When is the right time in your career to study an MBA?

The MBA is a big commitment and, right now, it can feel like an even bigger decision. While there’s technically no right or wrong time to do an MBA, there are some considerations to keep in mind.

2024-05-07 14:03:00
Move On

The MBA is a big commitment and, right now, it can feel like an even bigger decision. While there’s technically no right or wrong time to do an MBA, there are some considerations to keep in mind.

Economic downturns and an unpredictable job market have prompted individuals to consider business school as an opportunity to reinvent themselves amidst the disruption. Historically, recessions see a significant uptake in demand for education as employment and promotion opportunities remain scarce.

As predicted by Forbes Magazine, it is therefore natural with the current uncertainty surrounding the world economy and war in Europe to expect a significant increase in applications for the 2024-2025 admissions cycle at business schools worldwide.

So, whether you’re just getting started on your long and fulfilling career path, or you already have a decade’s worth of experience on your CV, let’s take a closer look at a few signs that it might be time for you to send off your MBA application.

1. When you feel academically ready

There’s no doubt you’ll have already weighed up how to balance your commitments to your family, career, and partner. But considering whether you’re ready to commit to a program that’s as enriching as it is rigorous is just as important.

You should look carefully at entry requirements, average class profiles and your professional ‘personality’ as well. Although you might have a few years’ worth of experience under your belt, it’s worth considering what you’ve actually enjoyed (or not), and what you’re good at (or not) in your professional line of work.

How are you with numbers? Do you enjoy working with others? How are your presentation skills? Identifying your strengths and weaknesses puts you in a stronger position for enhancing your business skillset and knowledge during the MBA.

Drawing on such experiences and linking it to your learning is crucial if you want to maximize your MBA as you bring a valued perspective to the table for group discussions and class collaborations.

2. When you’ve reached a plateau in your career

Career plateaus are common, and are usually as a result of being greatly limited in your upward mobility. After a handful of promotions, it can suddenly feel like you’re stuck with no more room for growth.

If reaching a management position sooner is your goal, an MBA could be the right move.

3. You want to change career paths

Evaluating your career ambitions is important at this point. Are your career goals still the same as what they were when you first started?

But be sure to know what the program can offer you. Today’s MBA is very different to what it was some decades ago.

4. You want to start your own business

A study by CarringtonCrisp, supported by EFMD, reveals that starting a business has become one of the top five motivations to study an MBA degree, with entrepreneurship, IT, international business, and finance among the top MBA specialization choices.

Branching out and starting your own business is a different kettle of fish entirely when it comes to switching up career paths, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

5. You want to boost your salary prospects

MBAs tend to offer a significant ROI (return-on-investment).

Those with a graduate degree earn approximately US$12,000 more than their bachelor’s-only peers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And, while salaries vary by occupation, it was found that those in the business sector see some of the highest variances.

6. When you’re in a financially sound position

Financial concerns are one of the top reservations when it comes to doing an MBA – or not. Can you afford to take time away from your job to pursue an MBA? Or are you confident in being able to balance work and studying along with other commitments and responsibilities?

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, online learning was becoming an increasingly popular study option for millions around the world. Flexible programs will enable you to accelerate your career amidst the uncertainty.

Ready to kickstart your MBA journey?

Discover top-ranked Business Schools and connect with Admission Directors at the QS Connect MBA Event every fall, in Copenhagen. Get ready for one-on-one interviews with prestigious institutions like Copenhagen Business School, ESADE Business School, Emlyon Business School, Hult International Business School, IE University, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, and many more!

Don't miss out on the opportunity to apply for exclusive scholarships worth $45K from QS. The event is absolutely free, and if you have over 3 years of work experience, you're the perfect fit for success!


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Updated on 07.05.2024

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