Do you really need an MBA degree?

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on September 04, 2011

Most MBA related information available in the public domain (including the internet, books, and discussion forums) focuses on the immense benefits that the top international business schools can provide. These schools attract the top applicants from multiple countries, so there’s the opportunity to build a network across countries in a very short time - a network that can be tapped into for professional and personal needs. A top MBA program allows the student to access a ton of resources available on campus. That’s a great way to experiment, learn and grow.

Do you really need an MBA Degree ?

However, an MBA is also a very expensive investment and that makes it all the more relevant to be aware of what can go wrong in the process. Many skip the tedious process of carrying out research about what the MBA can and cannot do for them.

Many applicants who wish to pursue an international MBA have very good excellent academic grades and a track record of professional achievement in their chosen fields. But many of them are not sure about what they can expect from the MBA experience. The reasons that they talk about vary, but there are some common themes.

For a lot of people, a top MBA degree has the potential to unlock to the door to name, fame and fortune. Another common reason is when professionals get tired of their current jobs and feel they have reached a glass ceiling with very little growth prospects. Others think look at the degree almost like an escape route that takes them far away from their problems back home.

This results in an avalanche of emotions that clouds the basic process of questioning and challenging popular perceptions and beliefs. The MBA turns into an oasis in the middle of a desert. Many start believing they can start life afresh.

Whether it is hunting for a post-MBA job, an internship or just basic educational model adopted by most business schools, there are the good and the not-so-good elements to be aware of. Being aware of what these pitfalls can be, will allow applicants to evaluate the value that an MBA can add to their lives, in a more realistic manner considering their specific needs.

It is not an easy decision to resign from a comfortable job and move into an alien arena and spend a long time staring at an uncertain future. The cost of attending an MBA program goes beyond the tuition fee. You would be leaving all your domestic contacts behind and starting off with a clean slate.

Don’t rely purely on word-of-mouth data or speculative talk. Also check out the credible and reliable sources of information.  Find out what makes a school good. Check out the track record of business schools in the area of selecting applicants, teaching, placements and all the other aspects that are important to achieve your goals. Understand what you will have to do before, during and after you get into a good business school. Evaluate the best, worst and most-likely case scenarios and your plan of action in each case.

If you have already carried out this research and you are convinced that an MBA is the best option for you at this stage of your career, then it is time to roll up your sleeves and start working on your MBA applications. The competition is intense out there. So prepare well and give it your best shot.

For the others who haven’t reached that stage yet, think about all the easier, cheaper and less risky paths to reach your goals and explore them thoroughly first. Who knows it might save you over a $100,000 and 2 years of your productive life!

About the Author: Sameer Kamat is the founder of MBA Crystal Ball, an admissions consulting venture. After completing his MBA from the University of Cambridge on a double scholarship, he worked in the area of Mergers & Acquisitions for 5 years before leaving the corporate world to become an entrepreneur. He is also the author of Beyond The MBA Hype published by HarperCollins. This article draws upon the insights covered in the book. You can check out a small ad on his book on YouTube.

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