You’ve earned your bachelor’s degree and are ready for the next step in your education. Depending on your career goals, you might be a great candidate for a Master of Business Administration. This highly respected degree could help you pursue a lucrative and rewarding career in marketing, project management, or a variety of other fields of business. It could also enable you to advance in your current career or even achieve success as an entrepreneur.
The question “Should I get an MBA?” may prompt an easy and enthusiastic yes, but timing is another matter altogether. If you’re like many students, you struggle to determine when to pursue an MBA. Two main options come to mind: right after you graduate or several years down the road after you’ve established yourself in your career.
Unfortunately, this decision is far from straightforward. A lot depends on your career aspirations, your previous academic achievements, and your ability to balance competing demands. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the best opportunities for pursuing your MBA—and why these scenarios make upper-level education advantageous.
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Shortly After You’ve Completed Your Undergrad
Many students prefer to go straight from bachelor’s programs to grad school. This approach can be beneficial as it provides a streamlined academic experience as well as greater flexibility around school selection and scheduling. Students may find it challenging to budget for it if they don’t already have full-time work and a nest egg, but a variety of financial aid options still make this approach realistic.
Not sure if this is the appropriate path forward? Perks of seeking your MBA right after graduating with your bachelor’s include:
1. Keeping Your Academic Skills Fresh
It’s easy to get out of the habit of attending lectures, conducting research, and writing papers, as you’ve likely discovered when taking even brief breaks from school. Now, imagine returning to college after several years away. During this time, a lot can change, making the academic environment you’d once taken for granted feel downright foreign. If you worry about getting back in the swing of things, you may be better suited to quickly enrolling in grad school while you’re still accustomed to academia.
2. Building a New Support Group
Recent graduates who jump straight into the workforce often complain that it’s difficult to find a genuine support group of like-minded peers. It’s possible to build relationships with coworkers, but not all will be at the same stage in life or equally willing to dedicate themselves to making new friends in the professional world. True support may be easier to find in grad school, where you and your fellow students will spend lots of time together as you complete projects, study for exams, and chat about your academic and career goals.
The contacts you gain as a grad school student will prove beneficial not only while you’re enrolled, but also, as you seek job opportunities after graduation. Many students find that the connections they gain in grad school remain close friends years or even decades later. Likewise, many students are able to maintain relationships with advisors, instructors, mentors, and other professionals they initially made contact with while pursuing an MBA.
3. Flexibility with School Selection
If you have a specific school or program in mind, you may find it easier to commit if you aren’t already busy with a full-time job or family. In the immediate aftermath of earning your bachelor’s degree, you may have greater freedom to pursue new opportunities, even when this means relocating or rearranging your schedule. You might even be able to find a job that’s flexible enough to allow for combining grad school and full-time or part-time work. You can also focus exclusively on your MBA program and making the most of every grad school opportunity that comes your way.
By diving right into grad school, you can build your life around your MBA, rather than being forced to fit your courses and study time into an already busy and complex schedule. This level of freedom and flexibility will help you keep stress to a minimum as you take on the academic challenges of pursuing an MBA.
Returning to School After a Break
While there’s plenty to be said for launching into your MBA right after you graduate with your bachelor’s degree, this is by no means the only beneficial path forward. Some people prefer to take their time and explore their career interests prior to seeking an MBA. This approach delivers the following noteworthy benefits:
More Time for Determining Your Career Goals
Not everybody emerges from bachelor’s programs knowing exactly what they want to accomplish in their career. Often, it takes a few years in the workforce to truly understand which direction is ideal.
Upon getting a feel for the industry and determining how further education will play into your long-term goals, you can proceed with applying for and attending the specific type of MBA program that is likely to give you a step up in the workforce.
If you immediately begin your MBA without understanding how you’ll use it as a professional, you risk getting involved in a concentration that is poorly suited to your abilities or interests.
The Ability to Draw on Job Experience
While returning to upper-level academia can be challenging after several years away from college, job experiences during that time can provide valuable insights for your MBA coursework. You may find it easier to relate to theories or concepts referenced in your classes simply because you’ve already observed these situations play out in the professional world.
If you remain employed while seeking your MBA, you’ll be able to immediately apply what you learn as a grad school student to your everyday work responsibilities. This could help you stand out by demonstrating your commitment to self-improvement and your ability to improve your performance with help from cutting-edge concepts and technologies.
Updating Your Resume
Employers may take a recently updated academic resume as a sign that you are on top of industry trends—and capable of making the most of the latest technological advancements. The pace of change in today’s business world is staggering, so obtaining an MBA a few years after your bachelor’s could provide the refresh you need to remain relevant.
Additional Options for Covering School Expenses
Many employers recognize the value of sending professionals to grad school. Depending on where you work and what you anticipate for your future with your current employer, you may be able to get assistance with—or even full coverage for—grad school expenses. Even if your employer is unable to help, simply maintaining an income while you’re seeking an MBA could prove beneficial, depending on your current earnings and other financial considerations.
When to Get an MBA from Post University
While there is no one path to success as an MBA student, timing can influence how your academic pursuits impact both your career and your personal life. Making this decision can be difficult, but the effort you place in discerning your ideal path will pay off as you balance work and school in a way that most benefits you and your loved ones.
No matter your preferred timing, you stand to gain quite a bit when you enroll in the MBA program at Post University. We welcome all types of students, including fresh graduates and professionals with decades of experience. Contact us today to learn more about our MBA program and how you can take the next step forward in your life and your career.
Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly!