How does one decide whether if it's the right time to pursue MBA? How does one decide if MBA is even needed? What are possible gains and what are your opportunity costs?
Some factors for you to think about:
1) Did you pursue liberal arts degree as an undergrad student? Did you learn for the love of learning? Did you pursue non-business undergrad degree in order to learn how to communicate, research, and analyze?
However, there is a downside for pursuing many liberal arts degrees (exclusion - economics, math etc). It's difficult to get a well paying job with a history degree or english literature degree. If you belong in this case, then you should seriously consider MBA.
2) Age - Did you wait too long? Are you well into your 30's and beyond? It's not impossible but it is more difficult to get into FT MBA programs when you belong in this age group. In this case, consider executive education offerings - such as Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, Northwestern. These schools and many others offer packages of one-week and two-week courses that are almost always surprisingly expensive but also almost always very good. If you don't have time for MBA, then also consider professional certificate programs.
Are you too young? Did you just graduate from undergrad institution with almost zero professional experience? It is more meaningful to get at least 2 to 3 years of professional experience after undergrad degree. However, many top programs are slowly accepting students directly from college. Other programs sign up these students by offering admission guarantee 2 or 3 years later. In the mean time, they expect you to gain some valuable prof experience.
3) Are you in it just for the money? Although many programs can transform your career for the better, MBA is not a guarantee for any future success.... Even business education can backfire on some of us. You have to look for additional value in learning, self improvement, and life satisfaction.
However, more often than not, top MBA programs will bring you wealth beyond your imagination.
4) Can I fit MBA into my life? What if I already have a great job? What if I have a family to feed? What if I have a huge debt?
MBA isn't for everyone. Many people find financial success without a MBA degree. There is no right or wrong answer to this issue. But before making any decision, ask yourself this..."Is it worth it to invest in myself right now for the future by investing in MBA degree?"
5) Your life is fantastic as it is. You already have things many can't attain. There won't be much difference in quality of your life with or without a MBA degree. Maybe you don't have much ambition. If MBA degree sounds like a luxury to you, then you are probably better off without the MBA degree.
MBA is a huge investment. It's expensive. If you can't devote yourself fully, then why pursue the degree?
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