Is The MBA Still Worth It? Experts Weigh In.
With applications to business schools down again, the big question remains: is the degree still worthwhile?
Bloomberg Businessweek recently asked a few experts on whether or not the MBA still has value today.
STILL OF VALUE
A number of deans interviewed by Bloomberg Businessweek argue that the degree still has value. Some say the MBA is especially relevant in today’s data-driven world because it teaches students how to deal with ethical and legal issues.
“The skills you learn in an MBA are probably more valuable than they have ever been,” Antonio Bernardo, dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management, tells Bloomberg Businessweek. “And yet a lot of people are talking about it as if it’s a degree that is losing relevance.”
Additionally, some b-schools have tried to make the degree more affordable in hopes of attracting applicants.
At the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University, tuition for a two-year MBA costs $27,720—roughly half the cost of other MBA programs.
“Our students leave with less than $25,000 debt on average,” Brigitte Madrian, dean of the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University, tells Bloomberg Businessweek. “This relatively low debt burden allows them to think differently about their employment options after graduation, so they can focus less on starting salary and more on opportunities for professional growth and development.”
THE CASE AGAINST THE MBA
A number of experts argue that the MBA is no longer necessary to advance your career today.
“When was the last time you looked at a job description and saw that an MBA was required? This is different than preferred,” Ashley Stahl, a career coach and contributor for Forbes, writes. “Don’t hold back from applying to a job if it’s requesting something that you don’t have. A specific credential may boost your resume to the front of the pile, but what’s more important is how you interview and well how you fit in within the company culture.”
For most people, an MBA degree will put you in debt. And while some employers still offer sponsorship, Stahl says, it comes at a price.
“On the flip side, even if your employer offers to pay for your degree, it comes at its own price: time,” Stahl writes. “Consider how many years you’ll be committing to the organization. What’s the point of gaining a new degree if you aren’t able to go anywhere for 5+ years? Start to invest in yourself in other ways, particularly those that are less of a time suck.”