Deciding to move forward in your career and pursue an MBA program can be a life-changing experience. It can truly define your professional stance and determine the next direction in your business journey. With so much at stake, it’s important to reflect about why you want to pursue an MBA in the first place.
So why go to business school? For many, it opens up an avenue of opportunity in personal growth, career development, heightened salary potential, and a chance to pursue a lifelong dream that may not always have seemed attainable.
However, there are some poorly considered reasons to go back to school and pursue your MBA. Attending business school doesn’t automatically lead you to success and answer all of the questions surrounding your ability to stay motivated and keep moving toward your business goals. Deciding to go to business school and complete your master’s degree starts with better understanding your drivers for success and putting in the effort to ensure your goals are met in the business world.
Below, we’ve highlighted the best reasons to consider business school, followed by some misguided motives that should lead you back to the drawing board instead.
Best Reasons to Consider Business School
Business school isn’t for everyone. If you’re thinking about going into an MBA program and looking for the right reasons to do so, consider the following:
1. Increase Your Career Flexibility
If you are interested in going to school, but you’re not sure what you want to do after graduation, business school may be a great route to consider. Going to business school can make you more flexible in your career, and if this is your sole reason for enrolling in an MBA program, you won’t be disappointed. There are many notable, exclusive roles in the job market today that require an MBA or higher credential, making an MBA degree a ticket to opportunity.
At the same time, if you’re fully aware of what you want to do with your MBA, such as transitioning from an employee to a business owner, going through an MBA program can boost your skills and industry knowledge. The Washington State University Carson College of Business provides a curriculum that’s built on the tactics and theoretical knowledge used by today’s business leaders, providing the know-how to direct businesses in any setting. A program like this can help you feel confident taking on any role in your industry on a global scale.
2. Boost Your Salary Potential
Money certainly isn’t everything: Making a career choice should stem from your love for the opportunity and drive to make a difference in the industry. However, salary is certainly important. The good news is that an MBA can unlock greater earning potential, providing a salary increase from your current pay rate with a bachelor’s degree. According to PayScale, the average base salary for someone with a master’s business degree is $91,000. Of course, this range can vary based on the job you intend to pursue.
3. Gain a Powerful Network of Like-Minded Professionals
Business school is much more than sitting down in a lecture hall or online classroom and listening to your professor. It’s about interacting with your teachers and peers on a different level. Future business leaders should be constantly working to make connections and get their names out there. Making a memorable impression on like-minded students can be a major advantage if a job opportunity arises. Sharing your experience and skills with others can put you at top of mind if someone needs a business partner down the road.
4. Learn How to Be a Leader
Becoming an effective business professional starts with learning how to be a successful leader. With greater people skills, you can better understand what others need in the workplace to do their jobs successfully. When you have the skills and ability to connect with others, you can create more effective and trusting relationships that lead to a comfortable and impressive work environment.
Debbie Sands, a 2020 Washington State University Online MBA graduate, explained how the online MBA program enabled her to work better with others and become an effective leader in the business world.
“I took a strategy and leadership course and it changed my outlook on how I approached my work,” she shared. “It helped me apply principles to certain situations and become more effective in completing my work and working with others. And perhaps it will help others see me in a different light that can help me advance.”
5. Become an Expert Problem-Solver
Leadership skills are necessary in the business world, but being ready and able to solve a problem at the drop of a hat is also critical. At some point in your career, you’ll likely be faced with an issue that requires you to make a decision in a hurry. Having problem-solving skills and an ability to think critically in a short amount of time can make it easier for your business to thrive in the face of legal issues or problems related to finances.
6. Discover Your Motive to Become an Entrepreneur
Perhaps you’ve had a business idea circulating your mind for years, but no idea how to move forward. Enrolling in business school doesn’t only put you in the presence of like-minded people who can help you get started — it also provides you with the baseline knowledge and foundational strategy needed to properly execute a business plan. Business school can give you the extra push you’ve been looking for and the tools you need to become a successful entrepreneur.
Worst Reasons to Consider Business School
You may want to think twice before enrolling in a business school if you think it means inevitable success, or that it will be a quick fix to your personal business questions:
1. It’s a Quick Route to Success
There are countless stories of MBA graduates and their successful careers. So many, in fact, that some people automatically associate achievement with MBA programs. While getting your MBA can increase your chances of landing a secure job and provide you with a better outlook for your business, it does not guarantee immediate prosperity.
Furthermore, because an MBA opens doors and provides new opportunities, some learn that their road to success has become more complex. New management roles and promotions equal more responsibility and commitment. This can be considered success or achievement, but earning your MBA doesn’t typically mean you’ll automatically gain a higher-level position in a company, or turn out a Fortune 500 business on your own within months of graduating. Your MBA is just part of the puzzle, which also requires skill, education, experience, drive, and connections to achieve success.
2. You Will Have All the Answers for Your Business
It’s common for business owners to enroll in an MBA program hoping to find all the answers they need to build a flourishing company. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. Many MBA graduates’ experiences reveal that you will have more questions after earning your degree, because in the real world, applying a framework you learned in school isn’t necessarily a straightforward process. MBA courses are designed to equip candidates with business formulas that can minimize risks within a company. This means you still have to work at solving your problems.
The good news is that you’re not coming out of the MBA program empty-handed. The information you pick up from business school can apply year after year, and in some cases may also be used throughout multiple industries. This can help you create stable business models and nurture consistent growth that can eventually lead to success in the future of your business endeavors.
3. You Have No Idea What You Want to Gain from Your MBA
While pursuing an MBA can be helpful for students who are not sure exactly what they want to do after graduation, taking the steps to enroll in the program shouldn’t be seen as a cure-all for your overwhelming uncertainty. You should have a general idea of what you want to do with a business degree, whether that’s to take advantage of one of your business plans and finally put it into practice or to get a promotion in your current workplace. Pursuing business school without a general end goal can lead to greater confusion after graduation, leaving you in a pit of doubt about getting your MBA altogether.
Do You Think an MBA Is Right for You?
After narrowing down the reasons to consider an MBA vs. the assumptions that can keep you from reaching your full potential in business school, you may have a better idea of where you stand in your current position as a professional. If you’re confident that you have what it takes to pursue your MBA and are in it for the long haul — and for the right reasons — it’s time to discover what the Washington State University Carson College of Business can do for business-savvy professionals like you.
The MBA program at Washington State University doesn’t only provide a full-scale curriculum of cross-cultural fluency and global business tactics — it also keeps students in mind with conveniences and accessibility. The program is taught in a 100% online format, and you can graduate in as few as 22 to 29 months. Additionally, there is no GMAT score required for applicants—as long as you meet other admissions requirements, you can start your coursework.
Still not convinced? Some of Washington State University’s credentials include:
- Ranked in the top 20 “Best Online MBA Programs” by S. News & World Report
- Ranked among the “Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans” for 2021 by S. News & World Report
- Carson College of Business ranked in CEO Magazine’s 2021 Global Online MBA rankings
- Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International
- Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
At Washington State University, our Online MBA program has helped countless graduates take their business careers to the next level. Learn more about how you can become a future leader in the business world by contacting our support staff today.