Bradford DL MBA vs Illinois iMBA for my goals?


Levi

Hi all - firstly, thank you for the invaluable information to be found on this board. I’ve learned a great deal and it’s allowed be to narrow down my choices to:

* Bradford DL MBA
* Illinois iMBA

I’d value your views on these two options and whether it’s worth considering any others.

A little about me and my goals.

I’m not a ‘traditional’ MBA candidate in that I already have an established career in a discipline I enjoy and intend to remain in (information/cyber security). I already have relevant undergraduate and post graduate degrees. As such, my primary motivation for pursuing an MBA is not to pivot to a new career or go after the kinds of roles typically associated with MBAs.

That said, as someone grows more senior in the information security space, it is increasingly important that they ‘get’ the business side of things. Security technologists (my background) have a habit of viewing things in isolation and prioritising security above all else. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that as commercial enterprises, we only really ‘do security’ to the extent that it support the business objectives rather than for its own sake. Most technologists also have a hard time articulating risk and strategy in language that is accessible to executive decision makers.

I’m fully on board with this and think the intersection between information security and business is somewhere where the right person can add a great deal of value. My longer term goal is to move from a Head of Infosec position (my current role) into a directorship and ultimately Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) position.

So, my motivation for the MBA is:

* Develop my understanding of non-security-related business functions
* Increase credibility with non-technical senior stakeholders
* Just generally be a better version of my current self
* Not spend huge sums of money as MBA will be ancillary to my primary qualifications and experience

I appreciate I could do all of this without spending a load of money on an MBA but I’d value the structure it provides and validation at the end of it all. I also work better when I have a tangible goal.

I’m UK-based at the moment but family factors means I could easily relocate to East Asia in future. My background is in security for financial services so really anywhere with a strong financial market is viable. The opportunity to develop professional connections in these geographies would be another factor to consider.

At the moment I’m thinking:

Bradford DL MBA

+ Location - potential to attend some modules in block mode and higher likelihood of face-to-face interaction with other candidates
+ Triple accredited
+ Has been around for a long time and fairly well ranked (Top 10 FT)
+ Some interesting electives such as global supply chain management

- Smaller alumni network
- Less recognition/standing as a university

Illinois iMBA

+ Potentially a more innovative/effective delivery model - not just an MBA that’s been put online
+ Recognition/standing as a university > Bradford
+ Adds an ‘international’ element to my academic profile

+/- Core seems to be quite finance heavy which may or may not be ideal for me!

- 100% online so no real options for (real) face-to-face interaction
- Not triple accredited
- Not ranked by the traditional rankings like FT
- Somewhat more arduous admissions process
- Newer and therefore less proven

At the moment I feel I'm leaning towards Bradford but that may just be home bias. I'd value any comments or observations on the above.

Hi all - firstly, thank you for the invaluable information to be found on this board. I’ve learned a great deal and it’s allowed be to narrow down my choices to:

* Bradford DL MBA
* Illinois iMBA

I’d value your views on these two options and whether it’s worth considering any others.

A little about me and my goals.

I’m not a ‘traditional’ MBA candidate in that I already have an established career in a discipline I enjoy and intend to remain in (information/cyber security). I already have relevant undergraduate and post graduate degrees. As such, my primary motivation for pursuing an MBA is not to pivot to a new career or go after the kinds of roles typically associated with MBAs.

That said, as someone grows more senior in the information security space, it is increasingly important that they ‘get’ the business side of things. Security technologists (my background) have a habit of viewing things in isolation and prioritising security above all else. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that as commercial enterprises, we only really ‘do security’ to the extent that it support the business objectives rather than for its own sake. Most technologists also have a hard time articulating risk and strategy in language that is accessible to executive decision makers.

I’m fully on board with this and think the intersection between information security and business is somewhere where the right person can add a great deal of value. My longer term goal is to move from a Head of Infosec position (my current role) into a directorship and ultimately Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) position.

So, my motivation for the MBA is:

* Develop my understanding of non-security-related business functions
* Increase credibility with non-technical senior stakeholders
* Just generally be a better version of my current self
* Not spend huge sums of money as MBA will be ancillary to my primary qualifications and experience

I appreciate I could do all of this without spending a load of money on an MBA but I’d value the structure it provides and validation at the end of it all. I also work better when I have a tangible goal.

I’m UK-based at the moment but family factors means I could easily relocate to East Asia in future. My background is in security for financial services so really anywhere with a strong financial market is viable. The opportunity to develop professional connections in these geographies would be another factor to consider.

At the moment I’m thinking:

Bradford DL MBA

+ Location - potential to attend some modules in block mode and higher likelihood of face-to-face interaction with other candidates
+ Triple accredited
+ Has been around for a long time and fairly well ranked (Top 10 FT)
+ Some interesting electives such as global supply chain management

- Smaller alumni network
- Less recognition/standing as a university

Illinois iMBA

+ Potentially a more innovative/effective delivery model - not just an MBA that’s been put online
+ Recognition/standing as a university > Bradford
+ Adds an ‘international’ element to my academic profile

+/- Core seems to be quite finance heavy which may or may not be ideal for me!

- 100% online so no real options for (real) face-to-face interaction
- Not triple accredited
- Not ranked by the traditional rankings like FT
- Somewhat more arduous admissions process
- Newer and therefore less proven

At the moment I feel I'm leaning towards Bradford but that may just be home bias. I'd value any comments or observations on the above.
quote
aslamo

I would challenge whether a CISO needs an MBA degree. If you look at the IT role that arguably would benefit most from an MBA, the CIO, probably less than 20% have one. 

Boston University used to do a 'Technology Executives mini MBA' short course and I know many CIOs and other IT leaders who did it. Unfortunately they stopped it about two years ago. You might be better off finding something similar via EdX or Coursera.

I would challenge whether a CISO needs an MBA degree. If you look at the IT role that arguably would benefit most from an MBA, the CIO, probably less than 20% have one.&nbsp;<br><br>Boston University used to do a 'Technology Executives mini MBA' short course and I know many CIOs and other IT leaders who did it. Unfortunately they stopped it about two years ago. You might be better off finding something similar via EdX or Coursera.
quote
laurie

I'd argue that this is a great use of an Online MBA program. Of course, an IT professional doesn't necessarily *need* an MBA, but it can come in handy if they want to swing into more general management oriented roles (or IT roles with more leadership aspects). 

Bradford is the reasonable choice here. I'd imagine it has a better / more relevant network for you, but do some due diligence and take a look at the alumni footprints of each in your area using LinkedIn.

I'd argue that this is a great use of an Online MBA program. Of course, an IT professional doesn't necessarily *need* an MBA, but it can come in handy if they want to swing into more general management oriented roles (or IT roles with more leadership aspects).&nbsp;<br><br>Bradford is the reasonable choice here. I'd imagine it has a better / more relevant network for you, but do some due diligence and take a look at the alumni footprints of each in your area using LinkedIn.
quote

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