Is the MBA the right degree for everyone? The obvious answer should be. . . No! The MBA is not right for everyone. Although, I am an advocate of the MBA in general, there are certain specifics you should consider before pursuing this degree.
First and foremost, you need to know yourself and your career objectives. If the MBA does not seem like it will be a good fit, do not pursue it. I do not recommend going into any program unless you feel good about it. Just because the MBA is a great degree, does not mean it is right for you.
I will approach this question “why an MBA?" from both sides of the table. . . that is, the pros and the cons.
Pros - Why to get an MBA
There are many reasons why an MBA is a good choice. See the reasons below:
* The MBA is a very marketable masters degree. It is very well known and it seems to enjoy recognition all over. After receiving the MBA, you can put those initials after your name. Can you do that with a Master of Science degree?
* The MBA offers valuable management and business content. If you are new to business or even experienced, this degree has a lot to offer. You can learn functional skills and concepts that seem to be applicable into any industry or job.
* The MBA is very flexible. You can choose the program type (full time, part time, distance, etc). You can specialize or stay general. Depending on the program and the school, the MBA can be completed between 30 and 60 credits. All this, and you still get the same marketable degree.
Cons - Why NOT to get an MBA
There are also reasons why an MBA may not be a good choice. See the reasons below:
* Maybe you need extra specialization or you have a specific career goal. For example, a Master of Accounting (MAcc) is a common masters degree to prepare one for the CPA exam. In this case, the MBA may not be the best choice. In certain cases, if you are pursuing a PhD, there may be better choices.
* Maybe the MBA is too cost prohibitive. MBAs tend to cost more than other degrees. This is because of its recognition and marketability. Weight out the return on investment. This is good advice for any investment. You may have more options than you think, so look around at as many programs as you can.
* I have heard arguments that the MBA is so popular that it has become “watered down". This is a perspective from someone who thinks you can only receive a full-time, two-year MBA from a prestigious school. The way I see it, if you are going to earn a masters degree, get one that is recognizable.
Realize that this is a short list of pros and cons and it by no means comprehensive. It should get you thinking about why an MBA is right or why another choice may be better.
One final note. . . unless you get an MBA from the “top" 10 or 20 ranked business schools, it really does not matter where you get your MBA.
* A great career enhancer in many ways. It can help with career advancement as well as career changing.
* It provides a great potential for return on investment. Your earning power is likely to increase with this degree.
I hope some of these suggestions help to simplify the answer to the question “What is an MBA?". These are just the highlights of the MBA. As you can see, there are a lot of great aspects to the MBA degree.
Christian LeCheminant is an advocate of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. He holds an MBA from Southern Utah University (SUU). For more MBA information, visit http://www.mba-options.com