If you are involved in for-profit or non-profit business and are looking for additional education to move your career forward, you may be considering a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Are MBA’s worth the investment and the time it takes to complete graduate business school?
The answers are going to vary, and you will need to take a look at your career goals to be sure, but for many, the answer is a resounding, yes! An MBA helps increase earning potential and encourages career growth, giving you more options both now and in the future.
If an MBA program is worthwhile, is an online MBA equivalent? Online MBA programs provide the flexibility necessary to earn the degree without having to put your career on hold in the process. This guide will help you answer the question “Is an MBA worth it?” for yourself by outlining the benefits of this degree.
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Understanding the MBA Degree
Before exploring the value of an MBA, first look at what an MBA is. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a broad-based graduate degree that delivers practical business education across the spectrum of organizational dynamics. The MBA is designed to build graduates into leaders in the business world
The MBA is currently the most popular graduate management degree in the world. The MBA is a generalist degree that provides fundamental management knowledge including finance, marketing, accounting, operations, and project management all while developing vital soft skills and leadership skills.
There is no one typical MBA student. Professionals from all disciplines – medicine, law, government, technology, engineering, and business – pursue their MBA to enhance their business knowledge based on career motivations. According to the Graduate Management Admissions Council ™ (GMAC ™), the top career motivations for prospective MBA students are salary increases, promotions to senior-level positions, leading people, and working internationally.
Why an MBA Is Valuable
An MBA does require a financial investment. While every program varies, and financial aid is often available, you can expect to pay several thousand dollars for your degree. So, is an MBA worth the investment? The value of the degree will help you understand its worth as you make your decision.
1. Increased Earning Potential
One of the primary reasons people will go back to school to earn their MBA is to increase their earning potential. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2021 Corporate Recruiters Survey, the average salary for someone with an MBA was $115,500. Those with only a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $65,000. Over a lifetime of work, this can lead to a $3 million difference in lifetime earnings. This income is 77% higher than those with just a bachelor’s degree. Thus, based on income potential, earning an MBA makes sense.
This increased earning potential can help balance the overall cost of tuition in an MBA program. If salaries for MBA graduates earn $3 million more over a lifetime, this can easily offset the cost of earning the degree.
2. Grow in Your Current Career
While some people will pursue an MBA degree to branch into another field, others who are happy within their line of work can benefit from an MBA as it allows them to grow professionally in their current career.
Post University’s online MBA program makes it easy to use your MBA education to grow your career. With a number of concentrations in high-demand fields, you can use your MBA program to add skills to your repertoire that will make you more appealing as a candidate or more helpful in your current job. Even if you don’t have plans to change careers, an MBA gives you opportunities for growth.
3. Explore New Career Path Opportunities
On the other hand, earning an MBA can make you more appealing as a new hire if you are looking for a new career path. Your additional education and your concentration give you skills that potential employers want to see. If you have been thinking about pursuing a new career path, earning an MBA may give you the boost you need to find success.
Similarly, an online MBA may be the right tool to start a career in a business field if you are currently working in a different field. Rather than earning another bachelor’s in business, you can earn a master’s and move into business leadership. Keep in mind that some MBA programs do have prerequisites, so check those carefully.
4. Expand Your Network
When you enter an MBA program, you will be connected with other business professionals who are also looking to expand their skills. If you take advantage of those connections, those fellow students can become part of your professional network. Your professors can be part of your network, as well. MBA graduates benefit from these connections as they seek new job opportunities after graduation.
When you finish your degree program, that professional network can help you learn about new positions and opportunities. This can be invaluable for your career success. In fact, a LinkedIn survey found that 80% of professionals considered their network an important part of success in their field, and 70% of people were hired at a company where they had a network connection. The impact of a growing professional network, which comes naturally in an MBA program, is valued far beyond salary figures and overall career growth.
5. Flexible Class Options
If you are wondering, “Is an online MBA worth it?” consider the flexibility that comes with an online degree program. Online programs allow you to fit coursework around your existing career, which lets you go to business school and expand your talent without putting your career on hold. With so many online MBA programs available, this is a flexible way to expand your knowledge base as you grow in your career.
6. Learn New Skills and Knowledge
Finally, when you enroll in an MBA program, you learn new skills and gain new knowledge in a field that you are passionate about. This is a value that is hard to put a dollar sign on, but it makes your job easier as you move forward in your career.
As you consider earning an MBA, consider areas where you have weaknesses as a professional. Consider focusing on those areas as you extend your education. This can help make your MBA program even more valuable to you and your future.
How to Choose an Online MBA Program
As you are considering an MBA program, there are several factors to keep in mind before choosing one, including:
- School quality: Not all MBA programs are created equal. Make sure the one you are considering comes from an accredited school with a solid reputation for quality instruction.
- Faculty and staff: Choose an MBA taught by established business professionals.
- Concentrations: Check the concentration options and ensure that the program has one that fits your career goals. At Post University, you can choose from concentrations in corporate innovation, finance, entrepreneurship, healthcare systems leadership, leadership, marketing, multidisciplinary studies, or project management.
- Time commitment: An MBA program usually takes between 24 and 26 months to complete, but some streamlined programs can be shorter. Consider your goals and how quickly you need to earn your MBA.
- Location: If you are going to go to campus to earn your MBA, make sure the location is convenient to your home and work demands.
- Flexibility: Flexibility is a perk of online MBA programs, but make sure the program you choose is truly flexible if you need this benefit. Post University offers both online and on-campus MBA programs to fit a range of needs.
Earning an MBA is a valuable step to take as you grow your business career. Whatever your background, if you want to learn or enhance your management skills and advance your career, then the MBA is the degree for you.
If you decide to pursue an MBA, check out the Post University MBA program. With both online and campus-based programs, you can find one that fits your needs well. Reach out to our admissions team today to learn more about our MBA program.
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Please note jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s program and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions representative.