With more and more graduates from the nation’s top schools opting for Silicon Valley over Wall Street, many contemplating an MBA are wondering if it is worth the time, expense, and lost earning opportunities. These programs can be one or two years in duration, with executive MBAs lasting longer due to their less intensive nature. The main reasons to return for an MBA is the desire to change career paths or to enjoy the accelerated career advancement that this level of degree can bring. If you are thinking about returning to grad school consider your motives carefully. The degree may not be worth your time or money. There are still many good reasons to pursue this degree, while not every career goal will see a benefit from it.
If increased earnings are your sole reason for pursuing an MBA, there a few things to bear in mind as you chase after better wages. First, if you are in a competitive job market or industry it is important to choose a Top 100 Programs to reap all the rewards that an MBA can bring. Most graduates from these programs report that they have doubled their pre-MBA salary within three years of graduation.
Career growth can come to a grinding halt if you are not on a managerial track or do not possess those important skills. Management knowledge and expertise is the second most popular reason to get the degree cited by MBA seekers. Management becomes more important as you progress up the career ladder and if you have the skills your potential upside will expand exponentially. In addition to these increased people skills, your networking circles will increase and your social skills will get a workout. MBAs often cite the network gained during their program as a significant influence on their future success. If you are seeking an MBA to further your career through management it is likely the right move.
In addition to the tuition, full-time MBA programs will also set you back any earnings you would have made during the time that you are in school. This lost revenue must be considered in your choice as you calculate the cost benefit analysis of your MBA. Be sure that you have specific goals in mind and concrete outcomes that you are pursuing when selection which program is right for you. If the cost of tuition coupled with lost income is too much to stomach, consider an executive MBA program that will allow you to continue working and earning as you pursue your degree.
Finance and Wall Street careers are not the only ones that benefit from obtaining an MBA, there are valid reasons in most industries and career paths to complete this degree. Consider your specific program closely, aligning yourself with one that will best serve your future career goals and provide the greatest return on investment. An MBA is no longer a necessity in many fields, but it can still be an advantage if approached in a strategic manner. And an increased knowledge base and larger business network is never a bad thing!