Is an MBA Worth the Cost for Your Career?

Earning a master’s in business administration (MBA) may provide you the knowledge and skills needed to enhance your career opportunities and increase your compensation and promotions. However, due to the substantial time and expense involved, earning an MBA may not be in your best interest. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether an MBA may be worth the cost for your career.

Consider Your Career Path

An MBA may be worth the time, effort and expense if you plan to work in a business-related field, in management or as a company founder. Some companies require MBAs for certain positions because of the skills students learn in data analysis, leadership, collaboration and working with different cultures. However, you typically need to earn your MBA from a top-tier business school for your degree to be valued by an employer. Also, earning an MBA doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be hired for a job. If you’re already working in a leadership or executive position, it’s typically because you have the knowledge, skills, experience and personality to succeed. Also, many startups won’t hire candidates with an MBA because the program teaches students to look at prior data and patterns to predict future outcomes, whereas entrepreneurs prefer innovative employees who adapt to emerging markets and international advising. Furthermore, because the costs involved in earning an MBA continue increasing at a greater rate than salaries are, the return on investment of an MBA has been decreasing.

Determine When to Pursue Your MBA

If you decide to earn your MBA right away, you may want to enroll in a full-time program. However, as a full-time student, you most likely won’t have time to work during the two to three years you spend in school. Because many top schools look for relevant work experience as a requirement for admission, you may not be admitted to a school that will enhance your employment options. Also, because many employers want work experience along with an MBA, you may not immediately benefit from your advanced studies.

Decide on an MBA Program 

There are two types of MBA programs you can choose from. If you decide to gain work experience first and later enroll as a part-time student, you can work full time and enroll in either an MBA or executive MBA (EMBA) course. Students earning an MBA are typically 24-35 years of age and not yet in leadership or executive roles. Students earning an EMBA are typically 32-42 years of age and have worked in leadership or executive roles. Most students in either program take classes in the evening or on weekends and may have their employer pay for their program.

Work With a Top Chicago Financial Staffing Agency

Whether you decide to pursue your MBA or advance without it, we can help you secure your next finance or accounting position. Reach out to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources and partner with a top financial staffing agency in Chicago!