Many believe that the "golden age" of the MBA has been dead since the dotcom crash and the corporate scandals of the new millennium soured the image of the upper-echelon management-types in the minds of shareholders everywhere. Still, every year some 300,000 students are hard at work pursuing this advanced degree.
If you're already earning a respectable salary in a career you enjoy, you might be hard pressed to justify the expense of today's MBA programs. But, if you're looking to change fields or are interested in a part-time program allowing you to continue along your current career path, there are many good reasons to consider a Master's of Business Administration.
With that in mind, consider that graduate school is likely to be the biggest investment you will ever make in yourself. Do you expect to achieve a positive return on investment? Will you be borrowing to pay the average $100,000 in tuition and associated expenses? Have you calculated your opportunity cost in terms of lost salary & career advancement?
- Loan interest and principal repayment
- Relocation expenses and any associated change in living expenses
- Factor in income you will lose while in school. Part-time programs allow you to keep a full-time work schedule but, in most cases, take longer to complete than full-time programs. In a full-time program, you lose income for the length of the program, but you will be out of school and earning an MBA salary twice as quickly.
Now, weigh the possible benefits of your degree. Consider your expected salary increase now and over the course of your career. Also consider improved job expectations, higher levels of competency in management and business, and greater personal productivity. Keep in mind that even candidates who graduate from top-tier programs can expect some period of unemployment as they search for their first position in the ranks of corporate management.
If you consider all these factors and decide that an MBA offers the educational, career, and personal benefits you want, then it's time to take the plunge and apply to business school. You first step will be to study and sit for the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT). To help you in this endeavor, we've linked to our favorite GMAT preparation resources in the sidebar box above. Using these materials, you should be adequately prepared for the grueling 3.5 hour computer adaptive endurance test.
If you use our recommended links and find they help, we'd love to hear about it! Drop us a line using the Contact Us tab above...
-The Upstart Raising Crew