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When you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder or change careers, a master’s of business administration, or MBA, can be an attractive options. But the decision to pursue this type of education is one you don’t want to make without careful consideration. The degree can be a door-opener, but not always to the extent that prospective students think. Whether the MBA will be worth the time and expense depends on your situation, your goals and the program you choose.
Need. Just how useful will an MBA be in your career? The traditional program is designed for students who are several years out of a bachelor’s degree program and have some experience in the work world. The degree should, ideally, lead to a promotion or a better job, along with a significant salary bump. But it’s important to note that these students were typically already on a solid career trajectory and might have achieved these objectives even without the MBA. Career changers can often make the leap from a non-business career, such as teaching or journalism, to the corporate world with an MBA. And would-be entrepreneurs can meet potential business partners or financial backers among their MBA classmates.
School choice. Not all MBA programs are created equally. Wall Street investment banks and Fortune 500 companies are well known for taking seriously only MBA graduates whose degrees bear the seal of top programs such as the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania or the Kellogg School of Management at the University of Chicago. But not everyone has career goals that require such prestige. To get hired or promoted into some jobs, particularly in government, you may just need to be able to tick off a box that says you have a master’s degree. In that case, a respected local school or even an online program may b sufficient.
Finances. Dollars and cents are likely to determine where you pursue an MBA, and even whether such a degree is a viable path for you at all. Tuition and fees for high-end programs can easily reach six figures. Few programs can be completed for less than $15,000. If possible, get your employer to help out with the costs. Before you take on large student loans for an MBA, be sure of your likelihood of obtaining a higher salary upon graduation, one that will allow you to pay off the debts within a few years. Carefully investigate the placement rates and starting salaries for graduates of the program you want to enter.
Opportunity cost. There’s more than money to think about when pondering whether an MBA will be worthwhile for you. A full-time program could take a year or two to complete. That’s time when you could have been working, earning money, gaining experience and even getting promoted. Even part-time or online programs entail opportunity costs, as that’s still time you could have been putting into your full-time job, a part-time position or an entrepreneurial venture.
Accreditation. MBA programs can have any of several types of accreditation. In the United States, approval from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB, is the gold standard accreditation, and the one that major corporate employers are likely to demand. Another national accreditation, respected but without the same level of prestige as AACSB, is that of the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, or ACBSP. Still other schools have accreditation from the national Distance Education and Training Council, and some have no accreditation. Before you start any program, find out what accreditation is required by the organizations where you’d like to work.
Obtaining an MBA takes large amounts of time, effort and money. If you decide it’s a degree that will help you achieve your goals, think carefully about where and how to pursue it. Choosing the right school can help you to get the most out of your education and minimize the debt you have to take on to complete it.
CATPrep is pleased to publish this guest post by Ranlyn Oakes
We’ve updated all our GMAT practice tests (including our free GMAT practice test demo) to include the new Integrated Reasoning section. The new IR section is significantly more complex than the other sections on the GMAT and practicing sitting for it with a realistic test is essential for all prospective MBA candidates. As always – we welcome our students’ feedback. Let us know what you think of the updates!
Full-time MBA Fair To Be Held On November 9th and 10th And Executive MBA Fair To Be Held On November 11th
November 2, 2011
New York, NY—The Economist’s Online Fairs business will hold three days
of graduate education fairs in early November. The first fair, which
focuses on full-time MBA programs, will be held on November 9th and
10th. The second fair, which is devoted to executive MBAs, will take
place on November 11th. Interested participants can log on from
anywhere and can register for free on the Full-time MBA website (
http://registermbafair.whichmba.com/?source=catprep ) and on the
Executive MBA ( http://registerembafair.whichmba.com/?source=catprep )
Both fairs provide a unique opportunity for prospective students to
interact with admissions officers from schools around the world. Fair
attendees will also be able to speak with alumni from those schools to
better understand daily life as a student. Visitors can watch Bill
Ridgers, The Economist’s Business Education Editor, interview full-time
and executive MBA alumni in a taped panel discussion.
“Choosing the right school is an important part of the business school
decision process,” said Isaac Showman, Vice-President and Head of Online
Fairs. “The fairs we’ve created allow prospective students to interact
with and learn as much as possible about the exhibiting schools,
enabling students to make more informed decisions about what’s right for
A variety of well-known universities will take part in each fair.
TiasNimbas, University of Bath, University of New South Wales
(Australia), University of California- Riverside, and the University of
Hong Kong are among those participating in the MBA Fair. Darden School
of Business, Georgia Southern University and the International
University of Monaco will have exhibits in the Executive MBA Fair.
For more information or to arrange an interview contact:
Communications Manager, The Economist
About Online Fairs:
Online Fairs develops online representations of tradition trade shows,
providing all the benefits of a physical tradeshow, but with the added
benefit of the scale and accountability of the internet. Events focus
on a variety of subjects including education, investment and recruitment
sectors, as well as client-specific topics particularly in the
technology industry. In addition to creating engaging and interactive
events, Online Fairs offers turnkey event solutions covering all aspects
of event production and content.> Sent by a member of The Economist
Group. The Group’s parent company is The Economist Newspaper Limited,
registered in England with company number 236383 and registered office
at 25 St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1HG. For Group company
registration details go to http://legal.economistgroup.com
The Economist‘s Full-time MBA Fair – online November 9th and 10th 2011 – FREE:
Meet full-time MBA admissions officers from programs around the world at this FREE online fair. Gain insight into the MBA experience by chatting with alumni, watching webinars and videos, and downloading resources. Sign up free or learn more!
** Sign up now for your chance to win a free iPad 2 when you visit 5+ business school booths on November 9th-10th. **
The 2011 MBA Tour stops in Canada in early November: Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal
One stop for all your MBA Questions
MBA Panels: Cover valuable admissions topics
School Presentations: easily compare programs
Fair: Speak with school reps and alumni
Bonus Workshops: GMAT Strategy, Application help
Register for free:
Participating Business schools:
Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business
City University London
Copenhagen Business School
Hult International Business School
IE Business School
Politecnico di Milano University
Richard Ivey School of Business
SDA Bocconi School of Management
Simon Fraser University
University at Buffalo, SUNY
University of Alberta
University of British Columbia
University of Hong Kong
University of Northern British Columbia
University of Rochester
University of Toronto
University of Toronto, Mississaugua
Wilfrid Laurier University
York University – Schulich School of Business
(not all schools participating in every city)
We’ve teamed up with the QS World MBA Tour to promote their fall MBA fair:
Secure your place now and get one step closer to your ideal MBA program
Registrants will be able to take advantage of the following:
- Speak directly to admissions directors from the world’s top b-schools, colleges and universities about all things MBA related
- Apply for over $1.2m worth of exclusive QS scholarships to help fund your education
- Discuss the common do’s and don’ts of applications
- Participate in discussions with national and international MBA admissions officers, directors and alums
- Network with fellow applicants and alumni
- Sit in panel discussions with alumni from Harvard, Wharton, Columbia and NYU-Stern
- Attend a GMAT seminar with a leading test prep
- Get all the relevant info about career opportunities after your program
All this and more… Register now for the world’s leading MBA fair
At Stanford’s Graduate Business School, applications to its prestigious MBA program are down 8.9%. At Harvard Business School, they’ve fallen by 4%, and at Wharton, applications dropped by 5.9%.
Read the rest of this article on BNET.
Just a day after releasing the same feature for our GRE Practice Tests – we are pleased to announce that we’ve added AWA scoring to our GMAT Practice Tests as well!
Our latest update to our GMAT Practice Test Simulator includes a new AWA scoring feature that provides real-time rating of your analytical writing assessment responses.
Students currently using our practice tests for study will automatically receive AWA ratings for any newly completed test sessions and previously saved test sessions will also receive AWA ratings when they are next loaded for review.
We are excited about this new offering and are certain that you’ll benefit from the AWA feedback provided by our GMAT practice tests. Best of luck in your preparations!
For a limited time, we’re offering Facebook users a free GMAT practice test!
To redeem your free access code for a full GMAT practice test complete with comprehensive and sectional scores, timing analysis, and answers & explanations simply follow this link and click the “Login with Facebook” button when you are prompted for an access code.
Let us know how you enjoy this limited time offer and best of luck in your preparations for the GMAT!