When is the right time to earn an MBA?
Thinking about going back to school for a Master in Business Administration (MBA) and not sure if the timing is right for you? An MBA is a significant commitment of your time and resources, so make sure you consider the reasons you’re interested in attending business school to make sure it’s the correct decision for you. There are a lot of signs to help you know that you’re ready to go back to school to earn your MBA.
Interested in a new professional goal
If you’re in your current position and believe you have maxed out professional development opportunities, it might be time for you to go back to school for your MBA. Also, if you don’t see any chances for upward mobility in your current role at your organization or you feel as though you’ve hit a plateau in your career, business school may be the right move for you. An MBA is an incredible professional development opportunity to further your career which may be necessary if you cannot further it in your current position. Attending business schools gives you the opportunity to explore other career options and see what the best fit is for you.
An MBA is necessary to advance in your current organization
If there are new opportunities opening up in your current company that you’d like to be considered for but they require an MBA, maybe it’s time for you to consider going back to the classroom. Find out more about the potential positions in your current organization that you’re interested in. Learn what skill sets and credentials are needed to obtain your target positions. If an MBA is a requirement, it may be time for you to go back to school for a graduate degree in business.
You want to pursue a new career path
If you’ve decided that you want to pursue a new career in business, an MBA might be the best way for you to launch your new career and obtain the skills needed for your target career or company. Through business school, you’ll have the chance to take courses in different areas, intern at various organizations, join focused student groups, and network with people across industries. Through these various avenues, you’ll acquire new skillsets for your future career. In addition, the networking opportunities can significantly enhance your ability to start a new career journey through your MBA. You’ll be able to leverage the alumni of your business school for networking and informational interviews. To learn more about informational interviews and internships, read this article about the
MBA Internship Process
You’ve started applying for new jobs and candidates you’re losing out to have MBAs
The job application process can be time-consuming, so be sure to start looking well in advance of when you’d like to change jobs. If you’ve started looking and applying to positions and notice that the candidates that keep getting the positions you’re interested in already have an MBA, maybe it’d be a good decision for you to earn one. Also, if a company you interview for tells you that you were a great candidate but they found another great candidate that has an MBA, then maybe you should consider one to get your target position. Keep your end goal in mind when considering attending business school. Business school can give you access to many new jobs you wouldn’t be qualified for without an MBA.
Job opportunities you've seen require an MBA
Job searching can help you realize what options are currently available to you and what jobs you’d like to have. Use job searching as a way to learn the qualifications needed for your target job. If you’ve started your job search and have realized that the positions you’re interested in require an MBA, you should consider attending business school.
You’re not seeing the results in your career that you expected or you’re interested in specific business school skills
If you’ve invested a significant amount of time and hard work into your career and it isn’t progressing like you’d hoped for, it may be time to pivot careers. Ask yourself if your current career path is a good fit for you. Think about whether you get to do what you do best in your role. It is also time to go get an MBA if you’re interested in specific business skills that you would learn by going back to school.
What about previous work experience?
When you’re thinking about timing, the amount of previous work experience you have is not the most important factor to consider. Students often think you need significant business experience prior to starting an MBA program and that’s not always the case. In general, full-time programs are geared toward students with fewer years of experience compared to Executive Education programs. Although the average amount of experience among students at top MBA programs is three to five years, you’ll see a range of experience. Many schools admit students with just one to two years of experience.