Whether you’re a recent college graduate or you’ve been a member of the workforce for a number of years, it’s entirely natural to find yourself wondering, “Should I go to business school?” While making the commitment of time, money, and energy to get a traditional MBA or a specialized business master’s degree can be daunting, many professionals take the plunge every year for a variety of reasons.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the most compelling reasons to go to business school. Read on if you’re on the fence, and see where an advanced business degree can take you.
1. A Killer Salary
The statistics are clear: Going to business school can significantly increase your earning potential, and you can see some immediate salary gains if you get an MBA or a business master’s. The median starting base salary for new MBA hires in the U.S. is $105,000, and that is before you even take into consideration a median signing bonus of $10,500.1 This base salary is substantially higher than the median starting base salaries for workers hired from other companies in their industry ($85,000) and even more attractive when compared to the median starting base salary for bachelor’s degree graduates ($65,000).1 MBAs continue to pay off years after graduation, with the average MBA graduate seeing a $70,000 increase in salary three years after completing their degree.2
Other business degrees have similarly impressive salary outcomes. A master’s degree in business analytics, for instance, can lead to a data scientist role with a $95,000 median base salary for those with less than three years of experience and $108,000 median salary for all roles. It can also lead to data engineer role with a median base salary of $100,000. It’s no wonder both of those positions find themselves in Glassdoor’s Top 30 Jobs for 2019.3
2. Career Mobility
The desire to change one’s career for the better is one of the most commonly cited reasons to go to business school. This can mean multiple things: It can describe people who want to advance into roles with more responsibility and higher pay, or it can refer to those who simply want to start over on a new career path in a new field.
Business school is a great option for securing increased career mobility. Business school coursework is typically geared toward developing management skills, either as the main focus of the degree for many MBA programs or as a key component of a business master’s degree designed to build a more specialized skill set.
And job opportunities abound for those who have decided to go to business school. When you find out that 85 percent of U.S. companies plan to hire MBA graduates in the near term, and 96 percent of Fortune Global 100 companies plan to do so,1 you may quickly realize that you don’t even need to hear any more reasons to go to business school.
3. A Powerful Network
Job opportunities don’t appear out of thin air, even for advanced business degree holders. They often depend on interpersonal connections, and there is no better place to forge those connections than business school. Your cohort of classmates will be populated with peers who are as intelligent, driven, and creative as you are, and your faculty bring a wealth of professional relationships built over years of industry experience to their mentorship role.
Surprisingly, networking is not only possible but can sometimes be even more successful in an online business school program. Well-designed online business programs often feature intuitive digital learning management systems in which you can intuitively interact with classmates as you complete your coursework. A truly powerful online program will put you in touch with diverse professionals from around the U.S. and even the world, and will help you grow a truly global network.
4. Learn to Lead
The heightened salary, increased responsibility, and expanded career mobility many professionals seek in business school are often tied to a desire to move into a leadership role. But the credential provided by an MBA or business master’s degree is not enough to prepare you to succeed as a manager and strategy setter. You also must master the essential soft skills that define truly effective leaders at every level of an organization.
The most effective business schools take this function quite seriously. The Online MBA program at Seattle University, for instance, has leadership woven into its very fiber. All of the courses that comprise the program are structured around dynamic leadership challenges, designed to build a problem-solving mindset crucial for the most effective leaders. By asking you to assess problems, collaborate, communicate, and strategize, a program like this develops the attributes effective leaders need to thrive in today’s business world.
5. Grow as a Person
Business school doesn’t have to be just be about monetary gains. It can be an intellectual pursuit, in which your increase in salary is matched—perhaps even exceeded—by an increase in personal fulfillment. If you are the type of person who seeks to overcome obstacles, who views them as opportunities to exceed what you previously thought yourself capable of, then you need look no further than your potential program’s coursework to see why you should go to business school.
This can be particularly true when considering a specialized master’s program like Seattle University’s Online Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA). While the skills emphasized throughout this program—programming, data analysis, data cleaning, SQL queries—are extremely marketable job skills, they also offer an intellectual appeal to a certain kind of curious, quantitatively oriented mind. The Online MSBA is most effective for analytical professionals who crave the intellectual challenge of facing an unstructured data set and the reward of making sense out of it.
If you’ve read this guide and are ready to answer the question, “Should I go to business school?” with a resounding “Yes!”, the Albers School of Business and Economics is ready to welcome you. For more advice about your next steps, check out our blog posts on constructing a stellar resume and preparing for the GMAT. If you need more convincing, take a look at Albers’ impressive career outcomes and alumni network.
1. Retrieved on May 16, 2019, from gmac.com/-/media/files/gmac/research/employment-outlook/gmac-2018-corporate-recruiters-survey-report.pdf
2. Retrieved on May 16, 2019, from ft.com/content/a2813230-d69b-11e7-a303-9060cb1e5f44
3. Retrieved on May 16, 2019, from forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2019/01/23/data-scientist-leads-50-best-jobs-in-america-for-2019-according-to-glassdoor