8 Signs You're Ready to Pursue Your MBA
Anyone considering returning to school for their Master of Business Administration (MBA) needs to evaluate if the time is right. Whether you're a recent college graduate or just feeling ready to move up in the business world, check how you stack up to these 8 factors to consider before jumping in to pursue your MBA.
1. You're Fiercely Goal-Focused
You have a clear set of educational and career goals that include the need for an advanced degree, and the information and experiences that an MBA provides will keep you on track to achieve these goals. If an MBA is all part of your plan, it's a clear sign you're ready to take the first step and apply.
2. You Want Career Advancement
Certain careers and employers may require an MBA before they'll even consider advancing an individual to certain positions. An MBA is often the preferred degree for product and facility managers, because planning and leadership training is a necessity. Upper management positions in many sectors including finance, international business, IT, quality control, and marketing also may require an MBA. If you're ready to try to advance, it's may be time for an MBA.
3. You're Looking to Change Careers
If you're unhappy because your current job and career prospects don't align with your goals, you may want to change course. Some new fields and better-paying positions become available when you have an MBA in hand – and not just because of a piece of paper. MBA programs offer real-world learning and exposure to different industries so you can get the experience you need to find the right path and succeed before diving into a career change.
4. You Can Make the Money Work
The decision to pursue an advanced degree often hinges on finances. Have you explored the financing available, from loans to grants to tuition reimbursement programs? If you're financially fit, have a payment plan in place, and feel ready to invest in your future, then now may be the time to apply for an MBA program.
5. You Predict a Positive ROI
Return on investment, or ROI, is a crucial element to consider before you pursue an MBA or any professional venture, for that matter. Factor in the time, effort, and cost required to earn the degree and compare what you'll spend with the potential benefits, such as a higher salary or greater job fulfillment after graduation.
6. You're Armed with Experience
People with real work experience bring a different level of confidence to their coursework when they return to pursue an advanced degree. The professional experiences you've already had will bring essential personal management and collaboration skills into the classroom and enrich your continuing education. If you've been out in the field, dealt with real-world problems, and successfully overcome multiple challenges to get to this point, you're ready to tackle your MBA.
7. You Have a Support Network in Place
If you plan to work or raise a family while pursuing your MBA, having a strong support network in place can significantly lower your stress so you can focus on your studies. Timing is important when deciding to pursue an MBA, so make sure you've got the help you need. A support network may include colleagues who offer a sympathetic ear, a partner who shoulders some of your daily tasks, and friends and family who understand when you need to stay in and spend the weekend studying.
8. Your Mind is Open to Possibility
Are you open to exploring new possibilities? If you've checked off most of the factors on this list, it's a sure sign you're ready to make your MBA dream a reality, no matter your age or experience.
The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 40.5 percent of enrolled college students in the 2012-2013 school year were between the ages of 25 and 39 years old. Many online colleges report even broader age ranges because of more flexible programs. If you're open to new ideas and won't let fear about not fitting in hold you back, it's may be time to apply for your MBA.
Check out Ashford’s Top 7 Reasons You Should Pursue Your MBA and information on Ashford’s Top Online MBA Programs for 2016 for additional information to determine if you're ready to commit to an MBA program.
For more information about on-time completion rates, the median loan debt of students who completed this program, and other important information, please visit http://ashford.edu/pd/omba.
Written by Ashford University staff