Part Time B School: Pride And Protest

With four children and a mortgage, I knew that studying for an MBA part-time at Indiana University was my only option ("Part-time B-school is a full-time grind," Personal Business, Aug. 21). From 1968 to 1972, as part of a group of seven employees from Cummins Engine Co. and Arvin Industries Inc., I carpooled a total of 26,000 miles back and forth from Columbus, Ind., to Bloomington and Indianapolis to complete night-school MBAs. We had the same excellent classes and professors as the full-time students. We did miss the interaction with other students and professors outside of classes. But we formed class-project teams within our carpool group.

It's true there is no salary change or promotion upon completion of a part-time MBA. This is because the salary increases and promotions were continuous throughout our careers rather than at MS or MBA completion milestones.

Joseph J. Neff


One of the biggest problems that is faced by part-time business-school programs is they do not carry the name recognition of the full-time programs. However, I feel that the MBA I recently earned from the Keller Graduate School of Management was well worth the sleep deprivation and the price paid. The program provided me with a tremendous boost in self-confidence, the tools necessary to compete in a dynamic marketplace, and an education that is directly applicable to life in general. That is a payback far more worthwhile than what I might have received at another school--one perhaps better known for its football team than its business school.

Theodore L. Codding


Not only is part-time B-School a full-time grind, it is often counterproductive in enhancing a person's career prospects. Unless you can afford the time, money, and effort (and can get accepted) at Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Northwestern, or Chicago, you're wasting your time with a lesser MBA program. While the very top schools continue to command respect and high salaries from employers (in part because of their selectivity), quite often it does more harm than good to earn an MBA from a lightly regarded institution.

In today's competitive work environment, the vast majority of middle managers are too busy to pursue a part-time MBA. Frequently, those who do so see their work performance suffer--with predictable results for their career. Some employers, correctly or not, view an MBA from an undistinguished institution as representing a candidate's interest in taking on staff assignments as opposed to line positions, which are, of course, the real work of most businesses. Longtime headhunters, like myself, know that any undergraduate degree provides a significant advantage for your career. The parallel argument cannot be made for MBA programs.

Bert L. Kizer

Hinsdale, Ill.