Things To Consider Before Applying For MBA Programs

People who want to improve their job prospects often consider getting more advanced degrees, perhaps investigating masters healthcare programs or MBA programs. However, before investing the time and money involved in getting an MBA, there are some things you should consider.

Reason for MBA

There are a few times when it doesn't necessarily make sense to get an MBA, such as just attending a program because you think it will look good on your resume or you don't know what else to do. Some careers don't need an MBA. On the other hand, for those going into the right fields, MBA programs offer the chance to learn how to manage people, increase your job security and network with others in the field. This type of degree also helps prepare people for starting their own businesses. 

Potential Salary Increase

Getting a more advanced degree, such as an MBA, can lead to a salary increase as long as that degree is recommended given your career field. For those who are in business or management fields, for example, MBA programs often make sense and can lead to a significant salary increase. The average increase in salary for MBA graduates is about $45,000, according to a 2015 article in Fortune magazine.

Greater Chance of Employment

Another potential advantage for those completing MBA programs is the fact that most MBA grads quickly find positions and relatively few are unemployed after getting their degree. As of 2013, 95 percent of MBA grads were employed in the U.S. It pays to do a 2-year program or a professional MBA program over a 1 year MBA program, however, as only 82 percent of those who graduated from a 1-year full-time program in 2013 were employed right away.

Real Costs

Those who do a traditional full-time 2-year MBA program need to fully take into account all the costs of this type of program. Not only is it common to go $100,000 to $200,000 into debt due to education and living expenses while completing these MBA programs, but the lost income from those two years also needs to be taken into account. There's also the loss in experience and seniority that can occur when taking two years off of work. These costs can be limited in a number of ways, including attending an online, part-time or evening MBA program while still working full-time or, for some lucky people, getting your employer to pay for the MBA. Choosing the right company to work for can lead to this type of benefit, as employers consider it a win-win situation. You get your degree paid for and they get a more educated employee. It's also possible to save by attending a state school and not opting for one of the top 20 MBA schools, which are more expensive and range in cost from about $127,000 to $168,000 in total MBA cost.