The mba, or masters of business administration, is a prestigious credential that can open doors for professionals in a variety of industries. The degree, which requires a significant commitment and expense, is often a gateway to managerial positions or higher salaries in a new career. It is also a way to broaden professional networks and develop functional job skills that can be transferred across sectors.
However, it’s important to know what you want from your mba before diving in. Taking on such a major undertaking without clear goals can be risky and is unlikely to give you a high return on investment, either immediately or over time. The most common goal of an MBA program is advancing or switching careers, but it can be equally valuable later in a professional’s career.
MBAs often change industries or functions, and they are exposed to a wide range of business models, from non-profits to private equity firms. These new perspectives can help a student prepare for a career pivot and equip themselves with the leadership skills needed to make the transition.
Students also learn to think critically about complex business challenges and opportunities, a skill that can help them be more strategic in their current roles and future career paths. They also take courses that develop their communication and presentation skills, which can be invaluable in any industry or role. Some students even pursue a concentration in entrepreneurship, which can be beneficial for those who have plans to start their own businesses.