Are you thinking about going to business school? The decision to attend a graduate business program can be a pivotal point in your professional life, taking your career to the next level. However, business school requires both commitment and financial investment, and competition can be fierce. Let’s look at some of the benefits of going to business school, and see if the decision is right for you.
Most business school programs include required classes in accounting, finance, management, and business law. After completing these core courses, students can complete more in-depth classes in their area of concentration, as well as their choice of electives. Additionally, many programs offer internships or real-world work experience as part of the course load. This academic content can be enriching to a professional who already has years of business experience, but can also serve as a solid foundation for a student new to the business world.
Business school can broaden job options and enhance a professional’s career flexibility. Professionals who wish to pursue careers in investment banking, management consulting, or private equity have an easier time getting their foot in the door if they have an M.B.A. Going to business school can also help with a career switch: employees who have spent years in teaching, retail, and even medicine can leverage their business school education to transition into finance or management.
Some professionals even opt for dual graduate degrees, such as the popular J.D/M.B.A. option. Pharmaceutical executives frequently boast both PharmD and M.B.A. degrees, giving them both clinical and management expertise.
The networking opportunities available in business school can be even more valuable than the academic studies. Fellow students, professors, and alumni groups quickly expand your professional network; you never know when these contacts will come in handy after graduation. Additionally, graduates from well-known business schools often have an advantage when recruiters and potential employers recognize the program on their resumes.
It’s a known fact that business school can open doors to new roles and career paths. In fact, many international students complete graduate business studies in the United States to take advantage of the many contacts and opportunities available after graduation.
While there are clearly many advantages to business school, there are still some considerations to keep in mind. Business school requires an investment of time and energy: even if you attend part-time, you need to be able to handle classes, papers, and projects after a long day at work. You also need to make sure you can afford the cost of business school. While some employers pay for a portion of business school education, you’ll likely need to take out student loans or use your own savings for the rest.
With these factors in mind, it should be easier to determine if you should apply to business school. Graduate business studies are not for everyone. For the right person, however, an MBA can be a powerful and worthwhile investment in your career.
Alice is a career advisor. She frequently writes about how to choose which school is right for you on business blogs.