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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Do You Really Need An MBA? | Career Advice - Refinery29

Photo: Judith Ohikuare
Mark Zuckerberg being hauled before Congress is a signal to some people that at 33 years old, the tech founder is finally "growing up." So, maybe it's also time to retire the idea successful entrepreneurs should drop out of college to get ahead. After all, companies like  Facebook are called "unicorns" for a reason.) says Judith Ohikuare, Work & Money Writer at Refinery29.

Photo: Christy Kurtz..
Those of us who didn’t start a multimillion dollar company in our dorm rooms have to consider other paths to becoming business leaders. But it's wise to think twice before spending tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars on a master's in business, but it's also important to remember that an MBA isn't meant to be a prerequisite for starting a business at all. The 2018 Alumni Perspectives Survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) found that 79% of b-school alumni worked for another company and 10% were self-employed. So, this degree usually comes in handy for people who have dreams of being high-level business executives in a variety of industries.

If you're toying with the idea of getting an MBA but aren't sure if the time and financial commitment are worth it, here are some things to consider.

What It Is For?
Writing in Harvard Business Review a few years ago, executive coach Ed Batista said the three key uses for an MBA were: practical leadership and management skills, a job marketplace credential, and access to a vast alumni network. Those may sound like abstract rewards but in some circumstances, they can reap concrete benefits: MBA alums can generally expect higher salaries than those other grads, with a median base salary of $115,000, depending on job level and location.

How Much Will It Cost? 
There's no point being delicate about it: MBAs are expensive.

To attend a program at a school like Stanford, you can expect to exceed the $100,00 mark over your two years there. Financial aid, in the form of loans and fellowships, is available, but how much you get of either naturally depends on your individual assets. "On average, people receive $36,000 or $37,000 in fellowships per year. But that average is pretty meaningless because some people get full rides, and others get zero," Khan says. "If you work in a pretty low-income job, you're going to get a much higher financial aid package in terms of the fellowship proportion to loans."...

Is There Another Way In?
The gospel of education can sometimes make it seem like getting any degree, and as many as possible, is necessary to advance. But there's no point in wasting your time and money on a costly credential that reaps little benefits. Khan says online MBA programs, an increasingly popular option, may be worthwhile for people who want to gain exposure to specific subject matter — like accounting, for example. (Just do your homework on online programs especially.) On the other hand, if you simply want to learn a skill, you can also enroll in an accounting class without going the full-on school route.
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Source: Refinery29


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