In business, sometimes it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. You work hard, but so do a lot of your co-workers — and they are looking to get ahead just like you are. Maybe an extra degree will push you over the top for that promotion!
The National Association of Colleges and Employers say that the average starting salary for Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduates is $79,043, more than $20,000 higher than those graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business. Those numbers go up with the prestige of the school they attend, all the way up to averaging $173,860 annually with a degree from the top 12 universities in 2021.
And it’s not just the first year that salaries are higher for MBA grads. The returns multiply over time like any good investment.
Salary is not the only benefit of an MBA degree. Graduates make long-lasting relationships that can help them advance in their careers and get higher-paying positions. They can also learn skills that help them to become better managers and leaders in business and in their industries.
Of course, just getting into an MBA program is a lot of work. MBA programs look at college grades, work experience, GMAT scores, and a personal essay where the applicant explains why they want an MBA. If they make it through all that, there will be an in-person interview.
Once they get admitted, they will spend the first two semesters on general management courses in accounting, finance, human and company performance, marketing, operations and strategy. The final two semesters will be spent specializing in one area.
Some people, especially the ones right out of college, are able to study full-time for their MBA while living and attending classes on campus. Others, especially older students, may have to study part-time for two to three years while taking classes after work.
An executive MBA — part-time study for people already in management positions — can be very expensive, but the manager’s company will often pick up part of the cost on for a good employee with even more leadership potential.
So, is the return on time and money worth it? That depends on what you want to do. People wanting to go into business, found a company or become managers are going to benefit the most from an MBA degree. For those already in the business world, an MBA degree can help them climb the corporate ladder. People in business looking for a different path — into a different area of business — will also benefit from the skills they learn and connections they make while getting an MBA degree. The return on their investment should pay off in career advancement and salary for the rest of their career.
Any graduate degree, especially an MBA, will add different benefits to a career. MBA degrees are the standard job qualification for many business and management positions. When selecting an MBA degree program, the value is directly impacted by the quality of the school’s accreditation. Let’s take a look at some of the inherent values of an MBA program!
1. Skills and Knowledge
An accredited MBA education is usually pursued by either young professional with only a few years of experience or by experienced employees who want to expand their careers. Either way, these professionals may all reach a certain stage when they become complacent to the repetitiveness of their business environment. These employees may find themselves stagnated in comfort zones that impede their professional development. An MBA program will help students constantly challenge themselves, learn about the latest issues and apply the newest business techniques at work. Continuous improvement is the key to success in any career.
Graduate school is always a great place to network with students, professors and others who may provide future employment help and opportunities. Colleges and universities provide excellent networking experiences because degree participants can interact with others in ways that will accentuate their business management capabilities. Most faculty are high-level professionals with former and current connections to important businesses and organizations. This is why an MBA program is the best job hunting choice for young college graduates with limited work experience. Most importantly, students gain access to extensive alumni networks that will pay off throughout whole careers.
3. Career Development
MBA graduates have high qualifications, so they have consequently better chances of obtaining and holding high-level positions. An MBA degree is the standard educational requirement for managerial positions in almost any industry. The majority of MBA graduates will become senior managers, leaders, administrators and board directors. These positions do come with longer working hours and greater responsibilities, but they bring along higher salaries. Many MBA graduates will make at least $50,000 per year starting out, but they may end up making $100,000 per year as well!
4. Better Perspectives
Most organizations want leaders who understand more abstract and innovative ideas like change, thought and transformational management. An MBA program comes with holistic attitudes and integrated perspectives of the business world. This is partially due to the fact that MBA graduates who become part networks of professionals and organizations that share techniques, establish new standards and encourage problem-solving. This will result in a great overview of the industry, business world and regulatory environment. Deep understanding and receptiveness to change brings about growth.
5. Authority and Reputation
The best way to strengthen industry authority and personal reputation is through an accredited graduate degree. Graduate students prove to their colleges, clients and the world that they possess greater motivation, achieve harder goals and commit to more intensive work than others. Graduate degree work gives students the opportunities to personally and professionally growth through the support of knowledgeable professors. This makes earning a graduate degree more enriching and collaborative than undergraduate degrees.
Anyone who wants the challenge of holding a leadership position, having a lot of responsibility and constantly learning should seriously consider earning a graduate degree like an MBA. Keep in mind that accreditation is very important for any degree program.
Studying for an MBA is a considerable undertaking that requires a huge amount of discipline, time and money – and it can be challenging. If you are worried about the money then take a quick look at this video as to how you can fund your MBA abroad!
But, if you are determined and dedicated, completing an MBA can be life-changing.
The MBA offers high-level insight into management strategy and analysis, focusing on core areas such as marketing, operations and finance and specialist topics including sustainable business and innovation. But an MBA can offer much more than that: an MBA is a transformative experience, professionally and personally.
So, it will not only be an addition to your career, but also your personality, making you a holistic employee!