Many students, professionals, and teachers alike have pondered the proverbial question, “Is an MBA truly worth it?”
For ages, people have praised the inherent value of the MBA, as a crucial foundation for business success and acumen. Statistical analyses have shown a marked increase in salary, when comparing both pre-MBA and post-MBA earnings. Approximately ¼ of all graduate degrees are earned in the field of business, making it the most commonly earned, graduate level degree in the U.S.
The average cost of an MBA can be staggering, often peaking $50,000 per year in tuition. There are four, fundamental categories of MBA programs, including the accelerated MBA, which requires 12-18 months, the hybrid and online MBA, which require 3 years average, and the executive MBA, which necessitates about 2 years.
Before you pursue a graduate degree in business, there are 4 preliminary steps you should implement. The first is to gauge your projected salary. Students are instructed to measure returns on their investment, before investing in school. One helpful resource is to review the employment report of your preferred business school, to determine which industries previous graduates have entered, and which salaries they have earned in those fields.
Another important step is to estimate how much time you will dedicate to your formal education. Some business schools require merely a 1-year time investment, while others offer 2-year, extended programs. The cost you invest is often contingent on the amount of time you spend on your MBA. Accordingly, some students choose to balance their profitable careers with a flexible, accelerated business program. Students also have the option to attend weekend class for optimal flexibility.
MBA degree seekers should also consider their cost of living. While the projected average salary is reported as $100,000, some degree holders receive a starting salary of $60,000. Quite often, the starting salary one obtains will depend on the institution he/she attends, as some universities culminate in much higher salaries. There are, however, select programs which offer an MBA for less than $10,000. However, these are not the most prestigious institutions available. However, you can find a regionally accredited MBA program for under $10,000. Some students save a significant amount of money by pursuing their business degrees online, to optimize the return on their investment.
Scholarship funding is another optional consideration you should weigh before investing in a business school education. Scholarships may contribute significantly to your business school expenses. However, you should determine the average scholarship award per student, and the likelihood of obtaining a scholarship as well. Some schools offer high rates of business school scholarships, so, these figures will hinge on the institution you attend. Most MBA degree holders will earn back their school investment in a period ranging from 3-4 years.
The Value of Your MBA
The value, payoff, and time investment of your MBA will depend on several crucial variables, including your current professional status and the type of degree you pursue. The full time MBA option requires a 2-year, full-time commitment on your part. Typically, a full time MBA program will require 24 months of on-campus participation and study. While this sounds inconvenient, it can profoundly shape and enhance your experience and your corporate networking skills as well. Alternatively, the part-time MBA program, for online students, is ideal for those who require a flexible schedule. Whether you’re a professional or parent too occupied to attend on-site classes, this is a convenient option.
With an accelerated MBA, you can consolidate 2 years of study into a 12 month school program. This is perhaps the most emotionally taxing of the four major MBA categories. However, you can rea] immediate results after you complete 12 months of intensive study. Yet, suppose you are an executive with substantial business experience and a time consuming career. An executive MBA will be of significant value to you.
Choosing A Valuable MBA Program
If you want your MBA to be an asset in the business world, then consider these five factors. First, consider the accreditation of your program. A nationally accredited program is not an asset because most major employers will reject your degree. It is critical that you meet rigorous academic requirements by attending a regionally accredited school program. While nationally accredited degrees are significantly less costly, the payoff is often minimal in comparison to a traditional MBA degree. The ranking, of your MBA program, is another considerable factor, which will determine your success and employment. Thus, when applying for a school, consider the selectivity of the school itself, the rigors of the admission process, the reputation of the school, and the repute of the professors as well.
Benefits of Earning an MBA
There are a few potential benefits that legitimize the value of an MBA degree. The first benefit of earning an MBA is you will increase your salary. Some studies have concluded that MBA degree holders acquire larger paychecks than their non-degree counterparts. The average starting salary for an MBA is $100,000. Furthermore, countless degree holders have declared that MBA’s have bolstered their salary and earnings outlook.
Another reason an MBA is valuable is it paves the foundation for entrepreneurship. Because of this, it will bolster your chances of launching and running a successful business of your own. With an MBA, you can master the fundamentals of preparing a business plan, and securing the capital necessary to develop your business. According to studies, MBA holders are statistically less likely to fail in their business pursuits. More specifically, they can reduce their chances of failure by 50%, compared to non-degree holders. A formal education, can therefore, increase your entrepreneurial prowess in most cases. A business degree can help entrepreneurs structure their business ideas as well.
There is another reason you should consider an MBA for entrepreneurial purposes. A startup is distinct from an existing business, in that it requires a structured and organized foundation of knowledge. These skills are especially applicable in the beginning stages of a start-up. You will be exposed to a variety of business models during your education, and you will learn how they executed the startup stages of their companies, and how they ascended to their success as well.
One of the most apparent benefits of earning an MBA is you can propel yourself forward in the corporate world. Degrees often translate to positions of power and prestige, and many highly paid positions require this. Networking, in the field of business, is virtually indispensable to most. While attending business school, you will also learn to cultivate a vast network with corporate executives, leaders and more.
You can also gain a critical advantage among employers. The more value you deliver to an organization, the more likely your employer will retain you. Employees, of the modern world, seek more than short term solutions and workers. Rather, they are interested in cultivating employees alongside their organization. Thus, the more formal skills you internalize in school, the more value you will deliver to a company. With greater job security, you will find and secure jobs with greater ease, if you invest in an MBA. Job security is essential in a fluctuating economy. With an MBA you can gain a sizable advantage over non-degree holders, and decrease your chances of unemployment.
If you desire leadership in the business field, then an MBA will offer you the crucial foundations you need to lead others. An MBA can help fortify your qualities of leadership and propel you to the upper ranks of an organization. Effective leaders require, for instance, the ability to effectively solve problems. This is an area which you will often visit over the course of your business school education. By immersing yourself in business projects, you will learn to hone your critical thinking skills and apply them to real-world applications. You will also leatn the organizational value of teamwork as well. Fostering teamwork, in a business organization, can equate to larger outputs, performance and productivity as well. Finally, all leaders feel the compelling need to innovate and develop organizations. This is a complex and profound skill, which you will have to cultivate over time.
If, however, you prefer the field of management, an MBA teach you to acquire respect and compliance from employees, and to increase the organizational proficiency of an organization. In fact, graduates have been said to acquire high level management positions with this degree as well. An undergraduate degree alone will stifle your chances of managing an organization.
So, is an MBA truly worth your investment? As noted, the majority of MBA graduates, who value their education, maximize their returns, and radically increase their salaries. If you can find a highly ranked, affordable program, or use scholarships to fund a quality program, then you will increase your chances of employment, job security and a high salary.