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Should You Head Back To Business School?
by Marv Dumon (Contact Author | Biography) Many young working professionals wonder whether or not it is worth going back to business school and getting their Masters of Business Administration (MBA).While a strong economy leads many professionals to stick to their current roles, the prospect of pursuing more lucrative positions, or facing economically stagnant periods also lead many to head back to school for a graduate degree. While pursuing an MBA comes with its own set of challenges, for young professionals with clear career goals and realistic expectations, an MBA can be a valuable asset on the path to a better career. Assessing An MBA Turning in the briefcase for a backpack provides a familiar sense of security for those just a few years removed from the regimented routines of school life, multiple choice exams and weekend "study sessions" at the local pub. However, this relief is temporary, because when the schooling ends, the individual inevitably must return to the wage-earning world. Spending two to three years back at school could allow a professional to rejoin the economy upon successful completion of the program with advanced knowledge of business practices, and possibly at an economically opportune time where businesses are expanding, companies are paying hiring bonuses and career advancement is a real possibility. However, these projected benefits of acquiring an MBA must be balanced with cost considerations such as loss of wages while in school, student loans and additional time spent in the classroom as opposed to practicing one's craft out in the field. Those contemplating B-school should thoroughly assess whether the courses taken during the program align with their professional and personal interests, as well as anticipated career trajectory. Some important to consider, include: What do I want to spend my time doing, professionally? Does my field require this degree in order to be successful? Are there other avenues for learning related content? What do I think I will most enjoy doing while getting paid for it? Unfortunately, people may choose to get an MBA or additional education with a desire to enter a chosen field, but lack a clear and distinct understanding of the day-to-day realities of the job, both pros and cons. For instance, a professional who has worked in the public or nonprofit sector may venture into the world of investment banking or hedge funds at a topflight institution, only to find the hours unbearable, the culture too cutthroat, or the work too demanding. Broader Horizons Business school represents the expansion of job options, and provides for career flexibility. Professionals who have worked in retail, insurance, or field sales may wish to broaden their business exposure and experience. An MBA can mean the ability to pursue careers in management consulting, investment banking, operations, private equity, or the public/non-profit sector. (To learn more, see Consulting - Everybody's Doing It, Should You?)
Finding A "Right Fit" Career According to the 2007 edition of the Graduate Management Admission Council's MBA Alumni Perspectives Survey. who wishes to transition to a managerial role at a large government agency. Upon completion of these. due to the financial pressure of paying back loans. marketing and business law classes. strategy. and international trips. Thus. 25-Aug-10 . Depending on the program. Fortunately.This article and more available at Investopedia. The degree shows drive and raw intellect. being in the right role in the right industry. The added contacts. management. (To learn more. That requires a level of soul-searching that extends beyond routine daily considerations. Most MBAs .investopedia. Likewise a college graduate turned small business owner. it is important to make the right choice whether or not to enter the program. Many MBAs.feel that they could not have obtained their first selected job after graduating from business school without their MBA degree (which can equal an increase in salary and benefits for those getting job offers upon graduation). Ascendancy in any career . MBAs are more inclined to pursue "right fit" careers.com Page 2 of 3 Business school can be a great avenue to switch from one functionary role to another. The diversity and breadth of the academic content and exposures for a student can enrich his or her overall professional experience. say from a teaching or writing career to joining a financial services company. an HR associate manager for an aerospace company. pursue jobs that might not align with their career goals.) http://www. students may also participate in internships. For example. students take electives in various fields. such as entrepreneurship. operations. upon obtaining their degrees. For example.com/printable. (Keep reading about this subject in Becoming A Financial Analyst.) Is An MBA The Only Way? An MBA is only one avenue towards certain goals. may wish to pursue an MBA. both financially and in time expended. financial outcomes determine their overall satisfaction with securing their degree..asp?a=/articles/professionaleducation/08/business-. who wishes to better understand entrepreneurial finance or venture capital fundraising. An MBA can be a great tool for those who can use it to land the right role.nearly four out of five surveyed by the Graduate Management Admissions Council in 2007 . How Will Business School Help Me? MBA candidates generally take required courses such as accounting. mature and spend more time in the workforce. A mismatch in expectations can be costly. for a vast majority of MBA alumni. co-op/part-time consulting engagements with local companies.. Yet others may want to transition into an entirely different industry. about half of alumni take approximately seven years to recoup their financial investment in obtaining a graduate business degree. and having the proper visibility and the right skills. as MBA graduates evolve. an experienced tax professional with a specialty in international tax law that wants to transition to a finance-type role at a hedge fund may consider getting a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification instead of an MBA. alumni groups and interactions with professors also serve as wonderful tools to grow one's professional network. read Finding Your Place In The Financial Industry.in times when teamwork and cooperation are critical skills also requires emotional intelligence. finance. they are more likely to switch to a profession more closely aligned with their career orientation and nature. as the years go by. However. Other inspirations simply include the desire to make more money and/or achieve career advancement. That is. other types of aspirations tend to be achieved only with an MBA. But an MBA is not a substitute for pursuing one's passions. such as from finance to strategy and planning. In fact. or from sales to a management-training program. economics and various advanced topics in traditional business areas. at the right time. may wish to pursue an MBA.
more often than not.com/printable. Some people decide to attend business school to (temporarily) escape the competitive workplace and the harsh realities of the real world for the ivory tower.com .com Page 3 of 3 Conclusion It is important to weigh the pros and cons of attending business school. ** This article and more are available at Investopedia. industry. as a short-term means of figuring out where they want to head in life. He previously served as a mergers and acquisitions advisor for a middle-market financial services firm. for some individuals. making pursuing an MBA an option well worth considering.investopedia.Your Source for Investing Education ** http://www.asp?a=/articles/professionaleducation/08/business-. finance and operations. both professionally and personally.This article and more available at Investopedia. Therefore. 25-Aug-10 . and MPA degrees from The University of Texas at Austin. BBA. business school can be a six-figure brainstorming session. He received BA. But for those people who have clear direction and career goals. by Marv Dumon (Contact Author | Biography) Marv Dumon serves as Business and Finance Examiner and International Sports Examiner for Examiner. Dumon's background includes experience in consulting. obtaining an MBA can increase access to a new role. lead to progressively higher levels of income and a sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing grad school.. These additional opportunities..com. or profession.
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