Sat, 16 Jan 2021

To Pursue an MBA or Not: The Student's Question

06 Jan 2021, 21:51 GMT+10

For many young professionals, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) might be the answer to securing a career in an economy that has been heavily impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's easy to see why they'd feel that way, considering that MBA graduates often enjoy major career opportunities, industry connections, and the typical six-figure salary granted to degree holders from top MBA schools.

However, we have to understand that an MBA is an expensive degree. Not only this but considering the current economic situation, the markets are set to become significantly more competitive and saturated, especially with the high unemployment rates. This means that the requirements needed in order to apply at an MBA school are also bound to become more strict.

An MBA is a great boost to any professional's credentials, but the cost, time, and effort needed to attain it is not something to be taken lightly. Students also need to understand that the benefits of an MBA can take several years to come to fruition, so it's important to weigh these factors properly.

Why You Should Pursue an MBA

An MBA is a massive boost to your credentials, but what makes it especially valuable during these times is the situation that we find ourselves in. The economic impact of the pandemic is still fresh and the shifting markets have yet to settle. This upheaval forced many people to start businesses in order to create another source of income. Not all of these businesses are going to survive the pandemic, but the ones that do survive are likely to expand. These businesses are going to need staff to help oversee and facilitate these expansions.

Another reason that makes an MBA especially attractive is because of its adaptability. Not only do MBA schools alter their curriculums in order to better suit current market needs, but because of the increased drive toward digitalization, more MBAs now have an option for an online format. This means that geographical restrictions will not hinder you from pursuing an MBA at your school of choice.

We're about to transition into a new age, one where disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G, and the Internet of Things are bound to create another market shift. This means that industries across the board are going to be forced to make adjustments to their business models. In order to do this with minimal error and risk, they're going to need someone who is familiar with the finer details of business management.

If none of the previous reasons appeal to you, then you might want to consider running a business yourself. This is especially lucrative, as an MBA grants you an improved understanding of business operations and market health. You're going to be much better at finding market opportunities when they arise, and you're also going to be better trained at capitalizing on these opportunities.

These benefits all sound convincing. However, MBAs aren't for everyone. Besides the strict requirements and academic performance standards, MBAs could become a bad investment rather quickly if you pursue them for the wrong reasons.

When You Shouldn't Pursue an MBA

The truth that most people tend to overlook is that an MBA takes a lot of work. Those who undertake such a venture need to be passionate about what they're learning. We strongly discourage applicants whose goal is only to make money. They might end up with major frustrations when they reap the benefits they think they would.

Another situation when an MBA might be a bad idea is if you don't have a reliable source of income yet. Remember, MBA programs are expensive. In fact, about 51% of MBA students end up taking out education loans in order to finance their business school education. Even when there are alternative ways to pay for business school (through employer sponsorships and fellowships), you have to consider that this is a major undertaking. If you aren't fully committed to it, you might end up just wasting money, a mistake that you don't want to be made during a recession.

As the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it's time to turn our attention to the immediate future. The market is set to become painfully competitive and candidates are going to need every edge they can get in order to secure gainful employment. If you're considering getting an MBA, these are the things that you need to consider.

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