Is an MBA still worth it?

Those seeking to increase their marketability in today’s job force may have considered going back to school (or staying in school) to get their MBA (Master’s in Business Administration). However, considering the cost of education now, getting an MBA is no longer a no-brainer. So in this article, we will explore whether an MBA is worth it or not.


What is an MBA?

What is an MBA? It’s a degree of graduate study, usually from a two year program, that trains you in business management. It prepares you for all general functions of corporate business. It is often associated with higher salaries and position so f management, also sometimes referred to as the Executive MBA.

Considerations before Getting Your MBA

But is the MBA necessary? Let’s consider a few factors before examining the question at length:

1. The only MBAs that puts you in a huge advantage over others is from the top tier MBA schools, such as Wharton School of Business or Keller School of Business. You can still have an advantage over other applicants if you get your MBA from a renowned state school. MBAs from lower-tiered schools won’t actually give you a big advantage over other applicants—if any.

2. It is not always necessary to have an MBA to climb the corporate ladder. Many times just staying in the job you have and working to be promoted from within can be more beneficial financially and professionally for you.

3. The average MBA degree will cost anywhere from $12,000 to 54,000 per year of study.

But the salary increase may only be $10,000 to $30,000 with an MBA, depending on the job.

When you consider the debt incurred versus the financial or professional gain from an MBA, you are examining the opportunity cost of obtaining your MBA. This may be different for each person, so take time to consider the factors below.

Is the MBA worth your time or money? The short answer is, only if it will actually advance your career to the next level without leaving you in crippling debt. Be sure you can tell yourself why you want your MBA. Often you can’t even apply until you’ve had a few years of work experience (after undergraduate studies), so it might be a good idea to wait before getting your MBA, even if only to be sure that you really want to work in the field of business.

If you’re already working and considering the MBA, how will you pay for it? Do you really need the MBA or will your career be just as lucrative without it? As far as MBA trends, it seems that more and more people are choosing to get their MBA’s, which floods the market and makes the degree worth less than it used to be, which means you will often need more than an MBA in your bag of tricks to advance your career anyway.

The big question is one of cost: Adding an MBA to a Bachelor’s degree will increase your salary by $10,000-30,000 per year. However, this is not guaranteed, and if you incur financial costs through tuition ($100,000 total for two years of study for a premier MBA), moving to a new job location, or even just standard expenditures, this increase may not mean much over time.

On the plus side, an MBA can open up the doors for new salaries, job titles, responsibilities and overall marketability. It may also lead to a better overall work life balance with the option of better positions leading to more money and fewer hours spent at work.

The decision is ultimately yours, but it can be beneficial to speak to recruiters and career counselors to see the state of the job market and whether an MBA is right for you. You can even research the different types of MBAs to see which one may be right for you.

TK owns the site Finance and Career, which is a site that teaches people to make smart financial decisions and career choices.  You can also check him out on Google Plus.

7 thoughts on “Is an MBA still worth it?”

  1. When the MBA was invented, the idea was to complement non-business technical degrees, chiefly engineering. I have a BS-Chemical Engineering and complemented that with a MBA-Finance concentration. This is an excellent combination, and all the subject matter in the MBA program was new to me. I never understood–and personally would put little value on as an employer–an MBA on top of a business-oriented undergraduate degree.

    But you’ll never guess the biggest payoff of my MBA degree. My wife and I immigrated to Canada as Skilled Workers. That means, among other things, you must accumulate X points in several different categories to qualify. My MBA degree garnered me 10 points! I would not have made the point threshold without the MBA. My wife did not make the threshold, but was allowed in because I did and we’re married. So if not for the MBA, I would not today be enjoying to good life in Canada!

    1. I was looking at acquiring an MBA when I was younger but I cannot make that sacrifice now.

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