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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Are MBA's Worth the Investment?

Many people have asked me whether or not they should do an MBA... I don't know, I don't have one.

That being said, are they worth the investment?

In looking at any investment you need to first ask - What is my expected return? How will I be better when the degree is complete?

If you were considering any other investment you might ask:

1. How many competitors are in the market?
2. What is the annual return for the past 3 years?
3. Is the growth sustainable?

One thing is for sure, the amount of people pursuing post-secondary education is increasing so the value of a diploma or undergraduate degree does not hold the same weight it used to - look at your graduating class... that long line up going across the stage is applying to the same jobs you are.

That being said, the number of MBA's aren't exactly slowing down either: In 1965, fewer than 10,000 MBAs were granted to U.S. students. In 1977, the number rose to 48,000 and in 1998, it was 94,000.

So is an MBA rare? No.

Is an MBA valuable? Depends who you ask.

If you look into it, there are plenty examples of people who have found that there is an ROI in terms of career and salary growth, and others who have done okay with out one.

I'm not going to tell you what to do, but simply ask that you weigh your options and don't blindly sign a cheque to a business school thinking your salary will be triple the cost of tuition upon graduating - this may not be the reality.

In weighing your options you need to ask yourself:

1. How much am I willing to spend?

2. Is there evidence in my company that an MBA is the only way to grow my career?

2.a. Do I want to be with my current company for at least the next 3-5 years (this can be a stipulation in tuition assistance).

3. Am I willing to put forth the effort and time this will take? It will be a lot... could be 1 year full-time, or 3 years part-time.

4. Have my current qualifications held me back from growing in my career?

5. Do I want to open my own business? Lots of MBAs do.

These aren't all the questions to consider, but are important questions to ask yourself none the less.

So before you do your GMAT review, consider these questions and what you would expect from an MBA.

Do you have an MBA? Are you considering one?

I would love to have some more perspective on this.

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