Education is a wonderful thing. Completing school not only prepares individuals to tackle the challenges the world will throw at them in the future, but it provides that first sense of great accomplishment in life. When it comes to returning to school for an advanced or second degree, some individuals will leap at the chance while others might balk at the idea.
For all those considering a return to schools, the most important question should be “how can this degree help my career?” Those considering a Master of Business Administration (MBA) would do well to pursue one given what it could do for their career.
Not All Degrees Are Created Equal!
While an MBA can help you for effective leadership in today’s fast-paced business world, not all of the MBA degree programs out there are the same. When examining any MBA program, make sure the program is accredited by an accrediting body, such as The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). ACBSP accreditation certifies that the teaching and learning processes of these programs within a business school meet rigorous educational standards. ACBSP is a leading specialized accreditation association for business education supporting, celebrating, and rewarding teaching excellence. Established in 1988, ACBSP is the only business accrediting organization for all associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degree programs.
A degree in an accredited MBA program can be the differentiator in today’s competitive job market, so be sure to ask questions about accreditation when talking to any college or university.
Gain a Competitive Edge
This factor is particularly relevant to older workers who have been in their career for a number of years. Completing an MBA program, with its broad approach to business education and focus on increased analytical skills, can prepare the individual to advance in their own career field or move into a new one.
According to Yahoo! Education, MBA grads are often well-prepared for careers in both the private and public sector. Additionally, there are various specializations that are becoming increasingly popular in MBA programs such as healthcare, project management, and marketing.
Jump Start a Second-Act Career
No matter how hard people work there are occasions when they find themselves bumping up against the glass ceiling in their current position? When all seems lost and advancement seems impossible, earning an MBA might be just the shot in the arm their career needs.
Yahoo! Education ranks the MBA as the number one degree in 2012 for those looking to move into a new career field. MBA programs not only offer students an opportunity to sharpen the skills they’ve earned during their career, students also have the opportunity to develop analytical and critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in upper level management positions.
Pursue an In-Demand Career
Yahoo! Education recently ranked the Top 10 In-Demand careers for 2012 and there was one degree that opened the door to more of these careers than any other, an MBA. Among the top positions among employers in 2012, there were employers in numerous fields whose ideal candidate possessed an MBA.
The careers mentioned represented various industries and included Database Administrators, Financial Analysts, Accountants, and Medical/Health Services Managers. One should always keep in mind that experience in the field is often an additional requirement beyond just a degree.
Increased Salary Potential
According to Monster.com, earning an advanced degree such as an MBA may reward graduates with higher salary potential. Katie Bardaro, a lead analyst at Payscale.com, points out however that not all Master’s degrees are guaranteed to lead to higher potential salaries. Even within MBA programs, Bardaro points out that there are certain specializations that lead to greater salary potential than others.
The important thing to consider when pursing an MBA is the demand for that specialization. Five MBA specializations were identified for the potential to lead to six figure salaries. These specializations included Finance, International Business, Marketing, Information Systems, and Technology Management. Again, experience in your chosen field is considered for higher level positions as well.