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Do You Need An MBA?
When it comes time to choose an advanced degree, it’s wise to consider the costs and benefits before applying for a program. Depending on your industry or long-term professional goals, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) may or may not be the best course of action. Here are five considerations that can help you weigh the pros and cons of pursuing your own MBA:
1. Career Advancement
Although it may be possible to climb the ranks by being promoted internally over the years, there are some careers that require an MBA for advancement — for example: the industries of finance and banking and consultancy. Furthermore, there are also some companies that will not promote employees who do not continue or improve education through an MBA program. Earning an MBA does not guarantee career advancement, but it certainly doesn’t hurt employment or promotion prospects.
2. Career Change
The concept of getting hired right out of college and staying at one job until you get your gold watch at retirement no longer exists. If you are interested in changing careers, switching industries or making yourself a marketable employee in a variety of fields, an MBA degree can help you do all three.
While enrolled in an MBA program, you will have the opportunity to learn general business and management expertise that can be applied to nearly any industry. You may also get the chance to specialize in a particular area of business, such as accounting, finance or marketing. Specializing in one area will prepare you to work in that field after graduation regardless of your undergraduate degree or previous work experience.
Not every business leader or executive has an MBA. However, it may be easier to assume or be considered for leadership roles if you have an MBA education behind you. While enrolled in an MBA program, you will study leadership, business and management philosophies that can be applied to almost any leadership role. Business school may also give you hands-on experience leading study groups, classroom discussions and school organizations. Having this depth of experience begets confidence, which translates to leadership.
One of the best reasons to get an MBA is because you are interested in studying business administration. If you enjoy the topic and feel like you can increase your knowledge and expertise, pursuing an MBA for the simple sake of getting an education is probably a worthy goal.
While the myth of the wunderkind startup exists, the reality is, a successful launch and sustained business requires ballast and the underpinnings of a network. Formal education offers access to apprenticeships, internships and other structures designed to reinforce a strong business foundation. Further, an MBA can help increase your chances of securing a job that will provide you with the experience, skills and mentors you need to start your own successful company someday.
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