gossard267 wrote:rayiner wrote:KevinP wrote:That said, I'm still personally having a ton of doubts about whether I'm making a financially sound move by attending a T14. And this is coming from someone with an engineering background + WE and about to head to CLS at non-sticker price.
Its tempting to just look at the downside potential, but you also have to factor in upside potential as well as your alternatives. You're unlikely to make much more than $125k as an engineer without going into management, which will typically involve dropping $180k+interest on an MBA. Demand in IP is high enough right now where you're likely to be able to stick it out 5-7 year in big law, even if you get pushed out of your first firm. After that you've got decent in-house options where $200k+ further into your career is within reach. That's assuming you don't make partner or counsel at even a small or mid-sized firm, which is not so unlikely that you can discount it completely from the calculation.
As someone who knows several engineers who have made the leap to management, I strongly disagree with the bolded. Top-shelf MBAs are a waste of money for engineers, unless you are looking to make a huge career change (switch to consulting, finance, marketing, etc). For most engineers looking to move into management, almost any MBA will work, because the MBA is merely a signal and box to check. Hiring committees mainly value your technical knowledge and your ability effectively engage with and be respected by engineering staff, but they do need some sign that you have interest in managing people and that you have at least been taught how to read a P&L.
From a purely economic perspective, I'd guess that engineer w/ part-time MBA (funded by employer) moving into management will turn a better ROI than engineer that drops out of the work force for 3 years, accumulates 250K in debt at 8% interest, and then reenters through biglaw.
First of all, a consulting gig + egineering background is a great way to move into upper management. Second, some companies are snobbier than others. At places that don't care much about the pedigree of your MBA, middle management is unlikely to make much more than a senior engineer anyway. It also helps for lateral-ing up.