Why an MBA Is Worth the Investment
For some professionals, business school has always been part of the plan. They knew that they wanted to pursue a Master of Business Administration after they gained a bit of experience in their chosen industry.
For others, their career path took an unexpected turn, and they realized that an MBA was the step they needed to take to pursue new or advanced positions.
Anyone considering an MBA knows that it requires a commitment of both time and resources, so it’s important to understand the benefits of earning an MBA.
How Long Does It Take to Earn an MBA?
One of the most common questions that prospective students ask is, “How long is an MBA degree program?” Ultimately, the amount of time it takes to earn an MBA varies based on the type of MBA you choose as well as the format that you prefer. For example, a traditional full-time MBA program takes about two years to complete. However, there are accelerated MBA programs available that can be completed in as little as one year. Students who opt to pursue a part-time MBA program can personalize their course load and may take anywhere from three to five years to graduate.
When Should You Get an MBA?
There is no right or wrong time to begin pursuing an MBA. Some students begin graduate-level business school immediately after earning a bachelor’s degree, but most MBA alumni started their program several years into their careers. Some programs even require prospective MBA students to have a few years of professional experience. No matter where you are in your career trajectory, if you are looking to elevate your career and customize your career path, then now is the right time to earn your MBA.
Types of MBA Programs
As you begin to consider your career goals and decide if an MBA is worthwhile, you will want to understand the various types of MBA programs available:
The most common type of MBA program is the traditional full-time option. Students who are enrolled in a full-time MBA program may take the full two years to complete. While it’s a time-intensive commitment, many students enroll in a traditional MBA program while also working full-time.
A part-time MBA program is a popular option among students balancing current work responsibilities and personal obligations. A part-time program can be completed in as little as three years, or as many as five years. With a part-time program, you can select the number of courses you take at a given time.
An online MBA program offers students the same high-quality education they would earn in a traditional, in-person program, yet they are able to complete their coursework online. This type of virtual learning experience has become increasingly common and is now the preferred choice of many modern learners. An online MBA program can be completed within one to five years, depending on your course load. It is the most flexible and versatile MBA program option.
A specialized MBA typically combines the core coursework of a traditional MBA program with a specialized curriculum that allows you to gain expertise in a niche sector of business. Some of the most common MBA specializations include finance, healthcare management, and marketing.
An executive MBA program is a unique option for professionals who have been working in their chosen field for 10 years or more. It is designed to take managers and senior-level professionals to the executive level, with coursework that primarily focuses on leadership development and advanced business topics. When you are enrolled full-time, the program takes about two years to complete.
Why Get an MBA?
When you are committing a significant amount of time and financial resources to business school, it’s only natural to wonder if the return on investment will be worth it. Most MBA alumni would agree that their degree allowed them to pursue new opportunities and ultimately increased their earning potential, but these are a few additional reasons why you should consider an MBA:
Career Advancement Opportunities
Earning an MBA can open the door to a range of new professional opportunities. Whether you are hoping to secure that coveted promotion at your existing company or are looking to advance to a senior-level position at another organization, you will find that your MBA improves your career prospects. According to Indeed, MBA graduates frequently find work as executives and senior managers within their chosen field.
Leadership Skill Development
While the bulk of the MBA curriculum centers around advanced business topics, much of the coursework also works to naturally hone students’ leadership skills. An MBA program is designed to generate leaders within the business world, and according to the Harvard Business Review, students have an opportunity to improve their cultural awareness, become more empathetic, and better manage a team.
Increased Salary Potential
Completing an MBA program can significantly boost your earning potential. MBA graduates are more qualified for senior-level positions that offer a higher salary, and organizations tend to value an MBA more highly than a bachelor’s degree or associate degree. According to Coursera, the median starting salary of MBA graduates is about $115,000, compared to a starting salary of about $65,000 for those with a bachelor’s degree.
Better Understanding of Business Practices
Whether you work in the finance sector or are pursuing a career in marketing, an MBA program can give you advanced knowledge and expert insight into the most dynamic business practices. Throughout your program, you may explore topics such as:
- Executive communication
- Effective management
- Data-based strategy development
Regardless of your industry or position, this foundation of business knowledge may allow you to grow and thrive personally and professionally as you advance your career.
No matter which type of MBA program you pursue, business school can be a challenging and invigorating experience. By the time you earn your degree, you can have enjoyed a tremendous sense of personal satisfaction—this is a major milestone in your life, and you deserve to feel proud of your accomplishment. This personal satisfaction often fuels students through the rigorous days of studying and collaborating with their peers to earn their degree.
Expand Your Professional Network
An often-overlooked advantage of an MBA program is its ability to help you to organically expand your professional network. Throughout your program, you have the option of meeting professors who have significant experience in the business world as well as peers who are working in various fields. All these contacts can play a valuable role in your network and could possibly connect you to your next big opportunity.
Gain Entrepreneurial Skills
Throughout your MBA coursework, you might not only be acquiring newfound knowledge about the most important business practices and trends today, but also developing entrepreneurial skills. Skills such as strategy development, sales strategy, and social media marketing can help you enhance your career.
Acquire a Global Business Perspective
It doesn’t matter if you are currently working at a local start-up or a major corporation, the business world is becoming more globalized by the minute. An MBA program offers an opportunity to develop an increased sense of cultural awareness and global business perspective that prepares you to better connect, collaborate, and create with professionals from around the world. Many MBA programs today are prioritizing diversity, inclusivity, and cultural awareness, helping to shape the empathetic and responsible business leaders of tomorrow.
Is an MBA Worth It?
Deciding to move forward with an MBA program is a personal decision, but most MBA graduates find that the effort is well worth it. Consider the online Master of Business Administration program at Excelsior University. Our flexible curriculum, combined with our extensive network of support for our students, could uniquely position you for professional success.
Request more information about our online MBA program today.