If you are currently working in the field of business, then you have probably already heard of the respected, highly sought-after MBA degree qualification. The Master of Business Administration is often seen as the holy grail of business education, with those who have graduated from this program often more likely to be hired than those who have not.
However, with the evolution of the modern workplace, the MBA program has faced more criticism recently. Despite once being accepted universally as the pinnacle of success when it comes to business education and in huge demand from employers across the world, the MBA may be losing some of its appeal these days. But that being said, there is no reason why an MBA should not be able to boost your business career, as it is still a very highly respected and highly sought-after qualification for professionals to have.
If you want to boost your business career, you may be wondering whether or not getting an MBA is worth it. While there might be more conflicting information available on the MBA in 2021 compared to in the past, this can actually be a good thing for some prospective students, giving them the option to see both sides and weigh up the pros and cons in a way that might not have been available in the past. Whether or not you should get an MBA is ultimately down to you and what you want for your career. Here are some factors to consider, to help you make the right decision.
Your Career Goals:
First of all, consider what you are hoping to achieve by getting an MBA. If you have a certain career goal in mind, it might be worth investigating if there are any alternative routes into this career, and how successful they are likely to be compared to getting an MBA. For example, you might be able to get a professional certification or another degree qualification, but if the majority of employers for this role prefer MBA-educated applicants, then it will be worth investing in this program. On the other hand, some roles might be accessible for you with additional professional qualifications and gaining some more relevant experience without the need to get an MBA.
Your Time Circumstances:
An MBA can be a very intensive program to study, so it’s important to be honest with yourself and determine if you are actually in the right position to do an MBA right now. You will need to consider several different factors when deciding if now is the right time to do an MBA, such as your employment situation, other commitments, and how much time you will have to dedicate to studying. The majority of MBA programs will expect their students to make this program a priority throughout the time they are studying. The good news is that juggling getting an MBA around your current commitments has become easier in recent times with a range of online MBA programs available. These programs can be studied from home and typically offer greater flexibility compared to the traditional classroom programs. Check out the best online MBA degree programs in Boston from Suffolk University.
Speak to Your Employer:
Before you make the decision regarding whether or not to get an MBA, it’s worth first speaking to your employer to see what their take on the situation is. If you plan to continue working in your current place of employment after graduating from your MBA program, it’s worth having a conversation with your employer so that you can ask them about future career positions that you might be interested in applying for, and whether an MBA will actually be a useful investment in helping you achieve this. Your employer may well tell you that it will be possible for you to get promoted to the position that you want without the need to get an MBA, which can help inform your decision. In addition to this, it also gives you the chance to speak to your employer about any tuition assistance programs that they offer that you might want to take advantage of to help with the financial side of studying.
Your Personal Plans:
It’s always worth considering your personal plans for both right now and the future and determine how well they might fit in with you deciding to get an MBA. For example, if you are hoping to expand your family in the next year, starting an MBA this year might not be the best option for you unless you can make some changes to ensure that everything is accommodated. Similarly, if you want to move to a different employer, getting your MBA while doing this might not be easy. Consider both your personal and professional plans for the near future to make it easier to determine if getting an MBA is going to be the best choice for you. Consider how easy it might be for you to prepare to get your MBA online, for example, when it comes to getting practical help and support from family and friends.
Some Major Factors to Consider if You Decide to Get an MBA:
If after weighing up the above you have decided that an MBA is going to be the right choice for your career, there are some important factors to consider before you decide on the right option for you.
Deciding on a Business School:
The business school that you choose when you apply for an MBA program is going to be one of the biggest decisions that you make. While it might seem like almost every college now offers some kind of MBA program, it’s important to choose a range of different factors before you decide where is going to be the best option for you to study. Many schools offer full-time MBA programs, for example, but if you want to study part-time you might need to look a little further. Do you want to study at a local college or are you happy to relocate? Is it important to you that the school you decide to study at offers an online MBA program option? In addition to making sure that the school that you choose meets your needs, it’s worth checking up on their reputation and making sure that they are accredited.
Choosing the Right Type of MBA:
When deciding if an MBA is the right choice for you, it’s also worth considering the different specialisms and concentrations that are available, and whether taking a more specific type of MBA will be the better choice for your future career. For example, you can get an MBA that specializes in finance, marketing, IT, business intelligence, entrepreneurship, management, and several other key aspects of business, along with more niche topics that are an ideal choice if you have a specific career role that you are interested in pursuing.
Getting an MBA certainly does not come cheap, unless you are lucky enough to work for an employer who is willing to cover the cost or are able to get accepted for a scholarship or fellowship that will pay for all or most of the tuition fees. Studying for an MBA is likely going to put the majority of students in quite a substantial amount of student loan debt, so this is always something that is worth thinking about before you apply for a program. The good news about paying for an MBA is that the demand for MBA graduates is very high around the world and graduates often earn very generous, six-figure salaries, making the investment one of the most worthwhile ones that you will make in your career, even if it is the largest.
What You Need:
While most students will choose an MBA program with their career goals at the forefront of their minds, it’s also important to consider your preferences and think about what you will need from the program.
For example, if you are going to be studying online as a more convenient option for you while you are working full-time, think about how flexible you might like the online program to be. Some programs allow for full flexibility giving you the chance to decide the times when you will access the learning materials and study, while others are more structured and will require that you are available at certain times of the day for virtual classes, which might not always be the best option for those who are balancing getting an MBA with working full-time.
Networking opportunities is another factor to think about if you are going to be studying for your MBA online or in a blended program. Chances are that networking is going to be one of the main benefits that you get from doing this degree aside from the qualification itself, so it’s important to choose a school and program that prioritizes supporting students to build their professional network.
While the MBA is often viewed as the height of professional business education, it might not always be the best choice for everybody.