Today’s job market is becoming more and more competitive, making it increasingly difficult for those looking to gain a lucrative career to do so with just a bachelor’s degree. Master’s graduates are setting the bar high for those who wish to take their careers to the next level, but studying for an advanced degree is often a very large investment of both your time and money.
Taking an advanced degree program such as a top ranked online MBA program can help you to set yourself apart from other job applicants, putting you in with a better chance of getting a more high-responsibility career with a better salary. However, bear in mind that an MBA isn’t always a one-way ticket to getting your dream job, so it’s worth taking all the options into careful consideration before you sign up.
So, is studying for an online MBA a worthwhile investment for you? We’ve gone through some of the main questions to ask yourself before you make a decision, to help you ensure that it’s the right choice for your future.
#1. Is it Linked to the Career You Want?
Ask yourself honestly – do you really want to pursue a career in business? An MBA can propel you to many lucrative careers in the business world, but it’s a pointless investment if this isn’t a career that you’re seriously interested in. Studying for your MBA takes a lot of dedication and commitment, so only sign up if it’s something that you definitely want to do.
Otherwise, you could quickly lose motivation. Don’t just go for an MBA because you’ve heard that it can land you a higher-paid job in the future. Make sure that working in business, whether as an employee or an entrepreneur, is something that you really want for yourself before starting your online MBA. Studying something that you enjoy to help you get a job that you want is often the most important factor. There are numerous more benefits to getting an MBA, as explained in this article. Take a read of some of them and see what stands out most to you.
#2. Will You Make More Money?
Although the statistics show that MBA graduates are in with a better chance of earning a higher salary than those with other business qualifications, this doesn’t mean that you will automatically earn more money in your future career. For example, if you’re studying an MBA in order to start your own business in the future, the qualification itself could have little effect on how much you will earn as it will be down to several additional business factors.
In addition, the salary that you are able to earn in the future may also depend on the type of MBA that you’ve studied for and the areas of specialty that you have chosen. Some may give you a better edge over your competition when applying for jobs, whilst others will have a lesser effect. If earning more money in your future career is your main motivation for studying for an MBA degree, make sure that you research beforehand to check that it’s going to be worth it.
#3. Can You Invest the Time?
One of the main online MBA benefits for students today is a flexible, self-led approach to their learning. But, whilst studying for your MBA online may allow you to continue working full-time, start your own business or raise your family alongside, it’s important that you’re under no illusion as to how much time and effort you’ll need to invest in order to gain the qualification.
In fact, studying for your MBA online means that you’ll need to be ready for the massive amount of responsibility that comes with it. You will need to be ready to come up with and regularly review your study timetable to make sure that you are making the most of any free time that you have and effectively investing in it improving your knowledge and skills.
Keeping on top of everything is a massive responsibility when studying and the self-led nature of an online MBA can mean that falling behind is a massive risk for anybody who isn’t fully prepared for the amount of work that they’ll need to do. Ensure that you’re being realistic about the amount of time that you have before you go forward with your decision. Carefully planning out your time before you begin is a very wise idea.
#4. Are There any Alternatives?
If you’re freshly graduated from college and considering improving your chances of a lucrative business career, you might be considering going straight into graduate school to earn your MBA. However, don’t rush into any decisions – it’s a good idea to look at the alternatives on offer before you go ahead with a decision.
For example, you may be able to find a job that provides a good graduate scheme option for those who have just completed a college degree and begin working with them. In many cases, you may even be able to find an employer who is able to provide you with the option to complete your MBA whilst on the job, enabling you to improve your qualifications and earn hugely valuable hands-on career experience in the process. If you’ve found an employer who’s willing to help fund further education for you, it may be worth looking into before you decide that it is the best route for you to take.
#5. Will You Enjoy Studying the Subject?
Be honest with yourself – is an MBA a degree program that you are going to enjoy studying for? If you’re not sure, or have little experience studying business programs in the past, then it could be worth doing some further research and finding out a little bit more about what to expect before diving in. Additional courses such as business diplomas, marketing certificates and more can help you get a taste for what to expect and make it easier for you to decide whether or not an MBA is for you.
If you can, talk to somebody who has studied for, or is currently studying for, their MBA – they may be able to provide you with more information when it comes to what you can expect from the process. Remember that there’s a lot to learn, so being passionate about a career in business always helps.
#6. How Much will it Cost?
Last but not least, don’t forget to consider the cost of studying for an MBA. How much you’ll pay for the qualification will depend on a large number of factors including whether you’re studying on-campus or online, how much financial aid you are eligible for, and whether you’re studying a full- or part-time program.
Those choosing to study for an online MBA can often benefit from saving a significant amount of money, with programs often priced at around one third cheaper than on-campus alternatives or in some cases, even less. Many online business schools will also offer students the option to pay in regular, smaller installments to help break the cost down and spread it over a further amount of time rather than one lump sum.
Finally, don’t forget to research all the different options for financial aid – you may be eligible for grants and student loans that you weren’t aware of. If you’re working, your employer may also be able to cover some or all of the cost – just ask!
Are you considering studying for an MBA? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.