Scott Edinburgh
March 11, 2022

Is Getting an MBA Worth It?

Calculator and Pen

Given the large investment in both time and out of pocket cost (though Personal MBA Coach’s clients earned $6.5M in scholarships last year!) questioning the value of an MBA is natural. While there are countless articles addressing MBA worth, you can easily do a calculation for yourself based on your current and future salary.

Here is a quick example for calculating your own ROI. The most recent Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) survey on corporate recruiting reported the median salary for MBA graduates was $50,000 than for those with a bachelor’s degree. This $50,000/year difference is sure to grow over time.

At the current rate, two years at Wharton will run you about $166,000 (not counting room and board since you do need to eat and sleep whether you are in business school or not). Some simple math shows that the investment not only pays off but does so soon after MBA graduation.

However, most Personal MBA Coach clients assess the value of an MBA much more broadly. This is why the answer to the question: Is getting an MBA worth it? is almost always yes, even for those who already have a strong pre-MBA salary.

Here are five reasons that getting an MBA is worth more than you might think.

1. Unmatched Networking Opportunities

MBA programs offer a variety of networking opportunities both on and off campus. Naturally, alumni serve as wonderful resources, particularly as students begin the job search.

Peers provide valuable learning and networking experiences as well. This is true even for Executive MBA programs, where a good deal of recruiting happens through fellow EMBA classmates and internal networking. Part-time MBA programs, which often have a reputation of offering fewer networking opportunities, still conduct recruiting on campus and offer plenty of options for students to extend their networks.

Long after graduation, MBAs continue to rely on these communities to advance their careers, by connecting with alumni to find mentors, investors, partners and future roles. All top business schools have expansive, global alumni networks, which means these lifelong connections are easy to find and build no matter where you are located. At Personal MBA Coach, our team continues to benefit from our networks at Wharton, MIT Sloan, Yale SOM and beyond!

2. Enhanced Credibility and Professional Marketability

Even if your current career is in a great place with plentiful opportunities, this might not always be the case. Perhaps life circumstances or personal choice will lead you to take a break in your career. Or maybe you will be in a position where you need to job search during a weaker economy due to reorganization or company layoff.

If you are job searching after taking some time away from work or in a tighter job market, your MBA will undoubtedly make you a stronger candidate. While this may be slightly less crucial for those looking for jobs in a stronger market, remember that you will have an MBA degree throughout your career!

The creditability of an MBA can also be crucial for those students with entrepreneurial pursuits hoping to woo future investors. Gaining the necessary trust to secure funding can be a challenging process and having an MBA, particularly one from a top school, can be a huge help.

3. Positions You for a Career Jump

If you feel stuck at your current level or believe that you have learned all that you can in your role, an MBA can be the perfect steppingstone to prepare you to achieve your future career goals. Whether you want to switch careers or advance to the next level in your current job, business school can help you escape this career stagnation.

Per GMAC’s recent enrolled student survey, the opportunity to enhance career opportunities was the primary driving factor for candidates pursuing graduate management education. Looking at collective responses from the class of 2021 and 2022, 86% of survey respondents felt that an MBA increases their employability. All top business schools have incredibly strong post-graduation employment rates, reenforcing this perception.

4. Access to Specialized Knowledge and Emerging Fields

While part of MBA worth is of course tied to strengthening core skills such as finance and management, top business schools have started to introduce more unique course offerings focused on emerging fields. As curricula continue to evolve to address the rapidly changing global community we live in, students have an increasing number of opportunities to fill specific knowledge gaps.

From MIT’s Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy to Columbia Business School’s Climate Change and the Energy Transition, MBA students have numerous opportunities to explore emerging fields that interest them.

5. Soft Skill Development

Along with the technical skills gained from an MBA, the soft skills you will gain in business school are incredibly beneficial. Some of the top soft skills amassed from an MBA include leadership, teamwork, and communication.

Through classroom settings, as well as networking, community-building, internship, volunteer, travel, and recruiting opportunities, MBA programs offer endless ways for students to grow personally and professionally. While your current job may be providing some of these opportunities, an immersive MBA experience will lead to remarkable development.

If you are asking the question Is getting an MBA worth it? and wondering if now is the right time in your career to pursue an MBA, Personal MBA Coach has shared our thoughts on timing here.

If you are ready to take the leap and apply to business school, find out how Personal MBA Coach can help you achieve your goals with our Comprehensive MBA Packages.

About Personal MBA Coach:

Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach has been guiding clients for 15 years and is consistently ranked #1 or #2 by leading sources including Poets&Quants.

We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing, and mock interviews. Our team includes former M7 admissions directors and former M7 admissions interviewers.

Last cycle, our clients earned more than $6.5M in scholarships!