It used to be fairly common that if you wanted a job in business it was expected that you would seek out an MBA. However, students nowadays aren’t always seeing the return on investment that an MBA once offered before the economic downturn. With its hefty price tag and no guarantee of advancement after graduation, is the MBA worth what it once was?
Many students are finding that work experience trumps classroom learning, so seeking out an entry level job within your field post-graduation – even if the salary isn’t up to your expectations – is usually the best way to gain real work experiences that you normally wouldn’t receive while sitting in a classroom. By working your way up through a company’s ranks you can often get a good sense of what senior roles entail. Often times this may mean a shift in career goals for a new graduate who is in their mid-twenties.
Often times what education brings us is a new way of thinking. An MBA has the possibilities of challenging and enabling one to grow from both a professional and personal level, offering a whole other world of experiences. This could be the opportunity to intern at a company you normally would have no connection with, a way to travel if your MBA program is not offered in your city, or an amazing way to network with peers you normally would not have any contact with.
But what about that hefty price tag? Will employers hire me after graduation? Will my salary significantly rise from what it once was in order to make this investment worthwhile? These are the real world questions that students are often asking.
For the most part, if you plan on working at an organization where the prestige of an MBA is valued then more times than not, it is worth your while. An easy way to find this out is to check if the company you wish to work at has a tuition reimbursement program in place. If so, it likely means they value the MBA.
Also, having a specific career goal ahead of time that can be helped by the MBA ensuring your program offers a specific specialty, such as marketing, finance etc. often makes your investment more worthwhile and the outcome more favourable than having no direction.
Overall, like any investment, students need to weigh the costs vs the benefits and what that ROI will mean for themselves.