Should I Join Rice Professional Mba Program? Is It Worth It?

Are you stuck at a dead-end job and are looking for a new career? Or maybe you want a raise at your current job?

A Professional Mba Program allows working professionals to pursue their higher education without giving up their job. Bear in mind that this program is designed for graduates with 1-2 years of work experience and not for senior-level executives. There is a separate course called Executive MBA for them.

This post is about the Professional MBA Program offered by Rice University, located in the heart of Houston. This is a 22-month program with evening and weekend classes. For those who want more relaxation in between lectures can opt for other 3 and 5 year programs. The university understands the fact that work can sometimes be soul-sucking. A 3 or 5 year MBA program provides space for those with difficult jobs to grow and excel at their own pace.

mba program

Should I Join Rice Professional Mba Program? Is this program designed for someone like me?

Whether you should join a Professional MBA Program offered by Rice Jones University depends on a lot of factors. Is your current employer supporting your decision to go for higher education? Are you unhappy at your current job and want to add a business degree to boost your resume? Whichever category you fall into, you should be willing to work hard throughout the program. And, as far as future job prospect is concerned, the only way is to network your way into a major company.

Secondly, do not join this program if you have a distaste for the Oil and Gas industry. Most of your classmates will be employees of major Oil and Gas companies. These companies(from Texas) send some of their top employees to this University so they could switch functions. Lastly, networking will feel like a piece of cake if you happen to have worked in the Oil and Gas industry before.

As far as the infrastructure is concerned, the classrooms are designed in a way to aid close communication and access between students and professors. You won’t find huge halls or auditoriums in Rice Jones University. Moreover, the teaching style for the Professional program is a lot different. It is quite slow and repetitive. This is to help you reinforce the fundamentals and concepts of business.

Is a Professional MBA Program worth it?

It is important to understand that an MBA program– whether full-time or part-time– is supposed to take your career to the next level, notably, management level. It is beneficial for those who already have proved themselves in a certain industry. For instance, someone with 2-3 years of experience working in the tech industry would benefit from an MBA. 

However, nowadays, an MBA program is looked at as a shortcut to success, particularly, by fresh graduates. People with no work experience are getting themselves enrolled without thinking about the consequences of their actions. This leads to disappointment later as after the completion of the course, their degree turns out to be useless and they have to work low-end jobs to repay their student loans. Do not make the same mistake with the Professional MBA program.

Top Affordable MBA Programs in California

Are you interested in taking your career from an executive to a management level? MBA prepares you for jobs requiring leadership and management skills. There are numerous MBA programs available in California for both working and non-working students.

Here are the top affordable MBA programs in California.

1. Abraham Lincoln University

Abraham Lincoln University offers an accelerated, one-year, Master of Business Administration (MBA) program that provides a stage for young graduates to learn and experiment with various principles of business. This program has two specialization options: Finance and/or Human Resources Management.

2. Brandman University

Brandman university

Brandman University offers one of the best MBA programs in California. What I like about their program is that they have made it so flexible that you can add and remove subject as per your needs. Students from Brandman University get hired on-campus by organizations like Anthem and Oracle.

3. Pepperdine Graziadio Business School

Pepperdine Graziadio Business School is located in Malibu and offers a full-time MBA program. You can earn your MBA from any of the 12, 15, or 20-months programs. By doing your MBA in disciplines of your choice, you can begin your professional journey right from the get-go. You don’t have to wait for the right job that will provide the right opportunities for you to learn.

4. California Baptist University

MBA programs by the California Baptist University are accredited by ACBSP. Moreover, they have programs for one and two years in concentrations like Accounting, Aviation Management, Healthcare Administration and Management. The entire program costs around $28,000 which is quite less compared to other colleges of similar stature.

5. Marshall School of Business

The Marshall School of Business comes under the University of Southern California which is California’s oldest private research Universities. You will be surprised to learn that an amount of $687 million was dedicated to sponsored research by this School.

6. Bethesda University

Bethesda University is located in Anaheim. They offer two MBA programs: One with pre-requisite training and another without it. They offer programs with disciplines such as management, accounting, finance, marketing, operations, and leadership strategy. If you already are good at analytical and strategic thinking, you need not go for the prerequisites training.

7. California State University (CSU) – San Bernardino

CSU offers a traditional, online and professional MBA programs. You can opt for a traditional MBA if you are unsure about which subjects you are interested in. This program focuses on core management and business subjects. While the professional program is for people who have work experience in a particular field like engineering, medical science, chemistry, etc.

8. Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University offers several business and management courses for students from different walks of life. They also have some good part-time MBA programs like the Executive MBA and the Evening MBA. To apply for the Executive MBA, you need at least 10 years of working experience.

Conclusion

Finishing an MBA from a reputed University not only guarantees a secure job in a major organization but also gives you a chance to start your own business. Investors are more likely to take your business idea seriously if you have an MBA. As you would already know Silicon Valley– home to many start-ups and global technology companies– is also located in the state of California.

The Best Electives for an MBA in Finance

The Best Electives for an MBA in Finance

When you enroll in an MBA program with a concentration in finance, you expect to take courses that cover the technical aspects of the field. However, even though graduate school tends to be more focused than a bachelor’s degree curriculum, there is still room for elective courses in most programs. Employers want to hire well-rounded individuals who can manage the challenges of the modern business world, and that usually means that you need skills and experience beyond the strictly technical aspects of finance.

This doesn’t mean, though, that you should enroll in any random course just to get the credits. The focused nature of the best online MBA programs means that your elective choices are a bit more refined than they might have been in college. In other words, the courses outside of your core requirements should be at least somewhat related to your goals and the degree you’re earning. And to get the most out of them, you should consider taking courses in the following subjects.

Writing

Many graduate students in finance are under the mistaken impression that they don’t need to develop their writing skills, as they are unlikely to need them in the workplace. Nothing could be further from the truth. Employers want to hire individuals who can communicate well both orally and in writing, and a technical writing class can put you in a good position to demonstrate skills in the latter. It’s likely that at various points in your career you will need to write memos, letters, reports, and other documents (such as white papers or blog posts) so it doesn’t hurt to sharpen your skills in this area.

Public Speaking and Presentation

Again, communication skills are in high demand, so if you aren’t confident in your ability to speak in front of an audience, take a course that will give you the strategies you need. Many schools are now offering courses specifically geared toward making presentations both in person and online. These are useful if you aren’t comfortable with presentation software or equipment and want some experience in this area. Many financial services companies develop webinars or have other online meetings, so knowing how to use this technology and make the most of it is a valuable skill.

Ethics

A growing number of business schools include ethics courses as part of the core curriculum for all students, but even if you aren’t required to take one, you should add one to your degree plan. Many companies have moved beyond the notion of not breaking the law equating ethics, and seeking more professionalization of business practices in this area. Coursework that challenges you to understand the ethics surrounding the finance profession and gives you the skills to make ethical decisions will be useful throughout your career.

The Best Electives for an MBA in Finance

Psychology

Studying human behavior can help those working in the financial field to better understand the thoughts and actions that influence the way markets move and how people think about money. This is especially important for those hoping to work directly with clients as a financial advisor or manager, as psychology plays a significant role in how people approach money – and how you structure your recommendations. Some schools have even started offering courses specifically devoted to the psychology of finance (or behavioral finance) to help provide insight into this area.

Critical Thinking

Like ethics, many business programs have started adding critical thinking courses to their core curriculums. Understanding how to analyze and evaluate arguments and create solutions to problems that take all possible angles into account is vital to success in the financial world. A critical thinking course will teach you how to think in a logical manner, and ask the right questions to reach better conclusions.

Entrepreneurship

If you plan to hang your own shingle at any point – in any type of business -coursework in entrepreneurship can help provide the foundation you need for a successful business. From writing business plans to managing staff, entrepreneurship classes help you start off on the right foot and make good decisions for your business.

These are just a few ideas for the most valuable electives to choose for your MBA. Other good options are to choose classes from other concentrations, such as marketing or global business, that will give you a foundation in those areas that you can use to pursue other career paths if necessary. Whatever you choose, though, make sure it aligns with your goals and that it adds to your skill set and helps you get the most from your grad school experience.

Things You Need to Know Before Applying to an MBA

cap, gown, graduationApplying to study for an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree can be a wonderful opportunity and a great investment in your future career. However it is also a big decision to make, as MBAs are usually expensive and time consuming. There are a number of things you should know before you take the plunge. This article will help you with what to consider before pursuing an MBA degree.

Before applying to study for an MBA you should consider that these qualifications can be very expensive. Depending on where you choose to study will affect how expensive the course will be, but you should bear in mind that no university will offer an MBA for under a few thousand dollars. It is also a lot harder to receive state funding for an MBA, as it is a postgraduate qualification – this means you would have to fund the degree yourself.

You should also consider that studying for an MBA can be very time consuming. Whilst it may be possible to study part-time, most courses are full-time which will mean you will struggle to work full-time alongside the course. A part-time course would of course take longer to complete, which means that you will need financial security for longer.

Before applying to study for an MBA you should also take time to carefully choose which university you wish to study at. Different universities will have different methods of teaching, different study modules and of course different prices. Be sure to look at a number of different courses before selecting which ones to apply for. You should also consider that some universities may only accept candidates who already have a Bachelor’s degree in business.

It is also important to consider whether or not an MBA is the right path for you before you apply to study for one. An MBA is most useful for people who wish to progress in a business career – often consultants, bankers and directors have MBA degrees. If you already work in business, it is worth finding out whether an MBA will help you progress within your company – some businesses value MBAs, while others do not. You should also be aware that MBAs cover quite a broad variety of business subjects – if you wish to study something more specific, for example accountancy, then an MBA may not be the right qualification for you.  Some specific advanced degrees that are popular are a Masters in Project Management or a Masters in Accounting.   Find out as much information about the course you are applying for before you apply, and make sure it is exactly what you wish to study.

All the above points aside, gaining an MBA qualification can be an excellent stepping stone in your career and is often well worth the time and expense in the future. The degree can lead to career progression, better opportunities and often higher pay, which can make studying one worthwhile. However it is important to take into account all of the above points before making the decision to study – this way you will be more likely to avoid discontinuing your course halfway through!

Photo by: Jason Low

How to Market yourself with a magnificent resume

While I haven’t disclosed much personal information yet, bits and pieces will come out as we delve further into this blog about How to Market.  I am an accountant/financial analyst that works at a local non-profit organization in Market who receives much of its funding from state and federal governments resumes.  Recently it has been discussed merging with another non-profit in the area which is teaching to people How to Market yourself.  They organizations are still in the very infancy stages of seeing if something like this is even plausible.  But I could be one day without a job because they will not need 2 finance departments for the organizations.

All of a sudden come the what-ifs.  What if I were to lose my job? Should I start looking now?  It creates a different level of stress from the day to day stress.  When planning for the future you need to take into consideration these what ifs.  One of them as is the emergency fund (insert link from the other post).  The one I want to focus on is having your resume up to date.

Your resume is your own personal marketing tool. There are a lot of resume builders online and sometimes they are very helpful, but if you plan to try one look for a review from a site such as Consumers Advocate so you can compare them. As you are working in your current job you should always have your resume updated with your most recent skill set and your job functions. You never know when you are going to run into someone that may have the opportunity of a lifetime. They may just ask for your resume and you better be able to produce. Why keep it up to date, while you may think you have your dream job now you never know what might happen. This is not the old times when you used to work in one or two jobs your entire life. According to Forbes, employee/employer loyalty has shifted and attitudes have changed. The economic climate has changed and you really have to focus on yourself and make sure you are prepared for the uncertainty.

Personal finance is a large spectrum and sitting back and taking a back seat approach is going to get you nowhere fast.  This is the approach that I had taken in years past but this blog is helping myself and my wife set our sights straight.

As with everything you do, put your best foot forward and leave nothing at the door. That is a great idea which you can use in the marketing of your magnificent resume.