Q: I’m thinking about getting my MBA and am trying to decide if it’s worth it. What are your thoughts?
A: Determining whether an advanced degree will help your career or not depends on several things:
First, think about why you are considering going back to school. Do you lack certain skills that would help you advance in your profession? Would you like to switch career paths? Do you see an advanced degree leading to a bump in salary? These are all reasons for pursuing a new degree. Knowing what is driving your desire will help you determine if getting the degree will be “worth it.” For example, if you feel that an advanced degree will elevate your pay grade it may be helpful to determine if this is true by talking to your HR department and then comparing the cost of getting the degree with the anticipated pay raise.
It’s also important to consider the industry you work in and your role within that industry. Advanced degrees can be essential to some jobs, such as highly technical roles like engineers, or to management positions that require well-rounded critical thinking. Other jobs – such as sales positions – rely more heavily on experience.
If you feel that an MBA or other advanced degree will help your chances of moving into a management position, I suggest running this scenario by your boss. Doing so will not only let you know if your boss views you as management material, but will also give you a sense of whether your employer values advanced degrees and whether they may pay for all or some of your education.
Of course it would be tough to overlook the current economic climate and that’s certainly another factor to consider. Recently, much attention has been paid to the high costs of college education and it’s important to consider whether you can handle the expense and, of course, the time commitment that going back to school would require.
About the Recruiter
Laurie Fiumara has 10+ years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry. As a director and member of the management team at Professional Staffing Group (PSG), she oversees PSG’s major client relationships.