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B.S in Chemical Engineering with a MBA?

BluethunderBluethunder Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
edited April 2011 in Business School - MBA
I'm currently a undergraduate majoring in chemical engineering. My college, RPI, has a program where I can get a MBA and a BS in five years. Is an MBA helpful if I want a job that pays well? How much increase in salary is it? Will it be worth the extra cost of the degree along with the opportunity cost?
Post edited by Bluethunder on

Replies to: B.S in Chemical Engineering with a MBA?

  • MedwellMedwell Registered User Posts: 440 Member
    It's not worth it, because
    1. You (most likely) won't have significant work experience when you enter/graduate from the MBA program.
    2. RPI isn't particularly good for business school.
  • BluethunderBluethunder Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Thanks for the response. I have research experience and one chemical engineering internship. I was hoping that I would save time by getting my MBA with just one additional year.
  • mrdude108mrdude108 Registered User Posts: 143 Junior Member
    I am pursuing a similar degree, it is a Bachelors in Biology with an MBA. It seems like a very efficient and logical program but apparently the MBA portion of it isn't well received by potential employers for some reason.
  • MBA2012MBA2012 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Do you have any thoughts on what you want to do post-grad? If you want to do straight up chemical engineering, you would be much better served getting an MS in engineering.

    If you want to leverage your engineering quant skills in a business environment, an MBA isn't an awful idea. You should give some serious thought to getting some work experience first, though, since an MBA with no "real" (non internship) work experience *generally* doesn't mean much. There are, of course, always exceptions.

    A friend of mine did the 3/2 program at U Rochester and got an undergrad in Econ and an MBA. He had to work a lot harder than classmates to get a good post-MBA job, and his starting salary was lower than others in his MBA class (makes sense...some classmates were 29 with 4-6 years of work experience upon graduation. He was 24 with 0 years of work experience except for two summers of very good internships. Classmates got job offers in the $100k range; he started in the low 80s.)

    He had a lot of luck in leadership development programs and just finished up a 3-year rotation program at a big bank (and managed NOT to get laid off during the recession. I consider THAT a success given the amount of trouble that bank was in...).

    I urge you to think pretty hard about the long term. If you want to get into business eventually, you may be able to get into a better business program for your MBA with some work experience. Or, if you elect the 3/2 program, know that you'll have a lot of ground to make up compared to your MBA classmates.
  • sakkysakky - Posts: 14,759 Senior Member
    A friend of mine did the 3/2 program at U Rochester and got an undergrad in Econ and an MBA. He had to work a lot harder than classmates to get a good post-MBA job, and his starting salary was lower than others in his MBA class (makes sense...some classmates were 29 with 4-6 years of work experience upon graduation. He was 24 with 0 years of work experience except for two summers of very good internships. Classmates got job offers in the $100k range; he started in the low 80s.)

    He had a lot of luck in leadership development programs and just finished up a 3-year rotation program at a big bank (and managed NOT to get laid off during the recession. I consider THAT a success given the amount of trouble that bank was in...).

    I urge you to think pretty hard about the long term. If you want to get into business eventually, you may be able to get into a better business program for your MBA with some work experience. Or, if you elect the 3/2 program, know that you'll have a lot of ground to make up compared to your MBA classmates.

    Well, I think the fair comparison is not against other MBA students who, as you mentioned, will be older and have far more experience than the OP would. The fair comparison would be against whatever else the OP might have been doing at age 23-24 when he would be graduating from his combined program. Let's face it - most 23-24-year-olds don't really have exciting job opportunities. Most of them can only dream of landing a job offer that pays in the 80's.
  • MBA2012MBA2012 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    ^^ maybe you misread my post? I was comparing OP to my friend who ALSO did a 3/2 MBA program. He graduated and got a job at 23 with a BS and an MBA. My example above was showing that he, who was much younger than his MBA colleagues, had to do A LOT of networking, had to land two killer internships, and still had a salary that, while very nice, was much less than his older peers.

    So my pint is that if OP wants to do business immediately after completing a 3/2 program, he should be aware that he will have to put in a lot more effort to overcome the age/experience gap and he should recognize that the big salaries posted on MBA websites are not applicable in his case because they assume 4-5 years of experience. In my friend's case, his peers with similar positions were offered high 90s-low 100s as starting salaries; he was offered low 80s and it was explicitly because of his age and lack of real work experience.

    Make sense? (FWIW I knew plenty of folks in college who graduated with chemical engineering BS degrees and made in the 80s to start, or made in the mid 60s and promoted w/in one year...so if OP does well in undergrad and wants to do chem engineering, he has plenty of high paying non MBA options).
  • sakkysakky - Posts: 14,759 Senior Member
    ^^ maybe you misread my post?

    No, actually, I think you misread my post. See below.
    My example above was showing that he, who was much younger than his MBA colleagues, had to do A LOT of networking, had to land two killer internships, and still had a salary that, while very nice, was much less than his older peers.

    Which is precisely my point: so what if he garnered a salary that was far less than his older peers? His older peers are not the relevant comparison. The relevant comparison would be what he would be making had he not obtained the MBA at all, which would presumably be far less, regardless of how much networking and other effort he may have put in. Again, let's face it, most 23-24-year-olds (who are not in MBA programs) don't really have jobs that provide them with strong opportunities to network.
    So my pint is that if OP wants to do business immediately after completing a 3/2 program, he should be aware that he will have to put in a lot more effort to overcome the age/experience gap and he should recognize that the big salaries posted on MBA websites are not applicable in his case because they assume 4-5 years of experience. In my friend's case, his peers with similar positions were offered high 90s-low 100s as starting salaries; he was offered low 80s and it was explicitly because of his age and lack of real work experience.

    Which is my point as well. I have always agreed that the large posted salaries are not applicable to the OP for they do represent a different demographic. But that's not the important question. The important question is not whether you are going to obtain a comparable salary and job relative to your MBA colleagues, but rather whether you would obtain a better salary/job relative to yourself - namely where you would be had you not obtained the MBA at all (after accounting for the cost of the MBA).
    Make sense? (FWIW I knew plenty of folks in college who graduated with chemical engineering BS degrees and made in the 80s to start

    Then perhaps those 'plenty' of chemical engineering BS graduates that you say that you know who made in the $80's to start ought to provide some useful career advice to the chemical engineering graduates from MIT who, in 2010, despite graduating from the #1 ranked chemical engineering program in the nation (and arguably the world), garnered an average starting salary of only about $60k.

    {So maybe the implication is that MIT chemical engineering graduates should definitely obtain MBA's.}
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