Is the MBA right for me? That’s a question many people ask before they decide to dive into the very long and hard process of applying to business school. There are three questions you can ask yourself to start the process of determining whether business school is the right decision for you.
- Why do you want an MBA?
One of the main things you have to look at before diving into the MBA process is why you want to get that degree. Perhaps you’d like to switch careers and see the MBA as a necessary foundation for certain skills and networking. You may also want to stay in your current field, but wish to accelerate your career and see the MBA as a catalyst. The most important factor is to be very clear about why you would like to get the degree since it’s two years of hard work and forgoing steady income.
- What is the short-term and long-term outlook for MBAs?
You’ll be getting your MBA to move your career forward, so an important question to ask is where MBAs are landing in your chosen path. If you’re looking into marketing, what is the outlook and career trajectory of newly minted MBAs in that field? This will likely answer the biggest question: is the return on your investment in the MBA worth the initial investment?
- Am I prepared for the non-academic aspects of the MBA?
The classroom portion of the MBA is a big part of the degree, but there are other aspects to consider as well. Once you have considered career outlook and benefits of the degree, what about the rest? Are you ready to stop working for two years and live like a student again? Are you ready to move to another state or across the country if necessary? These questions hint at the bigger issue of whether you’re ready to make the necessary life changes that come with an MBA, even if it is for two years of your life.
Answering these three questions will help you be clearer on whether or not to invest in the MBA. These are not the only questions to ask, but they hint at three of the biggest issues to consider before entering business school: what do I want to get out of my MBA, how much will it help my career, and am I ready to make a change? If you’re still unclear, this article from Forbes provides some other reasons you may consider when getting an MBA.
Forté Fellow and MBA Candidate 2015
University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler Business School)