In an increasingly competitive job market, an MBA may seem like a sure bet to push yourself ahead of the competition.
However, there’s a lot to consider when choosing whether or not to pursue an MBA. That’s why we’ve put together this mini quiz to help you evaluate this decision for yourself:
Many MBA grads end up working in industries such as: financial services, consulting, accounting, marketing, etc. Do these types of industries interest you? Are you interested in switching into one of these industries? (choose one)
Do you want to manage others or have an interest in building leadership capabilities? (choose one)
One benefit of an MBA is access to like-minded peers, faculty and alumni. Is expanding your professional network important to you? (choose one)
MBA programs often have a great deal of group work. Are you comfortable, and willing to work as part of a team? (choose one)
MBAs are costly, with some schools costing upwards of $80,000 for tuition alone. Have you thought about how you will fund your MBA? Can you afford an MBA? (choose one)
An MBA is a large time commitment. Are you willing to commit upwards of 15 hours per week on evenings and weekends for a part-time MBA? Or, are you willing to take a year or two off of work for a full time program? (choose one)
Grades, case competitions, and job recruitment add a competitive element to an MBA program. Do you have a natural competitive drive or enjoy competition? (choose one)
The majority of MBA schools require a physical presence in classrooms, with campuses located in larger cities like Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Kingston, and Montreal. Are you willing to potentially relocate to a new city to study? (choose one)
Many employers will support their employees taking time off to complete an MBA. Some may even offer to help cover your tuition if you study part-time! Is your current employer supporting your decision to study? (choose one)
An MBA may be a good fit for you and your aspirations
An MBA can make you more marketable and help you build the technical skills and capabilities to succeed in a variety of industries. It can also provide you with the opportunity to build your network of relationships with classmates who could end up working in many different industries both domestically and internationally. However, an MBA alone does not necessarily guarantee professional success. It comes down to performance, and how you manage your career.
Pursuing an MBA may not be for you
An MBA may not seem to line-up with the direction you have in mind for your career or it just might not be the right time for you. Perhaps working in one of the listed industries is not the right fit for you or you are not in a place to make the significant time commitment.
Time and Cost Considerations
According to the 2016 Financial Times Global MBA ranking, three years after graduating with an MBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, the average alumni makes $126,409 — 78% more than they did before beginning their MBA. However, MBAs are also pricey, and you may want to weigh the cost benefit of that type of investment.
For example, here’s the cost of four MBA programs in Canada:
- University of Toronto Rotman School of Management
Total tuition cost: $98,409 for the two-year full-time MBA program starting in 2016
- Queens University: Smith School of Business
Total tuition cost: $81,000 for the one-year full-time MBA program starting in 2018
- McGill University: Desautels Faculty of Management
Total tuition cost: $79, 500 for the two-year full time MBA program starting in 2017
- University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business
Total tuition cost: $46,569 for the 16 month full-time MBA program starting in 2017
While researching MBA programs and whether an MBA is the right fit for you talk to the admissions departments and current students from the schools you are interested in to get a feel for the school, program and environment. Attempt to connect with MBA alumni to learn about their experiences and how an MBA affected their career. Ultimately you want to ensure the decision you are making is the best for you. The more information you can gather to inform your decision, the better. Happy soul-searching!
This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.