Click To A List Top Schools Offering MBA Degrees Online
You’ve read the headlines: Investment banks are collapsing, commercial banks are merging and laying off thousands, and the stock market is having some of the worst days in its history. It’s hard not to wonder if still make sense to spend time and money to get an M.B.A. degree?
The answer depends, as it always does, on exactly what career track you’re interested in. If you’re looking to earn a six or seven figure salary trading derivatives, live in a penthouse and drive a BMW by the time you’re 28, you should probably take a deep breath and thank about a “plan B.” The easy money has vanished on Wall Street like the “robber baron” era that went down with the Titanic.
But there are still many businesses where you can get a great career boost from having a master’s degree in business. In fact, virtually every medium to large size company will continue to have a need for M.B.A.’s. Even the banking industry, in fact, will still need them. Here are some key things to consider if you’re thinking of pursuing a graduate business degree in today’s tough environment:
Protect Your Current Job While You Get Ready For Your Next Move
At a time when many companies, even outside the financial sector, may be laying off employees, you can make yourself more valuable by boosting you skill set. Working on an M.B.A. can send a signal to your boss that you’re ambitious, and that you are gaining new skills that will make you more valuable to the company.
At the same time, perhaps the most attractive thing about an M.B.A. is that you can apply it in so many different businesses. Look carefully through online job listings at a variety of companies that interest you, and you’ll find the term “M.B.A. preferred” attached to everything from sales to web development positions. That’s why the degree can be just not only if you want to move up in the business you’re in, but can also help you make a fresh start in a completely different career, without having to start again at the bottom of the heap. You can start a search for your next job feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new challenge, and that kind of confidence and excitement can be a big help in job interviews.
Right Now, Your Timing May Be Perfect
Whether you decide on a classic M.B.A. through classroom study, an online degree or one of the many “abbreviated” executive M.B.A. certificates and degrees offered today, the process is likely to take you anywhere from one to four years. The current recession can’t last forever. It is very likely that the economy will be more solid again by the time you get your new degree in hand. And while the typical payback for an M.B.A. of three years (the time it will take for your increased earnings to cover the cost of your degree) may stretch out a little longer, you should still benefit in the long run. Even if the recession affects MBA grads for several years, companies are still going to need managers. A recent report by The MBA Career Services Council (MBCSC), an association of employment professionals, actually paints a surprisingly sunny picture of MBA hiring trends, even in what seems to be a flat economy. The group’s new 2011 recruiting trends survey says companies have ramped up MBA jobs hiring considerably since the dark economic times of 2009 – 2010.
Startups And International You may want to consider directing your MBA studies toward two sectors expected to remain hot even if the economy is tough. The first is international business. If you have experience in foreign business or speak a language other than English, this can be a good area to position yourself in. In fact, it can be very valuable to actually spend some time working abroad after you get your degree, so you can bring that international experience back to an American company later on. Second is the world of startups. Brand new companies are still being launched and large companies are still launching new initiatives. If you’re comfortable in a very fast-paced environment and have a good familiarity with technology, posing yourself as a startup expert can open new doors.
Know What You’re Chasing
The truth about an M.B.A. degree in a recession is the same about all degrees in all economic conditions. To be truly successful, you need to have a clear job target in mind before you start studying. That target can change gradually based on where your studies and your interests go in grad school. But for career changers and “career enhancers,” an M.B.A. still offers the potential so separate yourself from those in lower management positions in your chosen business.