Is An MBA Worth It?

Is an MBA worth it? You have probably heard that getting an MBA degree has some benefits. But you also know that enrolling in such a respected program often means plummeting into massive debt. As tuition fees have increased drastically since 2005, an assessment of the real value of such a fancy degree has become a must. Digging deeper into the most hyped benefits of an MBA degree...

“MBA graduates get higher paying jobs than non-MBAs.”

This is generally true. But it does NOT mean that the MBA is the cause of it. It's like saying that people owning a Ferrari make more money than people who own a Toyota; it might be true but the Ferrari is not the cause of their wealth. Business schools admit mainly driven professionals who have already proved they can be successful regardless of having another degree. Several studies show that MBA programs, even from top-tier business schools, have little influence in people’s careers. Make sure you have a realistic idea of the return on your education investment before taking the plunge.

“In a tough economy, an MBA can get you hired. If an employer has to pick between two candidates – one with a BBA, and another with an MBA – the MBA wins.”

This is also true most of the time. An MBA will break a tie. But the truth is that ties don’t happen very often. If you have the most valuable and scarce skills an employer is looking for, you will win, even against a top MBA. So why would you mortgage your future to buy a tie-breaking joker instead of acquiring the most cost-effective skills demanded by the market, which are the winning cards?

“The MBA network is a high-value life-lasting asset.”

It is… as are all the connections you make throughout your career. The people you know at business school are exactly like yourself, as are most people you know everywhere else. Believing that an MBA is a nobility title is an expensive mistake. You can connect with anyone through social networks in one click. Amazing people are always open to connect with other amazing people without demanding a certificate for that.

“Prestigious business education brands will open doors.”

They will. Some people may even think that you are smarter because you have the degree. But you are not and you will have to pay back the cost of your prestigious business brand for years, while you could be building your own brand in half the time.

“An MBA gives you a global vision of business.”

It does. That knowledge is very nice to have. But an MBA might not be the most cost-effective way to earn it. The world has changed a lot in the last few decades. What is really valued in today’s business environment is knowledge and skills strategically oriented to add specific value or solve specific problems. So look for that knowledge first; maybe you can read some books to get the rest. Think carefully before going into massive debt for a decade to buy a degree just because “everyone else is getting it." That is how bubbles are formed. Remember Mark Twain’s quote, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles: Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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