If you plan on getting an MBA, you may be wondering if it is a good investment. Getting an MBA takes a lot of time and money but is it worth it?
Most graduates agree that getting an MBA is worth their money. The MBA coursework covers a wide spectrum of business topics. They include entrepreneurship, economics, accounting, communications, and statistics. The topics do not only prepare students for work in business institutions but also managerial positions in other industries. Earning an MBA does not confine you to the finance industry.
How to Earn an MBA
There are two main ways to earn an MBA-part-time and full-time. Even though they both have the same end result, they aren’t equal. Full-time programs are appropriate for younger students who may not need to work for the duration of the program. There are two types of part-time MBA programs-Executive MBA (EMBA) and part-time. The executive program is appropriate for students who have already been in leadership positions. Most employers pay for this program. The part-time option is great for students who have other engagements for the most part of the day.
When Is It Worth It?
Earning an MBA is worth the time and money if you plan on working as an entrepreneur, a manager, or in business-related fields. It may not be the best investment if you plan on working in unrelated industries unless you are a manager.
MBA programs are all different, and some of them are more valuable than others. The business school, college or university where you get your MBA may determine its value. If your degree is from a top-tier school, you may have plenty of employment opportunities. Hiring managers and recruiters are unlikely to pay much attention to MBAs from online-only or unknown schools.
Even though earning an MBA is important, it is not a guarantee for employment. Recruiters understand that being a good hire takes more than just the title. Most people who have risen to leadership positions with their MBAs would have done the same without it. Having an MBA is only worth the time, effort, and money if you can accompany it with adaptability, proper communication skills, and leadership abilities.
Even though most entrepreneurships hold an MBA, they rarely hire MBA holders. They are more likely to hire creative thinkers who can propel their businesses to the next level. Having an MBA improves your likelihood of getting an interview but it doesn’t always mean you’ll get the job.
Pros of Having an MBA
1. Career Progression
One of the main benefits of earning an MBA is progressing in your career. Executive MBA programs can help you achieve accreditation for management positions. Without an MBA, you may find yourself stuck in the same position for a long time. Research suggests that MBA graduates working in Fortune 500 companies are more likely to rise to managerial positions than other employees.
2. Opportunity for Changing Careers
With an MBA, you can switch from one industry to another with ease. Even though most MBA holders work in the finance industry, they may switch to other industries. They have more opportunities than graduates from other educational backgrounds. MBA holders have higher salaries than the national average because they can enter into most lucrative industries.
3. Skills for Entrepreneurship
With an MBA, you have the skills to start your own business and do not need to seek employment. Some who study for an MBA may have no desire to seek employment in existing organizations. They may prefer to use their business skills to start and manage their own companies. The programs helps entrepreneurs identify possible problems and solve them.
4. Developing Professional Relationships
One of the most important yet often overlooked benefits of earning an MBA is that it gives you the chance to build and maintain professional relationships. During your MBA program, you get to meet others who may have similar career ambitions. MBA programs require lots of team work. The relationships you build would be difficult to replicate in different circumstances.
5. Competitive Advantage
Earning an MBA gives you competitive advantage over others in your industry. It is one of the most effective ways to stand out when seeking employment. Employers realize that earning an MBA takes a lot of discipline. It instills skills that would be valuable to any organization. Most MBA holders have an easy time finding employment.
6. Personal Development
While many people study for an MBA with the aim of finding well-paying jobs, the program also has lots of internal benefits. Your MBA program may be critical for personal development. It helps you acquire skills such as team spirit, determination, creativity, and discipline. An MBA program may push you out of your comfort zone.
7. Managerial Skills
If you would like to work in managerial positions, earning an MBA is a good idea. It helps you learn skills that are necessary for handling real-life problems when dealing with employees. Competencies that you may learn include:
- Making tough calls when necessary
- Improving people-management skills
- Hiring the right talent for your business
- Employee retention
- Managing the company’s finances
- Networking and creating connections on behalf of the business
- Advertising and selling the company’s products and services
- Managing scandals and other difficult situations
8. Specialization to Suit Specific Goals
MBA programs have plenty of specialization options to suit different goals. Most business schools have a wide range of programs. Some of the most popular specializations include:
- International Business
This option is great for students who wish to work in global companies. It gives you the skills to align business goals across different companies.
- General Management
This is the most common specialization. It is a versatile option that helps you achieve all-around business skills.
This option is excellent for students that are interested in promoting products and services. They can work in sales and marketing firms.
- IT Management
The specialization option prepares you to work in the technology sector. It mostly relies on analyzing and collecting data and product development.
Finance is a good option for chief financial officers, bankers, finance managers, and finance controllers. The course focuses on Accounting, Statistics, and Data Analysis.
If you have a business idea, an MBA in entrepreneurship may be one of your best options.
- Human Resources
This is an excellent option for managers who oversee HR teams or work with many employees. The program focuses on defining job responsibilities, people management, and conflict resolution.
9. Good Salaries
MBA holders earn a good salary in most countries. They enjoy job security, as well. The average salary of MBA holders is higher than other Master’s programs. The average annual salaries for MBA graduates in different countries are:
- $102,101 in the United States
- $86,400 in Italy
- $98,400 in Australia
- $99,800 in Canada
- $123,500 in Switzerland
- $82,700 in Singapore
- $77,200 in Germany
You can enjoy a good salary regardless of where you choose to work. Your MBA salary can cover your investment in MBA education within three years.
10. Not Difficult to Graduate
Even though MBAs can be challenging, graduating is not difficult for the average student. Common classes in the program include:
- Business Law
- Financial Management
- Organizational Behavior
- Marketing Management
- Strategic Management
- Operation Management
- Operational Behavior
- Operational Research
- Managing Business Environment
- Managerial Economics
Even though studying for an MBA requires a competitive attitude and lots of effort, graduating is not difficult.
Cons of Having an MBA
Earning an MBA can be costly. Even though there are different costs for different programs, the general cost is high.
An MBA program takes about two years. It can take longer if you are studying part-time. It is a significant commitment of time, and it is crucial to think about the value of the degree to your life in comparison with the time it takes.
The Advantages Vs. Disadvantages
The advantages of earning an MBA outweigh the disadvantages. It is a great option for individuals who desire to progress in their careers, form strong networks, or start their own businesses. The skills that you earn when studying for an MBA are invaluable for future employment. It is the gold-standard for high-achievers. Even though earning an MBA is no guarantee for employment, it is worth the money.
Three out of five graduates agree that their MBA was an excellent investment. Most of them say that the program was rewarding in the professional, personal, and financial sense. Nine out of ten alumni of business schools do not regret their decision to pursue an MBA. They would still pursue it even with the information they currently have. Their chances of recommending their alma mater to others is very high. The overall satisfaction rate is very high.
Who Is the Best Candidate for an MBA?
Unless you are the right candidate for an MBA, you are unlikely to get value for your money. The best candidates for the program get the best value from it. If you intend on pursuing an MBA, you must be disciplined, dedicated, and competitive. You must be creative and possess strong leadership abilities. Ask the following questions to determine if you are a good fit.
- Does your description of job satisfaction match what managerial positions offer?
- Do you have proper communication skills?
- Do you have strong leadership and entrepreneurship abilities?
- Are you a people person?
- Do you have collaborative focus, analytical skills, and a non-judgmental attitude?
- Do you have a sense of direction?
- Will getting an MBA help you achieve personal fulfilment?
If you answer no to most of these questions, trying to earn an MBA may not be in your best interest. If your biggest drive for getting an MBA is to land a well-paying job, you may not get the best value from it. It should contribute to the fulfilment of your life
Alternatives to an MBA
If you don’t think that an MBA may be the investment for you, there are a few alternatives. The Masters of Finance degree is one of the best ones. It is specific to finance and only takes one year. It paves the way for careers in asset management, trading, and risk management. A Master’s degree in Economics may be great, as well. There are plenty of self-study options if you are interested in getting into the industry.
In Conclusion, an MBA is worth the money. It is not only suitable for working in the finance industry but also managerial positions in other industries. Some of its biggest benefits include; its competitive advantage, opportunities for career progression, credibility, developing valuable networks, and variety of specialization options. Even though getting an MBA is a valuable investment, its value to you depends on your school and your qualification for the program. If you lack the relevant skills for the program, it may not do you much good.