When you’re considering an MBA, there are often a lot of moving parts. You have to weigh the value of your time, your money, and your energy against the potentially incredible return on your investment.
The truth is that people who have earned an MBA have an advantage when it comes to getting hired for senior management positions. Some employers actually require an MBA before they will consider an applicant for a senior role.
An MBA also equips you with analysis tools, problem-solving strategies, and leadership skills that would otherwise take years of experience to acquire. The people you’ll meet during an MBA program, even an online MBA, can also be a valuable networking asset throughout your career.
Pros of Getting an MBA
You probably already have a few ideas of how an MBA could help you achieve your career goals. Those ideas may include:
Connecting with potential mentors and strategies
- Expanding your professional network
- Prepare for an industry or career change
- Improving your resume
- Increasing your salary potential
Consider how an MBA can get you closer to reaching each of these goals.
Connecting with Potential Mentors and Strategies
An MBA gives you access to mentors and strategies you would never have otherwise. A quality MBA isn’t just a piece of paper. You’ll learn things that have a practical application to the work that you want to be doing. In a quality MBA program, your instructors will make sure you have the skills you need to actually apply these tools in the real world of business.
The MBA instructs you on the nuts and bolts of best business practices from around the world, with experienced faculty who have decades of experience available to mentor and guide you. As a leader, you’ll benefit from learning about the latest research and trends in your field, and as a learner, you’ll consider new ideas and strategies that boost your efficiency and creativity.
Enhancing Your Leadership Abilities
Even if you’re already a natural leader in professional settings, the MBA can provide a complete mindset shift as you plan for the future.
The tendency to think tactically as an individual contributor to your team is a valuable trait, but the most successful leaders can see larger, more strategic implications when they’re making decisions. They’re able to fly above the fray and get a drone’s-eye view of how choices may play out, and they can maximize available resources. The results can be a powerful, undeniable ROI for their team.
This big-picture strategic mindset is what can set people with an MBA apart from others in their field. Access to one-on-one faculty coaching as well as intense study of business strategies will give you the confidence to make those big decisions.
Expanding your Professional Network
An MBA helps you meet the people who can make or break your career. The fellow students in an MBA program are the people who are taking their careers as seriously as you do. They are the entrepreneurs, senior executives, and changemakers who will be leading the way in your industry. You can spend your entire life trying to identify who these people are and trying to cultivate relationships with them — or, you can meet these professionals all in one place and get to know them through your shared goal of earning your Master’s degree.
“I relish the connections I made throughout the MBA program, where I worked closely with fellow students on client projects,” says Ryan Alan Linderman, a Suffolk MBA Online graduate. “Suffolk University created an environment to allow students to collaborate creatively and develop valuable relationships, especially in an online setting.”
Making an Industry or Career Change
An MBA can help you pivot into a different industry. Suffolk MBA Online graduate Sherley Jules says that after spending years getting burnt out in the social services industry, she used the MBA program as a jumping-off point to start a career in business.
If you have been contemplating a career shift, an MBA can help you fast-track into a new field. Having an MBA in your chosen concentration may even help you skip years at entry-level positions so that you don’t have to start at the bottom of the payscale pyramid.
Improving Your Resume
An MBA is a huge resume boost. According to the 2022 Corporate Recruiters Survey, 92 percent of corporate recruiters say they are looking to hire MBA graduates.
Earning your MBA demonstrates your commitment to your field, as well as your time management skills and educational proficiency. It also gives you a solid knowledge of best practices and the confidence to implement these highly marketable skills. It’s not just anyone who can pursue and complete the program, and recruiters know it.
Increasing Your Salary Potential
An MBA gives you leverage when you’re negotiating your salary. When you’re interviewing for a position and it’s time to discuss salary, the MBA carries a lot of weight. Employers understand that a person who has an MBA will be an asset to their decision-making and problem-solving, and they want to enhance their bottom line.
Employers also want to be able to tell clients that the people at their company are well-versed in current global strategies and are the best in the business. With a completed MBA, you can head into negotiations with confidence knowing that you’re in a position of power to ask for what you’re worth.
According to U.S. News and World Reports, professionals in the consulting, financial services, healthcare, and technology sectors all have starting salaries above $100,000 with an MBA. The Graduate Management Admissions Council reported in 2020 that the median salary for a professional with an MBA may be as much as 75 percent higher than a professional who doesn’t have one.
Cons of Getting an MBA
The benefits of an MBA are clear, but that doesn’t mean that those pros will always outweigh the potential drawbacks to pursuing this kind of degree.
An MBA program can be expensive. The average cost of an MBA program in 2021 was between $60,000 and $100,000, according to TopMBA. Some students manage these costs by taking out loans, and paying those loans off can eat into your earnings for quite some time.
Choosing an MBA program that’s affordable and offers scholarships, fellowships, grants, and other funding options can bring these costs down significantly. If you select a highly-ranked, prestigious program that has hands-on faculty and real-world support after you graduate, it may cost a little more, but the value of your degree may ultimately mitigate the cost of getting it. By opting to pursue your MBA online, you may be able to bring those costs down further, even with a well-ranked program.
An MBA program can take a significant amount of your time. You don’t have to have an MBA to know that time is money, and getting an MBA can be a big investment time-wise. A serious MBA program requires some creative time management, especially if you’re already working full time and have family commitments.
Look carefully at the coursework options you’re considering. Whether you take a full-time or part-time approach to the MBA, the right program will have some flexibility built in. Suffolk University’s MBA Online requires 36 credits no matter your academic background. You can complete the program within 16 months as a part-time student, by taking one course at a time. This option helps you balance your career and personal commitments so that you can be ready for the next opportunity.
Not all MBA programs are equal. Perhaps the most tenuous part of the process of getting an MBA is selecting the institution that you’ll attend. Some institutions claim that they offer a lot of communication with instructors and carefully curated coursework when in reality they don’t have a supportive infrastructure.
Suffolk University’s MBA is able to offer the same curriculum online as they offer in-person. This is possible because of their high-touch faculty of world-class professionals who are engaged and communicative throughout the program. These educators are committed to being available to students who are looking for that mentorship relationship, and it shows.
When in doubt, defer to the data. Student testimonials and published outcomes from recent graduates can help you determine whether a program ultimately adds value to your career.
What Makes an MBA Program Worth It?
This brings us to the million-dollar question: When is it worth it to get an MBA?
The answer boils down to your industry, your experience, and your career goals.
Earning an MBA in healthcare administration, for example, can really be worth it, giving you a huge edge in a competitive field. Medical and health services management roles are expected to grow by over 139,000 jobs in the next decade, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. These jobs already pay a median salary of $101,340, and that dollar amount is rapidly increasing.
For anyone looking for a career change or a salary bump, an MBA can put you on the fast track. Suffolk University’s MBA Online reports that 93 percent of program graduates were employed within three months, and the average salary for these graduates is $90,000.
What about the value of getting an online MBA? On-campus learning has its benefits, as do online MBA programs. The digital tools available now make it possible for faculty to engage directly with online MBA program students in real-time, and include team-based projects as well as other group learning experiences.
Pursuing an online MBA gives you a wider range of institutions to choose from. Studying online means you don’t have to choose from a few narrow options in your immediate geographical area – you can instead take a look at any program that meets your needs and offers strong support.
Suffolk University’s MBA Online Is Designed for Working Professionals
At Suffolk University, our 100% online MBA program was made with the demands of the marketplace and professional career goals in mind. The program allows you to keep dedicating your time to earning an income while you learn new skills for future opportunities. You can implement the strategies that you’re learning in real time at your current job to create a solid foundation of tried-and-tested skills that you will take with you no matter what route your career takes.
William Aparicio, a 2021 graduate of Suffolk’s MBA Online, says that the process of earning the MBA helped him stand out at work even before he graduated. “The [Suffolk] program stands out in a few ways but the most impactful portion has been the real-world applications of tools and concepts we learn in the classroom. I feel as if I've worked for a consulting firm this past year and a half by being immersed in real scenarios,” he says.
The Suffolk online MBA program is student-oriented and tailored to giving individuals the experience they are looking for, making the experience worth the time, effort, and financial investment. The program offers access to a student advisor who will check in on you frequently through the application process and beyond your graduation day. Not only that but the program can be completed in as few as 16 months.
Find out more about Suffolk University’s MBA Online by downloading the program guide.