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Is Now A Good Time To Get An MBA?

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the job market upside down, plunging the global economy into its worst recession since World War II.

For many MBA hopefuls, the news of a recession brings anxiety and fear. But experts say an MBA could give students shelter from a bad economy.

Ilana Kowarski, a reporter at US News, recently spoke to experts on whether or not pursuing an MBA amid coronavirus makes sense.

CONSIDER YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES

The upcoming fall semester will look drastically different for MBAs. With many classes shifted online, MBA hopefuls are now given options to defer their start date or take a leave of absence.

However, experts say, the decision to pursue an MBA ultimately depends on an applicant’s circumstances and preferences.

“The decision to attend or defer hinges on which motivations are driving the potential student’s decision to attend, and the stability and trajectory of the student’s current job,” Jenna Hess, a Chicago-based career coach, tells US News.

ONLINE VS. IN-PERSON

The biggest value of the MBA, for many, is the network they’ll build when surrounded by your peers and faculty.

Some experts say newly admitted students should make their decision based on whether an MBA will be delivered online or in-person.

“A good MBA surrounds you with amazing people who have large dreams of their own,” Layton J. Cox, a 2020 graduate of the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business, tells US News. “As your life progresses, you’ll find it is the people that you met and befriended during your MBA that really provide value to your life. If you can’t have face-to-face interactions to build relationships with your MBA classmates, your MBA is a waste of time and money.”

Bruce Bachenheimer, a clinical professor of management with the Pace University Lubin School of Business, says newly-admitted MBAs should look at the type of MBA program when making a decision.

“When considering a top tier MBA program, interactions among one’s cohort, academic and social, is absolutely one of the most valuable aspects of the program and I would recommend deferring admission until traditional classes and regular activities are certain to resume,” Bachenheimer tells US News. “For other programs, where there is not necessarily a strong cohort model, chancing a semester of remote learning is not as consequential. This would especially be the case for part-time programs.”

Sources: US News, The World Bank