Perhaps you are stagnating in your current position and considering going to business school to get your MBA. This can be a great way to secure a raise or switch to a more profitable, stable career. It can be difficult, however, to determine whether it’s the right time to quit your job and pursue an MBA. Here are some questions to consider:
Do You Know What to Do After Graduation?
Is there a particular area of business that interests you—perhaps investment banking or corporate finance? Do you have a plan in place for after graduation? Although leaving your job for business school can seem like an escape, it’s temporary at best, and you’ll eventually have to go back into the job market. Consider your post-graduation plans: if you don’t already have a particular area of interest or are thinking of going to business school simply to escape your job, it may not be the best time for you.
Do You Have Enough Real-World Experience?
Once you’ve pinpointed your area of interest, start researching which companies you would like to work for. It’s especially important to find out how much experience they require, as many companies want a certain number of years in the workforce in addition to a degree. If you have not reached the desired number of years, you may want to put off your degree plans until you gain more real-world experience.
Is it Necessary?
If you’re trying to advance in your current field, it may be worthwhile to consider alternatives to an MBA. There are certificates you can receive and training programs you can attend that might be paid for by your corporation, and require just a fraction of the time commitment that an MBA demands. These might be all you need to give your career a much-needed boost. An MBA requires at least a two-year commitment and a substantial financial investment—so if you aren’t getting a significant raise or can’t secure a high-enough paying job post-graduation, it might not be worth it.
Can You Afford It?
It’s not simply a question of whether or not you can afford the school’s tuition: there are many other factors to consider. Remember, you will be giving up a steady income in order to attend school. Do you have sufficient savings to offset the cost of tuition, with enough left over for food, mortgage, and other necessities? Will your savings last for two years of full-time attendance? Without scholarships, tuition can cost upwards of $100,000: do you qualify for scholarships or other financial aid? Can your personal life or family withstand the possible upheaval and cost of moving to another city or state to attend school, and then another possible move for a job?
Are There Alternative Options?
If you already have a job or family obligations, going to a physical school full-time may not be feasible. In today’s high-tech age, there are plenty of flexible options for earning your MBA. Many universities offer part-time, evening, or weekend curriculum. You may even be able to earn your degree online without having to attend classes.
Although quitting your job to pursue an MBA is not a commitment that should be taken lightly, the advanced degree can certainly propel you into another earnings bracket. If you’re able to answer the questions in this article with a resounding “YES”, you may be ready for the commitment and ensuing rewards of attaining an MBA.