Master’s degrees are becoming more common, especially in fields like business and finance where qualifications speak volumes about a person’s abilities. Whether you plan to become your own boss or move up the corporate ladder, success in the business world is rooted heavily in academic achievement. Getting your MBA is exciting, but it is a huge investment and responsibility. If you’re contemplating a graduate degree in business, make sure you cover these bases before jumping in.
Know the Costs
The cost of returning to school will be the largest determining factor in what program you choose and how you study. Explore all your options, including scholarships, grants and student loans. You can take out a student loan from a private lender for greater flexibility and easily apply to see if you qualify. Once you know what resources you’ll have at your disposal, you can move forward with applications and enrollment.
Compare Degree Programs
If you are interested in specializing in a particular field, then you may want to choose a school and program that aligns with your concentration. Sports management, international marketing and corporate strategy programs are more likely to qualify you for certain positions. It’s helpful to envision your career road map now so you can plan accordingly. With the right experience, you can take full advantage of MBA program networking opportunities to get a job.
Start Studying for Entrance Exams
You may have been able to get into your undergraduate program with or without SAT scores. Entrance exams are mandatory for MBA applicants. If you’re already a student, then you’ll want to look into preparing for the GMAT or GRE to give yourself the greatest edge when applying. If you’re entering after years in the workforce, start studying at least three months before you plan to apply.
Consider Secondary Degrees
Many MBA students also pursue second graduate degrees simultaneously. These can further your knowledge and qualifications for a particular career path. For example, a J.D.MBA is a joint degree program that offers both a law degree and master’s in business administration. This is a four or five-year program that is time-consuming, but it can be perfect for someone who has their sights set on becoming a business lawyer. There are other dual degree paths to explore as well including:
- Human resources
- Information systems
- Healthcare studies
- Food and beverage management
Think About Online Options
Taking part in studying online has become almost as common as earning a degree on campus. In addition to expanding your school possibilities, you can also continue working and balance your career more easily online. For established professionals with families, electing to earn their master’s in business administration online can make a world of difference. Sometimes, online studies also come at more flexible rates, and you may be able to focus on a concentration that isn’t offered at commutable schools. Make sure you fully explore all your options before you start applying.
Always Be One Step Ahead
Does the decision to earn your master’s fit with where you see yourself 10 years from now? While you don’t need your entire life rigidly mapped out, you should have a solid idea of your core values and primary goals. The purpose of early research is to decide how a school not only helps you become who you want but supports who you are now. Earning a degree has both immediate and long-term benefits, and you should pick a program that fully embodies both your current standing and ideal future.