There are a variety of reasons that people choose to go back to school or to continue in higher education. For some, higher education is required for a career change. For others, it’s required by their place of employment. And for others, a postgraduate degree has professional benefits that simply can’t be gained in the same way elsewhere.
Though many get an MBA because it’s required by their employer or for their chosen profession, there are also many professionals who choose to get an MBA for other reasons. Some of these benefits may feel less tangible or harder to control or predict, but they usually play a large part in one’s decision to make both the financial and time commitment that an MBA requires.
Professional Benefits of an MBA
Let’s assume that neither your employer nor your chosen career requires an MBA. This scenario is true for a lot of professionals! So why do so many still choose to pay all of that money to get an MBA?
Greater Knowledge and Skills Development
For the experienced professional who has been working for some time, an MBA is an excellent chance to push back against stagnancy in one’s career. Returning to school for an MBA will push one out of their professional comfort zone, challenge them, teach them new/current business techniques, and encourage necessary continuous improvement that is vital to keeping up with fresh new talent.
Individuals early in their professional paths also pursue MBAs. The transferable skills of an MBA that these students learn truly do set them up for a role in many different industries. These students and professionals graduate fully equipped to climb to nearly any professional height of any corporate or organizational “ladder.”
Degree Specialization: Most MBA programs offer specializations that allow a professional to dig deeper into certain parts of an industry. For the professional who knows exactly where they are heading or where they want to go, getting a specialized concentration can stand out on a resume. If you are unsure of the specific direction you want to move, a general business MBA is still an excellent choice.
There are many professionals, especially the young professional, who pursue an MBA for networking benefits only. They simply cannot be overlooked. It is well known that graduate school is a great place to network with other students, self-starters, entrepreneurs, and faculty. MBA students are surrounded by others who share their passion for business and leadership. Typically, the faculty in MBA programs are recent or current highly successful business professionals with many organizational and business connections. Students in MBA programs also have lifelong access to extensive alumni and professional networks.
Self-starters and Entrepreneurs: Most professionals know that an MBA program is often full of self-starters and entrepreneurs, or individuals who desire to learn these skills to build their own legacy. Students in an MBA program will both be taught these skills and exposed to a huge number of these self-starting professionals.
MBA programs do an excellent job at teaching effective professional communication, across many different industries and positions. This may include everything from drafting proposals, writing effective emails, hiring/firing or confidently presenting to a board of directors.
Career Development and Opportunity
As with most careers, greater education opens more doors. Professionals with MBAs have higher employment rates and the freedom to work in leadership positions in nearly every industry. Most MBA graduates will go on to be managers, partners, board directors, and administrators.
Income Earning Potential: In nearly every situation, a professional with an MBA will earn more than they did before their MBA. In some research done by Ronald Yeaple of Forbes, post-MBA professionals made 50% more than their pre-MBA salary immediately after graduation. Five years later, those same professionals made 80% more than their post-MBA salary.
Well-Rounded Professional Perspectives
This is an MBA benefit that is less tangible but still very real. Most large organizations or entrepreneurial teams want innovators who can handle change and information quickly. Most MBA programs are going to do a great job of providing a holistic business education, which should integrate business culture, perspectives, and ethical considerations from many different areas. Students will be taught new business techniques, be current on all new standards and regulations, and learn to problem-solve efficiently. MBA students should graduate confident in the regulatory environment, different industries, and among many different business models, proving to be extremely valuable assets in a constantly changing environment.
There is no question that an MBA credential bolsters one’s professional reputation. Professionals who choose to return to school for graduate education (regardless of their reason) prove that they are motivated to do extra, work harder, and achieve more. Employers also know that these professionals have access to networks and professionals that one without an MBA does not.
It’s Not All About The Money
While there are plenty of ways in which an MBA may quickly lead to greater income, you can also enter a program confident that it will yield you many other great benefits, including excellent skill(s) development, leadership opportunities, and extensive networking prospects. An MBA program is sure to surround you with like-minded passionate professionals, many of whom could prove instrumental to your professional growth, opportunity and success.
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