Is It Worth Going Back to School for an MBA?
Getting an MBA is a goal people dream of at various points in their lives. Some head off to grad school right after obtaining their college degree, while others decide to make the leap after being in the workforce for several years.
No matter when a person toys with the idea, pursuing an MBA is not something that should be a snap judgment. It requires careful consideration to determine if it’s right for a person’s particular situation, goals, and circumstances. There are benefits and drawbacks to think about before signing up for such a potentially life-changing decision.
The Pros and Cons of Getting an MBA
One of the best ways to figure out if a decision is a good one is to look at the pros and cons on an individual basis.
- A masters in business degree could land a more advanced job with better pay.
- Required courses and events will expand professional networks, which can pay off in the present or future.
- A student pursuing his or her MBA may be inspired with a business idea while learning new material or may meet business partners through group work.
- Those who are currently employed might receive tuition reimbursement from their employer.
- Paying for an MBA can be expensive, and it may require excessive student loan debt. For instance, top MBA programs can require as much as $200,000.
- Earning a degree will require years of your time, which is a huge investment regardless of where you’re at in life
- An MBA doesn’t carry as much prestige as it did years ago, and all MBAs are not equal in value. A person who doesn’t do their research could end up paying for a degree that doesn’t add as much value as expected.
- Many employers value relevant on-the-job experience higher than diplomas. It could be more worth your while to create your own opportunities and hone your skills instead of going back to school.
Why You Shouldn’t Get an MBA
On the surface, an MBA can seem like a great idea and a stellar career move. It can offer a larger income, networking opportunities, or stimulate some solid business ideas.
But before getting too carried away with the daydream of how it could improve one’s life, individuals should take off the rose-colored glasses and cast a cold, hard look at the reality of an MBA. That way, he or she can decide if it’s truly a good option for them.
First off, an MBA is hard work and major time commitment. It can require years of your life. Those who pursue it on a part-time basis will have to invest even longer to reach their end goal. This might not be a feasible undertaking for those already working full-time with existing fiscal responsibilities.
In addition, there is no guarantee that a person will be accepted into the program that he or she wanted at the school of their choice.
And while an MBA has the potential to be a career booster, it might not move a person ahead as much as they thought it would, especially if they’re already in a good spot career-wise and have to scale back on responsibilities at the office in order to go back to school.
With that in mind, it’s important to consider whether your goals are doable without the added expense or label of an MBA. For instance, you could drop $200,000 on an MBA, or you could invest that money into a startup business of your own. In today’s business world, the internet speeds plenty of things up, and it opens up a network that would be unthinkable 50 years ago. An MBA might eventually become obsolete in this business environment.
So, Is It Worth It?
An MBA can certainly be worth the time and effort; however, it shouldn’t be a hasty decision. A person should give it careful thought – considering the path they want to take in their career and life, their goals, where they are at currently in life, and whether they will get enough benefit for the money they are paying for it. For some people, it’s worth it, but for many individuals, an MBA may not be much of a factor in future business plans.
More and more, people are learning the ropes about the business world from reading extensively about it online or finding a mentor. While that doesn’t discount the value of a degree, it does offer other avenues for success if people can’t afford a trip back to school or the time it would take to get an MBA. Before jumping into grad school, people may want to explore their other options first to ensure they aren’t wasting their time or money.
By guest author Andrew Rombach, a Content Associate from LendEDU – a financial product marketplace and consumer education website. Andrew writes about all sorts of topics across financial aid, student loans, personal finance, and more.