When Should You Pursue an M.B.A.?

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Deciding to pursue a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree is a significant career
decision. The decision requires careful thought and consideration. There are many questions to weigh when making this decision; is it better to pursue an M.B.A. right after an undergraduate degree or after a few years of work experience preferred? These are just some considerations to determine when to pursue an M.B.A.

So When is the Best Time to Pursue an M.B.A.?

There is no “definitive” best time to pursue an M.B.A. Your personal “best time” will depend on your  goals,  circumstances, and the resources available to you. Here are some factors to consider:

Work Experience

Traditionally, most M.B.A. programs prefer candidates with work experience, typically ranging from 2 to 5 years. Today however, many programs will accept students with less work experience or no experience at all. It's essential to consider your current work experience and how it may add value to your M.B.A. experience. Research the institutions you’re interested in and see if they have any specific work experience requirements and how that may affect your timeline and application.

Personal Goals

What are your personal and professional goals? An M.B.A. provides unique skills that can benefit your career and personal goals, but it is important to understand what these are so you can craft your M.B.A. experience to these needs. Additionally, your choice in programs may be influenced by its ability to accommodate busy schedules from personal obligations.

Financial Requirements

An M.B.A. can be a significant financial investment, with most programs ranging in cost from $30,000 -  nearly $200,000 to complete. It's essential to consider your financial situation. Can you afford the tuition fees and living expenses? Do you have savings, employer funded tuition assistance, or a plan to finance your education? Do programs offer scholarships or stipends that may help alleviate your financial requirements?

Career Opportunities

Research the job market and determine how an M.B.A. can help you achieve your career goals. Look for programs that offer career services, internships, and networking opportunities to help you land (or elevate you to) your dream job.

How Do I Know If I Have Waited Too Long to Pursue an M.B.A.?

There's no such thing as waiting “too long” to pursue an M.B.A. However, it's essential to consider the value of an M.B.A. at different stages of your career. If you're already in a leadership position, a traditional M.B.A. may not add much value to your career. See if there is a program suited to your career stage.  It's important to consider your personal and professional goals and determine if an M.B.A. can help you achieve those goals.

Is it Better to Pursue an M.B.A. Straight After Receiving My Undergraduate Degree?

Pursuing an M.B.A. straight after undergraduate has its pros and cons. On the one hand, pursuing an M.B.A. right after completing your undergraduate degree allows you to build on your academic foundation and acquire business knowledge early in your career. You may also participate in internships and other experiential learning opportunities that can add value to your resume.

On the other hand, if you wait to pursue your M.B.A having a few years of work experience, you’ll readily understand the real-world applications of what you’re learning and thoughtfully contribute to class discussions.

The Right Time for Your M.B.A.

There’s no right or wrong time to pursue an M.B.A., but you need to take a number of items into consideration to find the best program for your needs. At St. John’s University, there is a program for any career stage With multiple formats to choose from, you can pursue an M.B.A. full-time or part-time with the ultimate convenient FLEX M.B.A program.

Pursue an M.B.A from St. John’s University.

Learn more today about what makes an M.B.A. from St. John’s University unique.