As global tuition rates continue to rise, the cost of obtaining an MBA has never been greater. But the question lies, is an MBA really worth it? To answer this question, one would have to consider the do’s and don’ts in reference to the field that they are heading to. So read along and decide for yourself if an MBA is really worth it.
Assess your long-term career goals: If your long-term career goal is to run a factory or to work in politics, for example, you will likely not need an MBA. Take some time to think carefully about your future. Just remember, MBA will not actually qualify you to do anything in particular. You will need to be creative out of school to land a job. So before you decide to go to business school, do some research to gauge whether or not you really need the degree.
Consider the costs carefully: The bottom line is: attending business school is very expensive. Some will be lucky enough to have their companies pay for their MBA tuition, but there are still many who are not able to afford the same. Consider your living, travel and study material expenses, and after all if you think you can manage then you are in luck.
Consider the long term, not the short term: Many are willing to sacrifice and pay a huge amount for studies because they are looking at the long term point of view. If you have made an informed decision about going to business school, you should earn that ‘lost’ income back in a relatively short time.
Take into account the different types of MBA programs: There has never been a more robust set of MBA offerings available to applicants. There are full-time programs, part-time programs, executive programs (EMBA), professional programs, international programs, online programs, and countless hybrids of all these. Full-time programs are best for students who tend to be a bit younger (ages 22-30), while Executive programs are best for middle managers looking for an extra boost in their careers. Part-time programs can be very flexible and draw a very diverse group of students.
Assume you cannot afford it: There is no doubting the fact that it is expensive to attend business school. However, before you give up and stop reading, slow down a bit and consider the option of taking a loan. There is no better way to leverage yourself than your education, and a good MBA program makes it very easy to obtain loans.
Get sucked into less-than-accredited programs: Always remember that there are no shortcuts, you get what you pay for. With several fraudulent schools waiting to take money from unsuspecting applicants, it is imperative you pay heed and not fall for these scams. Be sure to do your research, and remember — the next time you see an ad for a school you have never heard of, offering something that is too good to be true, be very careful. The education space is a huge profit making area and many ‘schools’ are little more than a handful of dishonest ‘entrepreneurs’ trying to turn some quick money.
Go at it alone: Never feel as though you are on your own, trying to figure things out without any support. Reach out to any number of possible allies and supporters: friends, family, coworkers, schools, professors, admissions consultants. Every MBA program will love to speak with you over the phone, send you their materials, and direct you to their contacts and student admissions advisers. There are countless resources, all of which will cost you nothing.
When deciding whether to obtain an MBA, there are many factors to consider, including whether you really need one; what the best reasons are to go; and, of course, where you should attend given the option. If you do your research carefully, an MBA can be a transformational experience. But as you make this important decision, do not fall for the many pitfalls that await you along the way.