Do You Need an MBA and Is It Worth Getting One?

After completing four years of college and getting a few years of experience, you might start contemplating getting an MBA. After all, an MBA opens up a new world of opportunities and a higher salary. You might be asking yourself if getting an MBA will be worth the time, money, and effort it takes to complete. Comparing the cost of getting one and the benefits you will get out of one, you can finally decide if getting an MBA is the right move for you.

How Long Does It Take and How Much Does It Cost?

Earning a masters in business administration degree will take a considerable amount of time and money. For most universities, earning an MBA will take you two years if you choose a full-time option and three years if you decide to take a part-time or online program. 

In most universities, you can expect to pay around $60,000 for the two-year option. However, if you choose to go with top schools that usually have a higher demand, and that are often harder to get into, expect to double that amount. 

However, if you work while earning your MBA, your employer might decide to offer some assistance especially if it is their idea that you get an MBA. If you have this option, you might have to go with a part-time option because you will be required to continue working while earning the degree. Some schools will offer scholarships that will subsidize the cost of earning the MBA significantly. 

MBA Requirements

While many universities require that you already have an undergraduate degree in business administration, some of them only require that you have a degree in a related field. However, if you did not pursue any business studies when earning your undergraduate degree, you might have to take some business classes before you are allowed to apply for the MBA. 

Remember that taking these business classes will be an added expense and earning your MBA will take longer than if you already had a business degree.

Many of the colleges that offer part-time MBA programs do so to give you the skills you need to grow in a professional setting. Because of this, many of them value previous work experience very highly. Some MBA programs are also tailored for students who have been working for some years. These programs know that your academic acumen will be irrelevant by the time you apply for their programs and that is why they do not emphasize your previous academic record, but rather your professional experience. 

When is an MBA Worth It?

An MBA is worth it when you need professional growth. MBA programs from universities such as Suffolk University aim to make you better positioned and flexible enough to fit into a lot of different work environments. These programs also prepare you for the changes that are coming to different industries so you are better prepared for the future. For more information click here to learn how an MBA will be relevant in a workplace that is constantly changing.

An MBA is also worth it when you want to become a company founder. To achieve this, you need to have business skills that an undergraduate degree does not give you and this is where the MBA comes in. 

The worth of your MBA will be highly dependent on the university you get it from. Sadly, a lot more universities and colleges are offering MBA programs which is making the market increasingly crowded. Because of this, the value of an MBA is getting eroded slowly. This is why it is becoming increasingly important to get your MBA from a top-tier business school as this vastly increases your degreeā€™s value. 

How Much Can You Earn With an MBA?

Getting your MBA may earn you a higher salary than you could get if you only have an undergraduate degree. However, that varies depending on the industry you choose to work in. For example, those who work in the IT sector may see a $16,000 -20,000 bump in their salaries while those working in accounting may only see a $13,000 increase. 

New Opportunities

An MBA does open new career opportunities. A survey of MBA alumnus found out that over 89% of the graduates are employed with 79% of them working for large businesses. Of those surveyed, over 67% of them work for multinational companies, with the rest working with companies employing over 25,000 people.

In the same survey, more than 75% of those who graduated with an MBA about 15 years ago are already in managerial positions.

The positions graduates are working in are also changing because a majority of them used to work in consulting and accounting industries. Now, a majority of them work for technology companies, being involved in the development of new products and services. However, graduates are still finding employment in general management, sales, and marketing positions.

Enrolling for an MBA Program

Before enrolling for an MBA, there are several considerations to make. We have already covered deciding if it is worth it for you and what opportunities it affords you. After deciding an MBA is worth it, you have to decide if you would like a full-time or part-time option. As discussed above, a part-time or online option works best for those who would like to keep working while earning their degree.

Next, you have to choose a university or college to attend. This is not often that easy as there are several things you need to consider. First, you need to understand that not all universities or colleges are of the same quality. This metric is best measured when you look at how MBA degrees from certain colleges and universities are perceived. Second, you have to consider the job placement rate. This is measured by checking how easily a particular MBA is accepted.

Then, you have to pick schools that accept students with the same scores and qualifications as you. This will increase your chances of getting into the university or college. Lastly, choose a program where students graduate with very little debt. 

Early Career vs. Executive MBA

Some colleges and universities offer what is known as an Executing MBA(EMBA). The EMBA option is a better option if you are an executive with a few years of experience. The early career MBA is the better option for recent graduates who would like to have an MBA as soon as possible so they can chart a better career trajectory.

Alternatives to an MBA

If you decide an MBA is not worth it for you, maybe because it will take too long or cost too much, there are other options available to you. All of these options are great for those who would like to get into management, business, or finance. 

If you want to go into finance, a masters of finance degree is the best option for you. It is a one-year program that teaches the skills you need for an asset management, risk management, or trading career. Note that there are other masters options for those who want to work in finance-related fields and who want to focus on statistics, economics, or accounting. All of these other MBAs are related to the masters of finance degree.

Then, here is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) option. This is a self-study option for those who would like to earn certifications under their own terms. Earning a CFA involves covering three levels of a study curriculum. You will be tested at the end of each study section. These exams are very challenging and this is why passing the CFA exams is often considered to be the same as getting a second degree. Getting your charter is very valuable which makes it very easy for charter holders to find employment.

If you are looking for something similar, go with the financial risk management option. This is also highly valued by employers as it is also a self-study program.

Final Thoughts

Earning a masters in business administration degree can propel your career forward or be instrumental in finding a higher paying job. That said, it does take considerable effort and cost to earn an MBA. The cost and effort are only worth it if you earn your MBA from a top-tier school. Although MBAs from many universities are still converted, you will have a better chance of getting a job and make things easier for yourself if you attend a top school. MBAs might be valuable for those who want a business-related career, but they can also come in handy for people in other fields.

Even with the effort, time, and cost associated with getting an MBA looking so daunting, a vast majority of the people who hold an MBA say it is worth it.

If the cost, time, and money is not worth it for you, there are other options you can pursue. Because most of these options are not structures, you have to have a lot of determination to get them done and earn your certificate or charter.