It's a simple question: why should you get an MBA? Maybe you shouldn’t. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. Despite chewing on the idea and even finding some solid reasons to toss onto the ‘Yes’ pile, it may well be true that, all things considered, business school just might not be the right choice for you— at least not right now anyway, but maybe never.
Lots of analysis and introspection must go into the final decision about whether studying for the GMAT, applying to business school and getting an MBA are right for you. Below is a Top 5 list to help that thinking along.
- Your career needs it. From the corporate employee to the entrepreneur, everyone is on their own unique career trajectory with their own unique set of goals and aspirations. The MBA is a professional degree and it is meant to be applied as such. However, not all trajectories or list of goals necessitate a graduate degree in business. Take the time to objectively assess your own situation and vision of the future. Clearly identify how an MBA, or lack thereof, shapes that future.
- Your life is ready for it. Graduate school is life-altering. Heck, the road to graduate school is life-altering. Beyond consideration of your professional life and how it will change in the event of returning to academia, take a good hard look at your personal life. How will grad school affect your relationships? Are you in the proper state of mind to become a student again? Can you handle a potentially very significant relocation now and for multiple years? This is a work/life balance issue and b-school is work that will affect your life.
- You can afford it. Business school is expensive. Beyond the obvious costs of tuition, you must consider myriad other expenses before, during, and after business school. Further, depending on what form grad school may take for you, there is a very real prospect of not being employed for the duration of your master’s degree.
- You can get in. Lots of quantitative and qualitative assessment metrics go into an admissions committee’s decision whether to offer you a seat at the table. Moreover, each school has its own notions on what a “competitive” application is. You’ll certainly need to put together a working list of schools that you’d like to attend. Ultimately, you should put institutions into three tiers: Reach, fit, and safety. Also, don’t forget to consider your likelihood of getting in to University X and its influence on items 1-3 of this list.
- You will become a better person. And what is more important than that? The intended use of a graduate degree must be more than simply a pry bar for money. Money is an extrinsic resource and will not provide lasting intrinsic satisfaction. Will a Master’s in Business Administration make you a better person? Really? Why?
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