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At 50yo with a BA do you think it is worth getting an MA?


At 50yo with a BA do you think it is worth getting an MA?

Old 02-11-2018, 07:27 AM
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Default At 50yo with a BA do you think it is worth getting an MA?

Generally speaking do you think it would make you that much marketable for a job at that age and beyond? Wife wants to and I am a little concerned that it just isn't going to make a difference.
Old 02-11-2018, 07:35 AM
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I think it would depend on the type of employer and job she's looking for.

Big corporations and Municipalities would probably consider it a plus. Small businesses not so much.

To put this in perspective, I have employed 3 salesmen with MBA's at different times over the 20 year span of my business. One was a very good sales rep. The other two just average. As an employer, it doesn't make a bit of difference to me and I wouldn't hire or pay a candidate more because he or she had an advanced degree.
Old 02-11-2018, 07:38 AM
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By MA do you mean MBA? Or mater's of arts or whatever?

Either way, unless a specific company requires it for a promotion or job, it would be a waste of time IMO.
Old 02-11-2018, 07:39 AM
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No. Age. Sure, there's no "age discrimination" in hiring. BS.
Old 02-11-2018, 07:41 AM
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It is not usually the degree per se but more the knowledge gained from it. Depending on what type of company she works for having advanced educational credentials can be a plus. This is particularly true if she is in a tachnical industry and/or she learns new skills via the degree. Some companies ask for advanced degrees as part of the managerial track.
Old 02-11-2018, 07:41 AM
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I'm 50 with 29 years experience in my field. Years ago, I considered getting an MBA, but decided against it. When I'm looking to hire financial professionals (I'm a sales manager at one of the largest financial services firms), an MBA doesn't really add much value to the candidate.

In my profession, I decided that professional designations in my field would provide more value for me. For that reason, I achieved Chartered Financial Consultant and Chartered Life Underwriter designations.

I think that it really depends on the industry. If it's just something "nice to have", I would say that it's not a good investment. If she's doing it for herself, that's a different story.
Old 02-11-2018, 07:53 AM
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No, not unless it is for your own personal development, you have the spare time and your current employer is willing to cover the cost.
Old 02-11-2018, 08:13 AM
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Two reasons: 1- it will be directly linked to job advancement, increased pay, etc.; or 2- money and time are no issue and you want an MA for posterity sake. Other than that it's a waste of both.
Old 02-11-2018, 08:21 AM
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Like everyone else said; it would depend...

If her employer automatically gave her a raise; yes. If it was required to get a position she wants; yes. If she just wants to do it for herself; yes. Let her decide and support her decision.
Old 02-11-2018, 08:24 AM
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Unlikely to ever pay off except in knowledge, POSSIBLY.
Old 02-11-2018, 08:29 AM
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Depends if she is looking to move up in the same company or move out. Moving up means maintaining benny's, moving out means starting over which may mean a long way to go to get caught up.
Ex, my SIL bounced job to job for yrs till she finally got that ever prestige's VP job. Now she doesn't have the time in to retire and at 67 said maybe by 75.
In contrast my wife, 8 yrs her junior, is retiring in May because she stuck it out with one employer and moved up within. Her sister kept thinking she was better then what she was being paid and kept moving around.
She was shocked when my wife told her she was retiring in May.
You can't eat prestige.
Old 02-11-2018, 08:30 AM
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It also depends on where you go (how much it costs)

I am getting mine from Colorado State University online, cost $18k
I looked into Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, American and U of Washington. $60-80k

My employer will give me a raise with a masters, but no where near enough to cover the cost difference, CSU has ROI in less than 3.5 years fo me, and I figure I have 15-18 years left.
Old 02-11-2018, 08:30 AM
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Cost of the degree?

Can you afford it w/o going in debt?

Is she going to do this in the evening and keep her day job?
Old 02-11-2018, 08:32 AM
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can't really be answered without knowing

A. past degree

B. current job

C. hoped for now job or position

D. what MA degree

if you are a CPA and you want to get a MA in art history then no unless you are making good cash, still in decent shape, under 50, single (or your wife is clueless or does not care), and trying a different way to meet sugar babies

if you are a teacher then yes it makes a great deal of sense at almost any age or career point because you will get the pay bump and the retirement increase (in most places) and the degrees are not hard to obtain (online or summer programs ect), and the other students in class with you will be legal for you to try and boink

anything else and much more info will need to be put forth before a proper answer/opinion can be provided

edit I just reread it is your wife......ignore the boinking part unless she is bringing the girls home with her (or worry about the boinking part if you have not been taking care of business on the home front)
Old 02-11-2018, 08:44 AM
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At 50 I would say no, its not a good idea unless she is in a field like research that dictates formal education.

Here are my reasons:
-I have a friend who did the same thing at your wife's age, He spent 30K and 2 years to complete the program and after speaking with him, it did not result in any more money or make anything any easier when looking for a new job. He did change jobs and got about a $10K bump but that is more indicative of changing employers rather than any actual results of his MBA. I can attest to this as I do lots of hiring and in our field (tech) a 10K bump for changing jobs is about the normal. I have another friend who just changed jobs, he works in tech with no formal education and he took a $18K bump.

-I have about 50 employees and hire about 10-15 a year to accommodate growth and attrition(the younger generation does not stick around very long and my company has 6K employees so there is lots of opportunities to move around internal). Formal education is the last thing I look at if I even look at it at all. I want to see progression and aptitude.

-Education can be a turn-off, I have hired my share of Harvard, Brown and dual undergrad with a Masters folks. Honestly, they tend to think they are better at their job than they actually are. I have seen a reoccurring theme with it.

-My biggest reason which I saved for last is HIRING IS A CRAP SHOT. I would guess over the last 4 years I have interviewed at least 110 people (we have had a lot of growth). I am pretty forgiving in interviews, people get nervous and say stupid things. I ended up hiring a girl who told me in the interview she was fired from the apple store 10 years ago, I let it go as everything else was about her in order, she has worked for me for a few months now and is working out very well. My fellow managers are not so forgiving. Quite often when I ask why they passed on someone I will get
'I just did not like him"
" He was too nervous"
" I didn't feel he respected me"
"She is too set in her ways and im worried about her willingness to do it our way"

My advice would skip the MBA, pony up the $1,500 for a qualified resume writer for a resume re-work and linked-in makeover and sharpen up on interview skills.

Just mny $.02

There is also the math. It will take 2 years to get an MBA part-time and cost $30K. You are not going to move up because you are in an MBA program and more than likely not change jobs while in the program so you now have paused any advancement for two years. Once you have the MBA you have to pay it back. Lets say you would get 10K for changing jobs, well you stayed at your current job and passed on the additional income for the last two years so now you are out $20K + the $30K you spent on your MBA. So you are now 50K in the hole, two years older and have to change jobs which you would have gotten a pay increase anyways regardless of the MBA, so now you change jobs. According to the salary market research I have access to 8-15% is about what you get for chanign jobs. So your wife has a MBA and maybe gets the 15% increase over her say existing $80K salary. so now she is making $92K which is 12K more. Its going to take 4 years to pay back the lost income from not changing jobs now and to pay back the MBA. So now you are 6 years into your break-even point when the MBA can start to make you more money.

Education for the most part is another product someone is trying to push. Its no different than anything else that is being sold. They pay for market research that supports their value proposition.

Last edited by Lorne Greene; 02-11-2018 at 08:57 AM.
Old 02-11-2018, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by TheRealMacGyver View Post
Generally speaking do you think it would make you that much marketable for a job at that age and beyond? Wife wants to and I am a little concerned that it just isn't going to make a difference.
It won't hurt...but, as others have said, so much more to tell.
If my wife came and told me she wanted to go back to school I would just say sure.

Why not? Everything in life isn't measured by vocational training.
Old 02-11-2018, 08:54 AM
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At age 50, I would assess the value of an advanced degree on the basis of the cost to get it compared to the anticipated increase in earnings over your remaining working years

Let us say:

--you will work until 65. You have 15 working years left.

--to obtain an advanced degree will require one year of full-time study. You won't be able to work while obtaining the degree;

--the tuition and other expenses will be $40,000. You will also lose one year of income, perhaps $60,000.

You are now down $100,000 in lost income and added expense. If you have an extra $100,000 sitting around, you can pay that cost from your cash surplus. If not, you have to borrow.

You have 14-years left to work. If you amortize the $100,000 over 14-years, you must earn about $7,200 more every year just to get back to where you were when you started.

You must also consider the lost opportunity cost of the $100,000 you spent to get the degree. Over 15-years the $100,000 could grow quite a bit if invested in something other than an advanced degree.

If you had to borrow the $100,000 you must consider the debt service on the loan.

You will have to earn more every year to service the debt or repay yourself the lost opportunity costs.

You must also consider the real-world situation of asking taking a year off from your present employment. If you work for someone else, will they allow a one-year layoff and re-hire. If you work for yourself, can your business tolerate one year without you?
Old 02-11-2018, 09:16 AM
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It also depends on WHERE she intends to get that education.

No offense to previous posters, but in my (technical) field, online degrees aren't really worth the paper they are printed on.

I obtained my graduate degree at age 40 from one of the top 5 technical universities in the nation. And yes it has paid off financially.
I can tell you however that I didn't learn as much from doing homework, but from fierce class discussions, every single class, every single day. You can't get that from an online program - or at least I couldn't.

Profession/field and employer are major factors, but at 50 she is very late in the game.
Old 02-11-2018, 09:23 AM
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Government worker, military, large corporation, and other bloated bureaucracies place "value" on "advanced degrees"...even if online bullshit degrees from strayer. Many require "advanced degrees" to obtain promotion. The MBA fad was strong in the 90's and 2000's, but it seems to have slowed a lot as people realized it was mostly a fap fest.

The rest of the world that actually values performance, don't give a damn.
Old 02-11-2018, 10:10 AM
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I would have a very hard time thinking of a situation where a 50YO with a MA sheepskin hot off of the press would make the cut but a 50YO with a BA wouldn't.

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