Online MBA for Russian energy professional


Sergei

Hi All!

At the moment I am considering idea of pursuing online MBA. I have been reading this forum for a while and got a lot of useful information from it, so first of all I would like to express my deep gratitude to all the active users and especially Duncan for his LinkedIn advise.

Before I ask my questions please let me briefly outline my situation:
- Male, 35 y.o., Russian
- 12+ years of work experience in Russian state-owned oil and gas companies
- Main specialty is natural gas
- In terms of work I have been doing structured trading, M&A and business development
- Now work for European subsidiary of one of Russian Oil and Gas companies
- Earn approximately 100k USD/Year

My main objectives for the MBA:
- To become eligible for foreign oil and gas companies such as BP, Shell, Aramco (I was screened once by Aramco but unfortunately it did not go any further)
- Move to a country with stable currency
- Increase earnings

Why online MBA:
- I cannot afford to stop working
- I am happy to travel to school 3-4 times per year, but not every month, so Executive MBA is also not an option
- My budget limit is approximately 20 – 25k GBP

I have done research and ranked schools based on their relevance for oil & gas industry, FT rankings, alumni earnings, program cost. I reviewed:

IE Business School
Warwick Business School (WBS), University of Warwick
Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University (RGU) MBA Oil & Gas Management
University of Strathclyde - Strathclyde Business School
University of Bradford School of Management
Durham University Business School
The University of Manchester - Alliance Manchester Business School (Alliance MBS)
Imperial College Business School
University of Edinburgh Business School (UEBS)
Cranfield School of Management
Lancaster University Management School (LUMS)
Cass Business School, City University London

I have excel table for that but unfortunately cannot past it here.

My main conclusions are:
- Top variants for me are IE and Warwick but I cannot afford them
- Second best option is RGU Aberdeen Business School but the fact that it seems to be totally unranked bothers me a bit. The other problem is that the program is quite lengthy (3 years);
- Third I would put Strathclyde and Bradford as they still have some relevance for the oil & gas industry and their programmes are a bit shorter
- Fourth is Durham because it is well rank, alumni seem to earn something, but it seems to be not very popular in my industry

So my questions are the following:
- Do you think online MBA can help me to fulfil my aims?
- Can you find any flaws in my ranking logic or maybe I overlooked some good school?
- Do you know if this is general practice to give scholarships to online MBA students? If I could lower my tuition fee by 30k for IE or Warwick I would stick to them.
- Why the difference in learning time is so big? I.e. 1.5 years in IE vs 3 years in RGU. I would definitely prefer to work a bit harder but obtain degree a bit sooner.
- Why RGU is totally unranked? Does it mean that it is crap? Or are they still good because it looks like they have the biggest alumni base and strong focus on oil & gas.

I do thank you for your thoughts in advance.

Let’s have a discussion).

Sergei

Hi All!

At the moment I am considering idea of pursuing online MBA. I have been reading this forum for a while and got a lot of useful information from it, so first of all I would like to express my deep gratitude to all the active users and especially Duncan for his LinkedIn advise.

Before I ask my questions please let me briefly outline my situation:
- Male, 35 y.o., Russian
- 12+ years of work experience in Russian state-owned oil and gas companies
- Main specialty is natural gas
- In terms of work I have been doing structured trading, M&A and business development
- Now work for European subsidiary of one of Russian Oil and Gas companies
- Earn approximately 100k USD/Year

My main objectives for the MBA:
- To become eligible for foreign oil and gas companies such as BP, Shell, Aramco (I was screened once by Aramco but unfortunately it did not go any further)
- Move to a country with stable currency
- Increase earnings

Why online MBA:
- I cannot afford to stop working
- I am happy to travel to school 3-4 times per year, but not every month, so Executive MBA is also not an option
- My budget limit is approximately 20 – 25k GBP

I have done research and ranked schools based on their relevance for oil & gas industry, FT rankings, alumni earnings, program cost. I reviewed:

IE Business School
Warwick Business School (WBS), University of Warwick
Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University (RGU) MBA Oil & Gas Management
University of Strathclyde - Strathclyde Business School
University of Bradford School of Management
Durham University Business School
The University of Manchester - Alliance Manchester Business School (Alliance MBS)
Imperial College Business School
University of Edinburgh Business School (UEBS)
Cranfield School of Management
Lancaster University Management School (LUMS)
Cass Business School, City University London

I have excel table for that but unfortunately cannot past it here.

My main conclusions are:
- Top variants for me are IE and Warwick but I cannot afford them
- Second best option is RGU Aberdeen Business School but the fact that it seems to be totally unranked bothers me a bit. The other problem is that the program is quite lengthy (3 years);
- Third I would put Strathclyde and Bradford as they still have some relevance for the oil & gas industry and their programmes are a bit shorter
- Fourth is Durham because it is well rank, alumni seem to earn something, but it seems to be not very popular in my industry

So my questions are the following:
- Do you think online MBA can help me to fulfil my aims?
- Can you find any flaws in my ranking logic or maybe I overlooked some good school?
- Do you know if this is general practice to give scholarships to online MBA students? If I could lower my tuition fee by 30k for IE or Warwick I would stick to them.
- Why the difference in learning time is so big? I.e. 1.5 years in IE vs 3 years in RGU. I would definitely prefer to work a bit harder but obtain degree a bit sooner.
- Why RGU is totally unranked? Does it mean that it is crap? Or are they still good because it looks like they have the biggest alumni base and strong focus on oil & gas.

I do thank you for your thoughts in advance.

Let’s have a discussion).

Sergei
quote
Duncan

You can put your Excel online. I did something similar with Excel, and it led me to colossal error by trying to set value for money before lifetime value.

Financing may be available for better MBAs, and that will be an excellent investment. My take on your questions:-
- Do you think an online MBA can help me to fulfil my aims?
--- Yes
- Can you find any flaws in my ranking logic or maybe I overlooked some good school?
--- You miss the best schools because they are above your ideal budget.
- Do you know if this is general practice to give scholarships to online MBA students? If I could lower my tuition fee by 30k for IE or Warwick I would stick to them.
--- No, scholarships are limited, and generally, you should ignore them for selecting schools.
- Why the difference in learning time is so big? I.e. 1.5 years in IE vs 3 years in RGU. I would definitely prefer to work a bit harder but obtain degree a bit sooner.
--- The number of ECTS in an MBA can differ widely, and so can the pace of study.
- Why RGU is totally unranked? Does it mean that it is crap? Or are they still good because it looks like they have the biggest alumni base and strong focus on oil & gas.
--- RGU is ranked as a university, and the online MBA is ranked by QS: https://www.topmba.com/mba-rankings/online-mba-rankings/2019 However, the Online MBA is too small to generate the data volumes needed for other rankings.

You can put your Excel online. I did something similar with Excel, and it led me to colossal error by trying to set value for money before lifetime value.

Financing may be available for better MBAs, and that will be an excellent investment. My take on your questions:-
- Do you think an online MBA can help me to fulfil my aims?
--- Yes
- Can you find any flaws in my ranking logic or maybe I overlooked some good school?
--- You miss the best schools because they are above your ideal budget.
- Do you know if this is general practice to give scholarships to online MBA students? If I could lower my tuition fee by 30k for IE or Warwick I would stick to them.
--- No, scholarships are limited, and generally, you should ignore them for selecting schools.
- Why the difference in learning time is so big? I.e. 1.5 years in IE vs 3 years in RGU. I would definitely prefer to work a bit harder but obtain degree a bit sooner.
--- The number of ECTS in an MBA can differ widely, and so can the pace of study.
- Why RGU is totally unranked? Does it mean that it is crap? Or are they still good because it looks like they have the biggest alumni base and strong focus on oil & gas.
--- RGU is ranked as a university, and the online MBA is ranked by QS: https://www.topmba.com/mba-rankings/online-mba-rankings/2019 However, the Online MBA is too small to generate the data volumes needed for other rankings.
quote
Sergei

You can put your Excel online. I did something similar with Excel, and it led me to colossal error by trying to set value for money before lifetime value.

Financing may be available for better MBAs, and that will be an excellent investment. My take on your questions:-
- Do you think an online MBA can help me to fulfil my aims?
--- Yes
- Can you find any flaws in my ranking logic or maybe I overlooked some good school?
--- You miss the best schools because they are above your ideal budget.
- Do you know if this is general practice to give scholarships to online MBA students? If I could lower my tuition fee by 30k for IE or Warwick I would stick to them.
--- No, scholarships are limited, and generally, you should ignore them for selecting schools.
- Why the difference in learning time is so big? I.e. 1.5 years in IE vs 3 years in RGU. I would definitely prefer to work a bit harder but obtain degree a bit sooner.
--- The number of ECTS in an MBA can differ widely, and so can the pace of study.
- Why RGU is totally unranked? Does it mean that it is crap? Or are they still good because it looks like they have the biggest alumni base and strong focus on oil & gas.
--- RGU is ranked as a university, and the online MBA is ranked by QS: https://www.topmba.com/mba-rankings/online-mba-rankings/2019 However, the Online MBA is too small to generate the data volumes needed for other rankings.


Hello Duncan!

Thank you very much for the very comprehensive answer!

Indeed you are right, that I may choose not the best option due to my limitation of budget, but it is really tight. And the other problem is that I receive my salary in Roubles and cannot expose myself to a currency risk as Rouble tends to make quite brisk downward movements in comparison to other currencies. E.g. It just fell by 15% to Euro and Dollar last week.

So now after very thorough alumni study I still incline towards RGU and Strathclyde. RGU is a bit more oil and gas and Strathclyde is a bit more international and several hundred of their alumni work in my target companies as well (BP, Shell, Aramco, etc). So all in all they seem of similar value to me.

But as for Strathclyde I like that they can start the program in April and I will not loose half a year and I like how they position their MBA a bit more. So I incline a bit more towards Strathclyde.

What would be your view on this schools? Which would you choose yourself?

Many thanks and regards,
S.

[Edited by Sergei on Mar 16, 2020]

[quote]You can put your Excel online. I did something similar with Excel, and it led me to colossal error by trying to set value for money before lifetime value.

Financing may be available for better MBAs, and that will be an excellent investment. My take on your questions:-
- Do you think an online MBA can help me to fulfil my aims?
--- Yes
- Can you find any flaws in my ranking logic or maybe I overlooked some good school?
--- You miss the best schools because they are above your ideal budget.
- Do you know if this is general practice to give scholarships to online MBA students? If I could lower my tuition fee by 30k for IE or Warwick I would stick to them.
--- No, scholarships are limited, and generally, you should ignore them for selecting schools.
- Why the difference in learning time is so big? I.e. 1.5 years in IE vs 3 years in RGU. I would definitely prefer to work a bit harder but obtain degree a bit sooner.
--- The number of ECTS in an MBA can differ widely, and so can the pace of study.
- Why RGU is totally unranked? Does it mean that it is crap? Or are they still good because it looks like they have the biggest alumni base and strong focus on oil & gas.
--- RGU is ranked as a university, and the online MBA is ranked by QS: https://www.topmba.com/mba-rankings/online-mba-rankings/2019 However, the Online MBA is too small to generate the data volumes needed for other rankings. [/quote]

Hello Duncan!

Thank you very much for the very comprehensive answer!

Indeed you are right, that I may choose not the best option due to my limitation of budget, but it is really tight. And the other problem is that I receive my salary in Roubles and cannot expose myself to a currency risk as Rouble tends to make quite brisk downward movements in comparison to other currencies. E.g. It just fell by 15% to Euro and Dollar last week.

So now after very thorough alumni study I still incline towards RGU and Strathclyde. RGU is a bit more oil and gas and Strathclyde is a bit more international and several hundred of their alumni work in my target companies as well (BP, Shell, Aramco, etc). So all in all they seem of similar value to me.

But as for Strathclyde I like that they can start the program in April and I will not loose half a year and I like how they position their MBA a bit more. So I incline a bit more towards Strathclyde.

What would be your view on this schools? Which would you choose yourself?

Many thanks and regards,
S.
quote
Duncan

I think the RGU has big advantages for people transferring into oil and gas, for example from a generic engineering background. It's concise and slowly paced, so pretty manageable for most students. It's much more applied and less scholarly. Personally, I think Strathclyde is better because it has a stronger, deeper management core that it really focussed on building the core management toolkit, including hard skills. RGU seems a bit lighter and more focussed on developing soft skills.

I think the RGU has big advantages for people transferring into oil and gas, for example from a generic engineering background. It's concise and slowly paced, so pretty manageable for most students. It's much more applied and less scholarly. Personally, I think Strathclyde is better because it has a stronger, deeper management core that it really focussed on building the core management toolkit, including hard skills. RGU seems a bit lighter and more focussed on developing soft skills.
quote
Sergei

I think the RGU has big advantages for people transferring into oil and gas, for example from a generic engineering background. It's concise and slowly paced, so pretty manageable for most students. It's much more applied and less scholarly. Personally, I think Strathclyde is better because it has a stronger, deeper management core that it really focussed on building the core management toolkit, including hard skills. RGU seems a bit lighter and more focussed on developing soft skills.


Many-many thanks, Duncan! Very helpful and very insightful!! Just what I will never find on the web sites.

[quote]I think the RGU has big advantages for people transferring into oil and gas, for example from a generic engineering background. It's concise and slowly paced, so pretty manageable for most students. It's much more applied and less scholarly. Personally, I think Strathclyde is better because it has a stronger, deeper management core that it really focussed on building the core management toolkit, including hard skills. RGU seems a bit lighter and more focussed on developing soft skills. [/quote]

Many-many thanks, Duncan! Very helpful and very insightful!! Just what I will never find on the web sites.
quote
Sergei

Hello Duncan and other respected forum members).

Well now I feel like I have performed hell of a study regarding online MBAs. The point is that I chose Strathclyde as my preferred option but when I spoke to the school representative it turned out that they do not offer online MBA any more. Now only full time or executive.

So I dived deep into this site, forum and rankings to look for other alternatives. The sources I used:
- FT online and other MBA rankings
- Guardian UK university rating
- Times higher education UK university rating
- US News rating for US MBAs.

So based on my main aims:
1. To become eligible for foreign oil and gas companies such as BP, Shell, Aramco, Exxon, etc.
2. Move to Middle East or Asia Pacific region (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, etc.), because realistically I believe companies are not very interested in the people whose advantage is deep knowledge of the Russian market

I researched rankings, program web pages and Linked in to estimate alumni base size, where they live and work now. When using Linked in I watched whole school alumni base because I believe broader sample will be more relevant when assessing the brand of the school.

I made a following new list:

1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: 22k USD per program, well ranked by US News, QS, ranked by FT, 320k (!) alumni with 32k international alumni, many people live in my target regions and work for target companies

2. Birmingham: 20k GBP per program, very well ranked by Guardian and other UK ratings, rated by Economist and FT, 162k alumni with 40k international alumni biggest penetration into my target region and industry

3. Bradford: 18k GBP per program, is in top 10 FT online MBA ranking but very poorly rated in UK – below 50 in every rating, 60k alumni with 25k international alumni, very good penetration into my target region but poor penetration into my industry

4. Nottingham Trent: 15k GBP per program, well rank by Guardian, ranked by FT, 128 k alumni with 24k international alumni, worst penetration into target region and industry among 4 mentioned schools

I put University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign first for the following reasons:
- In order to increase chances for international mobility because, as Duncan wrote somewhere, US schools are acknowledged world-wide, while in US they do not acknowledge UK schools apart from Oxbridge.
- I liked the program curriculum a bit more than the others
- Faculty members seem very strong
- It is US, maybe it is only my perception but for me US business education seems the best in the world

But I am still doubting for the following reasons:
- The school is not triple accredited, so will it really have as high teaching standards and stromg stuff as it seems when one looks at the website?
- Is this US brand stronger than the other UK brands on my list in the target region I am considering?
- We have a huge time gap, it looks like I will have to watch only recorded lectures and not sure how effectively I will liaise with the fellow students?

So respected gentlemen, can you take a look at my questions and thinking and challenge my logic and my rating?

In the meanwhile I engaged into speaking to all of these schools and preparing my references and will keep you informed of my progress.

In attachment I enclose the list of schools I studied in addition to my previous list in order to pick up the four above:
UK:
Cass Business School, City University London
Loughborough
Bath
Lancaster University Management School (LUMS)
Exeter
Leeds
Nottingham Trent Business School
Glasgow
Coventry
Birmingham
Lincoln
Nottingham
York
Portsmouth
UCL
Bristol
Queen Mary
Sheffield
Southampton
Sussex
Manchester Met

US:
The University of Illinois Online MBA
Brigham Young University (BYU) - Marriott School of Management
University of Wisconsin, Madison - Wisconsin School of Business
Texas A&M University - Mays Business School
University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration - Hough Graduate School of Business
University of Missouri at Columbia - Trulaske College of Business
University of Georgia (UGA) - Terry College of Business
University at Buffalo - School of Management
Haslam College of Business
North Carolina State University - Poole College of Management
Indiana University--Bloomington (Kelley)
Umas Lowell
Uni of Nebraska
Isenberg Online MBA
James Madison University - College of Business
West Texas A&M University - College of Business

Hello Duncan and other respected forum members).

Well now I feel like I have performed hell of a study regarding online MBAs. The point is that I chose Strathclyde as my preferred option but when I spoke to the school representative it turned out that they do not offer online MBA any more. Now only full time or executive.

So I dived deep into this site, forum and rankings to look for other alternatives. The sources I used:
- FT online and other MBA rankings
- Guardian UK university rating
- Times higher education UK university rating
- US News rating for US MBAs.

So based on my main aims:
1. To become eligible for foreign oil and gas companies such as BP, Shell, Aramco, Exxon, etc.
2. Move to Middle East or Asia Pacific region (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, etc.), because realistically I believe companies are not very interested in the people whose advantage is deep knowledge of the Russian market

I researched rankings, program web pages and Linked in to estimate alumni base size, where they live and work now. When using Linked in I watched whole school alumni base because I believe broader sample will be more relevant when assessing the brand of the school.

I made a following new list:

1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: 22k USD per program, well ranked by US News, QS, ranked by FT, 320k (!) alumni with 32k international alumni, many people live in my target regions and work for target companies

2. Birmingham: 20k GBP per program, very well ranked by Guardian and other UK ratings, rated by Economist and FT, 162k alumni with 40k international alumni biggest penetration into my target region and industry

3. Bradford: 18k GBP per program, is in top 10 FT online MBA ranking but very poorly rated in UK – below 50 in every rating, 60k alumni with 25k international alumni, very good penetration into my target region but poor penetration into my industry

4. Nottingham Trent: 15k GBP per program, well rank by Guardian, ranked by FT, 128 k alumni with 24k international alumni, worst penetration into target region and industry among 4 mentioned schools

I put University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign first for the following reasons:
- In order to increase chances for international mobility because, as Duncan wrote somewhere, US schools are acknowledged world-wide, while in US they do not acknowledge UK schools apart from Oxbridge.
- I liked the program curriculum a bit more than the others
- Faculty members seem very strong
- It is US, maybe it is only my perception but for me US business education seems the best in the world

But I am still doubting for the following reasons:
- The school is not triple accredited, so will it really have as high teaching standards and stromg stuff as it seems when one looks at the website?
- Is this US brand stronger than the other UK brands on my list in the target region I am considering?
- We have a huge time gap, it looks like I will have to watch only recorded lectures and not sure how effectively I will liaise with the fellow students?

So respected gentlemen, can you take a look at my questions and thinking and challenge my logic and my rating?

In the meanwhile I engaged into speaking to all of these schools and preparing my references and will keep you informed of my progress.

In attachment I enclose the list of schools I studied in addition to my previous list in order to pick up the four above:
UK:
Cass Business School, City University London
Loughborough
Bath
Lancaster University Management School (LUMS)
Exeter
Leeds
Nottingham Trent Business School
Glasgow
Coventry
Birmingham
Lincoln
Nottingham
York
Portsmouth
UCL
Bristol
Queen Mary
Sheffield
Southampton
Sussex
Manchester Met

US:
The University of Illinois Online MBA
Brigham Young University (BYU) - Marriott School of Management
University of Wisconsin, Madison - Wisconsin School of Business
Texas A&M University - Mays Business School
University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration - Hough Graduate School of Business
University of Missouri at Columbia - Trulaske College of Business
University of Georgia (UGA) - Terry College of Business
University at Buffalo - School of Management
Haslam College of Business
North Carolina State University - Poole College of Management
Indiana University--Bloomington (Kelley)
Umas Lowell
Uni of Nebraska
Isenberg Online MBA
James Madison University - College of Business
West Texas A&M University - College of Business
quote
Duncan

Consider using LinkedIn to see the size of the MBA alumni networks in your target markets.

A friend is taking the iMBA in Africa and time time zones work for him. I don't think the classes are only timed for the USA students, are they?

Consider using LinkedIn to see the size of the MBA alumni networks in your target markets.

A friend is taking the iMBA in Africa and time time zones work for him. I don't think the classes are only timed for the USA students, are they?
quote
Sergei

Consider using LinkedIn to see the size of the MBA alumni networks in your target markets.

A friend is taking the iMBA in Africa and time time zones work for him. I don't think the classes are only timed for the USA students, are they?


Hi Duncan!

Many thanks for your answer again and again!

This is exactly what I did: used LinkedIn to estimate alumni number in the target markets and companies.

The outcome is the following:
1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: 320k (!) alumni with 32k international alumni (outside of US)
2. Birmingham: 162k alumni with 40k international alumni (outside of UK)

So overall alumni base in Illinois is twice biger, but number of international alumni is begger in Birmingham and Birmingham has say 10-20% more people working in the target regions and companies. But 10-20% difference can probably be not considered due to the anyway low accuracy of the analytical tools employed.

In this view, ghow do you think:

- Since Illinoise is not triple accredited will it really have as high teaching standards and strong staff?
- Is Illinoise US brand stronger than the Birmingham UK brand in general?

As for the timing and interaction options I will enquire from the school, how do they arrange it. Nothing on the website in this respect.

Many tanks in advance!
Sergei

[quote]Consider using LinkedIn to see the size of the MBA alumni networks in your target markets.

A friend is taking the iMBA in Africa and time time zones work for him. I don't think the classes are only timed for the USA students, are they? [/quote]

Hi Duncan!

Many thanks for your answer again and again!

This is exactly what I did: used LinkedIn to estimate alumni number in the target markets and companies.

The outcome is the following:
1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: 320k (!) alumni with 32k international alumni (outside of US)
2. Birmingham: 162k alumni with 40k international alumni (outside of UK)

So overall alumni base in Illinois is twice biger, but number of international alumni is begger in Birmingham and Birmingham has say 10-20% more people working in the target regions and companies. But 10-20% difference can probably be not considered due to the anyway low accuracy of the analytical tools employed.

In this view, ghow do you think:

- Since Illinoise is not triple accredited will it really have as high teaching standards and strong staff?
- Is Illinoise US brand stronger than the Birmingham UK brand in general?

As for the timing and interaction options I will enquire from the school, how do they arrange it. Nothing on the website in this respect.

Many tanks in advance!
Sergei
quote
Duncan

I think you are looking at the size of the alumni network globally, and not at the network size of MBAs in your target segment. For example, filter by the countries and industries you are interested in, not just outside the domestic market.

Triple accreditation matters only for European schools. None of the top US schools are triple accredited.

PS Illinois seems to have a much better reputation: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2019/reputation-ranking#!/page/0/length/100/locations/GB+US/subjects/3096/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats

[Edited by Duncan on Apr 18, 2020]

I think you are looking at the size of the alumni network globally, and not at the network size of MBAs in your target segment. For example, filter by the countries and industries you are interested in, not just outside the domestic market.

Triple accreditation matters only for European schools. None of the top US schools are triple accredited.

PS Illinois seems to have a much better reputation: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2019/reputation-ranking#!/page/0/length/100/locations/GB+US/subjects/3096/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats
quote
Sergei

Many thanks for advice Duncan!

You knew where to point! Devil really hides in details). I looked up via Linked in the size of alumni base in target countries (Singapore, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, HK, Qatar, Bahrain) and in target companies (BP, Shell, Exxon, Chevron, Total, Aramco) and in respect of target companies I looked how many of employees live in UK/US.

The outcome is the following:
- Illinois: 2784 alumni in target countries, 785 alumni in target companies, but 656 of them live in US, so only 129 work internationally.
- Birmingham: 9086 alumni in target countries, 533 alumni in target companies, 274 of them live in US, so 259 work internationally, twice more then in Illinois.

So now I face a dilemma: what to choose a better rated and more reputable university with smaller penetration into my target countries and companies or worse rated university with a much higher penetration into target countries and companies. Hell of a dilemma). I wish one university was both well rated and well recognized, than the choice would be easy.

Am I right to assume that Illinois probably will give a better education and Birmingham will be more recognizable at the target markets?

So basically now it comes down to me to a choice what I shall I prefer: stronger knowledge or better known name…

Any ideas?

Many thanks for advice Duncan!

You knew where to point! Devil really hides in details). I looked up via Linked in the size of alumni base in target countries (Singapore, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, HK, Qatar, Bahrain) and in target companies (BP, Shell, Exxon, Chevron, Total, Aramco) and in respect of target companies I looked how many of employees live in UK/US.

The outcome is the following:
- Illinois: 2784 alumni in target countries, 785 alumni in target companies, but 656 of them live in US, so only 129 work internationally.
- Birmingham: 9086 alumni in target countries, 533 alumni in target companies, 274 of them live in US, so 259 work internationally, twice more then in Illinois.

So now I face a dilemma: what to choose a better rated and more reputable university with smaller penetration into my target countries and companies or worse rated university with a much higher penetration into target countries and companies. Hell of a dilemma). I wish one university was both well rated and well recognized, than the choice would be easy.

Am I right to assume that Illinois probably will give a better education and Birmingham will be more recognizable at the target markets?

So basically now it comes down to me to a choice what I shall I prefer: stronger knowledge or better known name…

Any ideas?
quote
Duncan

Well, these are certainly both very good schools. Illinois full time MBA was higher rated and, personally, it would be my choice if you could not see a better option.

I imagine you looked at other UK options in your target countries? Manchester, Bradford?

[Edited by Duncan on Apr 19, 2020]

Well, these are certainly both very good schools. Illinois full time MBA was higher rated and, personally, it would be my choice if you could not see a better option.

I imagine you looked at other UK options in your target countries? Manchester, Bradford?
quote
Sergei

Thanks for your oppinion, Duncan!

Yeah, I checked these options: Bradford, Manchester Alliance and Manchester Met.

Alliance in out of my budget, Bradford has worse penetration into industry, Manchester Met is poorly ranked, so I did not look at it too closely, though the price is very good.

Thanks for your oppinion, Duncan!

Yeah, I checked these options: Bradford, Manchester Alliance and Manchester Met.

Alliance in out of my budget, Bradford has worse penetration into industry, Manchester Met is poorly ranked, so I did not look at it too closely, though the price is very good.
quote
Duncan

The other difference: there's 60% more learning in the Illinois iMBA: 72 US credits, compared to 45 US credits (90 ECTS or 180 UK units) in the Birmingham MBA. Birmingham has a very small core: just 15 US credits, compared to 48 US credits in the Illinois core. In accounting and finance, for example, you have five times more learning in the iMBA.

The other difference: there's 60% more learning in the Illinois iMBA: 72 US credits, compared to 45 US credits (90 ECTS or 180 UK units) in the Birmingham MBA. Birmingham has a very small core: just 15 US credits, compared to 48 US credits in the Illinois core. In accounting and finance, for example, you have five times more learning in the iMBA.
quote
Sergei

The other difference: there's 60% more learning in the Illinois iMBA: 72 US credits, compared to 45 US credits (90 ECTS or 180 UK units) in the Birmingham MBA. Birmingham has a very small core: just 15 US credits, compared to 48 US credits in the Illinois core. In accounting and finance, for example, you have five times more learning in the iMBA.


Wow! Good point Duncan! I am not proficient in education myself, so I was just browsing the names of the subjects, their number and description and it did not occur to me that one program can literally be much smaller than another. Many thanks for pointing this out!

Can you please advice for my further reference, which number of credits is say "normal" for a proper MBA program?

[quote]The other difference: there's 60% more learning in the Illinois iMBA: 72 US credits, compared to 45 US credits (90 ECTS or 180 UK units) in the Birmingham MBA. Birmingham has a very small core: just 15 US credits, compared to 48 US credits in the Illinois core. In accounting and finance, for example, you have five times more learning in the iMBA. [/quote]

Wow! Good point Duncan! I am not proficient in education myself, so I was just browsing the names of the subjects, their number and description and it did not occur to me that one program can literally be much smaller than another. Many thanks for pointing this out!

Can you please advice for my further reference, which number of credits is say "normal" for a proper MBA program?
quote
Duncan

A UK academic year is typically 120 credits of courses over two semesters, so that's 60 ECTS or 30 US credits. Most full-time MBAs here are one year and have a dissertation or business report over the summer, which is a third semester. So most UK MBAs will be 140 or typically 180 credits.

A US academic semester is typically 12 or 16 credits hours and so over two years 48 to 64 credit hours are needed to graduate. Some ask for as few as 30 or 32, especially those aimed at people who have all the prerequisites from a BBA (I think the Wisconsin web MBA is like that).

Generally, US and mainland Europe schools are very open about the number of credits, but UK ones often don't spell out the credit load, and your need to look in the degree regulations.

PS Almost every UK MBA I can find is 120 credits of taught courses and a 60 credit dissertation or project report: https://www.google.com/search?q=MBA+120+credits+site:.ac.uk&rlz=1C1CHBD_en-GBGB884GB887&sxsrf=ALeKk024uU305CAa--KckHqTviyqztNvSQ:1587456400712&ei=kKmeXuWFK7TIxgOQlp7AAw&start=10&sa=N&ved=2ahUKEwjljfH2h_noAhU0pHEKHRCLBzgQ8NMDegQIEBBA&biw=2560&bih=1298

[Edited by Duncan on Apr 21, 2020]

A UK academic year is typically 120 credits of courses over two semesters, so that's 60 ECTS or 30 US credits. Most full-time MBAs here are one year and have a dissertation or business report over the summer, which is a third semester. So most UK MBAs will be 140 or typically 180 credits.

A US academic semester is typically 12 or 16 credits hours and so over two years 48 to 64 credit hours are needed to graduate. Some ask for as few as 30 or 32, especially those aimed at people who have all the prerequisites from a BBA (I think the Wisconsin web MBA is like that).

Generally, US and mainland Europe schools are very open about the number of credits, but UK ones often don't spell out the credit load, and your need to look in the degree regulations.

PS Almost every UK MBA I can find is 120 credits of taught courses and a 60 credit dissertation or project report: https://www.google.com/search?q=MBA+120+credits+site:.ac.uk&rlz=1C1CHBD_en-GBGB884GB887&sxsrf=ALeKk024uU305CAa--KckHqTviyqztNvSQ:1587456400712&ei=kKmeXuWFK7TIxgOQlp7AAw&start=10&sa=N&ved=2ahUKEwjljfH2h_noAhU0pHEKHRCLBzgQ8NMDegQIEBBA&biw=2560&bih=1298
quote
Sergei

Thank you for clarification, Duncan! The more you research the more peculiarities you find out.

Thank you for clarification, Duncan! The more you research the more peculiarities you find out.
quote
Leon Foo

Hi All!

At the moment I am considering idea of pursuing online MBA. I have been reading this forum for a while and got a lot of useful information from it, so first of all I would like to express my deep gratitude to all the active users and especially Duncan for his LinkedIn advise.

Before I ask my questions please let me briefly outline my situation:
- Male, 35 y.o., Russian
- 12+ years of work experience in Russian state-owned oil and gas companies
- Main specialty is natural gas
- In terms of work I have been doing structured trading, M&A and business development
- Now work for European subsidiary of one of Russian Oil and Gas companies
- Earn approximately 100k USD/Year

My main objectives for the MBA:
- To become eligible for foreign oil and gas companies such as BP, Shell, Aramco (I was screened once by Aramco but unfortunately it did not go any further)
- Move to a country with stable currency
- Increase earnings

Why online MBA:
- I cannot afford to stop working
- I am happy to travel to school 3-4 times per year, but not every month, so Executive MBA is also not an option
- My budget limit is approximately 20 – 25k GBP

I have done research and ranked schools based on their relevance for oil & gas industry, FT rankings, alumni earnings, program cost. I reviewed:

IE Business School
Warwick Business School (WBS), University of Warwick
Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University (RGU) MBA Oil & Gas Management
University of Strathclyde - Strathclyde Business School
University of Bradford School of Management
Durham University Business School
The University of Manchester - Alliance Manchester Business School (Alliance MBS)
Imperial College Business School
University of Edinburgh Business School (UEBS)
Cranfield School of Management
Lancaster University Management School (LUMS)
Cass Business School, City University London

I have excel table for that but unfortunately cannot past it here.

My main conclusions are:
- Top variants for me are IE and Warwick but I cannot afford them
- Second best option is RGU Aberdeen Business School but the fact that it seems to be totally unranked bothers me a bit. The other problem is that the program is quite lengthy (3 years);
- Third I would put Strathclyde and Bradford as they still have some relevance for the oil & gas industry and their programmes are a bit shorter
- Fourth is Durham because it is well rank, alumni seem to earn something, but it seems to be not very popular in my industry

So my questions are the following:
- Do you think online MBA can help me to fulfil my aims?
- Can you find any flaws in my ranking logic or maybe I overlooked some good school?
- Do you know if this is general practice to give scholarships to online MBA students? If I could lower my tuition fee by 30k for IE or Warwick I would stick to them.
- Why the difference in learning time is so big? I.e. 1.5 years in IE vs 3 years in RGU. I would definitely prefer to work a bit harder but obtain degree a bit sooner.
- Why RGU is totally unranked? Does it mean that it is crap? Or are they still good because it looks like they have the biggest alumni base and strong focus on oil & gas.

I do thank you for your thoughts in advance.

Let’s have a discussion).

Sergei

very similar profile.  field and industry. and career though i am older. 
i have a much shorter list, but all i have, is also in your list.may i know if you have selected your b-school?  and why?>

[quote]Hi All!

At the moment I am considering idea of pursuing online MBA. I have been reading this forum for a while and got a lot of useful information from it, so first of all I would like to express my deep gratitude to all the active users and especially Duncan for his LinkedIn advise.

Before I ask my questions please let me briefly outline my situation:
- Male, 35 y.o., Russian
- 12+ years of work experience in Russian state-owned oil and gas companies
- Main specialty is natural gas
- In terms of work I have been doing structured trading, M&A and business development
- Now work for European subsidiary of one of Russian Oil and Gas companies
- Earn approximately 100k USD/Year

My main objectives for the MBA:
- To become eligible for foreign oil and gas companies such as BP, Shell, Aramco (I was screened once by Aramco but unfortunately it did not go any further)
- Move to a country with stable currency
- Increase earnings

Why online MBA:
- I cannot afford to stop working
- I am happy to travel to school 3-4 times per year, but not every month, so Executive MBA is also not an option
- My budget limit is approximately 20 – 25k GBP

I have done research and ranked schools based on their relevance for oil & gas industry, FT rankings, alumni earnings, program cost. I reviewed:

IE Business School
Warwick Business School (WBS), University of Warwick
Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University (RGU) MBA Oil & Gas Management
University of Strathclyde - Strathclyde Business School
University of Bradford School of Management
Durham University Business School
The University of Manchester - Alliance Manchester Business School (Alliance MBS)
Imperial College Business School
University of Edinburgh Business School (UEBS)
Cranfield School of Management
Lancaster University Management School (LUMS)
Cass Business School, City University London

I have excel table for that but unfortunately cannot past it here.

My main conclusions are:
- Top variants for me are IE and Warwick but I cannot afford them
- Second best option is RGU Aberdeen Business School but the fact that it seems to be totally unranked bothers me a bit. The other problem is that the program is quite lengthy (3 years);
- Third I would put Strathclyde and Bradford as they still have some relevance for the oil & gas industry and their programmes are a bit shorter
- Fourth is Durham because it is well rank, alumni seem to earn something, but it seems to be not very popular in my industry

So my questions are the following:
- Do you think online MBA can help me to fulfil my aims?
- Can you find any flaws in my ranking logic or maybe I overlooked some good school?
- Do you know if this is general practice to give scholarships to online MBA students? If I could lower my tuition fee by 30k for IE or Warwick I would stick to them.
- Why the difference in learning time is so big? I.e. 1.5 years in IE vs 3 years in RGU. I would definitely prefer to work a bit harder but obtain degree a bit sooner.
- Why RGU is totally unranked? Does it mean that it is crap? Or are they still good because it looks like they have the biggest alumni base and strong focus on oil & gas.

I do thank you for your thoughts in advance.

Let’s have a discussion).

Sergei [/quote]<div><br></div><div>very similar profile.&nbsp; field and industry. and career though i am older.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>i have a much shorter list, but all i have, is also in your list.</div><div>may i know if you have selected your b-school?&nbsp; and why?&gt;<br></div>
quote
Sergei


very similar profile.  field and industry. and career though i am older. 
i have a much shorter list, but all i have, is also in your list.may i know if you have selected your b-school?  and why?>
Hello Leon! I will send you a link to my LI profile, lets chat there!

[quote]<div><br></div><div>very similar profile.&nbsp; field and industry. and career though i am older.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>i have a much shorter list, but all i have, is also in your list.</div><div>may i know if you have selected your b-school?&nbsp; and why?&gt;<br></div> [/quote]<div>Hello Leon! I will send you a link to my LI profile, lets chat there!</div><div><br></div>
quote
Sergei

Duncan, Leon, hello!
How are things?
Please let me update you on my progress.
After a lot of swinging between different approaches to choosing and comparing schools, speaking to schools themselves and to alumni, making excel tables, researching Linked in and etc. I ended up applying and receiving offers from the following schools:1. Warwick with scholarship for this Summer intake2. Durham (scholarship decision is still pending) Autumn intake3. RGU oil and gas MBA Autumn intake
I believe that I will choose Warwick because I like the program most and it clearly stands out in all the ratings. The cost even with a scholarship is very high but scholarship made it at least affordable.
Durham nevertheless looks tempting as it is still quite cheaper. But hopefully I will find inner force to cope with my natural greed)). 
Any ideas/advice before I make final move))?
Many thanks for helping me so much along the way!S.

Duncan, Leon, hello!<div><br></div><div>How are things?</div><div><br></div><div>Please let me update you on my progress.</div><div><br></div><div>After a lot of swinging between different approaches to choosing and comparing schools, speaking to schools themselves and to alumni, making excel tables, researching Linked in and etc. I ended up applying and receiving offers from the following schools:</div><div>1. Warwick with scholarship for this Summer intake</div><div>2. Durham (scholarship decision is still pending) Autumn intake</div><div>3. RGU oil and gas MBA Autumn intake</div><div><br></div><div>I believe that I will choose Warwick because I like the program most and it clearly stands out in all the ratings. The cost even with a scholarship is very high but scholarship made it at least affordable.</div><div><br></div><div>Durham nevertheless looks tempting as it is still quite cheaper. But hopefully I will find inner force to cope with my natural greed)).&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Any ideas/advice before I make final move))?</div><div><br></div><div>Many thanks for helping me so much along the way!</div><div>S.</div>
quote
StuartBB

The other advantage of Warwick is that it's south of Moscow. I mean.... imagine coming to the UK for a campus visit and you have worse weather in Aberdeen than in Russia

[Edited by StuartBB on May 14, 2020]

The other advantage of Warwick is that it's south of Moscow. I mean.... imagine coming to the UK for a campus visit and you have worse weather in Aberdeen than in Russia
quote

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