Should I Get an MBA to Boost my Career?

In the current job market, it's far more common to find people who have a Bachelor's degree, whether they're employed or looking for a new job. If you find yourself struggling to get ahead in the working world, you might think that going back to school to get a graduate degree might help your chances. This is why the Master of Business Administration (MBA) is so popular. But is the degree really worth it?

Advantages of Getting an MBA

If you pursue an MBA early on in your career, you'll have a better foundation for your career than someone who only pursued an undergraduate degree. Not only will you be better educated about the business world when you get your career started, but you'll also be able to put those theories and lessons you absorbed into practice. And when you're competing with someone whose skills and experience match yours for the same position, having the higher degree can give you an edge in getting the job.

You'll also find that you can build new relationships with the other people you meet at a business school or MBA program. Through the shared experience of pursuing a new degree, you'll meet and get to know people who can help you find a new job and give you good advice and favors. You'll also find it easier to get recruited for a major company when you belong to an accredited or well-known MBA program.

Finally, for some people, going after the MBA is a road to redefining their career. Whether you've just been discharged from military service, or making the jump from being a teacher to being a salesperson, you can use this time to learn more about the business world and move your career in a new direction.

Disadvantages of Getting an MBA

The bottom line for any employer looking to hire someone is what that person can contribute to the company and its future. Although a prestigious degree might look good on a résumé, it won't have nearly as much appeal as a skill set that's in high demand. An employer would rather take on someone who has years of practical experience in management over someone who knows a lot about the theory of business administration.

Don't forget that you're also putting aside time and money to pursue a degree when you could be using that time to hone your skills on a different job. Instead of paying tuition and other fees for a course that will only give you a degree, you could still be making money on a different job where you can develop your experience. A potential employer in an interview would rather hear you talk about how you worked hard and solved a major problem at the office than about the latest investment theory you studied in class.

Ultimately, you should have a clearly defined goal for your career. If you believe that you can make good connections, learn new skills, and develop your experience in business through an MBA course, then there should be nothing to stop you from pursuing that goal.

Image by Jason Howie on Flickr