female graduate in gown
If you're looking to accelerate into a leadership position or break into an entirely new industry, obtaining an MBA might be the path to getting there. — Getty Images/lostinbids

Getting your Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can make you stand out and enhance your career opportunities. An MBA opens doors and helps you grow within your organization and industry. It's no surprise than an MBA will catch the attention of potential employers, but is it really worth the investment?

Outlined below is everything you should know about earning an MBA, why you might need one, and what the best programs are.

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Do you need an MBA?

Here are some reasons why you might want to get your MBA and how obtaining it can directly help you achieve these goals:

  • You're trying to break into a new industry. If you’re feeling burnt out or looking to shift industries, an MBA is a productive way to hone your business skills in a new specialty. Many of these programs offer concentrations that can prepare you for a specific field or department. By the end of your program, you’ll be well-versed and equipped enter a new industry.
  • You're looking to make new connections. In business, it’s not just what you know, it’s often who you know. After working at the same job with the same people for years, you may find that your inner circle has become a small echo chamber. Going to business school gives you the opportunity to meet new people with different professional and cultural backgrounds than you. These connections can help you land a job later down the road or offer you a new perspective you’ve never been exposed to before. This newfound network gives you professional and personal resources for years to come.
  • You're interested in pursuing a concentration in a given field. Maybe you aren’t looking to move into a new industry entirely, but you are looking to develop functional skills in a different field. Such skills could be supplementary to your current role or they can help you expand your role and make the leap into other functional areas within your organization.
  • You're aiming to fill a leadership position. While MBA programs are expensive, you could be missing out on earnings by not being in a position worthy of your potential. If you’re looking towards a promotion in a management position but feel you lack the skills and proficiencies for it, an MBA program will increase your chance for a promotion. In fact, graduates of top MBA programs often see an increase in their salary after earning their degree. An MBA makes you stand out from competitive to climb the corporate ladder.
  • You want to start your own business. As you earn your MBA, you’ll learn the skills you need to go out on your own and start your own business. Many programs offer accelerated learning and startup programs so you can develop your business quickly. Finally, an MBA program will grant you access to entrepreneurial resources.

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Going for your MBA is a serious investment of your time, money and energy, but it is absolutely worth it though if you’re looking to advance and improve your professional career.

What are the best MBA programs?

Every year, U.S. News publishes a list of the top MBA programs across the United States. In their most recent survey, U.S. News ranked 131 qualifying business schools out of 477 institutions accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International).

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As ranked by U.S. News, these are the five best MBA programs as of 2020. It’s important to note that some schools may be better than others for specific types of MBA programs.

Going for your MBA is a serious investment of your time, money and energy, but it is absolutely worth it though if you’re looking to advance and improve your professional career. Whether you want to learn a new skill, get a promotion or go into business for yourself, an MBA can help you achieve your goals.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published June 23, 2020