MBA Matters

A masters in business administration could be right for you

It’s been said that knowledge equals power, which is one of the reasons why many people who have graduated from college consider going back to school to obtain an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) degree.
Is it worth the time and money to go back to earn an MBA? Here are a few potential benefits that might help you decide:

Gaining updated knowledge
Thanks to technology and better business practices, the world we knew just a few short years ago has changed dramatically. Getting an MBA gives you an advantage in the global marketplace by teaching you how to be more adaptable in an ever-changing economy. An MBA also provides you with an opportunity to specialize in a specific field such as accounting, marketing, finance or human resources.

Career flexibility
If you’re already in the job market and enjoying the work you do, an MBA can provide you with a steppingstone to promotions and raises based on your new knowledge and experience. On the other hand, if you’re not thrilled with your career path, an MBA program can provide you with the training you’ll need to find a more suitable job by opening your eyes to new possibilities.

Higher wages?
Of course, there are no guarantees that an employer will raise your salary if you complete an MBA program, but according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), the body that administers the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) for business school admission, employees with an MBA generally see an average increase in salary of 39 percent.

Financial assistance
Companies that are dedicated to retaining good employees and helping them build their skills and value often provide incentives, like tuition reimbursement, for interested parties to enroll in work-related classes. This is like getting financial aid toward your MBA requirements.

As for making the time to earn your MBA, Virginia schools and Universities offer several programs with lots of options. For instance, if you can take the time off to dedicate yourself fully to earning an MBA, full-time programs can usually be completed in one to two years, depending on the school you choose and the field of specialization you choose.

For those who cannot afford the luxury of taking a year or two off to continue your education, or if you have work or family obligations that would prevent you from going back to school full time, a number of Virginia colleges and universities offer part-time programs. These courses are usually taught in the evenings or on weekends so you can adjust the rest of your schedule accordingly.

Online MBA programs are great for people with busy schedules who cannot take the time to attend classroom schedules or for those who want a degree from a major college or university that is not conveniently located near where you live and/or work. For example, if you live in Coastal Virginia and you would like a degree from a college or university that would take more than an hour of drive time to get to, an online degree is a great choice.

If none of these options work for you but you’d still like to increase your knowledge and skills, a new program called the mini MBA is becoming increasingly more popular and available. These are evening or weekend continuing education courses that provide a condensed overview of the same topics discussed in other MBA programs without the same time or cost commitment. Depending on the program, these courses can generally be completed in just one or two months. You do not earn a formal MBA degree, but the knowledge your gain is still very valuable and looks good on a resume.

What’s right for you?
There are several factors to consider when making the decision to pursue an MBA, including the time you have available to commit to your studies and the amount of money you’d like to invest. For example, some full-time programs require that you have work experience before entering into the program. Are you comfortable with the fact that a part-time program may take three to four years to complete? Do you have the drive it will take to keep up with an online program? Will a mini MBA provide you with enough education?

Consider your options, do some research online, then contact a few different schools to get a better feel for how their program fits your needs and expectations. No matter what path you choose, you can’t go wrong by putting yourself on the road to greater knowledge.

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