Should you get an MBA? The short answer – it depends. Choosing to pursue an MBA is a life-changing experience with financial, professional and lifestyle implications. While it can revitalize your career, open doors to new opportunities and provide both financial and non-financial benefits, an MBA does require a significant investment. It’s important to take the time to weigh all the costs and benefits to determine if an MBA is the right choice for you based on your aspirations.
MBAs are in Demand
The GMAC 2020 Corporate Recruiters Survey found that 89 percent of recruiters plan to hire MBAs in 2021. Their confidence in MBA graduates remains strong as well with 87 percent overall reporting they feel b-school prepares graduates to be successful in their organization. That number is even higher for respondents from larger companies with employees of 10,000 or more (92 percent) and Fortune 100 companies (95 percent).
And what do MBA graduates say? According to the most recent Alumni Perspectives Survey, 94 percent agreed their graduate management education was personally rewarding, 89 percent indicated it was professionally rewarding and 73 percent reported it has been financially rewarding. Furthermore, 79 percent of MBAs rated their degree as an outstanding or excellent value and most (90 percent) would still pursue the credential if they had it to do over again.
Is an MBA Worth It?
There are many factors to consider in order to accurately and contextually calculate the return on investment of an MBA. It’s more than a simple financial calculation. It should take things like pathways to success, professional network gains and intangible or qualitative rewards like life experiences into account. To help determine if an MBA is worth it, weigh the following:
- Average salary-to-debt ratio: evaluate the cost of attendance, potential signing bonus, future earning potential and how long it will take you to recoup your investment.
- The value of the education itself in terms of not only the knowledge of advanced business concepts but also the soft skills like effective teamwork, leadership, problem solving, self-reflection, critical thinking and communication.
- For those who prefer to have control over the entire business, the freedom and independence of entrepreneurship can offset the cost of an MBA significantly.
- Improved job mobility, whether fast-tracking a promotion at your current company or allowing you to venture into a career in a new industry.
- An MBA program allows you to extend your professional network of colleagues across a wide range of industries that could be instrumental to your success throughout your career.
- Interactions with fellow students from around the globe empower critical thinking with a broadened worldview.
- An advanced education can improve your self-confidence and garner enhanced credibility and respect in your industry.
Determining if the benefits, both tangible and intangible, of pursuing an MBA outweigh the cost requires careful consideration. However, taking the time to look at the big picture and visualize the impact it will have can help clarify your thought process before applying and ensure you reap the rewards of your decision. If you do opt to go for it, register for a free Virtual MBA Tour event to connect with top schools and begin the process of finding the right one for you.