Four things you need to consider before getting your MBA

Attending business school is a popular pathway for young, professional women looking to forge a career in business – whether you’re hoping to further your existing career or are looking for a complete career change.

Taking an online MBA degree course gives you one or two years to learn new skills, prepare yourself for your future career and come up with ideas as to where you’d like your journey to take you.

Over the past few years there has been a significant increase in the number of women interested in signing up to MBA programs, pursuing management positions in business, and even starting their own enterprises.

Whether you’re simply interested in a career in business or want to start your own brand in order to fit work around your growing family, here are four things you need to consider before getting your MBA.

1) Define your career goals

If you haven’t clearly defined your career goals, it will be more difficult for you to make the important choices needed to get the most out of your study.

An MBA is a very versatile qualification that allows you to apply for many different jobs, or even start your own company if you wish. However, there are several different pathways that you can take during your course of study.

With different electives to choose from, it’s essential that you have career goals and objectives at the outset. For example, if you want to pursue a career in marketing, choosing options that allow you to learn more about this aspect of business will help you better meet your long-term goals.

You could be interested in a career in business accounting and finance, or perhaps your ultimate career goal is to start your own brand in the future. Knowing what you want beforehand will make it easier for you to tailor your studies to produce the best results.

2) Consider extra courses

What if you haven’t attended college to study for a degree? Or if you majored in a completely different field during your college studies?

The good news is that you can still apply to study for a top ranked online MBA program. You may still be accepted to study if you have enough relevant experience working in the business field, or have been running your own business for some time.

Online courses are also often more lenient when it comes to entry requirements, so not having a related bachelor’s degree doesn’t automatically mean you won’t be able to get your MBA.

If you’re concerned you may not be accepted for your chosen MBA course, taking an extra course or small qualification could be helpful to achieving your career goals. You can take online marketing, entrepreneurship, or general business courses that will boost your resume and make your application stand out.

Not only will this increase your knowledge and give you extra qualifications, but it demonstrates your commitment to studying. Many online business schools are interested in seeing applicants who are clearly looking to improve their career prospects and have the necessary drive to learn.

3) Weigh up your options

There are several different options available to you when it comes to studying for your MBA degree. You may decide to take the traditional route of studying on-campus. This comes with a range of benefits such as in-person access to tutors, many of whom are often successful business people themselves.

Studying on-campus also means that you’ll be able to network with other students. MBA students come from all backgrounds with a wide range of experience, and you’ll meet a broad mix of people – from people who’ve never worked in business before, to successful company owners looking to broaden their horizons.

Studying for your MBA online can be a more flexible, cheaper option that’s often appealing to mothers. Studying online means that you’ll automatically be able to take a more flexible approach, as it allows you to choose when and where you prefer to study – enabling you to fit your studies around your job and family.

And just because who’re learning online doesn’t mean you necessarily need to miss out on the social aspects of an MBA. You can find social media groups where you’ll be able to connect with fellow students and regular meet-ups that are great for networking.

Unlike studying on-campus where you’ll only be able to get access to your professor during their office opening times, studying online also often allows you one-to-one access via email, telephone or web chat.

4) Consider financial resources

As you may already be aware, studying for an MBA qualification is not cheap. So, it’s wise to consider the financial resources available to you before you take the next step.

If you’re unsure as to how you’re going to afford your study, or are worried about repaying expensive student loans, bear in mind that studying online can be far cheaper with many courses coming in at least one third cheaper than the on-campus price.

Make sure that you exhaust all possibilities when it comes to getting financial aid and support as a student. For example, if you are a young parent supporting your family, there may be grants and other financial help available to you that you were not aware of.

Photo by Clay Banks