I am opening this blog with a question that has been lingering in my mind for the past one year. Why MBA? This is also the question my boss really stressing me out whenever we are in the discussion room talking about my career development. So I will try to provide some pros and cons from my personal experience and perspectives. They will help me to note down my thought at this very important cross road. Maybe a few months down the road, I will have a totally different answer. Anyway, it doesnt matter as change is the only constant in life, isnt it.
Networking is the strength:
I have spoken to a lot of people during my consideration period about what the most important / valuable thing they have acquired during their MBA. 100% of them replied back that it is the network of talented friends, super helpful alumni, etc. They talked with passion how they land an internship, score the interview or even sign the new job solely on the network. School boasted to prospective applicants how many thousands of alumni it has globally, how helpful and responsive they are. For example, Kellogg has XXXX, Chicago has YYYYY. Imagine getting lost on the street of Bangkok and some alumni spot you from the shirt you are wearing and voluntarily accompany you for the whole day. Impressive huh?
Career Development is emphasized:
Usually when you talk to MBA admission officer or MBA Alumni, they will elaborate at length on how MBA will help to to transform your career. You will be able to take a step up, turbo charge your career towards your goal not only 3-5 years, but also for life. You can take a step out from your daily chaotic work, reflect on your past career if it is what you really want to do. Also, you can experiment new things, career path until you determine what your next step is. Consequently, new path will come with new expectation both in learning opportunity as well as salary. MBA will help you to increase your salary base dramatically. Just look at website of Booth or Wharton and you will see the % of salary increment pre and post MBA.
Opportunity cost is high:
Not only about USD100k+ that you will fork out to pay for tuition, room and board, MBA usually takes 2 years in US and 1 in EU or UK; hence, you should expect to lose 1/2 years worth of salary. Thus, your opportunity cost should be 200k instead… Imagine the worst case scenario that you get out of school and still clueless about your future similar to when you get it… Ouchhh, that would be painful isnt it?
Content is not new:
Whatever you learn in MBA should have been more or less cover in your Finance undergraduate course. So you will learn more about team-work, management, negotiation, time management, project management, etc. All of them can be acquired from work experience even networking skills which is the strong selling point of MBA.
The above are 2 main pros and cons that come out of my head about MBA. Sometimes I refer to take MBA is taking a leap of faith since your opportunity cost is high, your learning points can be acquired elsewhere. You will need to know what you want to do, why you want to do it.