Going Back for an MBA: When is it Worth It?

Posted October 3, 2013 by Guest Writer in Career Moves

Most hiring managers think candidates should go back to school for an MBA at a top-notch school, but only if the school is right for the candidate and only if the decision is well thought-out, notes Business Insider. Without a credentialed school, managers see that piece of paper as irrelevant, Jonathan Guidi notes. If you’ve been stagnant in your career or some time and you feel like an MBA is the next step to help you move up the ladder, consider these pros and cons to decide if school is really right for you.

Benefits of getting the MBA

While you may be after the bigger paycheck, it’s not the only reason to go back to school for your MBA. You’ll also make personal connections that can further your career later on. Forbes recommends making as many friends as possible, then maintaining those connections post-school. And while you may not appreciate it at the time, those teamwork projects where all you Type A’s have to collaborate can be an invaluable lesson when it comes to the working world. Knowing how to support others well is a skill that can further your career. Finally, the MBA offers you a chance to improve your skills in areas where you are weak, be it public speaking, management or entering a new skill area where you know nothing.

Selecting the right fit

Not all MBA programs are equal when it comes to reputation, convenience and fit. You’ll be happiest in a program that offers educational opportunities that meet your needs. If you have your heart set on studying the global supply chain, identify MBA programs that offer that niche. Likewise, if you’re in your 20’s, an MBA program that caters to seasoned professionals with management experience under their belt is a poor match. If you intend to keep your job while getting your MBA, a part time MBA, online program or a school with flexible course work, such as am MBA from alliant.edu, is essential to your work-life balance.

When the MBA is not your best option

Timing, career goals, finances and career all play a role in deciding to get your MBA, Sarah Jarvis notes at Career Girl Network. You may feel that an MBA is absolutely necessary to your career goal, especially if you’ve seen no career growth. That said, the cost of an MBA may outweigh the fiscal benefits of getting one. Crunch the numbers by researching the salary and position requirements for your preferred job — you may decide to hold off on getting one. Likewise, if you’re really happy in your existing job and managers have acknowledged your potential, leaving that job for the chance of gaining a better one post-degree is a risky move. Finally, MBAs are costly and you may opt to pass on the opportunity to take on additional student loan debt. It may be easier to go back to school when you are in your 20’s or early 30’s than when you are older or already have a family.

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