Things You Need to Know Before Applying to an MBA

cap, gown, graduationApplying to study for an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree can be a wonderful opportunity and a great investment in your future career. However it is also a big decision to make, as MBAs are usually expensive and time consuming. There are a number of things you should know before you take the plunge. This article will help you with what to consider before pursuing an MBA degree.

Before applying to study for an MBA you should consider that these qualifications can be very expensive. Depending on where you choose to study will affect how expensive the course will be, but you should bear in mind that no university will offer an MBA for under a few thousand dollars. It is also a lot harder to receive state funding for an MBA, as it is a postgraduate qualification – this means you would have to fund the degree yourself.

You should also consider that studying for an MBA can be very time consuming. Whilst it may be possible to study part-time, most courses are full-time which will mean you will struggle to work full-time alongside the course. A part-time course would of course take longer to complete, which means that you will need financial security for longer.

Before applying to study for an MBA you should also take time to carefully choose which university you wish to study at. Different universities will have different methods of teaching, different study modules and of course different prices. Be sure to look at a number of different courses before selecting which ones to apply for. You should also consider that some universities may only accept candidates who already have a Bachelor’s degree in business.

It is also important to consider whether or not an MBA is the right path for you before you apply to study for one. An MBA is most useful for people who wish to progress in a business career – often consultants, bankers and directors have MBA degrees. If you already work in business, it is worth finding out whether an MBA will help you progress within your company – some businesses value MBAs, while others do not. You should also be aware that MBAs cover quite a broad variety of business subjects – if you wish to study something more specific, for example accountancy, then an MBA may not be the right qualification for you.  Some specific advanced degrees that are popular are a Masters in Project Management or a Masters in Accounting.   Find out as much information about the course you are applying for before you apply, and make sure it is exactly what you wish to study.

All the above points aside, gaining an MBA qualification can be an excellent stepping stone in your career and is often well worth the time and expense in the future. The degree can lead to career progression, better opportunities and often higher pay, which can make studying one worthwhile. However it is important to take into account all of the above points before making the decision to study – this way you will be more likely to avoid discontinuing your course halfway through!

Photo by: Jason Low

Is it too late to get an MBA?

Education

What an interesting week last week, now back to the grind of things.  Today we received a question from a reader who asks, “Is it too late to get an MBA?”  Let us define what the reader considers too late, they consider their mid 40’s too late to obtain the advanced degree.

What is his dilemma?  Mark is a mid level manager who strives to take that next step but all of the upper echilon have advanced degrees.  Some organizations only recruit talent for upper level positions if they have an advanced degree, his organization is one of those.

Mark has his bachelor’s degree and is at the glass ceiling for his current credentials at his organization.  He wants to move up and he knows he can do the job, but he just doesn’t have the degree for the next step.  The time to obtain the advanced degree may take a few years to complete.  The reward after the completion of the degree when he is able to move up the corporate ladder is going to be substantial for him.  He definately gets my vote to pursue the degree.  Would you pursue the degree if you were Mark?

Some people think that you have to be going for something to continue your education for advanced degrees or just another degree.  This is a misconception and many people take courses that they find interesting or that they find may benefit them in some way in the real world.

When I was taking my MBA courses, there was a gentleman in the class that had already received a Harvard Law degree and was corporate council for the multinational organization he worked for.  I was talking with him one time and questioned his presence in the program and he said he takes the courses for fun and likes to keep his mind sharp.

Whatever your reasons for pursuing and MBA or any other advanced degree, I say you should definately pursue it.  I am a big advocate of education for all.  Said by one of my buddies Benjamin Franklin, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

 PHOTO BY: Bathe in Light