an mba degree or a degree in computer science?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by felix_suwarno, Jan 18, 2003.

  1. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    a friend of mine asked me that question. since he lives in indonesia / jakarta, i told him to pursue mba instead of computer science. computer science, in that country, means database, database, database. boring, isnt it.

    what do you guys think, in general, which one would help him make money faster?
     
  2. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    I don't know the answer to your question, but I can tell you that I'm glad I pursued a technical degree (physics) rather than an MBA. Everybody told me that an MBA would be a better path to more money, and they were right for a while. My colleague engineers with MBAs were elevated quickly to middle management status with lucrative boosts in salaries, while I continued to torture electrons in the lab. But soon after (about fifteen to twenty years ago), the companies they worked for woke up and wondered why they were subsidizing such a huge middle-management glut. One company I worked for (Texas Instruments) had one of the most ridiculous middle-management to engineer ratios of almost one-to-one in some departments. All the MBA guys were booted out on their you-know-whats, and since most of them had let their technical skills atrophy, they couldn't even get a job as an engineer anymore. The "Reign of Engineers" followed for about a decade in which technical workers could demand almost anything in salary and benefits. While companies kept their management teams lean, they stumbled all over themselves trying to recruit technical talent. Many even lobbied Congress to allow more imigrants with technical skills into the country to fill all the job openings.

    It's a good thing Congress didn't listen, because the "Telecom Crunch" followed shortly thereafter, and engineers are now a dime-a-dozen. Nevertheless, my fellow MBA colleagues faired much worse in the long haul. Engineers may be a dime-a-dozen now, but our jobs are slowly coming back. However, middle management jobs have been pared to the bone by cost-conscientious companies consistently for almost two decades, now, and that's not a trend I think is likely to change.

    That's just my experience, and I'm sure I can't begin to imagine what your friend in Indonesia would experience either way. Also, as an engineer, I'm obligated to advise you that I've related only anecdotal information to you, and that everything I've said here is consequently worthless to use as quantifiable data in your quest to detemine what advise to give your friend.

    Nevertheless, I wish you luck.
     
  3. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    thanks! looks like he prefers comp science after all. but i dunno, i just want the best for him, given the circumstances. i mean, doing database all the time sucks.
     

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