Is an MBA Worth It? Find Out

Is an MBA worth it?

This is not the type of topic that I normally write about, but I have been asked severally about the worth of MBA, so I had to oblige.

There are people who are curious about how it is like being an MBA graduate and others are more concerned with inherent MBA benefits.


You may have been working in the business world for a long time but don’t seem to get well recognized for your work.

Maybe you feel stuck not only in your job but also at the salary you receive and have the desire to maybe be a CEO or manager in a big national corporation, or even to start your own company.

All these are really good thoughts and desires if you are considering getting an MBA.

 However, an MBA is not always an assurance of career enrichment or a better salary.

It is good to first know whether the MBA degree is worth it and the financial sacrifice you will need to make.

Tackling these queries appropriately can depend on your financial and professional situation and mainly the personal goals that you strive to answer.

Also, get to find out whether an MBA is the right decision for you.

About 70% of college students today graduate with quite an amount of debt in terms of loans for tuition.

In an estimate, one in every four American adults continue to pay student loans, and it is therefore understandable that most people are not in a rush to increase that debt or return to school and have to deal with writing a research paper at the same time.

 If you are, however, considering getting an MBA, the cost is a key concern, though the answer to “is getting an MBA worth it” is not really straightforward.

The cost can vary based on the prestige of a school and its program, program format, cost of living and other factors.

Read: How to Make 100k a Year Without a College Degree

worth of MBA

An MBA Degree’s Worth

The Benefits

Other than a good pay package ranging from $120,000 – $170,000, having an MBA degree comes with other non-financial goodies.

An MBA gives you education in leadership and management.

It enables you to grow your network, as this is very important for the corporate world.

It builds your general personality, and as an MBA graduate, you become a new person and have a different outlook on life and the business world.

The MBA has various benefits, but then it is not a magic working pill. There are some important factors to have in mind, like the ROI (return on investment) on your MBA investment.

Cost Involved

The average tuition fee of an MBA program from a top business school may range from $85,000 – $160,000. 

There are also other additional costs that you should be aware of, like post-MBA costs and Living costs during MBA.

Post-MBA costs include the application fee, your GMAT fee and TOEFL/IELTS cost. 

When you add up all these costs, the minimum amount to pay is $3000.

You should also include your cost of living during the period of study. 

If you are hoping to pursue your MBA at leading business schools like NYU Stern or Stanford GSBliving expenses will cost you around $90,414 and $82,980, respectively.

Other than your tuition fee, therefore, you should consider the post-MBA cost and the living cost during the period of study. 

When is an MBA Worth It?

To assess when is an MBA worth it, there is a need to look at the things you are likely to gain. 

Among them:


If you desire to work in the C-suite or be a business leader in some organizations, an MBA is a prerequisite to apply and fill such positions.

In case your career gravitates towards that direction, you should not even be asking when is an MBA worth it since now it seems like a necessity on your part. 


It is recently becoming easy for people to start businesses without having an MBA as opposed to how it was initially. 

However, an MBA gives you practical business knowledge to help with the process. 

Business schools may help boost the finding of investors and advancing your network via connections gained in school.

If you are asking when is an MBA worth it, this is something you have to consider and assess whether it is needed on your part. 

 The Reward

Earning a masters degree is a rewarding success both financially, academically and in terms of fulfilment.

As an individual, you should not assess the reward gained from something on a financial basis only.

There is more to life, and you can easily acquire fulfilment by satisfying other needs or desires that you deem important to you.   

However, this is not for everyone. This will work if getting into an MBA program has been a lifelong dream. When you are in such a situation, you are not even asking questions like how much is an MBA worth. You already know it’s worth to you.

When an MBA is Not Worth It

There are times when pursuing an MBA would not be worth it.

Before you finally commit to pursuing your MBA, be sure that you are pursuing it for the right reasons.

There are cases where an MBA is not worth it, including the following:

Wrong Timing

Am MBA program may conflict with your work and experience depending on your career goals.

You might even be necessitated to abandon your work in order to pursue the MBA.

When this happens, there is an opportunity cost with regards to the income forgone and work experience that would have been acquired through this period.

Unrealistic or Uncertain Expectations

Don’t pursue an MBA with the hope that it will solve your issues with your present unhappy career.

Don’t assume that once you get the MBA, all things will magically work out. 

Undertaking an MBA with such a mentality might leave you even more frustrated after completion.

Inappropriate Program Choice

There are various kinds of MBA programs.

Clearly outline the variances between traditional vs online, full-time vs part-time, MBA vs EMBA and others, so that you apply for the right program for you.

Even when having an MBA says to employers that your education experience is advanced, the MBA is not everything, more so if you have undertaken the inappropriate program.

Joining the wrong program might render all your efforts futile since it might end up not working for you.

Your Own Reasons

Have your reasons for wanting an MBA well-identified and ensure that they are valid reasons and not because you feel it will work things out for you and make it easier. 

As I have mentioned above, you might end up even more frustrated after completing the program if you are not careful.

While Asking when is an MBA Worth it, Remember the Following:

1. Always stay updated and upgrade your technical and marketable skills as you advance in any career.

2. Studying for an MBA will require a lot of your time. When choosing your MBA program, therefore, do your research well to ensure you apply for the one that fits your schedule.

3. Many businesses, especially startups, value out-of-the-box thinking and experience more than an MBA degree.

4. Having an MBA is not a guarantee that you will get a job.

Read: How To Make More Money

is getting an MBA worth it


When you make the decision to pursue an MBA, there will be other key decisions that you will need to make.

Choosing your preferred school is among those decisions.

Not all business schools have equal quality.

You can use different ways to select a good MBA program.

For instance, check out the schools with the best job placement ranking, the ones that allow students with your GMAT score, and those with graduates who have the lowest rate of debt. 

Make the decision to either attend school full time or part-time.

If you recently graduated from college, an Early Career MBA may be a good option.

If you are a seasoned executive, choosing an Executive MBA (EMBA) may be the best choice.

 If you happen to live far from a school that offers an MBA program or have a very busy schedule to physically attend school, an online program will suit you. Various traditional programs allow for distance learning options.

Is an MBA worth it? Well, I think the worth of an MBA is dependent on an individual. If you think an MBA is worth getting, then go for it.

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