If you want to advance your business career, one option that you may have considered is earning an MBA. A bachelor’s degree in business, or another business-related major, will certainly provide you with lots of opportunities, but investing your time, money, and energy into getting a more advanced degree qualification will help you take your career to even higher levels. However, getting an MBA is certainly not something that should be taken lightly, and you should give the idea some careful consideration before deciding whether or not it’s the right choice for you. Studying for an advanced business degree can not only be physically and emotionally taxing, but it can also be a very expensive process. It’s worth figuring out whether, at the end of all this, you’ll be able to categorically say that getting your MBA was worth every penny. So, how do you ensure that an MBA is the best choice for your career?
Ask the Right Questions:
Ask yourself some searching questions to help you figure out whether an MBA is the best qualification for your career path. You may well find that you can achieve your goals with something else, such as a different and less expensive advanced business degree or industry certification or qualification. Spend some time researching the options available for getting to the place that you want to be and if you can, speak to professionals who are already at where you’d like to be in the future and ask them what they did to get there. Did they need an MBA? If not, which qualifications did they get?
Once you’ve determined that an MBA is the right option for you, it’s time to ask some questions about the type of degree that you should get and where you should study for it. Consider whether you are willing to take a career break for 1-2 years to get your MBA or whether you will be better off studying online. Click here to learn more about what you will study while getting your MBA degree and gain more information that you can use to determine which MBA concentration might be the best choice for you.
Speak to Your Employer:
If your ultimate goal for getting an MBA is so that you are in a better position to climb the corporate ladder at your current organization, it’s worth speaking to your employer beforehand to ensure that your plans are in line with what they would require. The last thing that you want is to spend the next two to four years earning an advanced degree only to find that your employer would have given you the same promotion after much less work.
If you have your eye on a more advanced position in your workplace such as a managerial or executive position, it’s worth having a chat with your employer to see what they would recommend you do in order to get there. Some employers are happy to provide help with funding towards getting an MBA if it will also benefit the company.
Think About Your Circumstances:
Consider your personal circumstances to help you determine whether or not getting an MBA or another advanced business degree is going to be the best move for you right now. Consider the amount of commitments that you will need to uphold while studying and determine whether an MBA is going to be realistic for you right now.
The good news is that there are many options on offer for those who have busy schedules and lots of commitments, including studying for an MBA online, which provides you with the additional flexibility needed to enable you to continue working full-time and fit your studies around your life rather than having to adjust your life to fit your studies in. Many full-time business professionals who decide to study for an MBA are increasingly choosing to get an online degree as it allows them to study from the comfort of their home in their own time, without impacting too highly on their current career.
Consider the Skills You’d Like to Develop:
There’s no denying that an MBA is one of the best advanced degree options out there for teaching you a range of transferable skills, particularly leadership skills. MBA programs are designed to create some of the best future leaders and managers. As a student you will be taking part in different assignments and projects that are designed to help you improve your communication skills, teamwork skills, big picture thinking, delegation skills, decision-making skills, critical thinking skills and much more.
However, if there are more career-specific skills that you want to improve on, such as your marketing or finance skills, it may be worth choosing the relevant MBA concentration for your goals. An MBA with finance, for example, will be ideal for you if you enjoy number-crunching and want to build on what you already know alongside developing good managerial skills to open up more financial leadership opportunities for you in the future.
Consider Your Future Career Goals:
Not everybody who returns to school to get an MBA does so because they want to move up the ladder in their current company. Perhaps you are toying with the idea of getting your MBA as you want a change of scenery in the workplace, either working for a different employer or perhaps in a completely different industry.
An MBA can help you facilitate a career change either from one business industry to another, or sometimes from a completely different industry into business. For example, lots of engineers and scientists decide to get an MBA because they already have a lot of transferable skills that will work well in the business world, but lack the business knowledge and acumen needed to be in with a chance of getting hired for some of the top leadership positions.
Is This What You Really Want?
Finally, ask yourself if getting an MBA is what you really want? Does the idea of it fill you with excitement? What will getting an MBA mean for your life? Are you ready to handle the sheer amount of work and dedication that you’ll need to put in while you study? As an MBA student, you’ll most likely be studying full-time. You’ll need to be ready to prioritize your studies, which could mean giving up a lot of free time and spending less time with family or hobbies in order to hit your goals. Is it right for you?
Getting an MBA is a huge commitment, so it’s wise to consider all of the above before you decide if it’s the best choice for your career.