Business Has Changed. Is an MBA Still Worth It?
3 Reasons Why an MBA Matters in the 21st Century
The ways in which the world is different today than it was, say, thirty years ago are wide sweeping. Time, technology, innovation and globalization have affected all segments of our lives. From the culture of coffee to the way we hold meetings, everything has changed.
We all know this. What we also know is that everything keeps changing, and that it will continue to change in the future.
So what does business look like in a rapidly adaptive environment? Do classic strategies still apply? Most importantly, is it possible to prepare for an uncertain business landscape?
Today, many business professionals face the common dilemma of trying to determine whether a Master of Business Administration degree is worth the time, effort and money required to earn it. Business professionals want to advance their careers and their companies, yet they're increasingly unsure if an MBA makes sense given today's business landscape.
Below, we've identified three of the most pressing questions people have about earning an MBA and have provided rationale to help you determine the value of the degree.
Can an MBA Program Keep Up with the Pace of Business?
This is a valid concern and one that's potentially given doubt to many who've considered an advanced degree. To some, academia feels like a slower-moving system than the world of business, and therefore its teachings may be outdated and unable to address the current and future business landscape.
In some ways, this is true. Academia and MBA programs are places steeped in tradition—greatly concerned with the history of various business structures. Yet, they are not outdated, and to think of the strategies of the past as not being useful to our future is a mistake.
Simply put, in times of uncertainty, it's more important than ever to have a strong foundation in the fundamental strategies of business. An MBA gives professionals the opportunity to creatively apply an advanced business knowledge to the concerns of tomorrow, no matter how unfamiliar and new that future may be.
Is the Cost Worth the Experience?
This is a loaded question. It's largely subjective, as each person's experience and outcomes will vary tremendously. Whether or not the cost of an MBA is worth it to you simply depends on what you consider to be valuable.
Most commonly, people's determination of value has to do with an MBA's financial return on investment. They want to know if earning an MBA will significantly increase their career opportunities and, in turn, their salary.
To that end, the research suggests yes—an MBA does provide its recipients with a greater ability to find employment and greater earnings than if they don't have their MBA.1
However, there are other value points to consider when deciding to earn an MBA. For one, people who hold postgraduate degrees also receive:2
- Intellectual growth and personal fulfillment
- Increased social and professional networks
- A heightened sense of accomplishment and stature
While an MBA can't guarantee a higher salary, there's a pretty good chance, based on the list we've provided, that it can increase your quality of life in one way or another.
Can I Get an MBA While Working a Full-Time Job?
The time commitment for earning an MBA is significant. There's no getting around that. However, there are many ways a professional working a full-time job can still find the time to earn an MBA from a reputable institution.
Outside of part-time or evening MBA programs, several of the world's premier colleges and universities now offer online MBA programs. This option allows people to attend the program of their choice no matter where they live. It also lets you complete your assignments on a schedule completely tailored to you.
As your career grows and more demands are placed on your schedule, an online MBA offers the rare ability to shape an advanced education to your precise needs, allowing you to grow your career without having to take a leave from your full-time position. It's a unique opportunity for business professionals in the 21st century.
So, Is an MBA Worth It?
Whether or not an MBA is the right decision for your career is completely up to you. However, if you do decide to pursue one, there are many potential benefits.
If you're interested in learning more about what an online MBA entails, read about what to look for in an online MBA program.
1 Retrieved on September 6, 2017, from poetsandquants.com/2017/06/19/draft-gmac-mba-job-outlook-better-than-ever-in-2017/
2 Retrieved on September 6, 2017, from usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/2012/06/29/6-reasons-why-graduate-school-pays-off