Is an MBA worth the investment?

  • Graduate students can leverage their MBA network when they're on the hunt for a new opportunity.
    Graduate students can leverage their MBA network when they're on the hunt for a new opportunity.

    Is an MBA worth the investment?

    To MBA or not to MBA? That is the question. Whether you’re a recent graduate looking to get a leg up above the competition or a professional seeking career advancement, a Master of Business Administration can open countless doors of opportunity. But is an additional two years of education worth the time, effort and — more prominently — cost?

    The numbers seem to point toward yes. According to a 2018 report by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the average MBA graduate experienced a 10-year return on investment of $390,751. This amount comes after deducting the costs of tuition and other relevant costs of an MBA program. Read on to find out other ways an MBA can provide you with a return on investment in career outlook and financial bottom line.

    Average MBA payback time

    Something that you might want to take into consideration when deciding if a graduate degree is worthwhile is the amount of time it will take to break even from the expenses. Whether you plan on taking out some loans or have a good amount of money saved, it’s important to evaluate just how long you may be in the red. The same report by QS stated that the average payback time in the U.S. is 55 months. The University of Tulsa topped the list of universities with the fastest payback times, at an average of 30 months. Following shortly behind is a three-way tie between University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, Babson College and Pennsylvania State University.

    MBA salary potential

    Many professionals earn master’s degrees in order to improve their earning potential. Since an MBA program offers students plenty of opportunities for leadership and development, many employers will see MBA graduates as assets, rewarding them for their hard work by paying them handsomely. QS reported an average salary uplift of 73% in the U.S. and Canada. On the higher end, some universities can boast an uplift of close to 200%. This reflects an MBA graduate’s average uplift during the course of their career and isn’t necessarily reflective of their earnings within the first few years of their career. Of utmost importance, it demonstrates the long-term value of investing in an MBA program.

    Increase your networking capabilities

    If you’ve completed a bachelor’s degree, you likely have an active alumni network you can leverage when you’re looking for new opportunities. An MBA can give you access to a brand new network of engaged, like-minded professionals. If you’re on the hunt for a new job at some point during your career, you can look into how your graduate school contacts can help you connect with hiring managers and provide you with recommendations that can really make your application shine.

    Stand out from the competition

    Today’s job market is extremely competitive, especially among recent college graduates. It’s hard to compete against hundreds of other candidates for the same entry-level business administration job when you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree, which is often the minimum education requirement. To make your application stand out from other candidates during the hiring process, it pays to get a Master of Business & Commerce. Whether you decide to get an all-encompassing Master of Business Administration or take on a specific area of focus within the field, you can gain supplemental knowledge and experience that can go a long way in a neck-and-neck applicant pool.

    In conclusion, deciding whether or not an MBA is worth it for your long- and short-term financial and career goals is completely up to you. The numbers reflect a potentially significant salary potential and manageable payback time, making it an overall smart financial investment. However, you’ll need to make sure enrolling in this program is worth the investment of time it will entail. If you plan on working full-time while pursuing a master’s, or have other essential duties such as parenting responsibilities, you’ll need to take the time to invest yourself in the program and your career goals in order to get a great return on your investment.

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