I'm taking a deep breath and diving in.- What is the benefit of a MBA degree?
Better career prospects, more opportunities, strong network, better understanding of business in general- Do you need a MBA to rise up the corporate ladder?
No. But it can accelerate your journey.- Do you need a MBA to become a better manager?
No. But it can help you understand nuances that would be otherwise be difficult to pick up in a trial-and-error approach- If MBA really helps in moving up the ladder, at what age and level of experience/career growth should you get a MBA degree?
On an average, MBA candidates at the top schools have around 5 years of work-ex.- Do you need a MBA for rising to a manager level or wait for a few years till you get closer to a director level, executive level or higher?
That's a personal call. You might look at an Executive MBA program or a part-time program depending where you are in your career and what you are expecting from the degree. There are pros and cons of each.- Do you need a MBA to start your own business or manage one?
No. Many entrepreneurs do not have a formal degree in business. Fire-in-the-belly is a good enough qualification to get you there. If you have the aptitude, you will pick up the relevant skills along the way.- Do you need a MBA to change careers if you wanted to?
No. From personal experience, I've managed two career changes. One without an MBA and the second one after completing my MBA.- What should I expect out of a MBA?
A huge debt for sure. And if you choose your path well, you can also expect to gain knowledge, better opportunities, prestige and a whole lot of money (you were waiting for me to add that last one, right?)- From your experience, did the course meet your expectation and help you achieve your goals or put you in the right path.
It sure did. But I'll admit, I'm not a genius (I hate such revelations on a public forum). Luck played a big role in the entire process as well. You'll also come across a whole lot of people who haven't had fairy tale endings.
Hope that helps.
Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com