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Is an MBA Worth It? 5 Things to Consider

Business woman working on her laptop in an office

The value of an MBA is difficult to overstate. With an MBA, students can more than double their salary, and that means more opportunities to save, plan for the future and generate wealth. MBA graduates routinely earn six figures, even fresh out of school. No matter what you’re interested in, you can find an MBA to propel your career to greater heights. For example, SNU’s innovative healthcare-focused MBA can prepare future healthcare leaders. 

So is an MBA worth it? If you complete the program and apply effort to the job search, the answer is always yes. However, a career in business isn’t for everyone, so it’s important to ensure this investment in your education will yield a career you can truly enjoy. 

Like all investments, pursuing an MBA entails some costs. You may need to take time away from your job or family (or both), get extra support from your spouse and pay for tuition. But with a typical starting salary of around $100,000, you could earn enough to repay your student loans in a single year — and even have money left over. 

The benefits of any degree program depend on how much you’re willing to put into it, and there are no guarantees. So how can you decide if an MBA is worth it? Here are the factors to examine. 

1. Finances

There’s no getting around the fact that an MBA costs money. You’re paying for the skill, experience and time of your instructors and the infrastructure of the school you choose. At SNU, this means investing in comprehensive support, a program that prepares you for real-world success from day one and an MBA practicum that tests your skills. 

There may also be hidden costs. You may need to take time off work, pay for childcare or cover the cost of transportation or a laptop. This can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re going back to school because you’re not making enough money. 

At SNU, most students get financial aid, and many get enough to cover the full costs of tuition. You can even use student loans to pay for expenses related to your education, such as childcare and supplies. 

The finances might not add up if you’re already a high earner or don’t plan to work in a field that values an MBA. But otherwise, the return on your investment is immense, with dividends that will pay for the rest of your career. 

2. Time Commitment 

For adults returning to school, time is often scarce. You may have kids, a career, aging loved ones who need care, a house that always needs cleaning and pets who will let you know when they’re not getting enough attention. Adding one more thing to the mix can feel challenging. 

But consider that an MBA will buy you more time over the long term. You may be able to land a better job, pay for higher quality childcare and a dog walker and take more vacations. 

If time constraints feel suffocating, it’s important to choose a school that caters specifically to adult learners. Here are some ways that SNU makes the additional time commitment manageable: 

  • You can complete your degree just one class at a time, allowing you to focus without disrupting your entire life. 
  • You can graduate quickly, making school a sprint instead of a slog.
  • You can choose between learning online at your own pace or taking in-person classes just one night a week. 
  • Our cohort model ensures you have the support you need to keep going. 

3. Work-Life Balance

In a fast-paced world where almost no one feels they have enough time, adding something else to your plate can feel daunting. And the reality is that school may temporarily disrupt your work-life balance. However, at a school that specializes in adult learners, the disruption may not be as intense as you expect. 

Consider whether now is the right time. Are you in the midst of a taxing project? Going through a trying family situation? Are you moving any time soon? For some people, delaying for a few months is the best option. But remember that the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll finish, and the greater your lifetime earnings will be. 

At SNU, we make starting easy with a quick application process and comprehensive support from admissions counselors. We believe the right job can be a path to a better life and greater work-life balance. We would love to help you chart a course that works for your lifestyle and goals. We believe that arbitrary deadlines should not delay your dreams. That’s why we offer multiple year-round start dates.

4. Career Opportunities

Ultimately, seeking an MBA is about a desire to work in business. No matter how much you earn or how quickly you can graduate, an MBA is not the right choice if you don’t want to work in management or business. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Will an MBA help you advance in your current career? If not, are you interested in changing careers? 
  • Do management and business interest you? 
  • Are there other MBA-related career paths you could pursue, such as consulting or leading a nonprofit? 
  • Will your current job support you as you pursue your education? (Some employers offer tuition assistance or time off.)
  • What do MBA graduates in your region earn? How much do you need to earn to make your MBA feel worth it?

5. The Right School 

Adult learners need to choose the right school so they can continue to prioritize everything that matters to them, including work, family and outside pursuits. Some questions to ask include: 

  • Is the school regionally accredited
  • Do employers respect degrees from this school? Where do graduates go after graduation? 
  • Are classes taught by highly qualified experts in their chosen fields? 
  • What support does the school offer to returning learners? 
  • What is the application process? How long will it take from today to graduation? 
  • What financial aid support does the school offer? 
  • What does the school do to support inclusion? 
  • Does the school offer support to veterans? 

Is an MBA Worth It? 

An MBA is one of the best and most solid investments around, with a myriad of career paths to suit just about every interest and type of learner. An MBA may be a great investment if you: 

  • Want to increase your earnings. 
  • Want to change careers or ascend the career ladder in your current company. 
  • Hope to start a business. 
  • Need more career options and greater flexibility. 
  • Are interested in management or leadership. 
  • Work in finance, accounting or another field where business acumen is critical (hint: it’s most fields). 
  • Have a small segment of time you can dedicate to your education each week. 

SNU is committed to helping adult learners return to school, excel and build lives they love so they can give back and do more. 

To learn more about what sets us apart, download our free e-book, “The Ultimate Career Roadmap for MBA Graduates.”

Master your career with an MBA

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