Is an MBA worth it?
Of the jobs being posted today, “MBA preferred” is commonly being listed as a nice-to-have under the educational requirements section of job descriptions.
But, why the ambiguity? When is an MBA worth it?
In a broad sense, the Master of Business Administration degree represents a way of thinking – and potential. More than experience or a set of skills, an MBA is an indicator of leadership and the ability to think critically and solve complex business problems. But an MBA alone does not bring these capabilities to a company. It is the person holding the degree and how they apply it that gives an MBA its true value.
So, do you need one?
Your MBA in Action
The 30,000-Foot View
When reflecting on their degree, MBA students often cite the intangible skills as the biggest benefits of having one. These include increased confidence, new ideas, ingenuity in areas like strategy and implementation, and the ability to command a room better.
Employers continue to look for well-rounded business leaders who can identify how decisions impact the business holistically – and an MBA gives you those resources. An MBA gives you access to a community where you can not only network but grow and develop your business skills.
For businesses, MBAs represent the opportunity to increase profitability and decrease risk. Graduates of MBA programs tend to be leaders, either in management or of their teams. They share fresh perspective and a strategic way of thinking that otherwise would not have been made possible without the network, resources, and formal education afforded to them by having their MBA.
In today’s job market, you need to either move up or move on, and an MBA will expose you to cutting edge ideas, a network of new people, and provide marketable skills that will propel your career. The MBA gives you the confidence to communicate your value, step up, and lead. [It] is necessary for career advancement.
[An MBA] is often a requirement to move up to higher level positions. The knowledge you gain from an MBA will help you become a confident and competent leader.
That’s because having an MBA is an indicator of someone capable of thinking outside of their current role. This person holds a 30,000-foot view mentality instead of remaining entrenched in their job function and daily responsibilities.
An MBA in the age of technology
In today’s complex and increasingly interconnected business landscape, a person of strategy and enterprise-wide thinking is extremely valuable. Technology is increasing the relevance of MBA employees and leaders as it continues to elevate traditional roles and automate tasks capable of being handled by some form of software.
People, therefore, must be more strategic and forward-thinking. Otherwise, they risk being replaced altogether by more efficient algorithms, robotic process automation (RPA), natural language processing (NLP), and artificial intelligence. In this regard, MBA degrees are more valuable today than ever before. The business landscape is calling for this type of person and strategic thinker.
An MBA education, which generally concentrates on standard business skills, like accounting and finance, business communication, marketing, and operations, is starting to focus on less traditional areas like statistics, data analysis, and technology. Successful MBA programs prepare their graduates to handle the business challenges of today and tomorrow. And the challenges of tomorrow will undoubtedly include technology.
With the digitalization of the economy and pervasive importance of tech to business, MBA graduates are among the few professionals trained to speak both languages – business and technology – a skill set in ever-growing demand.
Earn a quality MBA degree at your own pace while working full-time
Our flexible curriculum offers a solid foundation in traditional business disciplines along with finance, marketing, business analytics, entrepreneurship, or international management concentrations.
What is the ROI of an MBA?
Sometimes the decision of whether or not to pursue an MBA – or any post-secondary degree or certification – comes down to the difference between what it costs and what it’s worth.
Financially speaking, is an MBA worth it?
Here are some numbers to consider:
According to PayScale, the starting median pay for someone with 0-5 years of experience and an MBA in finance is $62,100.00/year. The mid-career (10+ years) median pay for someone with the same degree is $120,000.00/year. To put this number into context, the median annual household income in the United States, according to Sentier Research, is $62,175.00/year.
So, what’s the difference in pay between someone with a bachelor’s degree versus an MBA? Sticking with the finance example, a Director of Finance with an MBA will make 32 percent more than a Director of Finance with a bachelor’s degree. That’s $137,000.00/year versus $104,000.00/year. Based off of 30 years of earning potential, in their lifetime, grads with an MBA in finance will earn an estimated total of $3.2 million, and well over $1 million more than their counterparts without an MBA.
Here are some additional MBA numbers to crunch on:
- MBAs graduating from full-time MBA programs are 58% happier in their first jobs post-MBA than their jobs right before entering business school.
- On average, MBA grad salaries increased by 44% from their final pre-MBA job to their first post-MBA position.
- An MBA leads to an 82% increase in total compensation. This includes financial perks like sign-on bonuses, annual bonuses, and tuition reimbursement.
This data comes from PoetsandQuants.com, a news website devoted to the coverage of business schools, MBA degrees, business school and MBA rankings, and MBA admission advice.
So, is an MBA worth it?
An MBA is a truly transformative learning experience. [An MBA] helps individuals who are seeking to move up and out of their functional roles, become strategic thought leaders.
PH.D. AND DIRECTOR OF THE EXECUTIVE MBA PROGRAM AND M.S. IN MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AT SAINT MARY’S COLLEGE OF CALIFORNIa
The importance of human characteristics and leadership qualities, like emotional intelligence, the ability to inspire others, the wisdom to make sound and ethical decisions, and business savviness, are all continuing to increase. An MBA education helps develop and refine these capabilities. Technology is making the workforce smarter and more efficient, and it’s MBAs who are leading them.
Ultimately, what MBA graduates do with their degrees determines the worth of the education they have received. However, there is no doubt that in the right hands, an MBA is unstoppable.
After reading this article, is an MBA worth it for you?