Why Should I Get an MBA?!
There are lots of reasons to get an MBA and none of them, in my opinion, is more important or holds more weight than another. Below, I’ve outlined several of the reasons that one might consider going, but this is by no means an inclusive list. Also, some people may very well have multiple reasons for pursuing an MBA and that only strengthens the case to go to business school.
ONE: Career change. some people are looking to move into completely new fields or completely new roles. That’s both easier to do and more seamless a transition if you have some of the skills that come with going through an MBA program. Not to mention, you’ll be able to concentrate in particular areas of interest, like non-profits, healthcare management, strategy, etc.
TWO: Advance in your current career path. Some people love their jobs and their company, but that’s not a reason to NOT pursue an MBA (especially if your company pays for you to go to school). Business school simply accelerates your growth if you are able to make the most of the program. It also sends a signal to your management that you’re serious about a future promotion or management role.
THREE: Build your leadership skills. Nothing beats experience but you’ll learn a lot of organizational behavior concepts and various management strategies that will allow you to become a better leader.
FOUR: Expand your skill-sets and your way of thinking, regardless of your current profession. Business school is all about cases. Dissecting them, discussing them with folks from different backgrounds and with different perspectives, arguing over them, etc. are a part of virtually every course you will take in business school. This not only broadens your awareness of all types of “big business” issues and concepts but also improves your critical thinking.
FIVE: Get yourself out of your comfort zone and learn about topics, industries, products, markets, issues that you may never encounter in your day to day. This by its very nature gives you lots more options once you graduate. You’ll be so much more well rounded as a professional and as a thinker.
SIX: Public speaking experience and improvement. Speaking of getting out of your comfort zone, there is no shortage of public speaking opportunities in business school. This doesn’t mean you’ll be a natural once you complete your degree (everyone gets the jitters at times), but your comfort level will definitely increase and you’ll be better equipped to handle public speaking situations. You’ll essentially be forced to do this as class participation is often a major part of your grade.
SEVEN: Teamwork. Similar to the cases and public speaking, business school includes a lot of team assignments and projects. Working in any team has its challenges, but you’ll learn a lot of the nuances of teamwork in this process and you’ll become really good in team settings– learning how to get teams off to a good start, proper ways to give feedback, realign on objectives, improve as a unit, etc. On a very basic level, you’ll learn how you fit into various teams and what skills you bring to the table. Especially in the business world, this skill is absolutely critical.
EIGHT: Increasing your earning potential. Very simply put, if you have a business degree, you have more value than if you don’t which, in turn, means you can command higher compensation. Obviously there are other variables that go into this, but this should be one of the more obvious items on this list. According to Forbes, part-time MBA students earn, on average, 41% more post-MBA.
NINE: Great for entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs – if you want to start your own business, the skills you will learn as you pursue your MBA will help you to fail less in the process. Failing and learning from your mistakes is part of entrepreneurship but who wouldn’t want to speed up that process? Especially given many MBA programs now have designated concentrations and/or classes in this area, this can be a huge value for some students.
TEN: Networking opportunities. This is another obvious one. Networking with classmates, developing relationships with professors, having discussions with guest speakers, and reaching out to alumni of your program are all ways to network. Getting good at networking is critical in the business world – it could lead to your next deal or your next role.
Which one of these resonates with you? Is there another reason you’ve heard or experienced yourself that enticed you or someone you know to consider business school? Please share!
Worth noting–an MBA is not a quick route to success. It is what you make of it. It gives you the tools to better take advantage of opportunities in front of you, but it’s up to you to make the most of it.