Graduate degrees in business and management (MBA) continue to be the most common master’s-level degrees awarded in the United States, and presumably around the world, according to National Center for Education Statistics.
First, the return on investment is compelling; according to the Graduate Management Admission's Council 2016 Alumni Perspective's Survey Report:
- Earnings: Graduates of management education programs can expect to earn $2.5 million in cumulative base salary 20 years after graduation; although earnings may vary based on your age.
- Repayment: Graduates recoup their educational investment in four years or less after graduation;
- Employment: 92% of surveyed graduates are employed
- Career Growth: 75% of surveyed graduates report that the degree accelerated their careers;
- Satisfaction: while 93% and 89% of graduates note that their degree was, respectively, personally and professionally rewarding and 90% would pursue the degree again.
Second, an MBA is a structured, rigorous, and comprehensive program through which to build the skills to lead. The future of work will demand leaders who are fluent in social and emotional intelligence and competent in collaborating across borders, cultures, disciplines, and technologies.
Should you seek a full-time two-year or one-year program? A joint-degree? Harvard's 2+2 or Yale's Silver Scholar programs? A part-time program while you work? A certified online program? Or seek a specialized business degree such as a Master in Data Analytics, Master of Supply Chain Management, or Master of Marketing?
Once you clear that hurdle then you have to take an entrance exam, visit schools, write essays, solicit letters of recommendation, define your career goals, and try to binge watch the latest seasons of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. The time, energy, complexity, thoughtfulness, and preparation can be exhausting, bewildering, and overwhelming!