Why should I get an MBA degree? The good and bad reasons
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can teach you how to handle almost every part of a business. This gives you a wide range of skills to handle aspects like marketing, accounting, and human resources all at once. It could open so many doors for career growth and boost your income significantly. Yet, you need to have realistic expectations.
Some people think an MBA degree is some sort of “magic pill” for their career troubles. They believe that they could get their professional lives on track simply by taking a two-year program. While this is true to some extent, an MBA student should have clear goals for taking their course. Did you have a similar assumption about MBAs?
If so, it’s time to correct that so you can make the most out of your MBA degree. We will explain the benefits you may receive by finishing such a program. Then, we’ll break down the good and bad reasons for getting one, so you can see which ones fit your current goals. We will also show the options and alternatives available so that you can boost your career no matter what!
What do I get from an MBA degree?
As we said, an MBA makes you a “jack-of-all-trades” for business administration. It’s different from a master’s degree, which focuses only on a specific field.
You’re by no means a ‘master of none” by receiving this type of business education. The varied skill set it provides lets you handle positions that need such a wide breadth, such as:
- Marketing Manager
- General Manager
- Production Manager
- Financial Analyst
- Project Manager
- Sales Manager
MBA degrees provide more benefits besides more career opportunities.
Let’s look at the reasons why it was worth it for people to finish this graduate degree:
- Return on investment – The starting salaries for an MBA graduate range from $120,000 to $160,000. Aside from this, you may receive other benefits and bonuses. Later, we will explain why you should be careful when aiming for this ROI.
- Networking – You get to meet fellow professionals to help each other in going further in your careers.
- Other activities – MBA degrees include activities that could impart more leadership skills. What’s more, this lets you meet even more people and have fun too!
- Flexibility – Part-time and online MBAs let you take the program at your pace. This is great if you still have a job or you’re busy with other stuff.
- Meet folks around the world – If you’ve wanted to study in another country, an MBA degree is for you! At the time of writing, the COVID pandemic is still ongoing, so the best option for this is online MBA programs. They still allow you to meet people outside the United States, just not face-to-face.
What are good reasons to get an MBA degree?
Now that you have an idea of what MBA degrees are, we can help you plan to get one. This requires careful consideration since you’ll spend a lot of time and money on it.
As with everything, there are right and wrong reasons for taking MBA classes. If the following match your goals for getting an MBA, you’re on the right track:
- Future-proofing your career – An MBA degree expands your skillset, so you’re able to meet the ever-changing demands of the market. We discussed in another article how this was apparent even before the pandemic, and other professionals realize this, and findings from the Graduate Management Admissions Council prove it.
- Explore new industries – It’s a lot easier to explore new industries if you have some knowledge about them already. An MBA gives you such flexibility.
- Take your career further – Some people want to reach farther in their chosen field rather than branch out to different ones. An MBA also comes in handy for this goal.
- Networking – Connections are important if you want to go farther on your career path truly. As we said, MBA degrees let you meet others that share your ambitions, and you may help each other grow in your respective fields.
What are the bad reasons for getting one?
Of course, you might also have the wrong expectations for MBA degrees, and they may not fit the real world, or you might be focusing solely on its benefits.
The truth is that you should have a clear goal for taking such a program. It isn’t a “magic pill” that will immediately clear what you want for your professional life.
If you earn an MBA without having a clear objective, the degree won’t give it to you. Aside from this, here are the other reasons why you might not want to get an MBA degree:
- Your parents – It’s not a good idea to get this program even if your mom and dad can cover the expenses. You must take such career moves according to your objectives, not someone else’s. After all, you will be spending two years on this that you cannot get back. Make sure you do not waste it.
- Job buffet – After hearing that MBAs open new employment opportunities, you might be thinking that you’ll easily get any job because of it. While you may get a lot of options, only a few will truly fit you. More importantly, you must still work hard to access them.
- Job hopping – Even if you have so many career options, you can’t possibly try them all. What’s more, your time to test them all out is limited. Career services may eventually reject you if you keep on going in and out of jobs. This is why having a clear goal beforehand is highly important.
- Boredom – We know it’s been rough just spending almost two years in quarantine. Yet, an MBA degree is a bad way to unwind! It’s a serious decision that will take so much time and money from you. Maybe you can take up hobbies like growing food at home or losing weight?
What are my options for MBA degrees?
You have so many ways of taking an MBA nowadays, and it’s up to you to match the right one to your career. Let’s take a closer look at each one:
- Full-time, two-year – This is the conventional option where you spend a couple of years on campus, and they may provide a more well-rounded education than the others. After all, you’ll have to take everything the course provides instead of cherry-picking.
- Full-time, one-year – This is the faster option that accepts a limited number of students. This full-time MBA program often provides specializations that compliment someone’s two-year MBA degree.
- Part-time lockstep – These follow a preset order of courses, so you’re more likely to graduate even faster. Of course, this often means you won’t be in charge of choosing your schedule.
- Flexible – These are the MBAs you can take while you’re busy with other stuff. You’re in charge of when you’ll take your classes and which ones.
- Online – As the name suggests, you take these online classes, and they’re a trending option right now due to the coronavirus pandemic. They let you learn and network just like a regular MBA, but you can’t meet anyone face-to-face.
Read More: What Are The Benefits Of Online Learning?
How do I choose the right MBA degree?
Is an MBA worth the time and money? pic.twitter.com/tyzb4TvVaC
— Business Insider (@BusinessInsider) February 10, 2019
If you’re decided on taking an MBA, let’s see how you can choose the best one. Look for promising schools, and see if they meet the following criteria:
- Your goals – Begin with the end in mind when looking for MBA degrees. Even the top business schools can’t help if your objectives don’t align with the MBA programs offered.
- Reputation – Of course, you should still look for the best schools of business for your MBA. If you’re looking for online MBAs, click here to see our recommendations.
- Study period – Determine how much time you can truly set aside for your MBA program. This will help you decide if you need a full-time or online option.
- Requirements – Most of these schools of management look for certain criteria, such as GMAT scores, GME scores, and years of work experience.
- Budget – Of course, you need to have enough money for an MBA. If you lack the cash, you might want to apply for a scholarship or student loan.
Are there other ways to boost my career?
The world offers so many options nowadays. You don’t even have to limit yourself to an MBA degree! Here are other ways you can expand your career prospects:
- Certificates – If you don’t have time to get an MBA, these credentials could be a great alternative. You may choose either academic or non-academic certificates, and they could help you become better at your job and improve your chances of getting an MBA later.
- Learn new skills – The internet lets you gain new skills for free! You can find a lot of online websites, courses, and videos that teach you without requiring money. For example, you might want to learn Python because you can do it for free, and everything is becoming more digital nowadays.
- Part-time jobs – Taking on new jobs lets you learn skills while applying them in the real world. What’s more, you don’t even need to leave home to take them. Here are some great side gigs you may do at home.
An MBA degree expands your career prospects, but that’s pretty much it. Even though it opens more doors, it’s up to you to choose the right ones to enter.
Once you choose a path, it’s again up to you to traverse it and thrive. As we said, it isn’t a magic pill because it cannot be instantly clear what you want in life.
The coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for everyone, so it’s understandable if you feel lost in life. Check out our tips on how to clear your mind and start your post-COVID life!