Are you considering an MBA but still not sure whether it is the right move for YOU? Or perhaps you are confident that you want to pursue an MBA but still do not know what you will do with the degree once you graduate.
Either way, you have come to the right place. Every year, Personal MBA Coach works with clients who began the business school application process asking:
Why should I get an MBA?
Given the large investment in both time and out-of-pocket cost, questioning the value of an MBA is natural. Of course, you can easily do a calculation for yourself based on your current and future salary—and plenty of articles address the monetary worth of an MBA (more below on that)—but 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 the top 10 benefits of an MBA that Personal MBA Coach suggests you consider in making your decision.
1. Address career stagnation
Have you stretched yourself as much as possible in your current role? Would an MBA or other advanced business degree help you reach the next level? If you are bored or unchallenged at work and feel that you have learned all you can in your current role, this is a good sign an MBA might be right for you.
Even if you feel you are close to plateauing, now could be a good time to start researching MBA programs: the academic stimulation of an MBA alone can take your life in a completely new direction.
2. Close specific skill gaps
One of the top reasons to get an MBA is to gain new knowledge that may very well take you to a new career level, or even in a new professional direction. While naturally MBA programs are great opportunities to strengthen core skills including finance, accounting, and marketing, top MBA programs offer courses across broad industries and functional areas that position students to learn fundamentals from industry experts.
In addition, in recent years, top MBA programs have begun to offer more specialization and courses uniquely geared to on-the-cusp interests such as the environment. From Harvard’s Risks, Opportunities, and Investments in the Era of Climate Change to Kellogg’s Influencer Marketing, MBA hopefuls have the opportunity not only to acquire new skills but also acquire knowledge about emerging fields they had not previously considered. An MBA can truly revolutionize your life.
3. Develop soft skills
The “soft” skills that you will gain in business school are just as important as—if not more than—the technical skills you will develop. MBA programs strongly emphasize leadership, communication, and teamwork both in and out of the classroom. Naturally, these are all key skills for all professionals, younger and more mature, preparing them to become future leaders or to shore up their leadership skills in preparation for new roles.
On top of this, volunteer programs and travel opportunities give students the chance to further develop personally and professionally.
4. Explore career paths in an open and trusting environment
While Personal MBA Coach advises all clients to apply to business school with clear MBA goals and future plans, no one will actually hold you to these goals except yourself (if you want to). Instead, MBA programs foster a safe environment to explore classes or programs in other fields and intern with companies in diverse industries. This exploration can lead students to find new passions or solidify their desired career path.
5. Receive a “holistic” business education
If you are wondering “Why should I get an MBA instead of a specialized master’s degree?” Personal MBA Coach encourages you to think about your ideal career path. Although specialized master’s programs can be a great way for folks to advance their careers, for those with broader aspirations, an MBA can provide a broader education and give you more career flexibility.
For instance, a master’s in marketing might be ideal for someone who wants to focus on marketing expertise and rise via a narrower path (if this sounds like you, check out Personal MBA Coach’s Specialized Master’s Packages).
However, an MBA can teach the marketing skills needed to succeed in most companies as well as advanced leadership skills to help you assume higher level roles within an organization—and much more.
6. Expand your professional network
Business schools provide students with stellar networking experiences on campus and beyond. While peers provide great learning experiences in classroom settings, alumni are also powerful resources, especially as students start the job search.
Alumni not only offer a wealth of insider information, but they also often extend a helping hand to fellow alums who are interested in their companies. Thus, these networks are another reason to pursue an MBA.
Alumni can also serve as partners, mentors or even investors. In addition, as business has become more internationalized, business schools have become much more global in programming, locations, and student body. As a result, alumni all over the world can help shape a new career path and take you in new direction: a new role, a new industry, and a new location!
Harvard Business School is particularly known for its powerful alumni network. The school has 89,000 alumni in 173 countries, making the network a truly global resource. Many other top business schools have substantial worldwide networks as well. Wharton, for instance, has alumni in 153 countries.
7. Switch careers
While some MBA graduates return to the same industry after their studies, pursuing an MBA is a great way to switch careers and break into a new field—and many MBA graduates do just that. If this applies to you, make sure to check Personal MBA Coach’s 6 Tips for Career Changers blog.
For some schools as many as a third come out of an MBA program to transition into something new. Since many people entering an MBA program start at similar professional levels to each other, business school also can serve as an equalizer post-graduation.
8. Open a door to your dream job
Through alumni networks, career services departments and on/off campus recruiting programs, business schools play a key role in helping graduates find their dream jobs. This is particularly true for fields that rarely recruit candidates without MBAs.
9. Increase your salary
If the question “Why should I get an MBA?” has still not been fully answered for you, the increased salary potential may be the most compelling incentive. It is no secret that MBA students receive high salaries after graduation. According to the Graduate Management Admissions Council, the median salary of MBA graduates ($125,000) is 67 percent more than those who have a bachelor’s degree ($75,000). The percentages are even higher in particular fields such as consulting.
Of course, an MBA is quite costly. However, most candidates look at an MBA as an investment in themselves. Plus, on average, Personal MBA Coach’s clients make money working with us since they receive far more in scholarships than they would on their own. Last year, our clients collectively earned an industry-leading $10M+ in scholarships!
10. Gain credibility and marketability
While Personal MBA Coach does not encourage applicants to say in their MBA applications that they are applying to business school to “check the box,” it is no secret that having an MBA (particularly from a top program) will increase your credibility and professional marketability. Even if you are not having an issue finding a job now, it is important to keep in mind the MBA is a degree you will have throughout your career. So if you are looking for a job in a weaker market or after taking a break from the workforce, having an MBA will without a doubt make you a more attractive candidate. Particularly in an economic recession, an MBA can position you to emerge with all-around greater options, choices, and salaries.
If any of these reasons speak to you, visit our comprehensive packages to learn how Personal MBA Coach can help set you up for success.