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What to Consider before Pursuing an MBA Degree

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Business degrees are among the most popular chosen by college students each year. Many students will face the difficult decision of determining if it is a good idea for them to pursue an advanced business degree, such as a Master of Business Administration, after completing an undergraduate degree. There are a lot of factors for anyone to consider when making such a difficult choice. These factors will carry different weight among different individuals, so it is not necessary to consider them in the order they are presented below.

Is an MBA Right for Me?

A Master of Business Administration degree is a generalized degree program, but it also offers students a chance to specialize in a number of areas within business administration. Before even putting pen to paper on an application, it is important for individuals to stop and consider what they want to learn and what they might do for a career in the future.

What Makes a Successful MBA Student?

Every degree program requires students to possess a certain set of skills and abilities in order to be successful. Students should possess a number of skill sets in order to succeed, with emphasis on two skills in particular.

Successful MBA students must possess good analytical and quantitative abilities. Courses will present students with tough business-making decisions and at times a lot of numbers, data, and statistics. If an individual is not comfortable with facing these challenges, they are not likely to be successful in the program. Second, students should possess solid communication skills. Business dealings in the classroom and the real word will involve working with diverse groups of people. Without the ability to effectively communicate, students will struggle.

What Program Works for Me?

According to Monster.com,in the 21st century there are an increasing variety of MBA programs available for graduate students and business professionals. Each program has unique offerings that will benefits individuals in different ways. Determining which program suits each individual best is up to that individual.

A traditional on-campus, two-year program has been the most common choice in the past, but new options are popping up to cater to individuals with different needs. Examples of these new MBA programs include:

  • Weekend MBAs: These programs are catered toward individuals already working in the business field, including those who may have already reached senior executive levels. Designed for those who cannot leave work for school full-time, weekend programs require students to attend one long weekend each month on-campus and allow them to complete the rest of their work online. Typical programs last about 26 months.
  • Online MBA: The ultimate option when it comes to flexibility, an online MBA program caters to the schedule of the individual student. While many of the offerings are equal to on-campus programs, there is a lack of face-to-face interaction that is viewed with skepticism by some.
  • On-Site MBA: A relatively uncommon option, these programs are offered at a business site specifically for the employees of that company.

There are many factors for the individual to consider when looking at a prospective MBA program. How these factors affect each individual will differ. Some evidence shows that MBA graduates remain popular among employers. According to US News Data, Arizona State University claimed that 89% of their MBA graduates in 2010 located employment within three months compared to 70.8% in 2009, but everyone’s experiences are different.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sources:
http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2011/03/15/us-news-data-indicates-more-jobs-for-mbas-more-jobs-for-mbas
http://career-advice.monster.com/career-development/education-training/mba-are-you-ready/article.aspx
http://career-advice.monster.com/career-development/education-training/new-programs-mean-more-mba-options/article.aspx

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