The MBA, that long-standing signifier of business acumen and leadership potential, continues to hold weight and offer significant benefits in 2019. Specialized business master’s degrees may be growing in number by the day,1 and columnists and industry critics may question an MBA’s worth,2 but there is no denying that the degree continues to offer profound value to those who pursue it today.
To prove this, we’ve cataloged 10 reasons to get an MBA in 2019 below. Check them out, and see why an MBA is still a great decision to help you advance your career and grow as an individual.
1. Master Business Fundamentals
Extremely capable professionals often find themselves in business-oriented roles without ever having received formal training in key skills required to really thrive in them. For many engineers, scientists, programmers or even creative professionals who want to round out their professional knowledge and skill set, the opportunity to be trained in fundamental aspects of business operations is one of the most important reasons to get an MBA.3
2. Enhance Your Versatility
MBAs continue to be assets for professionals who find themselves in a rut and anxious to explore opportunities outside of their current organization and field. The well-rounded business education you will receive throughout the coursework of a high-quality MBA program will help you build skills that translate across all kinds of organizations. In fact, the ability to pivot into a new phase of your career is one of the top reasons to get an MBA cited by candidates for the degree in 2019.4
3. Take a Step Back and Reflect
Amid the day-to-day bustle of a busy career, it may be difficult to take a long and thoughtful look at the truly pressing issues in the business world. An MBA program can provide you with a space outside of the office to contemplate the more intellectually stimulating aspects of business, from economic theory and models to global trends, ongoing crises and other hot topics.5 The perspective you can receive from this period of study can enhance not only your performance on the job, but your personal connection to your work as well.
4. Expand Your Network
The opportunity to meet driven, like-minded, successful professionals has long been a key reason why an MBA is a desirable degree. These people can not only push you to become the best business leader you can be, but they can form crucial connections as well when you are in search of a new opportunity in the short or long term. Even in an online MBA program, where networking takes place through an interactive learning management system rather than through face-to-face interaction, the ability to expand your reach remains a major motivating factor.
5. Learn to Manage People
One of the most challenging aspects of upper-level roles, particularly for young professionals, is the need to manage a team. While much of your training in this regard will necessarily be an on-the-job trial by fire, business school can help with coursework on people management.5 You may even opt for a concentration or specialization in leadership and management if you find that coordinating the efforts of multiple diverse individuals is something you would truly like to make foundational to your career trajectory.
6. Reignite Your Passion for Learning
Even if you never thought you would feel this way as you were cramming into the wee hours of the morning for an intimidating exam during your undergrad years, it is common to find that you miss the experience of acquiring new knowledge. An MBA program—particularly an online MBA program that supplements the day-to-day routine of your full-time job—can help you access this feeling again, giving you the opportunity to feel your mind returning to the state of activity it once enjoyed.3
7. Build Your Confidence
An MBA can help you feel like you really belong among the leaders at your organization, today and in the future. MBA programs can provide a safe, risk-free setting in which to make mistakes and learn from them, without the consequences and anxiety that can accompany them in the professional world.6 The knowledge and skills you will obtain while pursuing the degree and the credential that you can proudly display on your resume to future hiring managers are great reminders to yourself that you are a true asset.
8. Enhance Your Salary
The numbers don’t lie: An MBA can position you to increase your annual salary by a significant margin. The median base salary for MBA graduates is an enticing $105,000, and the median signing bonus is $10,500 on top of that.7 While MBA tuition may seem intimidating, the degree more than pays for itself in extremely short order. And opportunities abound to locate these desirable salaries after graduation: 96 percent of Fortune 100 companies indicate that they plan to hire recent MBA graduates in the short term.7
9. Build Soft Skills for the Long Term
Of all the skills and knowledge you will acquire in an MBA program, the less tangible soft skills may prove to be those that serve you best in the long run. MBA graduates often report that attributes such as empathy, communication skills, leadership strategy and a global sense of awareness helped them thrive and advance more than any formulas they learned in their quantitative MBA coursework.8 These soft skills are best developed through concerted practice, and the space in which you can nurture them is high among reasons why an MBA holds true value.
10. Shape Your Professional Identity
Some students may enter business school fully aware of the industry, organization and title in which they would like to wind up 10 years down the road. Others may approach an MBA program with more of an open mind, or at least with less certainty. Both paths are OK: Some MBA programs can help you find or solidify your professional identity by offering you the opportunity to choose a focus area or concentration for your degree.9 Whether your true calling is in finance, marketing, management and leadership, or some other area of the business world, an MBA can help you find it.
Whatever Your Reason, Now Is the Time for a KU Online MBA
The online MBA program from the University of Kansas School of Business connects you with a global network of Jayhawk business alumni more than 25,000 strong. If you are ready to apply for this transformative degree, check out our tips on crafting a great personal statement for your MBA application, and explore our list of key study tips for online students.
1. Retrieved on June 5, 2019, from poetsandquants.com/2019/01/21/most-popular-specialized-masters-degrees-in-business/
2. Retrieved on June 5, 2019, from forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2018/04/13/heres-why-you-probably-dont-need-an-mba/
3. Retrieved on June 5, 2019, from poetsandquants.com/2019/02/17/class-of-2020-12-reasons-why-i-chose-an-mba/
4. Retrieved on June 5, 2019, from forbes.com/sites/poetsandquants/2018/06/15/why-people-still-want-an-mba-degree
5. Retrieved on June 5, 2019, from forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2012/11/13/the-10-most-under-rated-reasons-why-you-should-get-an-mba
6. Retrieved on June 5, 2019, from cnbc.com/2018/09/17/suzy-welch-these-are-the-only-4-reasons-to-get-an-mba-right-now.html
7. Retrieved on June 5, 2019, from gmac.com/-/media/files/gmac/research/employment-outlook/gmac-2018-corporate-recruiters-survey-report.pdf
8. Retrieved on June 5, 2019, from theguardian.com/education/2018/mar/19/why-the-mba-is-still-a-gamechanging-qualification
9. Retrieved on June 5, 2019, from usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2019-05-17/is-an-mba-worth-it-how-to-decide