Pursuing an MBA is a significant investment of time, money and energy. Continuing education requires sacrifice, and the level of commitment required leaves many prospective students wondering: Should I get my MBA at all? You’re the only one who can determine if an MBA is worth it for you. To help you sort it out, here are some more specific questions you can ask to help you determine why an MBA might be the right answer for you.
Fifty-seven percent of MBA students report the desire to learn more as their No. 1 reason why an MBA appeals to them.1 There is no doubt about it, business school can be challenging, but it’s also an intellectually stimulating, dynamic way to grow your skill set and knowledge base. If you’re motivated by a thirst for knowledge and if you respond well to an academic setting, you’ll make an excellent candidate for an MBA program.
Do I Know the Next Step in My Career?
If the answer to this question is “I’m not sure” or “Yes, but I don’t know how to get there,” then you might consider heading back to school. The broader question of “Should I get my MBA?” isn’t just about whether you could use new skills or knowledge; it’s also about your specific direction and goals. Earning your MBA is a great investment for people who feel like they’ve hit the ceiling of their career development opportunities at their current job or have maxed out their earning power in their field.2 If you’re feeling stuck, an MBA is an outstanding way to leverage your skills and experience to move into a leadership role.
Am I Ready for a Big Change?
Whether it’s starting your own business, changing industries or rising in the ranks at your current job, getting your MBA will be a catalyst for change in your career and in your life. Your studies will change your perspective, sharpen your skills and illuminate corners of the business world that you have yet to explore. If that makes you nervous, consider that 93 percent of MBA graduates say they’d go back and do it again, knowing what they know now.3
Is My Network Cutting It?
One often cited benefit of pursuing your MBA is how it will grow your network. Through classwork, group projects and peer feedback, you’ll form bonds with a new group of professionals with diverse backgrounds, interests and skills. Not only that, but you can count on your MBA to increase your credibility, and it gives you the opportunity to reach out to decision-makers who maybe wouldn’t have been willing to give you their time before. If your network isn’t supporting you in your pursuit of new goals, maybe it’s time to grow it.4
Do I Want to Make More Money?
It’s no secret: A higher salary is one of the key factors that can make an MBA worth it. In 2018, many MBA graduates fielded salary offers in the low six-figures.5 Even if you don’t have a concentration in a high-paying field like finance, MBA graduates can still expect to earn starting salaries that are on average 47 percent higher than those for business bachelor’s degree graduates.6 While increased earning power isn’t the only reason to apply for business school, it helps to justify the sacrifices you’ll have to make to earn that diploma.
One Last Question: Are You Ready?
There is actually one more important consideration that goes a long way to answering the question “Should I get my MBA?”: timing. Is now the right time? Do you feel ready to dedicate yourself to a new chapter in your career? Can you afford it right now?
Though there’s never a perfect time to go back to school, an affordable, flexible program like the online MBA from the KU School of Business can help make today the ideal time for you. KU offers you the freedom to choose when to complete your coursework, and you can be sure you’ll have the support you need to follow through and succeed at every step along the way.
1. Retrieved on March 18, 2019, from forbes.com/sites/poetsandquants/2018/06/15/why-people-still-want-an-mba-degree/#3a538092288e
2. Retrieved on March 18, 2019, from usnews.com/education/blogs/mba-admissions-strictly-business/articles/2017-03-31/5-signs-youre-ready-to-apply-to-an-mba-program
3. Retrieved on March 18, 2019, from gmac.com/market-intelligence-and-research/research-library/measuring-program-roi/2018-alumni-perspectives-survey-report.aspx
4. Retrieved on March 18, 2019, from inc.com/ilan-mochari/7-reasons-mba-still-smart-investment.html
5. Retrieved on March 18, 2019, from cnbc.com/2018/07/23/heres-how-much-new-mba-grads-are-earning.html
6. Retrieved on March 18, 2019, from naceweb.org/uploadedfiles/files/2019/publication/executive-summary/2019-nace-salary-survey-winter-executive-summary.pdf