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When is the Right Time to Pursue an M.B.A.?

Maybe you already know you want to pursue a Master of Business Administration, but you aren’t sure if that someday is today. With few exceptions, mostly due to personal life events, there’s never a bad time to start an M.B.A. program—but there are a few times in life when it makes the most sense to begin the journey sooner rather than later. Here’s a look at some of the most common times students decide to pursue an M.B.A.

Earning Your M.B.A. as a Recent Graduate

Although it’s common for most business professionals to gain real world experience before pursuing an M.B.A., some students go straight to graduate school after college or within a year or two of completing their undergraduate studies. In fact, 35 percent of all GMAT exams taken in 2009 were completed by people younger than 24 years old, according to a recent profile of Graduate Management Admission Test Candidates by the GMAC.

It’s worth mentioning that often times the primary value of an M.B.A. is to leverage your real-world business experience with newfound skills and abilities to assume a senior leadership or executive position. Depending on your business experience, you may want to gain practical experience in the workforce before returning to school for your M.B.A.

Earning Your M.B.A. for Career Advancement

If you’re ready to take on more responsibility at work and assume a leadership position, obtaining an M.B.A. signals to your superiors that you’re ready to take the next step in your career. A large focus of any M.B.A. program is organizational leadership, including the theory of leadership as well as leadership in practice. In addition to leadership courses, M.B.A. programs also help students gain practical leadership skills through their very nature and structure.

The leadership component of an M.B.A. is one of the reasons why alumni credit their degree for quicker career advancement, and why alumni of professional M.B.A. programs are the most likely to hold senior-level and executive positions compared with other graduate business programs.1

Earning Your M.B.A. to Change Careers

Whether your goal is to move from one area of business to another—from marketing to finance or sales to human resources, for example—or you’re looking to change your career path altogether, using an M.B.A. to forge a new career path is a typical strategy among business school attendees. In fact, according to a 2011 survey conducted by Veritas Prep, as reported by U.S. News, 70 percent of M.B.A. applicants are aiming to change careers.2

Depending on the extent of your planned career change, you may need to execute your career change in stages. For example, if you plan on switching fields, look for internship or mentorship opportunities in the field you’re hoping to move to while you’re pursuing your M.B.A. Just keep in mind how big of an investment business school is and make sure to identify your new career goals before you start working towards completing an M.B.A. Consult with a career coach if you need help planning out your new career path.

Following is a sample of popular job titles commonly held by M.B.A.graduates:

  • Business Manager
  • Corporate Recruiter
  • Financial Analyst
  • Management Consultant
  • Marketing Research Analyst
  • Executive

Whether you’re looking to jumpstart your career out of college, climb the ranks in your organization or embark on a new career path, now is a great time to pursue an online M.B.A. from Manhattan College. The flexible nature of our online program means you can develop the skills to become a business leader while continuing to work.

Request more information online or call 855-841-2843 to learn more about the online M.B.A. from Manhattan College. Be sure to check out our free guide Why an M.B.A., Why Now? to learn how an M.B.A. can accelerate your career and improve your life.

References:

http://www.gmac.com/market-intelligence-and-research/research-library/measuring-program-roi/dtg-b-school-followup-class-of-2015.aspx
http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2012/03/14/an-mba-may-be-your-ticket-to-change