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Friday, September 9, 2016

The MBA Degree: Is Business School Worth the Money?


The Masters in Business Administration is a rather trendy postgraduate degree to earn these days but one that raises some questions. The $100,000 price tag for earning the degree at a top tier university is a considerable expense that you might feel you cannot afford. There is also plenty of scepticism surrounding the MBA and its ability to offer a suitable return of investment for many of its students. The truth is that like many degrees, there are numerous variables at play. You will find that the MBA can be a tremendously rewarding program for a select group of individuals and that there are plenty of opportunities to build a successful career out of a MBA degree.

Program Overview

MBA programs best prepare you to fill mid or high level management positions, found start-up companies, and work in financial institutions. The courses offered cover a wide range of business topics such as accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, communications, management, and statistics. The goal of the Masters in Business Administration is to build off your foundation of relevant work experience to equip you to take steps forward in your line of business.

There are a couple different routes you can take toward earning your Master’s in Business Administration. The first option is to study full time so you can finish the degree in 2-3 years. The only drawback to this path is that it is difficult to work while taking the full time classes. However, you can also choose to attend business school part-time, either as an aspiring manager or as an experienced student already in a leadership position.

Worth It?

Now we get to one of our questions of concern. Is the MBA degree worth obtaining? Like I said above, it is a situational problem. For those who can gain acceptance into a top tier Business School program, the MBA can be a very useful tool toward building a career out of management or entrepreneurialism. A degree from a no name or online program probably isn’t going to get you anywhere and you’ll still be out thousands of dollars.

This doesn’t mean that a non MBA graduate student can’t receive a management position, as solid character and innovation are strongly appealing to employers. However, you need to be sure that you are willing to invest the time and money it will take to acquire the degree and get experience to make yourself marketable.

Maybe you’re wondering if past graduates of a MBA program were satisfied. The Graduate Management Admission Council recently released a report saying that 89% were “professionally rewarding”. Out of the surveyed alums, 90% of them said that if they could go back in time, they would seek the degree again. The study also indicated that MBA graduates’ total base salaries were substantially larger than they had been before receiving the MBA.

How to Make the Most of Your MBA

Planning on earning a Master’s of Business Administration? There are plenty of strategies to help you maximize your return of investment. A couple things to remember are to take advantage of every networking opportunity and to learn how to think innovatively.

As a program looking to provide students with plenty of relevant work experience, there are many business contacts you can make during the course of your studies. Don’t take for granted chances to connect and bounce ideas off of others. Secondly, challenge yourself to push your effort and attitude to their limits. Don’t be afraid to keep your mind open to new ideas and think of ways to implement them in a job down the line.

Bottom Line

It is on you to decide whether a Master’s of Business Administration is right for you. It is an opportunity to advance in your field and prepare you for bigger and better goals. There are pros and cons to the degree like everything else in life, but the rewards from earning an MBA is there for those who are willing to put in the hard work and think outside the box.
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