Your master’s in Business Administration can open new doors in your career. In addition to providing expert knowledge and skills, an MBA also grants you greater professional opportunities in leadership and management that would be difficult or impossible to acquire otherwise. Despite the fact it is considered an integral part of many career roadmaps, an MBA is expensive and time-consuming. To make the right call, it’s helpful to evaluate exactly what this can contribute to your life and decide whether it’s a beneficial step in your career.
Weighing the Costs
Graduate school tuition is only one expense. There’s also energy and time investments to consider, and the truth is that a master’s degree program isn’t for everyone. If you are already working overtime or struggle to achieve a work-life balance, going back to school could lead to burnout. The grind culture prominent in the Western world encourages people to forgo personal fulfillment, relationships and hobbies for professional success. Business is a demanding field, especially for those who are trying to climb the ladder.
You need to consider whether the payoff for your degree will outweigh the financial and personal costs of achieving it. If you do decide to go forward, then budgeting is crucial. Most people who earn an MBA already have student debt from their undergraduate degree, especially if they went to a high-ranking university. The cost of business school can easily run well over $200,000. Full-time programs are not able to be held alongside a full-time job, especially if you are taking classes on campus. Private student loans for graduate school can free up time and money, giving you the freedom, security and flexibility, you need to commit to your studies.
What if I Already Have a Job?
Professionals who are already in leadership roles will likely need to pursue their MBA part-time or online. Executive MBA degrees (EMBAS) are for mid-level professionals who want to advance their education while continuing their career. These programs are the most expensive and often sponsored by the professional’s employer. Part-time MBAs are flexible and can be taken on a campus or online; the coursework is still demanding, but classes can be taken through distance learning, so students tend to work during the day and study at night and on the weekends. Before getting into business school, students are typically required to pass the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). The most prestigious business schools will only accept those with the highest scores; if you are determined to study at a particular institution, then you should begin GMAT prep several months prior to the exam.
What Your MBA Can Bring
Management positions are generally the objective for graduates, but some aspire to start their own companies or become professional leaders. There are many colleges offering flexible programs, and it’s important to review each curriculum prior to applying. Due to the increased number of degrees available, the education tends to vary significantly. You should choose a program whose curriculum aligns with your personal interests; target skill sets and professional ambitions. In addition to greater opportunity, an MBA can give you the skills and credentials you need to be a stronger business owner.