How do I Know if an MBA is Right For Me?

“Should I get an MBA?” It is a common question asked by business professionals who have recently earned their bachelor’s. It is also a common question asked by professionals who have decades of business experience, but want to take their knowledge, skill set and career to the next level. While many would assume that the answer to the question is an obvious and enthusiastic yes, that is not always the case.

A Master of Business Administration is a useful professional degree, but it is not useful for everyone. Here are some of the questions that you need to ask yourself to determine whether or not this is the path you want to take to get an advanced degree.

How Much Does an MBA Degree Cost?

One of your first concerns should be cost. It would be nice if you could earn your degree for free, but MBA programs can cost a pretty penny. The actual cost of tuition for a two-year MBA program can range between a low of $25,000 and a high of more than $100,000. Since the tuition rates can be very high, it is important that you budget costs and expenditures before you apply.

Can I Get Financial Assistance?

There is financial aid available to MBA students, but access to aide is extremely limited. You can qualify for federal Stafford loans, but these must be repaid.

The grants and scholarships that are available to MBA are extremely hard to land. If you perform well as an undergrad and you find scholarships through professional organizations and memorial funds, you could ax away at the out-of-pocket expenses.

Another idea is to see if your work will help you pay for your educational expenses if you are already employed. Many employers offer tuition reimbursement as a benefit. To qualify, you need to be learning skills that you can use to perform better at your job or at another job within the organization. If you do get reimbursement, check into the limits and then do the math to see how much you can expect to have to cover on your own.

What Are My Future Career Goals?

You do not always need to return to school to achieve your career goals. In some instances it makes more sense to gain experience and take professional classes to climb up the ladder without digging yourself into debt.

If you are aiming towards a management or a executive position, having your advanced degree might be a requirement instead of just a strategic asset. It is also a good idea to earn your MBA if you want a professional certification or license and you must have advanced coursework done.

How Much Time Do You Have Left In Your Career?

You need to look at your current age and when you plan on retiring before you commit another 2 years to school. If you only have a few years left to work, your increase in salary might not pay off the debt you have accumulated to earn your degree. If, however, you have a few decades left before retirement, it makes a lot more sense to expand your skill set.

For some technical experts, it makes better sense to earn a Master’s in a specific area of study. MBA degrees are designed to make you a well-rounded business professional who is well versed in a concentration area. If this is what you need to do to propel your career forward, the answer to the question “Should I get an MBA” is yes.