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Is an MBA Worth It

Know your chances of getting into worlds best B School for MBA

Studying an MBA – which stands for Master of Business Administration – could help accelerate your business career, let you pivot to a new function or industry, or help you land an exciting promotion. But since everyone has different circumstances and aspirations, is an MBA degree worth it for you?

There are so many reasons to do an MBA degree, but like any postgraduate degree, a master of business administration is a significant investment. As well as the financial outlay, many graduate business degree programs require you to take a year or two out of the workforce, or even relocate.

 For this reason, it’s important to work out if an MBA degree will help you achieve the long-term career success you’re looking for, and what other business education options are out there for you to consider.

 Here’s what you should bear in mind when working out if going to business school for an MBA degree is the right next step for your career.

Understanding the MBA Degree

MBA coursework involves a broad spectrum of business-related topics including accounting, statistics, economics, communications, management, and entrepreneurship. MBA programs not only prepare students to work for financial institutions, but they also prepare them for management positions or as founders of startup companies.

Excelling in academics serves as a solid foundation, but business school is geared toward real-world professional outcomes. That’s why many schools value relevant work experience in their decision-making process. For instance, EMBA programs are designed specifically for older individuals who are already in the workforce in management or leadership roles. EMBA admissions know that academic records will be stale and put a much heavier weight on work experience and the professional networks applicants bring to the table.

Part-time and EMBA programs are designed to allow full-time employees to earn their MBA at the same time by offering evening and weekend classes. Employers often pay for a student’s tuition in full or in part if they believe that their new degree will make them a more valuable asset to the company.

Full-Time vs. Part-Time Programs

There are two routes one can take to earn their MBA. The first is a full-time or a part-time program. Although both result in an MBA, there are trade-offs to consider. A full-time student will find it difficult to work while they go to school. These programs are the most popular with younger students who have earned their bachelor’s degree and can afford to study full time on campus.

Part-time MBA programs typically come in two flavors. The executive MBA (EMBA) is designed for students who have been in the workforce in executive or leadership roles and who are typically between 32 and 42. These programs can be very expensive, and students expect that their employer will pick up the tab. The part-time MBA is geared for employees who work full time but are not yet in leadership positions. These students tend to be 24 to 35 years old and take classes after work, in the evenings, or on weekends.

Here is a video explaining why MBA is Worth it in 2022.

MBA Degree Pros and Cons

An MBA is only worth the expense, time, and effort when the graduate plans to work in a business-related field, in management, or as a company founder. An MBA may not be useful for those working in other industries unless they are in management or leadership roles.

Not all MBA degrees are created equal. The number of colleges, universities, and business schools that offer MBAs is increasing, making the space quite crowded. Unless a student earns a degree from a respectable program, it might not be as valuable as expected. Recruiters and hiring managers are not likely to view an MBA earned from an unknown or online-only educator to hold the same weight as one from a top-10 school. Professionals going back to school at a second- or third-tier school could end up wasting their time, money, and opportunity.

Hiring managers also know that an MBA doesn’t automatically make them an ideal hire. Some believe that people who have achieved leadership positions with the degree would also have done so without it. Furthermore, having an MBA won’t make a candidate stand out if they’re already flawed in other ways, like being obtuse, slow to adapt, or bossy.

While many entrepreneurs hold MBAs, startup companies do not always look to hire other MBA holders. Instead, they often hire outside-the-box thinkers who can innovate and offer a perspective different from their own.

An MBA might help in getting a job interview, but it will not guarantee the applicant will land that job. On the other hand, people with work experience looking to boost their career can open avenues for growth and promotion with a part-time or EMBA program.

Advantages of an MBA


  • A person in a managerial role also gets to have a deeper insight into the functioning of other departments as well. This serves to be of utmost importance if one wants to start their business from the ground-up later in their career.
  • In general, MBA programs aim towards instilling leadership and people management skills and supplementing one’s business acumen. All of which are incredibly crucial for augmenting the business’s growth.
  • An MBA when secured from a prestigious college paves the aspirant’s way to numerous campus placements offering impressive packages. Prominent Multinational Conglomerates 
  • High Paying roles in Digital Marketing, Fintech Services, Banks & Credit Unions, HR, and E-Commerce Marketing open up. Moreover, the career progression as well as salary hikes are always at an ever-rising upward trend.
  • Besides the pay scale, a Masters in Business Administration allows one to switch their careers at any point of their professional career. Even prominent companies like Amazon and Google are very welcoming of this change and generously hire MBA graduates from a different prior academic/professional background. Although, the candidate will need to be prepared in the job as well as school selection interviews to provide a strong reason that backs this sudden career shift.
  • In sectors like Consulting, Marketing, and Finance – in which a vast majority of MBA graduates are selected for recruitments, the graduates will get a chance to interact with customers and develop a through understanding of their needs and demands as well as their purchase pattern. All-in-all, which also helps one to polish their interpersonal skills.
  • An MBA program comprises of numerous case-studies and group projects which requires the students to work in a group setting. Such activities bring out crucial leadership and teamwork skills within the studies while teaching them how to maintain an efficacious communication throughout (with the team members). 
  • Besides aiding one’s short-term goals of working with a renowned company, an MBA program always instills the entrepreneurial spirit and know-how through it’s vast curriculum comprising of numerous majors and electives providing the same.         

Disadvantages of an MBA

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that MBA is a very prestigious program and along the years it has helped many gain success in their careers, however, it is not exactly as perfect as everyone makes it out to be. There are a few reasons one may reconsider taking MBA as their choice of higher education. Following is a list of reasons how taking an MBA may not yield preferable results

Is An MBA Worth It disadvantage
  • One of the reasons why professionals go for higher master’s degrees is because it is assumed that companies tend to pay more qualified people higher salaries. Master in Business Administration is one course which has always been thought to be one of the highest earning degrees. This is a false fact. MBA does not lead to higher pay, or at least not as much as professionals believe. Master in finance holders is known to make more than MBA professionals.
  • Education qualification should speak for itself. The degrees curriculum and the calibre of the professional should be the core points based on which an individual is hired. However, with a degree like a Master in Business Administration, the University awarding the degree must have a strong reputation in the education and business sectors. For example, one may have scored high and gained a degree from a school like IIM Kolkata, but they will be passed over for above-average students with an MBA from Harvard Graduate Business school.
  • Master’s in Business Administration is a demanding course which requires complete focus form the students. As challenging it is for the students, it’s even more challenging to teach. The only school with experienced faculty and resources can do justice to the course. Attending these schools can leave a very large hole in your wallet and may lead you to take many loans.
  • Most masters courses that are opted for by students are short and have a course load which lasts about 12-18 months. Master in Business Administration is a course which is very vast and may take up a lot of time. On average, an MBA course lasts about 2 years but maybe longer. The reasons for this can be attributed to the course load or the 6-8-month internship which is compulsory to complete the course. 
  • Master’s in Business Administration was created because there was a needed for professionals who would have the necessary skill set to run a business. The course helps create individuals with the know-how of organizational skills and creative problem-solving. But some companies require professionals with more targeted skills, focused on one particular task. Therefore, an MBA will not be considered enough qualification.
    The eligibility criteria for an MBA is very similar to any other master course there is. However, one thing makes it different than all the rest. In order to be considered for admission into an MBA program, students must have had work experience of more than one year. This really narrows down the admissions list and excludes recently graduate students.     

Grades and GMAT Scores

Earning a bachelor’s degree with a 4.0 GPA is undoubtedly an applaudable achievement. But not getting straight A’s doesn’t blemish your chances of getting into a respectable program. Getting a 3.5 or better GPA (B+ to A-) is typically the range from which these schools choose. The very best and top-rated programs demand a higher GPA than mid- or lower-tier ones.

The best business schools generally demand the highest Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) test scores. The average score among top-tier programs is between 720 and 730 (out of a possible 800). A perfect score of 800 can make an applicant stand out. Poets & Quants have compiled a list of average GMAT scores for some top MBA programs in the United States.

What MBA Degree Program Alumni Think

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) issues regular research reports on how graduates from business schools rate their experience during and after school. The survey results are encouraging.

Their 2018 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report shows that 96% of MBAs regarded their degree as good, excellent, or outstanding value. Only 4% reported that their expectations from their education were met.2 Moreover, 90% of alumni would still pursue a graduate management degree if they had to do it all over again knowing what they do today.

Relationship Building

There’s also value in the relationships you can build while pursuing your MBA. Seventy-two percent of alumni felt that their program improved their situation .

Many MBA admissions offices seek to populate incoming classes with a diverse group of students who can offer a range of business perspectives. To capture that co-learning opportunity, many programs will incorporate group projects into the curriculum alongside discussion-based classes, and some students may also choose to engage in study groups or extracurricular activities.

Typical MBA Degree Cost

Alongside the benefits of getting an MBA degree, you should consider some notable costs. Namely, getting your MBA degree will require time, money, and energy. Whether the benefits outweigh those costs will largely depend on your individual situation and career goals.

MBA Tuition Costs

MBA tuition can range from tens of thousands of dollars to over $200,000, depending on the program you attend. According to a BusinessBecause report, the average tuition at top US MBA programs in 2021 is $148,978.

A degree can be a sizable investment, and many students turn to savings, scholarships, employer sponsorship, and loans to help ease the financial commitment.

A 2018 report from TopMBA.com calculates that the average payback time for an MBA in North America is 55 months, or just over four-and-a-half years. “Payback time” includes tuition plus forgone salary, for students who took time off from work while pursuing their degree.

However, it’s worth noting that students who attend high-tuition programs may end up with low-paying jobs, and students who attend low-tuition programs may end up with high-paying jobs.

The good news is this: regardless of the program cost, MBA programs tend to have a favourable debt-to-income ratio—meaning students who take out federal loans to help finance their MBA degree tend to earn more money within two years of graduation than they initially borrowed.

Understanding Your Return on Investment (ROI)

One way to understand whether an MBA degree will be financially worth it for you is to calculate your return on investment (ROI). This is essentially a comparison of your long-term potential gains to your short-term investment costs. Keep in mind that this calculation only deals with the financial benefits of an MBA, as you can’t put a price on the educational and relational benefits of the degree.

An ROI calculator, such as this one from MBA.com, can help you estimate your post-MBA earnings potential.

When is an MBA Worth it?

An MBA is generally considered a worthy investment for most people with a business career, however, people pursue this level of education at different points in their careers. For this reason, there is no standard “right” time to pursue an MBA—only the right time for you, and that’s when an MBA will be most worth it.

To decide whether an MBA might be worth pursuing, consider your current position and your growth path toward your goals. How can an MBA change that path? How do those potential changes feel? If they feel motivating and exciting, you might want to think about what it would take to start working toward your MBA.

The Bottom Line

Earning an MBA can enhance one’s career path or help land a high-paying job. Typically, however, the expense is only offset if the degree is earned from a top-tier business school and if the career path sought is business-related. Despite the cost-benefit analysis, the great majority of business school alumni self-report very positive experiences and high value from their MBA degrees.

If somebody cannot afford the cost, cannot get into a top program, or does not have the time to juggle work and study, there are fortunately other good options to pursue, such as the CFA or a master’s degree in finance or economics.

MBA Degree Time Commitment

How long it takes you to get your MBA will depend on the type of program you enroll in. A traditional full-time MBA program will usually take about two years to complete, though attending part-time can increase and accelerated options can decrease your time commitment. Some programs also allow flexibility for students to work full-time while taking classes outside of normal business hours.

Benefits of Earning an MBA

Beyond financial benefits, having an MBA can be a valuable credential to add to your resume, signaling a certain skill set that many hiring managers look for in employees. Additionally, MBA programs offer unique career and networking resources reserved for students and space for building beneficial long-term relationships.

Transferable Skills

Because of the rigorous coursework typical of many MBA programs, employers often recognize a common set of transferable skills that graduates acquire through their higher education experience.

According to GMAC, the top valued skills of MBA graduates include:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Communication
  • Versatility
  • Leadership

To many employers, an MBA degree is essentially a credential validating that you possess these desired skills and can help showcase that you are prepared to succeed in higher-level business positions.

Other Degrees one can pursue

Is An MBA Worth It disadvantage other options

Master’s in Management

Businesses require professionals with a strong understanding of the business environment and the keen knowledge of running a company. Master’s in Management is a more theoretical approach to business studies and deals more with the technical part of the field. It may seem similar to an MBA, but it is a different approach as an MBA is more practically driven.

Master’s in Management is a comparatively shorter course and is completed within 12 to 18 months. the core subjects of the course are, but not limited to, intercultural management, statistical methods, analytical skills etc. one can pursue a specialization in subjects like accounting, finance and economics.

Master’s in Engineering Management

Engineering is a technical field which helps develop individuals with the knowledge to create machinery and infrastructure. Businesses which deal with engineers have trouble communicating with them due to a lack of knowledge of the field. There is a need for managerial professionals who can bridge the gap.

Master’s in Engineering Management helps in training such professionals which help in creating a communicative line between managers and engineers. The course is 12 months long and, as eligibility criteria, requires students to have a minimum of 3 years of engineering as their graduation course. You could apply for job titles like floor manager, consultants and product manager

Master’s in Finance

Finance is the study of money investment. It is a very important field of study, not only for businesses but also for individuals. The field helps in to understand the flow of assets and understanding the way the stock market fluctuates and its effects on business assets. As many companies rely on investments and in turn make investments, it is important to have a professional with technical knowledge of the field.

Masters in Finance is a very rewarding field of study.  The course lasts 12 months, after which students can apply for jobs like financial consultants and financial managers. Ms in Finance holders are known to be paid large salaries as the field has very little professionals.

Master’s in Data Analytics

Businesses today collect a lot of data in the form of receipts, transcripts and customer reviews. This data is a field full of important information which could help understand the job market and how well the business is doing. Master’s in Data Analytics helps to teach students the skill necessary to organise this data and analyse them using advanced software’s. The curriculum revolves around statistics, probability, machine learning etc.

Master’s in Marketing

Sales are a necessary part of any business. It is important to understand and narrow down the consumer market in order to increase the sales of the product or services provided by the company. This skill is called marketing, and Masters in Marketing is a helpful course that can train an individual in this skill. The course involves the study of basic managerial skills along with learning about advertising stratifies and consumer studies.


How Much Does an MBA Increase Your Salary?

According to MBA.com, new hires with an MBA can earn as much as $115,000 as a starting salary, compared to a new hire with an undergraduate degree at $65,000.5 But the impact your MBA has on your salary depends on a number of factors, including your school, the chosen field, your position, and your past experience.

How Many Years Does It Take to Get an MBA Degree?

The estimated length of a full-time MBA program is generally two years. Some schools offer accelerated programs for individuals who want to graduate earlier, which can take anywhere between 12 to 18 months. Part-time MBA programs, on the other hand, can take as long as three to four years, depending on how many courses you take every year.

What Is the Best Age to Do an MBA?

There’s no real age requirement to do an MBA. Most students generally pursue a graduate degree like this when they’re in their mid- to late-20s. Being in this age group gives them a good chance to gain some work experience, in addition to some time and flexibility to determine where they’d like to work after they graduate from business school.

Can an Average Student Do an MBA?

It depends. The top MBA programs in the world are highly competitive with strict admissions criteria, including top GMAT scores. Lower-ranked programs could be an option for those who were just average students during college. Alternatively, some executive MBA programs or those taught overseas may be more lenient with admissions.

Is an MBA a Master's Degree?

An MBA is a Master of Business Administration, it is a master’s degree. It is a field of graduate study that specializes in business administration after a student receives their undergraduate degree.