds Maintenance company ……n I love it ……I don’t WANT to work for anyone else ….. if I was in a business environment which makes sense ..... Architect, lawyer, CPA etc I would have finished

you can make $$ at this ....but to make that to match an MBA you'd have to be "Real Big Time" ......I say if you really love what you studied ....want to pursue it further .....than take the test .....see if you can get in the program .....if you have financial backing …….than do it ….but don’t get one in Business to stay in this field ……UNLESS you plan to seek out an upper job in one of the big 10 Landscape companies ………..but your going to need a degree in horticulture also ....good luck

07-31-2001, 09:54 PM
That was kind of funny. GMAC is my mortgage company and I wondered what they had to do with taking the GMAT. It's got GMACMORTGAGE.com for an email address.