The 21st-century world moves fast. Just a few years ago, NFTs and blockchain were unheard-of terms. You’d be amazed at how recently college graduates were preparing for a Web 1.0-driven infosphere. And that’s to say nothing of the significant geopolitical shifts of the last decades, or the totally unexpected monkeywrench of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now here we are in 2022, looking at a business world that’s very different from the realities of just a few years ago. In a couple more years, things could change even more dramatically. Who knows? As ever, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the pace of change. You can see why someone might wonder, “is getting an MBA worth it? Still? Won’t the world have moved on by the time you get the degree?”
At The MBA Exchange, we don’t pretend to know everything about the future. But, we’re pretty sure of one thing: a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) degree is going to be an asset to your resume, both now and in the foreseeable future. An MBA degree is worth it because you’re not just investing in the credential, you’re gaining skills and connections that last a lifetime and will only appreciate in value after your graduation.
Understanding the MBA degree
What is an MBA program, exactly? We’re glad you asked. Honestly, with the diversity of MBA program options out there, it can be hard to understand the full available benefits for you. However, that’s going to be the first thing you need to do in terms of assessing why an MBA is worth it or not. Like, what precisely are you signing up for here? Let’s have a look.
Traditional MBA programs tend to take 1-2 years to complete. You’ll probably find in-person instruction and a residential environment targeted at young professionals with a few years of post-college work experience who are looking for something more.
If you’re already busily engaged with a personal or professional project and don’t want to take time off for MBA study, you still have options! Part-time MBA programs offer weekend and evening classes and typically take a little longer to complete than a traditional MBA, giving you more flexibility for your degree.
You also have plenty of online options if in-person instruction doesn’t fit in with your current life trajectory. Is an online MBA worth it? Definitely, if you’ve got a hold of the right program. Some less-than-top-tier online options might not be worth your while though.
Executive MBA (EMBA) programs target professionals with more extensive career experience who also often hold more senior or leadership-oriented roles. An EMBA gives you more of what you need – and less of what you don’t – if you’re already established in your field and want to take your work game to the next level.
Benefits of earning an MBA
There are lots of reasons why you should get an MBA degree – so we’re just going to give you the most salient points. Is an MBA worth it for you in any of these areas?
Where could you stand to improve as a professional? Could you beef up a bit more on your quants performance? Or maybe you feel like you’d get further if you had better communication knowledge and strategies at your fingertips.
An MBA education creates the opportunities you need to become more truly well-rounded, improving your existing strengths and shoring up your professional weak points.
How are you doing with the tech curve? Would learning more about cutting-edge technology give you an added edge, too? With the pace of business in the 21st century, you’ve got to stay on the ball when it comes to updating your skills. Top MBA programs train you in the most up-to-date strategies, technologies, and approaches, giving you the tools you need to succeed.
An MBA isn’t something that you do alone. In fact, the company you keep during your MBA studies is another major selling point for top MBA programs. When we get asked at The MBA Exchange, “Is it worth getting an MBA from a lower-tier school?” we typically advise our clients to think about the value of those lost networking opportunities and reconsider trying for a higher-ranked program.
It’s not just your classmates you connect with – a top-tier MBA program puts you in touch with faculty and staff, as well as alumni networks and exclusive peeks behind the curtain of the industries of the future. Is an MBA worth it? It’s hard to put a dollar value on that kind of network and what it can do for you.
Increased earning potential
We can put a number to the financial benefits of getting an MBA, even after the disruptions and shifts of the pandemic. The potential career and lifetime earning benefits of the degree are a big reason why getting an MBA is worth it. Here are some hard facts and figures, for your 2022 interest:
- The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) 2021 Corporate Recruiters Survey places the median MBA salary at pre-pandemic levels of $115,000
- GMAC puts MBA salaries 77% above those of bachelor’s degree holders, and 53% higher than direct-from-industry hires
- GMAC reports heightened demand from recruiters for MBA, up by 7% since the previous year
- GMAC pegs MBA hiring projections back at pre-pandemic strengths of 91%
US News and World Report noted that average MBA starting salaries are currently even higher in some specialized professions than the full-field median, with consulting averaging a starting salary of $147,178, financial services coming in at $138,834, and technology finishing third at $128,442.
Financially speaking, an MBA degree can definitely be worth it! Many MBA graduates find it easy to pay off student loan investments after post-graduation earning potential and career development boosts.
MBA degree pros and cons
As you weigh your options for an MBA going into 2022, what should you take into consideration? Here’s what the best MBA admissions consultants on the scene at The MBA Exchange want you to know when it comes to adding up why an MBA is worth it for you.
The pros of an MBA degree include the benefits enumerated above, as well as the satisfaction of attempting and achieving a reach goal like a higher degree.
Cons of an MBA degree may involve cost, time, and effort. It’s not easy to get into an MBA program, much less complete your course of study. And, depending on the program type you’re interested in targeting, you may need to make a substantial financial investment in your education.
However, MBA degrees tend to pay for themselves pretty rapidly post-graduation and are more often than not a worthwhile investment in terms of both money and time. And, okay, if you don’t want to put in the effort, then you can hang out in the middle of the pack. But maybe you want to lead?
Alternatives to an MBA degree
You could, of course, try to swing it in the business jungles of the future without the benefit of an MBA in your belt. But, that would mean pulling together the full range of skills, experience, connections, credentialing, and professionalization that an MBA degree offers without the support of an institution’s network, capital, and existing reputation. And that’s a big task.
What are your alternatives to an MBA degree? If you know someone who can get you on the ground floor of an amazing business opportunity, and if you can make all the right calls and choices with your career, you might be able to build to the same heights that an MBA would lift you to without the degree.
But, even with the complexity and challenges of getting your MBA application together, doesn’t that ultimately sound like a better, more sound investment in yourself and your future, for 2022 and beyond?
Is an MBA worth it in 2022?
If you want to lead at the edge of the 21st century, not follow it, an MBA could be the right fuel for your future. Is 2022 the year you start your journey toward earning an MBA degree and unlocking the next level of your professional potential?
If you’re answering affirmatively to any or all of these questions, partnering with The MBA Exchange gives you the strongest possible start. Our team of top MBA consultants can help you size up your candidacy in order to make the most of your opportunities and address potential weaknesses.
Are you ready to join the thousands of satisfied clients we’ve worked with over more than 25 years of MBA admissions consulting excellence? Then get started by filling out your complimentary free online evaluation form, and find out how The MBA Exchange can get you that much closer to your MBA and career goals. We’re results-focused, forward-looking, and ready to go whenever you are!