Many Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs include concentrations in fields like finance, accounting, and management, while others offer a general education in business management. Keep reading to learn about some of the pros and cons of earning an MBA and explore program features that could factor into your decision-making process.
Pros of Earning an MBA
An MBA is generally considered to be the terminal degree for business professionals. Whether or not you would benefit from an MBA depends on what you think of the positive points for earning it.
Many universities offer combined degree programs so that you can earn your bachelor's degree and MBA in just five years. This is an excellent opportunity to complete both degrees in less time than it would take to earn them separately. Colleges offering these programs typically have streamlined the bachelor's degree curriculum into a 3-year course of study and the master's into a 2-year curriculum.
Many colleges, including highly rated colleges, offer online MBA programs. An online format allows you to work at your own pace and complete your studies without spending so much time on campus. This format works well for students who are currently employed in another profession, raising a family, or possibly out-of-state or country. Many universities offer special tuition costs or benefits for military families as well, such as $100 off per credit hour and no application fee.
A very common concern when considering furthering your education is whether it will be worth it in the long run in terms of earnings potential and the extra student loans and time you'll put into the degree. According to PayScale.com, the difference in salary between earning a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and a MBA is quite noticeable. According to October 2018 data, individuals with a BBA earned roughly $62,000 a year on average, while MBA holders earned an average salary of $84,000. Is an average of $20,000 a year worth the time and effort to you?
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Accounting and Bookkeeping
- Business Economics
- Business Finance
- Business Management and Operations
- Business Marketing
- Business Support and Administrative Services
- Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
- Hospitality Management
- Human Resource Management
- Information System Management
- International Business
- Sales and Merchandising
- Specialized Sales
Cons of Earning an MBA
When weighing your options, you must decide if the pros are better than the cons for continuing your education in an MBA program. Here, we'll look at some of those cons.
Some critics, according to Ramapo College, claim that an MBA is too generic of a degree program. Unless you pursue a concentration in a specific area, you may not have enough skills or knowledge for positions that require a deeper understanding of fields like finance and marketing. You could wind up spending a semester or two taking courses that won't give you the specialized education you need. If you know what area of business you'd like to work in, consider searching for an MBA or another master's degree program with the concentration that would best help you meet your career goals.
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While an MBA can open up several career options, you'll need to attend school long enough to get it. Programs can require an additional 1-3 years, depending on the school and your schedule. If you undertake an online program, you may find that you take more than the traditional amount of time, which can rack up costs.
When deciding if an MBA is the right educational path for you, consider the pros and cons of earning this degree. Though you will spend more time in college and build up more student loans, there are cost reductions for military families, online options, and combined programs that could make earning this degree easier than those in other subjects.