Oxford Degree vs. Ivy League Degree?

<p>This is why I posted this in Parent Cafe: Because I am sure more parents would know about various international degrees and also would have experience with investment bankers.</p>

<p>Dear parents, how does the "older" generation view UK universities, such as Cambridge, Oxford, University College London, and LSE?
I keep hearing that even a lower Ivy degree would be more suitable if I plan to become an investment banker.</p>

<p>In one thread in CC, one poster said Oxford=GA Tech but Cornell> Oxford.</p>

<p>Also:</p>

<p>I am Oxford class of 2015, majoring in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. </p>

<p>Will I be at a disadvatange, trying to apply to a top business school in the US? (HBS, Stanford Business School,..etc)</p>

<p>Since I am graduating in three years, they might consider my academics "not up to the highest calibre".</p>

<p>Oxford grad here. Very, very few Ivy League students (or Oxford students) will be admitted to an MBA program without substantial work experience. And at that time, the particular work experiences are going to trump the school, hands down. Ivy Leagues are more likely to get in, mainly because they have better opportunities coming out of undergrad, and more family connections which lead to better opportunities. No one is going to "compare' the academics. (Georgia Tech, or Cornell, will do just fine, as will any number of state universities and liberal arts colleges.)</p>

<p>I would be surprised if anyone would view an Oxford degree any less than an Ivy. Both D and I went to University in the UK and have British degrees. If anything it may make you a bit different applying to a US business school with British degree.</p>

<p>Are you American? I though most degrees in England are 3 years, since the English spend 2 years on A levels at sixth form colleges. How can you already be in the class of 2015? Maybe times have changed.</p>

<p>Relax, enjoy your time at Oxford.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Are you American? I though most degrees in England are 3 years, since the English spend 2 years on A levels at sixth form colleges. How can you already be in the class of 2015? Maybe times have changed.

[/quote]

I am not so familiar with the English school system :) I am international student who applied with SATs and APs.
I deferred a year. </p>

<p>
[quote]
Oxford grad here. Very, very few Ivy League students (or Oxford students) will be admitted to an MBA program without substantial work experience. And at that time, the particular work experiences are going to trump the school, hands down. Ivy Leagues are more likely to get in, mainly because they have better opportunities coming out of undergrad, and more family connections which lead to better opportunities. No one is going to "compare' the academics. (Georgia Tech, or Cornell, will do just fine, as will any number of state universities and liberal arts colleges.)

[/quote]
</p>

<p>
[quote]
Compared to other top business schools, HBS admits a lot of people straight from undergrad - about 150 out of each incoming class of 900, so I wouldn't worry too much about not having any work experience. HBS is the more prestigious of the two programs (and will be more difficult to get admitted to) so keep that in mind as you put together an application strategy. Note that you can apply to the joint degree program during your first year at either HLS or HBS, but there are a lot of HLS students who get rejected by HBS each year so HLS to HBS could be a risky strategy.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Someone posted this in my previous thread. Isn't HBS lenient on undergrads without substantial work experience?</p>

<p>
[quote]
1. Harvard University (3)
2. Stanford University (4)
3. University of Pennsylvania (9)
4. University of Chicago (11)
5. Columbia University (13)
6. New York University (14)
7. Yale University (15)
8. University of California - Berkeley (16)
9. Northwestern University (17)
10. University of Michigan (19)
11. Duke University (22)
11. University of Virginia (22)
13. Cornell University (27)
14. University of California - Los Angeles (31)
15. University of Texas (36)
16. University of Southern California (37)
17. Georgetown University (39)
18. Emory University (42)
19. University of Minnesota (45)
20. Washington University (47)
21. Vanderbilt University (50)
22. Ohio State University (53)
23. University of North Carolina (54)
24. University of Washington (57)
25. Indiana University - Bloomington (60)
25. University of Wisconsin (60)
27. Boston University (61)
27. University of Maryland (61)
29. University of Illinois (62)
30. Boston College (67)
30. University of Notre Dame (67)
32. University of Iowa (74)
33. University of California - Davis (80)
34. University of Georgia (82)
35. University of Florida (84)
36. Wake Forest University (85)
36. Brigham Young University (85)
38. Tulane University (92)
38. Arizona State University (92)
40. Pennsylvania State University (125)

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I am interested in Harvard, Northwestern, Stanford, and Duke.</p>

<p>^what is that list?</p>

<p>Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using CC App</p>

<p>Investment banking is a pretty standard track; most seem to be undergrad quants, analysts on the Street for a couple years, then an MBA and back to Wall Street as an associate. You may not have trouble getting into b-school without work experience, but when the banks come to recruit, I suspect the guy with two or three years under his belt as an analyst at Goldman Sachs will probably be the preferable candidate. I guess it depends on whether you think you can compete with that.</p>

<p>
[quote]
^what is that list?</p>

<p>Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using CC App

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Combined USNWR ranking for Law+Business. They ranked business school and law school together. Harvard ranked 1st for MBA and 2nd for Law, which is why it has a cumulative ranking of 1 and raw score of 3.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Investment banking is a pretty standard track; most seem to be undergrad quants, analysts on the Street for a couple years, then an MBA and back to Wall Street as an associate. You may not have trouble getting into b-school without work experience, but when the banks come to recruit, I suspect the guy with two or three years under his belt as an analyst at Goldman Sachs will probably be the preferable candidate. I guess it depends on whether you think you can compete with that.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Can't you just do summer internships/ part-time jobs during college?
Can you just "number" them out? (Scoring 99percentile in GMAT, LSAT, GRE+ 4.0)?</p>

<p>I suppose if you tried hard enough. Most full-time analyst classes are derived from their summer analyst pools, so those that are full-time analysts coming into the MBA usually have at least one, but probably two or three summers as analysts. Obviously some people get around this, but it'll probably be more difficult.</p>

<p>"Compared to other top business schools, HBS admits a lot of people straight from undergrad - about 150 out of each incoming class of 900, so I wouldn't worry too much about not having any work experience."</p>

<p>So that's only one of six from ALL schools combined (including Ivy League, but also including many, many others.) In other words, given the low admissions rate to begin with, the odds are very, very poor without substantial work experience - Ivy League or not. And with work experience, the value of the degree itself - any degree - is substantially lessened. (The degree might have bought you opportunities, but that's another matter. And, yes, under the right circumstances, the Georgia Tech degree might prove more valuable.)</p>

<p>Oh thank you.
I am really interested in corporate law, and I thought having an MBA would be just a bonus.
My career options, if I could, would be:
1. Management consultant
2. Hedge fund manager
3. Corporate Lawyer
4. Intellectual property lawyer</p>

<p>Well the good thing is that it's tougher to get consulting jobs right out of undergrad, so if you're gunning for that without a consulting job you wouldn't be at as much of a disadvantage as if you were pure banking. But I think work experience in banking, or anything else really, would substantially improve your competitiveness during MBA recruiting season.</p>

<p>... Who cares?</p>

<p>
[quote]
Well the good thing is that it's tougher to get consulting jobs right out of undergrad, so if you're gunning for that without a consulting job you wouldn't be at as much of a disadvantage as if you were pure banking. But I think work experience in banking, or anything else really, would substantially improve your competitiveness during MBA recruiting season.

[/quote]

I concur. Great advice. Thanks!</p>

<p>Just out of interest, does that (silly) chart reflect a #1 ranking for Stanford Law School? I don't see how Stanford could get a combined score of 4 if Harvard is #1 for MBA and #2 for law, without a #1 ranking in something, but I have never seen anyone suggest that Stanford could be higher than #3 in law. Maybe they award unadjusted top points for ties, and Stanford ties for #1 business school, or #2 both? Doesn't make much sense, though.</p>

<p>Anyway, here's what's wrong with the combined chart: </p>

<p>Depending on your career path, the prestige of one of your degrees matters a lot less than the other. In law, a Yale JD is something to swoon over, and no one would care much about the fact that Yale's SOM isn't highly ranked. The headline would be Yale law grad with an MBA from anywhere. On the other hand, in hedge fund land no one is going to go ga-ga over Yale Law's intellectual reputation, and you would much rather be marketing your Harvard or Wharton MBA (and contact network).</p>

<p>Also, the JD/MBA combo is highly overrated. There isn't a whole lot of advantage to it in corporate law, and I think there's no advantage to it on the business side. Everyone I knew who did a JD/MBA knew pretty quickly which side of the fence he wanted to be on, and most of them have had careers in which one or the other degree was completely irrelevant. What's more, good business lawyers without MBAs cross over into non-legal jobs all the time. I know several lawyers who have been CEOs of public companies, and none of them has had an MBA. You need a JD to practice law, but if you don't practice law for at least a few years at the start of your career your JD becomes worthless as a credential, and if you do practice business law for a few years at a high level, and people respect you, you don't need an MBA to cross over to the client side.</p>

<p>As for the OP's initial question: Of course people will respect a respectable Oxford PPE degree. But at least in the past it wasn't especially a quant-y degree, and if you want to go straight into business school or get a job in consulting or hedge funds you had better be prepared to bowl people over with your mathematics skills, not your John Stuart Mills.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Just out of interest, does that (silly) chart reflect a #1 ranking for Stanford Law School? I don't see how Stanford could get a combined score of 4 if Harvard is #1 for MBA and #2 for law, without a #1 ranking in something, but I have never seen anyone suggest that Stanford could be higher than #3 in law. Maybe they award unadjusted top points for ties, and Stanford ties for #1 business school, or #2 both? Doesn't make much sense, though.

[/quote]

I don't think it's silly. It's a combined ranking from USNWR!</p>

<p>
[quote]
I know several lawyers who have been CEOs of public companies, and none of them has had an MBA. You need a JD to practice law, but if you don't practice law for at least a few years at the start of your career your JD becomes worthless as a credential, and if you do practice business law for a few years at a high level, and people respect you, you don't need an MBA to cross over to the client side.

[/quote]

This is exactly what I mean: I want interdisciplinary study. I am interested in both studies. I can't really make my mind up, but if I choose law and become unhappy, I think JD is not worth it anymore: Hello... backup plan? MBA. </p>

<p>But now I know that you do not need an MBA to work in the hedge fund land.</p>

<p>"Someone posted this in my previous thread. Isn't HBS lenient on undergrads without substantial work experience?"</p>

<p>No.</p>

<p>There are schools with combo JD/MBA programs. See Creating</a> a Shorter Path to a J.D./M.B.A. - WSJ.com</p>

<p>What JHS is telling you--correctly, in my opinion--is that if you get a JD and decide you'd rather be in business, you can do so without an MBA, especially if you've been practicing business law. Indeed, you can just include more business-oriented classes among your JD electives.</p>