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How old is too old for MBA?

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How old is too old for MBA? [#permalink] New post 09 May 2011, 16:43
What do you believe is a practical cut-off age to start an MBA (fulltime) and perhaps think about Exec MBA? Judging on the average age I can see on most MBA programs I am a little on the other side of things. Does it make it harder to get in?

My interest is entrepreneurship and general management and I am not looking at it as a pay boost. I do relatively ok already. Its more for me from the point of view of education and meeting amazing and fascinating people like all you guys and girls.

I am 34, so what are your thoughts?
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Re: How old is too old for MBA? [#permalink] New post 09 May 2011, 19:32
skozak wrote:
What do you believe is a practical cut-off age to start an MBA (fulltime) and perhaps think about Exec MBA? Judging on the average age I can see on most MBA programs I am a little on the other side of things. Does it make it harder to get in?

My interest is entrepreneurship and general management and I am not looking at it as a pay boost. I do relatively ok already. Its more for me from the point of view of education and meeting amazing and fascinating people like all you guys and girls.

I am 34, so what are your thoughts?


I don't think there's really a cut-off age as you'll probably find someone who's 40 something in an MBA class and someone who's only 21 in that same class. I think it'll all boil down to why now. As for practicality, you're probably looking at an age of 35 that's really suitable for EMBA. Most EMBA students are mid-level managers, looking to use that MBA to boost their titles/careers a notch. If you're not looking to switch career, and you're doing it for the sake of education, an EMBA would probably do you best. Another point you'd have to consider is how well you manage when you're surrounded by mid-20's folks. Will you be able to fit into the norm? Lastly, even at 34, if you have a legit and logical reason as to why an MBA now, there's really no reason to NOT apply. If you know why and you know how you can utilize this MBA (not to mention the 2-year salary that you'll be forgoing) for your career, by all means go for it. But judging from your reasons, it wouldn't make too much sense for you to do an MBA at this point because an EMBA would serve you the same purpose, or even a few classes at your local community college would do the trick (and it's way cheaper :-D )
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Re: How old is too old for MBA? [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2011, 09:09
I believe age should be a criteria to decide whether you want to do a MBA or not. You can do it at in the early 20s or even in late 40s and in all it depends on when do YOU think MBA is benefit you. Look at it from the point of view that how much you will gain at a certain age or at a certain level of your career. Couple of things that can also help you decide on the same are- average age of students at a particular Bschools, ability of the school to help you with placements especially who are in their late 40s as by then you would have explored almost everything in the corporate.
I hope this helps.

-Varsha Agarwal
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Re: How old is too old for MBA? [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2011, 06:18
varshaagarwal wrote:
I believe age should be a criteria to decide whether you want to do a MBA or not. You can do it at in the early 20s or even in late 40s and in all it depends on when do YOU think MBA is benefit you. Look at it from the point of view that how much you will gain at a certain age or at a certain level of your career. Couple of things that can also help you decide on the same are- average age of students at a particular Bschools, ability of the school to help you with placements especially who are in their late 40s as by then you would have explored almost everything in the corporate.
I hope this helps.

-Varsha Agarwal


Depends on your commitment. If you're in your twenties and can handle an MBA curriculum, then by all means, go for it.
But the subject line indicates how old is too old. My response is you're never too old. If you are in your sixties and want to further your education for either work or for intellectual achievement, why should age matter? There are stories of people who went back to school later in life for enjoyment, learn a new industry or because they wanted to maintain their intellectual prowess.
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Re: How old is too old for MBA? [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2011, 19:49
It depends on where you are in life. My mom got her MBA (her second masters, her first was a masters in education) from Carlson School of Business at Univ of Minnesota when she was 45. I think it's never too late as long as it is appropriate for what you want to do with your life going forward.
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Re: How old is too old for MBA? [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2011, 09:33
agreed, as long as you can demonstrate how it will help you achieve your goals I don't think you can really be "too old"
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Re: How old is too old for MBA? [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2011, 04:05
skozak wrote:
What do you believe is a practical cut-off age to start an MBA (fulltime) and perhaps think about Exec MBA? Judging on the average age I can see on most MBA programs I am a little on the other side of things. Does it make it harder to get in?

My interest is entrepreneurship and general management and I am not looking at it as a pay boost. I do relatively ok already. Its more for me from the point of view of education and meeting amazing and fascinating people like all you guys and girls.

I am 34, so what are your thoughts?


The only schools in which an older candidate has a tough time in admissions are HBS and Stanford. The adcom from HBS can argue a lot that there is no age bias there, but statistics prove the opposite: only around 2% are over 30+ and from that most are military or women.

That being said, even at 34 you have a shot at all other top schools as long as you have a decent GMAT, an interesting but not necessarily "rock star" work experience AND, most important, a compelling story for WHY MBA / WHY NOW.

Note that Exec MBA and Full-time MBA are different things although the education is very similar. If you want to advance in your field and your company is willing to sponsor you, Exec MBA should be the way to go. If want to explore new ideas and feel you, want to change careers and would enjoy spending 1 or 2 years dedicated to it, than the full-time is the best.

Good luck !
Re: How old is too old for MBA?   [#permalink] 07 Jul 2011, 04:05
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