Anybody who has ever worked in the field of business will have heard about the coveted title of MBA. Masters of Business Administration degree qualifications are often seen as the holy grail of education when it comes to business, with those who can list that they gained an MBA on their resume often favored over those who do not.
But, as the workplace evolves, the MBA has found itself being criticized for perhaps the first time. Once universally accepted as the pinnacle of success in business education and in huge demand across the globe, today, the MBA appears to be losing some of its appeal. If you’re considering studying for an MBA, you may have already stumbled across more articles than there used to be informing you of why you shouldn’t get an MBA in 2020 and do something else instead.
You might be wondering, is the MBA really that worth it? Was it just a passing trend that’s finally passed? Conflicting information can really hamper your decision, but on the plus side, it also gives you a new opportunity to weigh up the pros and cons – something that prospective students may not have had at this level in the past when an MBA was consistently encouraged, praised and commended.
But that being said, it brings up a new question – should I do an MBA? The truth is there’s no universal solution – the answer will depend on whether or not an MBA is the right choice for you. Here are some factors to consider as you come to this conclusion.
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Your Career Goals
First and foremost, what do you want to achieve with your MBA? Perhaps it’s a personal goal of yours to get an MBA, and you are happy to see where that takes you in terms of your career. In that case, you should certainly consider going after your personal goals and applying to the school of your choice. Or, you may have a certain career goal in mind; that perfect position that you aspire to work in. If this is the case, it’s worth checking out the alternatives that are available to you. MBA programs are very intensive and require a lot of hard work, and they are not always the only way to achieve a certain career goal. For example, you might be able to gain employment in the exact same role by getting a range of professional qualifications and certain types of experience. If you’re still unsure, check out some reasons why an MBA may still be relevant in the evolving workplace in this Suffolk University blog post on Suffolk Online.
Your Personal Situation
Be honest with yourself; is your current personal situation one in which you could easily study for and attain an MBA? You will need to consider a range of factors, such as work commitments and anything else that you are likely going to need to fit the studies around. The good news is that today, there are far many more options for getting an MBA compared to in the past. Online MBA degree programs have made it easier than ever for professionals to fit studying around busy working lives by providing them with coursework and classes that they can schedule in at times that work best for them as an individual.
Before making the final decision regarding whether or not to get an MBA, it’s worth having a chat with your employer, especially if you plan to continue working there while studying or after you have graduated. If you are considering studying for an MBA in order to gain a promotion at work, it’s worth asking your employer what they think in order to get a firm answer from them regarding whether or not the MBA would make you a good candidate for that role. You may find out that your employer does not actually require you to get an MBA for them to be willing to offer you the promotion. Or, you may discover that getting an MBA would not move you any closer to the promotion than you are right now.
Choosing the right business school when applying for an MBA is a huge decision. And today, it can seem like every university and college in the world is offering some form of MBA program. There is a wide range of different factors to consider when choosing where you would like to study for your MBA. First of all, how do you want to learn? Most schools offer full-time MBA programs, but you may have to look a little harder to find a part-time option. Do you require distance or online learning? If you are going to attend classes on campus, will you be able to get there easily? Will you need to make major adjustments to your life in order to attend these classes, like changing or reducing your work hours? Answering all of these questions and any others that are relevant to you and your life will make it easier to determine if an MBA is for you, and where you want to get it from.
Types of MBA
It’s also worth considering the different types of MBA degree programs on offer when you think about whether or not an MBA is for you. Perhaps you have come to the conclusion that you may not benefit from a general MBA program, but on the other hand, you have different feelings towards an MBA in Finance, for example. Consider your career goals, interests, and what you already excel at when it comes to choosing the right type of MBA program for you. Sometimes, an MBA with a specific concentration such as entrepreneurship, management, accounting, or even engineering could make more sense for you as an individual.
Nobody likes to talk about it, but an MBA is pretty expensive. Studying for an MBA is going to put you in thousands of dollars of student loan debt unless you’re lucky enough to have the cash to pay outright for it, so it’s worth giving this aspect of things some thought too. The good news is that an MBA can be an extremely lucrative investment with a very large return when you choose wisely and end up with a qualification that you can use to propel you into well-paying career roles that you both enjoy and are good at. Consider how you are going to manage your finances while studying for an MBA and plan for the inevitable student loan repayments. After considering those facts, is getting an MBA still worth it to you?
You have your goals in mind, but do you know what you need to have both for your studies and your future career? If you don’t, then you’re running the risk of feeling like you have been shortchanged if you end up making the wrong decision regarding the type of MBA you study for or the school you attend. Spend some time thinking about what you absolutely need from the degree program itself. For example, do you need strong connections to the local business network? How many networking opportunities would you expect to be provided with directly by the school, such as access to exclusive networking events? What kind of students do you want to be rubbing shoulders with? Do you require online or distance learning? Do you need to learn part-time? Do you need the freedom to choose various modules and elective subjects based on your skills and interests? Once you’ve got clear answers to what you need, it’ll be easier to decide if an MBA is something that can provide this – and if so, which program.
Your Other Plans
Finally, do you have any other plans that could hinder an MBA or vice versa? Consider both personal and professional plans when deciding if getting an MBA is the best choice for you since it will likely affect both of these. For example, if you are going to study for your MBA online, consider your support network and home life. Since you can expect to spend a lot of time studying at home, you will need to ensure that you are going to not only have the time, but supportive people in your circle – whether that’s your partner, parents or other people you live with, or your circle of friends. Consider if you have any other big life plans that might clash with your MBA studies. For example, if you are actively trying to get pregnant, starting an MBA next semester might not work very well for you – but it might still be something that you will consider for the future.
The MBA was once practically worshipped in business circles, but today it’s being questioned quite a lot more often. This may lead you to wonder if an MBA is still worth it. The truth is that an MBA can be worth a lot in the right hands; whether or not getting an MBA is worth it will depend on you as an individual, your goals, and your situation.