What is an MBA exactly?
An MBA is a Master of Business Administration graduate degree.
Earning an MBA from an accredited graduate business program certifies that you have general understanding of and competency across all the major functional areas in a corporation.
Why should you get an MBA?
For some professionals, the MBA is a critical milestone they must achieve in their careers in order to advance to the next level. They may need the MBA to get promoted into upper management or leadership positions or they may be in more of a general management track that the employers or industry believe is better founded on an MBA education from the very beginning.
For other professionals, getting an MBA may be the educational transition they need to effectively prepare for a career change into the business world. Nowadays, colleges are offering online options to earn a Master of Business Administration. Taking online classes gives students more flexibility in their schedules allowing them to do more than they what they would be able to if they were to attend traditional classes.
Whether it’s required for your career progression or simply a nice launchpad for your new career direction, the objective of getting your MBA should be to gain a better understanding of businesses as a whole, how each function interacts and impacts the others and how to think both strategically and long-term.
NOTE: This doesn’t mean that you will necessarily become an expert in each function or will become a great leader, for functional expertise and leadership require experience, work and practice; however, your MBA will give you the opportunity to gain more experience and understanding of all the business functions, as well as the qualities needed to become a great manager and great leader.
It is important to point out that getting your MBA, as with many graduate degrees, may open up doors to job and promotion opportunities with higher incomes; however, more money should not be the sole reason you pursue your MBA. Again, it should be to become a more effective manager and more strategic, big-picture thinker in the realm of business and if that comes with more money, then so be it.
When is the ideal time to get your MBA?
As implied above, you should pursue your MBA at the point in your career where it is either necessary to advance to the next level or necessary to prepare you for business management or a career change.
Other questions to consider as you think about pursuing your MBA:
- Do you have the finances available to return to school full-time and how will you finance this program?
- Or will you keep working part-time while earning your MBA? or do you have the financial resources to quit your job and return to school full-time?
- Can or will your current employer help finance your MBA degree?
- If your MBA will help you with a career change, what else will be required to make the transition in terms of experience, skills etc.?