Does it really make sense to quit a job you already have, interrupt your life for two years to go back to education when you can get all the business experience you need on the job?
This is a very serious question indeed especially knowing how expensive an MBA education seems to be these days.
MBA programs typically come in two types. The executive MBA (EMBA) is designed for students who have been in the workforce for some time in executive or leadership roles and who are typically 32-42 years of age. These programs can be very expensive, and students expect that their employer will pick up the tab.
The second, the regular part-time or full-time MBA is geared for employees who work full time, but are not yet in leadership positions. These students tend to be 24-35 years old and bear the full costs of an MBA program in order to enhance their career.
Earning a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) can help students and professionals enhance their career opportunities, receive increased compensation and job promotions. An MBA can provide the skills and knowledge necessary to start a new business, and many employers require an MBA for certain management or leadership positions.
On the other hand, an MBA from a top business school can cost thousand of dollars. This is definitely a substantial expense for recent graduates and substantial time out of the workforce for early-career professionals.
The question now is, is earning an MBA worth the cost? It all depends.
It depends on the following:
Whats your Idea of Worth?
The MBA is what you want it to be because everyone measures worth differently, combined with the unstable direction a career may take later in life. So you can see why a debate exists on the value of the MBA.
If you end up in a bank after university and now aim for management level in a bank, you might consider an MBA journey a worthy course. The reasoning is quite understandable like being a doctor and wanting to practice in parts of the developed world like the United States, by law you need an MD degree, along with other requirements.
However, if you wanted to run or launch a business, you do not need the MBA degree, or any degree for that matter. But then it is up to you because if you decide an MBA is worth it, then you will see to it that the degree does not go to waste. How you strongly feel about having a degree is its worth and it may significantly alter the direction of your career.
Does the kind of job you desire require an MBA?
If you want to be a highly-paid employee for the rest of your life, then maybe an MBA is right for you after all. If you’re going to commit to the left side of the Cashflow Quadrant, you might as well make as much as you can doing it.
But if you want to be a business owner or investor, you’ll need much different skills than an MBA can give you. And those skills can only come from real world learning and practice, from a self-prescribed course of study, and from networking with like-minded individuals.
In short, I’d say if you want to look rich, get an MBA. If you want to be rich, skip it and double down on your financial education.
What are the alternatives, Masters?
Are there alternatives that can help with a career in finance, business, or management? Let’s see.
The Master of Finance degree is a finance-specific degree that takes only one year and can provide a graduate with the skills necessary for a career in trading, investments, asset management or risk management.
Other Master’s degrees in related fields are also good options for somebody looking to focus on economics, statistics, applied mathematics, or accounting.
More so, Online courses offered by top universities such as MIT, Stanford, Yale, Princeton exist to give knowledge of best business practices. So instead of spending money you may not have, why not spend six months learning the basics and deciding if B-school really makes sense for you? Just taking a few courses can remind you what it’s like to be a student. And by staying in the workforce while you do this test run, you’ll be able to put your skills into practice right away and may even be able to take on increased responsibility at work.
If at the end of this you discover you still need that degree, go for it! But you may be surprised to find that you have already gotten exactly what you need.
Recognize the world is changing
One of my observations so far is that the MBA is actually more of an experience than an actual degree. It’s basically like an amusement park. It’s filled with fun things to do, but there’s no requirement that you do everything or do anything that you have learnt afterwards. For some, the MBA helps in self-development, for others, it is a sure way of networking and meeting people that could become assets in future. It is hardly a door opener for a job (of course a Harvard MBA may get you a job because It Is Harvard).
Think of an MBA less as a degree, but more like an experience.
Still, many people consider MBA to be a step behind the business world. Things are changing so quickly that taking two years off or more to study today’s business management philosophies, could put you behind.
Instead of relying on institutional education in a fast-paced, ever-changing world, you could spend your time continually growing and learning. The beauty of the Internet is that there is a wealth of readily-available educational resources at your fingertips at any given moment.
The MBA will certainly help though. And how much you’re willing to pay for that help determines whether the MBA is worth it. That’s really what you need to answer to see if you should do the MBA.
Browse MBA scholarships on Afterschoolafrica to aid your educational and financial aspirations.
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The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé