Why an MBA is the next best step for your career
Are you nearing the end of your undergraduate program and looking to take the next step in your academic journey? Getting your Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) is a clear progression for many students, but pursuing this prestigious graduate degree brings up a lot of questions — is it a good time to start your MBA? What are the associated costs? How will an MBA improve your career prospects? Don’t worry! We’re here to answer all of your burning questions and to help you figure out if an MBA is right for you.
When should you consider an MBA?
Are you a soon-to-be graduate? Have you been in the workforce for a few years? Your experience level is often the best indicator of whether you’re ready for an MBA. However, times are changing, and getting an MBA can’t be held to the same standard as in the pre-pandemic era.
Your classroom will be full of students who have spent years away from school building their respective careers. MBA programs are enriching experiences because of the wealth of knowledge that students bring to the classroom. Having prior work experience will help you connect with your classmates, promoting a mutual learning environment. What one student hasn’t experienced, another might have. Without experience, what you have to offer, and ultimately gain, is limited.
Will you get that same enriching experience through an online program? If you decide to go the virtual route, you can earn an MBA while cutting costs and having a more flexible life. However, foregoing the classroom experience denies you the benefit of connecting with peers on a deeper level and making the connections that MBA programs are known for. You can still benefit from your MBA, but there’s an argument to be made that you aren’t making the most of your investment.
In case you missed it…
You can rewatch our informative Live session with GMAC and Clarisa Figueroa to hear how earning an MBA can help you enhance your career opportunities, increase compensation, and lead to job promotions.
What’s the cost of an MBA program?
According to experian.com, the average cost of tuition for a two-year MBA graduate degree is $66,300. That might sound like a steep price to pay, but tuition costs vary based on the school, whether the program is in-person or online, and several other factors. You can reduce the total cost of your education by making use of the flexibility of an MBA. Programs are not as demanding as undergraduate programs and therefore give you time to work at a full-time job if you desire.
How much do MBA graduates make?
According to a survey by GMAC, new hires with MBAs can earn a median base salary of $115,000 compared to $65,000 for those with only a bachelor’s degree. The premium you gain from an increased salary will reimburse you for your investment in no time.
However, is the MBA alone why graduates earn higher salaries? There’s an argument that people with leadership qualities will end up in the same positions and make the same amount of money even without an MBA. Although both trains of thought are valid, an MBA can fast-track you to places that may take you years of work to obtain.
What is a specialized MBA program?
An MBA degree makes you a more attractive candidate globally and can help you develop management and leadership skills. Although general MBAs are most common, you can specialize your degree in whatever business area you want.
MBAs come with special designations in finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, and more. Specializing in one of these fields gives you a master’s level of knowledge in your area and combines it with principles focused on leadership.
What’s the career outlook of an MBA graduate?
According to a report by U.S. News & World Report — of the 134 full-time, ranked MBA programs in the U.S. that provided data, on average, nearly 84% found employment within three months of graduation with a median starting salary of $105–115K for MBA graduates. As MBA graduates typically enter management-level positions after graduating, their roles reflect the high-income opportunities they receive.
The landscape of career opportunities for MBA grads ranges far and wide. The reason being that your career outlook will be shaped by the connections you make during your program. The more actively you build your network, the greater your chances become of moving your career forward when the time comes. That’s why choosing between an online MBA program and an in-person one is such a big choice.
The heights you can reach with your MBA depend on the field you work in. An MBA will give you the knowledge to manage a corporate team, navigate the intricacies of business-related tasks, and even operate your own business. Your MBA is a flexible tool that’s only limited by your imagination.
What’s right for me?
How do you find the right MBA program for you? As you navigate through your MBA options, these are some of the factors you should consider:
Do you prefer a full-time or part-time virtual or in-person program?
Does the program offer distinguished professors, and is there an active alumni network?
What is the cost, and are scholarships available?
Earning an MBA is a big decision with multiple issues to consider. Median base salaries for MBA holders typically increase over time, but employment statistics and program costs change each year. Do your research to see if an MBA is right for you.
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