It takes a lot of time and money to earn an MBA. If you would like to pursue an education beyond your bachelor's degree program and you are not interested in studying for a more technical master's, it is important to weigh your options to decide if it is worth it to spend your time studying for a Master of Business Administration. In some instances, having an MBA (or online MBA) will propel you to new heights in your career. In others, it is best to gain experience the traditional way rather than paying for a degree you may never use. Here is a guide to help you make the choice on your own:
How much does it cost to get your MBA?
The cost of earning your MBA can be steep. If you look at the price tag, it might be enough to deter you from the idea entirely. You have to do the math to really assess how much money you are going to spend earning your MBA in any concentration area. While tuition costs vary from business school to business school, you can expect to spend upwards of $60,000 on tuition alone.
You can't only factor in the cost of tuition. Assuming you find a good deal on tuition at a public university for $40,000, you also have to consider how much you're going to spend for books, boarding, and related expenses. If you spend two years in school, you spend $40,000 on room and board, and you cover $10,000 for the cost of books, you're spending around $130,000 to earn your degree. Add in the amount that you're losing in wages, and the MBA costs you a lot of money.
Is it worth spending the time to become well-versed in business?
Not everyone was naturally born to be a business executive or an entrepreneur. Some people have to study to familiarize themselves with concepts and issues that commonly arise while doing business. If your business acumen could use some improvement, you need to find a way to learn the ins and outs.
You will spend 2 years studying for your MBA if you decide to enter a full-time program. Some part-time programs require students to study for a period of 3 years in a cohort type of setting. If you are willing to give up your free time for the next 2 to 3 years so that you can better your future, the investment of time might very well be worth it.
How Much More Will You Earn With an MBA or Online MBA?
To truly assess whether or not an MBA is a valuable degree, you have to take a look at average earnings and see how much more you might earn once you graduate. How much more you are going to earn when you go from holding a bachelor's to an MBA depends on your field and also on how much experience you have. While your salary will certainly go up, MBA students are often overoptimistic when it comes to their expected salaries.
If you have 5 to 9 years of experience in the field, you can expect an average salary of $71,920. The pre-enrollment salary averages around $58,000. This is only an increase of around $13,000 per year. You will have to find out how much more you could potentially earn in your position with your MBA before you can assess whether or not it is still valuable.