MBA, MBA Programs

How to Choose the Right MBA Programs for You

October 29 2021 By The MBA Exchange
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Do you ever find yourself wondering if you should get an MBA? Asking yourself, if I did want a graduate business degree, what MBA should I get?

If you choose an MBA program that’s a perfect fit for your background and goals, you may gain a valuable asset for your career. The MBA and graduate admissions experts at The MBA Exchange guide thousands of prospective b-school candidates each year through key decisions about where, when and how to apply.

We know how to choose an MBA program that works for your unique strengths and goals. And, when it comes to the tricky question of how to choose an online MBA program, we can guide you toward proven excellence and strong track records of return on investment.

Should you get an MBA?

Your career could run on many paths. Is an MBA right for you? Here are some factors to consider when you’re thinking about where to get an MBA.

Will getting an MBA help you get hired?

For careers like consulting, finance, health care management and entrepreneurship, an MBA opens professional doors. If your aspirations lie in that direction, an MBA provides an invaluable boost, and it’s a good idea to pursue a graduate degree for the higher earning potential as well.

Are you prepared for an MBA?

An MBA takes multiple years of hard work and dedicated study, not to mention a solid chunk of funding. Don’t start an MBA on a whim. Wait until you know you’re ready to give your MBA program your all.

You know you want it, but how to get an MBA?

When your mind is clear that an MBA is right for you, it’s time to get down to details and figure out how you’re going to get your MBA credential.

It’s not just a question of succeeding in class – before you can start an MBA, you have to choose an MBA program, put together a compelling application and get accepted.

What MBA should I get?: How to choose an MBA program

You want to choose the right MBA program for you, not just the best program on paper. When considering how to choose an MBA program, or how to choose an online MBA program, consider these points.

Length of program

Different types of MBA programs take different amounts of time to complete. If you need to keep working while you study, a part-time MBA that takes longer to complete might be right for you. Or, if you’ve got time to spend and want to complete your degree in 1-2 years, a traditional full-time MBA program may better fit your needs.


Deciding where to get an MBA may be important if you want to launch into a specific geographic sector – finance in the UK or tech consulting in Silicon Valley, for example. Think about where you want to be, for the next few years and beyond. Selecting your MBA program location could impact where the next chapter of your story unfolds.

Culture and personality

You start networking as soon as you start your MBA program, getting to know experts in business fields as well as fellow students who make up the next generation of business success stories. So you want to choose an MBA program where you fit in, with the right culture for you to connect and thrive.

Spend some time talking to alumni and current students at your potential target schools and see if you make connections before you narrow down your list for sending out applications. Find the right MBA for your unique personality.

Online or in-person?

Today’s high-tech world offers opportunities like online MBA programs. You don’t need to decide where to get an MBA when you opt for an online program that can be completed from anywhere in the world. If you have questions about how to choose an online MBA program with the quality you need, talk to the team at The MBA Exchange about your plans.

Are you ready to pursue an MBA?

Once you’ve sized up your potential target schools in terms of what they can offer you, it’s time to turn it around and take stock of what you’re ready to do, be and use, and add those factors to your decision on when and where to get an MBA.

If you’re not going to be able to give an MBA your attention and priority, this might not be your moment. On the other hand, maybe you’re ready now. Feeling committed and ready to meet the challenge of a graduate business degree? Then this is your time.

What to consider when choosing an MBA program

Let’s review: when you’re choosing an MBA program, make sure to check each item in this list.

Program length

Ask yourself, what MBA should I get? A full-time MBA, part-time MBA or even an EMBA? Depending on your goals and needs, you might prefer a concentrated one-year or 1-2 year MBA program, or a more flexible part-time, online, or EMBA.

Cost of an online MBA

The cost of your MBA matters, whether online or in-person, but pricing online MBA programs can get tricky. The question of cost could definitely factor into how to choose an online MBA program that’s right for you.
In a 2021 study by Affordable Colleges Online the price of a full-time in-person MBA at $39,048.78. The average cost of online MBAs was measured at $29,037.38, but your individual price tag could vary based on factors like delivery format and enrollment status. Make sure you know the details before you sign on a digital dotted line!

Curriculum in an MBA program

You should choose an MBA program with curriculum, courses and majors that match your vision of your future career. You can focus on quants, problem-solving, interpersonal communication or management consulting through your curriculum and major selection over the course of your MBA.

Accreditation for MBA programs

Not all MBA programs provide the same degree of accreditation. Accreditation gives you important information about the legitimacy and seriousness of an MBA program. An unaccredited program is much less likely to ultimately help you achieve your career and business goals.


Different programs require different materials to be included in your applications, and b-school admissions can run on a variety of timelines, as well. Consider what you need to get ready in order to put together your application package, and take note of admissions deadlines at your target schools.

The importance of defining your priorities

Choosing an MBA program and shaping your candidacy requires you to figure out where your priorities really lie. What’s important to you, and what’s just peripheral?

To succeed in b-school and beyond, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses and understand what you need to improve to meet your goals. Where to get your MBA depends on what you want to develop in yourself with your graduate study.

Main factors to consider when determining your reaches


Choosing an MBA program, you have to have a sense of your reach. A candidacy by the numbers: how good is your GPA, and what kind of test scores have you earned? 
A GPA of 3.2 or lower could hurt your chances at top MBA programs, while a good GMAT score of 730 or above would give your candidacy a boost. You might also find the question of the GMAT vs the GRE relevant to your application prep plans, as you may score better on the one test than the other.

Work experience

Your number of years of full-time work experience and the highest job title you’ve held can open doors or leave them closed. More work experience might position you better for an executive MBA, or EMBA, than for a traditional full-time program. When choosing an MBA program, take your past resume into consideration.


A diverse MBA program offers a richness of varied experience. Find culture matches with a diverse student body and faculty that shares your ideals of globalism, inclusiveness and embracing our differences.

Other factors to consider

Your MBA sets the scene for the next stage of your life: who you’re going to be, where you’re going to work, how much money you’re going to make and many other questions about your career and future. Where to get your MBA definitely matters.

Take all factors needed into consideration, from your preference on where to get your MBA to questions of how you’re going to finance your graduate degree. When it comes to the question of how to choose an MBA program, each candidate ultimately has their own answers.

Finding the right MBA program for you

You don’t need to plan for or embark on this leg of your journey alone. The MBA Exchange works with thousands of satisfied clients each year, assisting with refining your list of target schools as well as working with you on polishing your application materials.

Instead of wandering any more in the wilderness of questioning “What MBA should I get,” get in touch with The MBA Exchange. We can answer all of your questions about how to choose an MBA program, how to choose an online MBA program, and more.

If you’re ready to get started finding the exact right fit for your MBA future, contact The MBA Exchange today. Request your free initial candidacy evaluation online now.