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Is it difficult to get an MBA?Things to consider before applying

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To Cara DriscollMarch 10, 2022, 2:05 PM

Students completing an MBA class at the George Washington University Business School in Washington, D.C., September 2021 (Photo by Stefani Reynolds—Bloomberg/Getty Images)

If you want to get an MBA, but haven’t attended college since graduating with a bachelor’s degree, you may be wondering how hard it will be to go back to school. Earning an MBA can expand your network of valuable business connections, which can lead to higher salaries and promotions in the future, but earning a degree is no easy task.

According to a 2021 survey of corporate recruiters, the median starting salary for fresh MBA graduates is $115,000, compared to $65,000 for those with only a bachelor’s degree. 77% higher. By the Graduate Administration Admissions Council. The same survey also shows that 90% of his corporate recruiters expect demand for business school graduates to increase or remain stable over the next five years.

One of the major challenges that make obtaining an MBA difficult is returning to student life, finding the right balance between the personal, professional and academic spheres of life, and finding the right It’s about making sure you go back to school for a reason. .

get an MBA for good reason

It may seem rudimentary, but even the most rigorous MBA program can be easy if you enroll with a clear purpose and the right reasons. A good student won’t get her MBA degree because someone told her or her parents offered to pay for it. Rather, you should have a genuine desire to advance your education, network with like-minded professionals, and gain new career opportunities.

“Sometimes students have to be honest with themselves about what they’re interested in, what they want to do, and really think about what’s best for them,” he says. said Jim Holmen, Indiana’s director of admissions and financial aid. his MBA program at the University of Kerry Business School.

Holmen encourages students to find out about the program and check with the admissions team before enrolling in any school. Many MBA programs like Kelly’s have current students who volunteer to be student ambassadors or contacts for future students.

These ambassadors can help prospective students understand the unique opportunities that exist in a particular program and can offer “great” advice on how to ease the transition into academia, Holmen says. are better able to understand and support the types of resources schools offer to students, both through their study programs and job search.”

back to academic life

After accepting an offer from your dream business school, you need to change your mindset and get back into academic life. Depending on the program you choose, you may have to maintain that mindset for several years.

Credit hours requirements vary by school, but most full-time MBA programs take two years to complete, although there are some one-year options. Similarly, the Executive MBA program takes about two years to complete. On the other hand, the length of a part-time program depends on the number of courses taken per semester or semester. Depending on the program, it may take students several years to complete the requirements.

Regardless of the type of MBA program, you should come in with an academic mindset, a commitment to completing the required coursework, the ability to coordinate your schedule, and a general desire to take advantage of networking opportunities.

Greg Beaver, executive director of the Master’s and PhD programs at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, said: “The MBA program is challenging and designed to prepare students to become great business leaders.”

For example, Krannert left Purdue Institute of Technology to bridge the gap between engineering and business. Some of the quantitative methods and critical thinking curricula that date back to the days of engineering remain, and Bieber says Krannert students typically see business problems differently than other of her MBA programs. I’m here. As such, students should be prepared to move from a career mindset to an academic mindset to manage qualitative and quantitative coursework.

Find your work-life balance

If you plan to add school to your already busy life, you need to seriously consider how an MBA program fits in and add even more stress. Part-time, online, and executive MBA programs are for those who want to work full-time while completing their degree. A full-time program may be more suitable for those who want to be more active in networking and focus on the classroom.

“Workers can face greater challenges than full-time graduate students because life becomes more complicated,” Bieber says. “But working professionals make better students because they bring real-world work experience into the classroom, enriching the whole experience.”

What makes the MBA program difficult for many students, Bieber says, is finding the right balance between school, work, friends, and family obligations. “It’s important for each student to assess the amount of free time they have and set clear expectations for managers, friends and family to get support,” he adds. Rather, it is important to recognize that there is a work-life balance.”

Students should be realistic and have those discussions before starting the program. Getting an MBA can be difficult. However, it should be an experience that challenges you to take risks in your pursuit of higher learning, Bieber says. is.”

See how the school you’re considering ranked in Fortune magazine’s ranking of the best business analytics programs, data science programs and part-time, executive and full-time, and online MBA programs.