If you are a business-minded individual finding yourself stuck in a career rut or eager to move on to something new, consider getting a Master in Business Administration (MBA). The world is becoming increasingly corporate while more new businesses are being created daily, which puts business degrees in high demand. More than 120,000 business masters degrees are awarded each year, and they offer graduates a step up to career advancement along with increases in salary.
If you are indecisive about putting in the time, effort and money to get a Master in Business Administration, here are some considerations worth thinking about:
- Create your own business: A masters in business will provide the knowledge and resources (both personal and professional) for a successful business launch. One study shows that there is a 50% lower failure rate for people starting a business who have obtained their master’s degree.
- Get promoted: A master’s degree will provide the knowledge and skills to potentially boost graduates to the next level. Not only will you achieve a degree, but this achievement also shows employers that you are dedicated and motivated to have a career in the business field.
- Become specialized: Competition can be fierce in specialized business areas, such as Internet businesses or wireless communications, so achieving a degree specializing in a particular area of business will put you ahead of the competition.
- Build a network: While taking classes with other business graduate students, form relationships with them through class projects and discussion. Those relationships may prove helpful down the road if you know someone in a particular area of business who can offer some advice or if you are entering into negotiations with someone you met through your graduate program.
There are two primary considerations when deciding if an MBA degree is the right choice at this point in your life or career: time and money.
• Time: It is important to know how much time you will have to devote to a graduate program. In addition to work, family and other obligations, you will have to find time to attend class (even if the class is online), complete homework and potentially have additional meetings with fellow students when working on a project. A program may also require students to engage in extracurricular activities, such as attending guest speaker presentations. Depending on the program, an MBA degree can take a year to twenty-four months to complete when attending full time. A part time student will be looking at three or more years to complete a program.
• Money: Business masters degrees can be expensive, depending on the program. When looking at available funds, be sure to look past the flat tuition rate and add on estimates for additional expenses, such as books, commuting distance, housing and lost pay from needing to take off work for classes, to get a better idea of how much money the program is actually going to cost. This way, you will be better prepared for unexpected bills, fees, and payments. However, do not let cost be an automatic deterrent, because there are programs available that can fit a modest budget without needing to take out loans. If you want to try a program that is outside of your current budget but has the exact program needed, there are financing options such as student loans, federal grants, scholarships and possible tuition reimbursements from your employer.