Many professionals consider getting an MBA at some point in their career.


Why should I get an MBA?

It’s a popular opinion that MBAs are useless nowadays. The truth is that an MBA is only useless if you approach your program as if it’s some sort of “silver bullet.” No, an MBA doesn’t guarantee that you’ll rise to the top of your field or that you’ll suddenly become an expert in one area.

However, an MBA can be a worthwhile experience if you go into it with the right mindset. This includes considering the following items:

  • Your return on investment (ROI). In other words, do you understand what you’re paying and what you hope to get in return?
  • Have you looked through the curriculum?
  • Is the format doable with your lifestyle?

These are just a few points to think about before you begin your MBA program.

Why the MBA is still relevant

Specialization

The modern MBA isn’t a one-size-fits-all model. Most programs have some level of specialization offered in concentrations. You’ll likely take your core courses, and then you’ll have some flexibility to dabble with some electives and/or determine a specialty.

Growth opportunities

The time you spend in your MBA program gives you some space to try new things. If you currently work in accounting, you’ll get the chance to explore marketing or management, for example. But, if you’re someone who wants to make a career change, earning an MBA can help you build your foundation. Again, many programs require core courses for exactly that purpose: to build a strong foundation. Then, you’d be able to specialize with a concentration.

While the curriculum is extremely important, it’s not the only way to grow your skills in an MBA program. You’ll grow as a writer for sure, but you’ll also in your analytical skills. There is a high demand for workers who can understand and communicate the data they find. Doing this well is both an art and a science, and it takes practice.

Networking opportunities

You can really get the most out of your MBA experience by building lasting professional relationships. Many programs group you together with fellow students in a cohort model. This will allow you to grow as a collaborator and communicator while strengthening your professional network. When you’re in an MBA program, you’re not just building professional relationships with your peers. Many professors in MBA programs are scholarly practitioners. This means that they’re industry experts, so you’ll be learning from their wisdom and experience. MBA programs foster mentoring and connections in conjunction with the academic rigor.

But, why now?

The Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) represents top graduate business schools. They’re reporting that over 90% of recruiters say their firm plans to hire MBA graduates this year. These reports are predicting a strong outlook for MBA graduates for the next five years.

President and CEO of the GMAC, Sangeet Chowfla, stated: “As corporations recover from the pandemic and rebuild their workforces, it is no surprise that business school graduates—with their leadership and managerial skills in high demand—are specially strengthened to meet today’s economic challenges.”

Since many businesses are bouncing back after the pandemic, they’re eager to put critical thinkers to work. MBA grads are expected to be able to solve complex problems. Often, this looks like using data to make decisions and inform business practices. It also means understanding people and how to collaborate and lead while on a team. Your MBA experience can help you be prepared for opportunities within your organization. Your experience can help you be ready to step up and lead on a project or it can help you demonstrate that you’re the person to fill a vacant position, for example.

What’s right for you?

Right now, there is a clear demand for MBAs in the workplace, with the median salary returning to its pre-pandemic level.

If you’re ready to take the next step toward earning your MBA:

No matter where you are in your journey, we’re ready to support you as you plan your next move.  

— Vanessa Lane is the Content Marketing Lead at Concordia University and can be reached at vanessa.lane@cuaa.edu. When she's not at work, she can be found playing with her kids or watching NBA basketball with her husband.

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