An MBA (Masters of Business Administration) is a highly-sought degree that can often help to maximize your success in your chosen career path. An MBA on your resume will certainly help you to obtain employment, and might allow you to move up the corporate ladder much faster than you would have without it. However, getting an MBA is a time and monetary commitment that you might not be able to make right now. Use the following guidelines to help you determine whether or not you should get an MBA.
1. Could you achieve your goals without getting an MBA?
An MBA is by no means a requirement for getting ahead in the corporate world. Plenty of business owners and executive officers never got an MBA, which means that you have to evaluate your current situation and decide if an MBA is required to achieve your dreams. Would hard work and dedication suffice, or do you need an MBA to put the spotlight on you?
2. Is an MBA favorable in your industry?
In some industries, MBA’s are second only to Ph.D’s, while in other industries, you might as well have gotten your degree at Kentucky Refrigerator School. If you’re going to spend the money and time to get an MBA, make sure it will be a valuable asset and not just something else you slap on your resume for good measure. Find out how many people in your industry have MBA’s, and whether they are higher up the corporate ladder than most of the people who don’t.
3. Can you get accepted to a college or university?
The entrance requirements for MBA programs vary, but usually include a high G.P.A. and lots of extracurricular activities during undergraduate school. If you really want an MBA, you shouldn’t forgo it just because your G.P.A. could have been higher; however, don’t tie yourself to the idea if you don’t think you will be accepted.
4. Do you test well?
In order to be accepted into an MBA program, you will have to score well on the GMAT (General Management Admissions Test). Before you take the test, you will have several months to prepare, but if you don’t test well, it might be especially difficult for you. Talk to a few people who have taken the GMAT to get an idea for the format, questions and difficulty.
5. Do you have the time to get an MBA?
Enrollment into an MBA program requires a significant time commitment. Not only will you have classes, but you will also have to make room in your schedule to study for exams. Most people complete their MBA studies between twelve and twenty-four months, which might not seem long to you, but consider your current employment obligations.
6. How will you pay for your MBA studies?
Education in America is only growing increasingly more expensive, so you’ll have to allocate funds for tuition. Alternate avenues include financial aid through the U.S. Department of education as well as tuition reimbursement programs through your company. Many businesses will pay partial or full tuition for employees who are willing to continue their education.
7. Does your family support this decision?
While you probably won’t consider the opinions of distant relatives, talk it over with your immediate family. Your wife, husband or children are also time commitments that might be compromised in the pursuit of an MBA. Find out if they are supportive of this decision and whether or not they can handle it. Being away from your family can be stressful, so determine if you can handle juggling work, studies and personal responsibilities.