Whether you just entered the workforce after finishing college or have been working in your field for years, it is worthwhile to consider furthering your education. While many people may cringe at the mere thought of sitting in a classroom and bringing home assignments again, graduate programs have more to offer than you might think. For professionals in a variety of industries, obtaining an MBA is especially profitable. Consider several key pieces of information that may help you determine whether this educational path is right for you.
What Is an MBA?
An MBA is a Master of Business Administration degree. As its name implies, this degree involves graduate-level schoolwork and focuses on the field of business. Because business is such a nebulous concept, MBA programs include study in various subjects related to business. For instance, many MBA students must learn about things such as marketing, management, accounting and ethics. While most graduates will not employ everything they learn in their graduate program, this knowledge base is applicable in myriad industries and positions. This maximizes your options when it comes to career paths. For instance, professionals like David Geithner use their MBA to fulfill notable leadership roles such as CFO.
How Can You Earn This Degree?
There are a lot of options when it comes to enrolling in MBA classes. Different programs may offer various schedules to accommodate students’ needs. For example, some schools allow you to chip away at your credits over a long period of time. This may work well for professionals who hope to continue working full-time while they study. If you want to complete your degree as quickly as possible, a full-time program may be the way to go. You may even be able to take online MBA classes if your school is far away. Usually, the shortest degree programs are one to two years long. No matter which option you select, it’s important to remember that graduate-level courses may ask more of you than your undergraduate ones did. Be sure to set aside the time you will need to succeed in your program.
What Are the Benefits?
Professionals who hold an MBA often have numerous advantages in their industry. For one thing, you may find it much easier to get a job if you hold this degree. Similarly, you may be eligible for higher-level or management positions. Most companies value the knowledge base MBA programs equip graduates with and will trust these graduates with greater responsibilities. This gives you an opportunity to earn more money and take on new types of work.
Which Jobs Require an MBA?
While different companies may have distinct preferences when it comes to requirements for specific positions, there are a handful of jobs that commonly require an MBA. For instance, many upper-level managers in large companies must have this degree. These positions include financial managers, marketing managers, IT managers and operations managers. In addition, an MBA may open doors to working as an investment banker, commercial banker, financial analyst or accountant. As you progress in your field, you may even qualify to become a chief financial or executive officer.
Is an MBA Your Next Step?
There are many factors to consider before making a decision about graduate school. First, this level of education is often quite expensive. Thus, it’s important to determine whether you are financially able to take on this added expense. Remember that you may be able to benefit from student loans or even programs within your company that support further education.
While some undergraduate students may choose to go directly to graduate school, this may not always be the best option. For one thing, some programs may require or recommend a certain amount of work experience before you begin working towards your MBA. On the other hand, waiting too long may make it more difficult to complete this degree due to added responsibilities in your personal and professional lives.
Another question to ask yourself before starting an MBA program is how you plan to use the knowledge you will gain from it. Does your company have upper-level positions that require this degree? Is there a different company you hope to work for once you have finished graduate school? While furthering your education is almost never a waste, it’s a good idea to think through the practical applications of this degree.
Difference Between Executive MBA and MBA
The primary difference between an Executive MBA and MBA is the focus on the experience. Executive MBAs are designed for experienced professionals who have already worked for a few years. On the other hand, traditional MBAs are geared more toward recent college graduates with little work experience.
For professionals interested in becoming better managers, analysts or other types of businesspeople, an MBA has a lot to offer. By studying a wide range of subjects, this degree equips you with the tools you need to handle a variety of positions skillfully. Because these programs can be costly in terms of time and money, it’s important to consider whether this degree will help further your career. If you decide an MBA is your next step, it’s time to start searching for programs. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can reap the rewards of your hard work.