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MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a post graduate course that can be pursued by fresh graduate students as well as by the working professionals.
Mostly the fresher students go for the course to pursue their post-graduation degree, get a good job and an attractive salary while the aspirants who are already working opt for this course to enhance their career opportunities, receive increased compensation and job promotions.
On the other hand, an MBA from a top business school can cost a substantial expense for recent graduates and substantial time out of the workforce for early-career professionals. So the question becomes, is earning an MBA worth the cost?
Let’s have a look at the course first.
MBA Course: An Overview
The MBA courseware includes a wide spectrum of business related topics such as accounting, statistics, economics, communications, management and entrepreneurship.
While making the students to work for financial institutions such as banks, the MBA program also prepares them for management positions in other fields or as founders of their own startup companies.
MBA degree can be earned either through full time program or part time program. The full time program makes it difficult to work for the duration of the two or three years of the course.
So the younger students who have recently earned their bachelor’s degree mostly go for the full time program as they can afford to study full time on campus.
The working professionals, who want to earn a management degree without taking a break from their work, normally go for part-time program.
The classes for the part-time program are held in the evening hours or during a weekend.
Some of the weekend programs are residential, which gives the students a chance to experience full-time program as they have the option to stay on the campus, interact and network with batch mates and faculty members and participate in non- academic activities.
The curriculum and pedagogy of the part-time program are similar to that of the full time Executive MBA programs.
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The selection of aspirants takes place on the basis of entrance test followed by Writing Ability Test (WAT) or Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI).
The aspirants should have good academic records and must also clear the entrance exams such as CAT, XAT, SNAP, etc. to get enrolled in top business schools.
Some programs also require certain work experience for admissions. Excelling in academics serves as a solid foundation, but business schools are geared towards real-world professional outcomes so many business schools value relevant work experience in their decision-making process.
Sometimes, employers also pay for a student’s tuition in full or in part if they believe that their new degree will make them a more value asset to the company.
Whether it is worth it or not
Whether going for a MBA is a good idea or a folly depends primarily on your objectives in life, and secondarily on your pre-existing experiences.
An MBA is only worth the expense, time and effort when the graduate plans to work in a business-related field, in management, or as a company founder.
But for those working in other industries, unless they are in management or leadership roles, an MBA may not be useful.
Due to the increase in the number of colleges, universities, and business schools offering a Master’s degree in Business Administration, the space is getting quite crowded.
The MBA degree is valuable as expected only if it is earned from a respectable top-tier business school otherwise it is not that useful.
Recruiters and hiring managers don’t view an MBA earned from an unknown or online-only educator to hold the same weight as from a top-10 business school.
For professionals who are forgoing a few years of work to go back to school and ending up at a second- or third-tier school could be a waste of time, money, and opportunity.
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Having the letters MBA after an applicant’s name doesn’t automatically make them an ideal hire as just having an MBA won’t make a candidate stand out if they’re already flawed in other ways, like being obtuse, slow to adapt, or bossy.
The start-up companies do not always look to hire other MBA holders but the out-of-the-box thinkers who can innovate and offer a perspective different from their own.
An MBA degree might help in getting a job interview but will not guarantee that the applicant will get that job but the people with work experience looking to give their career a boost can have greater opportunities for growth and promotion with a part-time or EMBA program.
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As per survey reports more than three out of four MBAs reported that their expectations from their education was met however, if given a chance to do it all over again knowing what they are doing at present, 93% of alumni would still pursue a graduate management degree.
Though the business school alumni rate their degrees positively but the return on investment has gone down as investment costs such as tuition has increased at a much higher rate than the salaries.
But still MBA is definitely a preferred degree for senior management roles for big, global companies and increasing global and complex nature of business will be a cause for people to need a management and collective business education.
It is probable that in future some new form of education/degree may emerge, maybe an extension or variation of current education subjects/styles.
But in near future it is believed that MBA is going to be a strong degree to have for a solid career growth. Often MBAs and those aiming for an MBA are called as money loving people with a negative connotation.
But MBA does not guarantee more money, but for sure lifts you to a platform where higher salaried jobs are located.
The biggest cost of a full-time MBA program is the opportunity cost, not the tuition. An MBA program, especially from a top business school, is an incredible space to start a business.
You are surrounded by students, faculty, and alumni who have expertise in basically any industry or role you can think of.
It provides an incredibly supportive environment. People want to help their fellow students/alumni, the reason maybe because they know that when an alumnus does better, the prestige of the school increases and it helps everyone.
A top business school provides good networking opportunities, quality education and prestige/ credibility to the students which helps them in future business or job options.
You can go for MBA program for some reasons such as:
To upgrade your business acumen and venture out into the positions in management, leadership, sales, marketing, finance and more.
If you are an outgoing person who loves to communicate with people and want to enhance your communication skills. The students have to do presentations, give speeches, may have to volunteer for students development projects, work on group assignments and sell their idea to their group mates that why they believe what they believe in. And all these tasks require you to speak up and be bold and confident.
If you already have some business knowledge and want to polish it more so that it gives you an edge over other people applying for top management positions get on top of the corporate world.
If you are a business person and you believe that your current business is not giving the outcomes as was expected. This course teaches you about the recent case studies in the business world which can be leveraged and be utilized in the real world or in your own business to increase the revenues and profits.
If you need to have a business degree to fulfill the eligibility criteria for a job whose minimum qualification is an MBA degree.
If it is your passion to do an MBA because you think it will add value to your current portfolio.
If you need to learn – corporate finance, Business management, Project Management, entrepreneurship, etc.
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The Final Conclusion
Earning an MBA degree can enhance one’s career path, or help land in a high-paying job.
However, the expense is only offset if the degree is earned from a top-tier business school and if the career path sought is business-related.
Despite the cost-benefit analysis, the majority of business school alumni self-report very positive experiences and high value from their MBA degrees.
An MBA is that practical exposure that surpasses geographical boundaries. Having an MBA degree definitely gives you an edge but most people don’t understand why they need it. As there are too many people who waste this degree but just adding it in their resume, which is not a good option as it may be a costly proposition then.
If somebody is unable to afford the cost to get into a top program or does not have the time to manage the work and study there are some other good options to pursue such as the CFA or a Master’s degree in Finance or Economics.
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