When you hear about people with MBAs, it probably conjures up images of top-level boardrooms, private jets, long hours and big companies. An MBA degree is one of the most sought after - and most expensive - postgraduate qualifications out there, but it can lead to a high-flying, rewarding career if you want it to.
Getting an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree doesn't immediately guarantee that you'll earn loads of money, and not all people with MBAs have the jet-setting, international career that you see on TV. But, having an MBA definitely puts you on the right path for high-paying jobs and career advancement that you wouldn't otherwise have open to you.
MBA degrees are highly respected worldwide as they involve thorough knowledge and experience in business frameworks, leadership, finances, project management and more, and the demands for employees who hold MBAs have never been higher. According to research from the Association of MBAs, graduates can earn 18% more than those without an MBA. During a further three to five years of work, an MBA holder's salary goes up again. In fact, the average of salary increase on pre-MBA salaries can be as much as 53%. Not bad, eh?
“So why doesn't everyone have an MBA”, you might ask? Well, they're pretty expensive courses that can last nearly two years, so before you sign up for one you need to decide if the time and money spent is going to be a good investment. For instance, an MBA from the London Business School - which has a top-ranking MBA programme - will set you back over £50,000. This is an especially hefty price tag if you're tacking an MBA onto the end of your undergraduate degree, as it pushes you much further into debt. Plus, you can't get the same student loan for your second degree that you got for your first, so funding is going to have to come from somewhere else. On the other hand, a starting salary in the UK can then be over £60,000, so you'll be in a good position to pay off your loans and credit card bills pretty quickly.
Another advantage in going through the MBA programme is being able to meet other MBA students from all over the world. These people could be the next big players in business, so your networking should start as soon as you enter the introductory session of your course. Having good contacts can also be your free pass to other jobs in your industry.
If you're thinking about getting an MBA because you want to change careers, do some research into how much it will actually benefit you. For instance, if you already work in the marketing, sales or finance industry, an MBA can easily shoot you straight to the top of your field. If you work in a field like engineering and want to get into a form of business management, find out what sort of jobs you'll be eligible for after you graduate. If you need to build up additional skills and experience before starting your MBA, now's the time to find that out and do something about it.