What to Consider When Considering an MBA

These are exciting times for Online Masters in Business Administration degree graduates. There has been a 25% increase in job openings for MBAs since the beginning of 2014, according to the career site QS TopMBA. The survey also indicates the average annual salary and bonus for an MBA graduate in North America is a lofty $123,400, which is the highest in the world.

The Graduate Management Admission Council found in its 2015 Corporate Recruiters survey that 84% of respondent employers planned to hire MBA graduates this year, compared to 74% last year.2

Although trends in employment and salary for MBA graduates are positive, an MBA is not a perfect fit for everyone. To know whether an MBA degree, such as the program offered by Widener University, is a good choice, some research is in order.

Real costs and real benefits
The most obvious cost to consider before deciding to pursue an online MBA is the price of tuition. Business school tuition varies widely, averaging between $30,000 to $60,000 for the entire program excluding any fees or course materials Widener University’s tuition for their AACSB Accredited Online MBA offers tuition at an affordable price point, just under $35,000. Tuition costs may vary if foundation courses or additional transfer credits are needed.

A boost in salary will hopefully make up for expensive cost of tuition. A GMAC survey found that in 2015 around 59% of MBA graduates were offered jobs before they finished their degrees.4 Another GMAC survey found more than half of MBA alumni scored mid-level positions within the year after they graduated, and more than half held at least senior-level positions within five years.5

The right time, the right skills
Prospective students should focus on their goals as an MBA does not guarantee you a promotion or employment. If an MBA degree is essential to overcome a career plateau within a company, the prospective student should speak with human resources to determine whether or not earning an MBA will result in advancement. Even if an MBA doesn’t guarantee you advancement it could provide the skill set necessary for effective job performance, high visibility assignments, and fast track status within the company at a later time. Some employers even offer tuition reimbursement.

Prospective students should also consider whether the timing is right in their careers to advance their credentials. Earning a graduate degree will require a lot of extra time for studying and coursework but many MBA programs are now being offered in a fully online flexible format, like Widener University’s, which makes going back to school achievable.

Selecting the right school
Estimates of earnings and cost depends on which school the student attends, so planning for an MBA should include researching specific schools. Many schools publish statistics on employment and average annual salary of graduates online, and some of the research is published through the Department of Education and the website College Measures.6

Students may find that certain schools give unique opportunities to interact with potential employers in an area, or to network within a particular industry. Prospective students can choose between MBA programs that offer flexibility in concentration and programs that are more focused. Regardless, any business school offering an MBA should hold accreditation from a well-recognized institution such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

The admissions process can also be an important consideration when deciding whether an MBA program is a good fit. Most MBA programs require prospective students submit Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) test scores. If tests are not a student's strong suit, some schools will waive the requirement for work experience or previous academic achievements.

Programs offer solutions to obstacles
If a particular obstacle exists between a student and an MBA degree, certain programs offer solutions. Part-time programs allow students to take fewer credit hours per semester, lengthening the MBA experience while allowing time to earn an income or take care of families. Most schools offer financial aid, as do professional organizations and government agencies - federal and local.

Widener University's Online MBA program can be completed part-time or full-time. With careful planning and realistic expectations, an MBA could be the next step in a rewarding career.

To learn more about Widener University’s Online Master in Business Administration (MBA) program, call 844-386-7321 or complete the request more information form and a Program Manager will contact you right away.