Deciding to pursue an MBA degree is far from an easy task. After all, there are many considerations that every prospective MBA student must take into account, from curriculum and professors to tuition costs and even hands-on learning experiences, among others. Also, if you are an undergraduate business major or recent graduate with less than one year of work experience, chances are you may ask yourself, “Is going back to school for a fifth year and earning my MBA really worth it?” Here are a few excellent reasons why current business majors and recent business graduates should return for their MBA after completing their bachelor’s degrees.
One major advantage of earning an MBA shortly after completing an undergraduate degree is that recent graduates are often unemployed or underemployed for several months – perhaps even a year or more – after graduation. Since 41.3 percent of recent college alumni were underemployed in September 2019, compared with 34 percent of all college graduates, going directly from undergraduate business studies into an MBA program and earning an additional degree can help mitigate the sting of underemployment¹. Meanwhile, if you have been unemployed for some time after finishing your bachelor’s, earning your MBA can be a more fulfilling alternative to merely posting resumes day in and day out.
While pursuing an MBA degree definitely enables students to make the most of any time they spend either unemployed or underemployed, it can also help them stand out from their peers. Because many recent graduates are discouraged by a lack of job prospects, specifically those matching their skill sets, education and experience, earning an MBA allows them to bolster their resumes by enhancing valuable skills such as leadership, teamwork and project management. Additionally, according to a 2014 report published by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 86 percent of employers in the United States planned to hire MBA graduates that year². The same report also denotes that just 74 percent of U.S. firms planned to hire recent graduates who solely possessed a bachelor’s degree². As a result, returning to complete an MBA immediately following your undergraduate business studies can provide you with opportunities to distinguish yourself from fellow alumni and land quality jobs more quickly than individuals with a bachelor’s degree alone.
Another benefit of returning for a fifth year of college to complete an MBA is that this additional degree helps open the door to greater post-graduation earnings potential. Since the average starting salary for MBA graduates – $78,332 – is roughly 38 percent higher than the projected entry-level salary for newly minted graduates with a bachelor’s in business – $56,720 – earning an MBA after completing your bachelor’s will help you reap your return on investment more quickly³. Furthermore, since recent MBA alumni can expect as much as a 20 percent increase in immediate-year compensation rates over those with only an undergraduate degree, completing your MBA degree is an excellent way to stand out from your fellow professionals³.
Recognizing the importance of continued education for current business majors and recent graduates alike, Ramapo College’s accelerated MBA degree program provides students with the opportunity to earn a prestigious, AACSB-accredited degree and build a strong foundation for career success in as little as twelve months’ time. If you have an undergraduate business degree or are on your way to completing one, you can get ahead of the curve with our new Advanced Standing option. Since this optional component of the Ramapo MBA program eliminates 12 credits’ worth of foundational coursework, you will need only 30 credits to complete your degree. After all, less time spent in the classroom only means more time to apply the skills and concepts you’ve learned to accelerate your real-world business career, be it in accounting, finance, management, marketing or whichever field you so desire.
Ramapo also acknowledges that students returning for an MBA after completing their undergraduate studies must often balance their education with one or more additional commitments, such as a full-time job. With our flexible course scheduling, including an online learning component, you can earn your degree while searching for a new job or working in your current one. Additionally, we offer a variety of financial aid options to help make your tuition costs more manageable.
Current undergraduate business students or recent graduates interested in learning more about Ramapo’s accelerated MBA program are strongly encouraged to visit https://www.ramapo.edu/mba/ for more information.
¹Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York – “The Labor Market for Recent College Graduates.” Retrieved from https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/college-labor-market/college-labor-market_underemployment_rates.html.
²Source: Graduate Management Admission Council – “More Employers Plan to Hire MBAs and Other Business School Graduates”. Retrieved from https://www.gmac.com/news-center/gmac-press-releases/more-employers-plan-to-hire-mbas-and-other-business-school-graduates.
³Source: U.S. News & World Report – “MBAs Offer More Advantages Than Undergrad Business Majors” by Farran Powell. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/applying/articles/2018-03-21/mbas-offer-more-advantages-than-undergrad-business-majors.
The business world possesses a rich heritage of innovation and entrepreneurship, from pioneering inventors like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford to Steve Jobs and other modern innovators. It should come as no surprise, then, that innovation helps facilitate entrepreneurship and subsequently empowers individuals to take charge of their economic prosperity¹. While MBA degrees have traditionally focused on business fundamentals such as finance, management and marketing, several MBA programs have incorporated elements of design thinking into their curricula². This design-focused approach enables working professionals to devise a range of innovative solutions to real-world business challenges².
Since leadership is such a crucial aspect of an MBA education, there are several ways in which business leaders can utilize their MBAs as a blueprint for innovation within their companies. According to Graham Weihmiller, CEO of worldwide networking organization BNI Global LLC, executives and other leaders “possess unique opportunities to embed creative thinking and collaboration into the core of their businesses,” regardless of whether they operate a restaurant, an accounting firm or an online social network³. Of course, innovation does not simply stem from opportunity alone – CEOs, entrepreneurs and project managers must act upon opportunities when they arise. Scott Cook, the founder of financial software powerhouse Intuit, encourages innovation by allowing his employees to devote 10 percent of their workweek to “developing new and innovative business solutions,” thinking outside the box to resolve the company’s dilemmas⁴.
While dedicating time to innovate during the workweek is crucial, brainstorming is another way leaders can use their MBA leadership skills to foster innovation³. Weihmiller not only encourages leaders to reserve time for “thinking creatively about business solutions,” but also notes that they should invite specialists from a variety of departments and functions to brainstorm simultaneously³. Ramapo’s MBA program provides students with ample brainstorming opportunities, be it through devising creative answers to case studies or ideating and implementing dynamic solutions to real-world business problems through its Capstone Consulting Project.
Not to be overlooked, of course, is the critical role that risk-taking plays in creating bastions of innovation in the workplace. Since MBA-educated leaders have often been encouraged to assess and take risks through case studies and experiential learning projects, they should instill that same passion for out-of-the-box thinking in their employees by incentivizing their creativity³. For example, Noah Weiss was a student interning at Fog Creek Software (now known as Glitch) when he proposed adding classified job ads to the company’s blog⁴. After young Mr. Weiss opened up a new revenue stream and brought more than $1 million into the company, his boss Joel Spolsky was so impressed that if Weiss were to return as a full-time employee, Spolsky would give him an ownership stake in the firm⁴. Additionally, leaders should celebrate each of their team’s successes, as rewarding their creativity will “encourage them to keep thinking outside of the box and sharing inventive ideas” for solving real-world business challenges³.
Ramapo College’s 20-month, 42-credit MBA degree program is designed for today’s working professionals, with key emphasis on leadership, critical thinking and experiential learning. With classes such as Becoming a 21st Century Leader and Leading Business in Contemporary Times, as well as practicum courses in entrepreneurship and creativity, students will develop a strong foundation for becoming dynamic leaders and continually fostering innovation within their companies.
Ramapo also encourages its MBA students to think outside the box through hands-on learning experiences such as the China Immersion Trip and Capstone Consulting Project. During the spring of their second year in the MBA program, students team up with one of the College’s corporate partners – not only to develop their skill sets in a professional setting, but more importantly, to solve real-world business problems. Applying the knowledge they have learned in the classroom and during the optional China Immersion Trip, students must work individually and in teams to devise creative and innovative solutions to resolve the client’s dilemma. With challenges ranging from devising in-store merchandise restocking programs to crafting a market entry plan for an Italian electric scooter manufacturer, students possess plenty of opportunities to brainstorm and implement innovative ideas.
Prospective students interested in learning more about Ramapo’s Master of Business Administration program are strongly encouraged to visit www.ramapo.edu/mba for more information.
¹Source: Entrepreneur – “Why Innovation is Increasingly Becoming Critical to Entrepreneurship” by Anand Rajendran. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/296912.
²Source: U.S. News and World Report – “No Art Background Necessary for Innovation-Focused Design M.B.A.’s” by Menachem Wecker. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2011/11/14/no-art-background-necessary-for-innovation-focused-design-mbas
³Source: BNI Global, LLC – “Top Tips to Foster Innovation in the Workplace” by Graham Weihmiller. Retrieved from https://www.bni.com/the-latest/blog-news/top-tips-to-foster-innovation-in-the-workplace.
⁴Source: Inc.com – “8 Ways to Foster Innovation in Your Company” by Inc. Staff. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/guides/2010/04/fostering-innovation-in-companies.html.
While it may sound peculiar at first thought, MBA programs are not solely the province of students possessing undergraduate degrees in fields such as accounting, finance, management and marketing. In fact, MBA degree programs also have a certain appeal for working professionals with a liberal arts background. Although liberal arts and science majors do not typically imagine themselves working in business roles, and often ask themselves questions like, “How can I ever succeed in an MBA program if I don’t have any business background?,” earning an MBA can help them open the door to more successful and fulfilling careers.
One reason why pursuing an MBA can be advantageous for liberal arts majors is that employers are placing more emphasis than ever before on verbal and written communication skills, as well as self-awareness and collaboration¹. Additionally, even though many business professionals – including those with liberal arts backgrounds – are naturally talented leaders, others “may need the additional training an MBA program offers” in order to develop “communication and analytical skills to launch them” into leadership roles such as creative director or content marketing manager². Recognizing the importance of developing working professionals into skilled leaders and communicators, Ramapo College’s MBA program highly emphasizes leadership. Through courses such as Becoming a 21st Century Leader and Leading Business in Contemporary Times, liberal arts majors can build the strong foundation they need to pursue future leadership roles within their organizations.
Another advantage of earning an MBA after completing a liberal arts degree is that even if they have not attained any significant responsibilities, students with backgrounds in education, science, humanities and the like possess valuable employment experience in their respective fields³. Even if you are a liberal arts graduate without any business expertise, most MBA admissions counselors will take note of the experience that you do have³. For example, if you have a degree in visual communications or graphic design and have worked at a prominent advertising agency for several years, you’ll likely have a better chance of being accepted into your chosen program than a newly minted business graduate with no professional experience. This shows that business professionals with liberal arts degrees have plenty of opportunities to shine before, during and after their MBA experience.
Another benefit of enrolling in an MBA program is that it provides professionals with liberal arts backgrounds an array of opportunities to expand their networks². By developing lasting relationships with professors, peers and visiting guest lecturers, MBA students can build connections across a variety of industries, ranging from television broadcasting to healthcare and education, as well as to areas like marketing and finance. Ramapo MBA students also have the chance to bolster their professional networks by participating in our two hands-on learning electives, the China Immersion Trip and Capstone Consulting Project. Traveling to Shanghai and Beijing over the course of nine days, participants in the China Immersion Trip network with Chinese students and business professionals while also gaining a deeper understanding of the country’s history and culture. Meanwhile, those participating in the Capstone Project apply skills and concepts learned in the classroom to address real-world business challenges, while simultaneously making valuable connections with our New Jersey and New York corporate partners.
Yet, the benefits of liberal arts graduates pursuing an MBA extend far beyond networking opportunities and developing valuable leadership skills. Because they often “have a better understanding of the world around them” than marketing, finance or international business alumni, MBA graduates with liberal arts backgrounds are well-versed in historical and cultural knowledge⁴. Not surprisingly, this can ultimately pay dividends for them with regard to managing a company and relating to fellow professionals⁴. What’s more, a foundation in the liberal arts can also help MBA graduates make business decisions with a greater understanding of every stakeholder involved⁴. Not surprisingly, more and more people with liberal arts degrees who work in the business sector are finding an MBA the perfect complement to their undergraduate education.
Ramapo College’s comprehensive, 42-credit MBA degree program is designed with today’s working professionals in mind. Our focus on leadership and critical thinking, along with hands-on learning experiences like the optional China Immersion Trip and Capstone Consulting Project, is an excellent fit for professionals with liberal arts backgrounds striving to broaden their business knowledge. Also, liberal arts majors can sharpen their business skills with Ramapo’s six new foundational courses in key business disciplines such as accounting and marketing.
While Ramapo’s MBA program indeed provides liberal arts majors with the opportunity to gain an invaluable understanding of business principles and practices, it is also designed to fit right into busy schedules. For example, MBA students can earn their degree without sacrificing their day jobs thanks to our Flex program, which includes a hybrid course format blending in-class and online learning components. Students can also maximize their employer reimbursement by opting to spread out their coursework over three to five years, all while gaining valuable work experience in their current positions. Furthermore, Ramapo offers its MBA students the chance to select three electives within a defined track tailored to their undergraduate majors and relevant work experience. For instance, communication arts graduates interested in advertising can pursue the marketing elective track, while those with degrees in economics can choose a track in accounting or finance.
Prospective students interested in learning more about Ramapo’s MBA program are strongly encouraged to visit https://www.ramapo.edu/mba/ for more information.
¹Source: Hult International School of Business – “How MBA increases soft skills that matter most to employers” by Rafael Natali. Retrieved from https://www.hult.edu/blog/mba-increases-soft-skills-matter-employers/.
²Source: U.S. News & World Report – “MBAs Offer More Advantages Than Undergrad Business Majors” by Farran Powell. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/applying/articles/2018-03-21/mbas-offer-more-advantages-than-undergrad-business-majors
³Source: Great Business Schools – “Can I Get an MBA With Only a Liberal Arts Degree?”. Retrieved from https://greatbusinessschools.org/can-i-get-an-mba-with-only-a-liberal-arts-degree/
⁴Source: Poets and Quants. “MBA Acceptance Rates by Major” by Jeff Schmitt. Retrieved from https://poetsandquants.com/2018/02/20/does-your-major-matter-mba-acceptance-rates-by-major/.
If you are a working professional with an undergraduate business degree and two to five years’ worth of experience, chances are you have established yourself but still want to enhance your skill set by pursuing an MBA degree. Even if you have been considering an MBA degree since your junior year of college, you may still ask yourself questions like, “Is earning my MBA really worth the investment?” and “How can I earn an MBA and advance my career without giving up my day job?” Here are a few excellent reasons why professionals with two to five years of business experience should earn an MBA and take their careers to the next level.
One significant benefit of returning to college for an MBA degree is that it provides students with the strong foundation they need to become savvy business leaders. Since MBA programs “throw students from different backgrounds together and force them to work with one another” both inside and outside the classroom, these individuals are able to develop valuable skills in emotional intelligence, communication and collaboration¹. Acknowledging the importance of developing today’s working professionals into skilled leaders, Ramapo College’s MBA program places key emphasis on leadership. With a variety of leadership-focused courses, including Becoming a 21st Century Leader and Leading Business in Contemporary Times, professionals with two to five years’ experience will gain the knowledge base necessary to succeed in future leadership roles within their organizations.
While an MBA truly helps business professionals bolster their knowledge of leadership principles and practices, it also enables them to apply concepts learned in the classroom through a variety of hands-on learning experiences¹. For example, Ramapo MBA students may elect to participate in our signature Capstone Consulting Project. Over the course of their final semester in the MBA program, Capstone Project participants gain valuable experience working collaboratively in both small and large groups, fostering teamwork all while helping the College’s corporate partners in New Jersey and New York solve real-world business problems.
Another advantage of earning an MBA is that it often allows business professionals with two to five years of experience to enhance their skills in a particular discipline through academic tracks, or concentrations². By selecting a concentration in your chosen field of interest, such as accounting, management, marketing or finance, you can customize your MBA in such a way that it aligns with the specific career goals you have in mind. For instance, if your goal is to become a marketing manager or brand director, consider pursuing an MBA with a career track in marketing. Meanwhile, if you aspire to become a risk manager or personal financial advisor, you should opt for a concentration in finance. Regardless of your business background and professional aspirations, completing an MBA will help you take your career to the next level.
Ramapo College’s comprehensive, 42-credit MBA program is designed with today’s working professionals in mind. Our focus on leadership and critical thinking, along with hands-on learning experiences like the optional China Immersion Trip and Capstone Consulting Project, is an outstanding combination for hardworking business professionals striving to advance their careers. Also, since our new Advanced Standing option eliminates 12 credits of foundational coursework, you can get ahead of the curve and complete your degree with only 30 credits. After all, the less time you spend in the classroom, the more time you have to apply the skills and concepts you’ve learned in order to accelerate your current career or pursue a new one.
While Ramapo’s MBA program indeed provides business professionals with two to five years’ experience the opportunity to develop a strong foundation for future career success, it is also designed to fit right into their busy schedules. For example, our Flex program features a hybrid course format blending in-class and online learning components, allowing Ramapo MBA students to earn their degree without sacrificing their day jobs. Students can also maximize their employer reimbursement by opting to spread out their coursework over three to five years, while simultaneously gaining valuable work experience in their current position. What’s more, Ramapo offers its MBA students the chance to select three electives within a defined track tailored to their relevant experience. For instance, students with a background in taxation can pursue the accounting elective track, while those with advertising or branding experience can opt for the marketing track.
Prospective students interested in learning more about Ramapo College’s MBA program are strongly encouraged to visit https://www.ramapo.edu/mba/ for more information.
¹Source: BusinessBecause – “5 Ways An MBA Will Make You A Better Leader” by Marco De Novelis. Retrieved from https://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-degree/6019/5-ways-mba-will-make-you-better-leader
²Source: MetroMBA – “The Importance of MBA Concentrations” by Kelly Vo. Retrieved from https://www.metromba.com/2016/07/mba-concentrations/.
Deciding to pursue an MBA after 20-plus years of experience can be quite daunting. Although you may doubt your ability to keep up with a new generation of graduate students and often ask yourself questions like, “How can I manage the extra workload of earning my MBA without having to give up my day job and family commitments?,” you feel that completing this advanced degree will not only help you fulfill a personal goal, but also set a shining example for your children as they begin their own college endeavors. Here are a few outstanding reasons why earning your MBA is a great way to accelerate your business career, even if you have been out of the workforce for a while.
One significant benefit of pursuing an MBA is that it helps open the door to higher salaries, which in turn will provide you with the financial means necessary to better manage your household. Indeed, MBA alumni who earned their degrees between 2009 and 2018 saw an average increase of $36,742 over their annual pre-MBA salaries, according to data from career-finding platform Relish¹. While completing an MBA can lead to substantially higher pay across the board, there are some business sectors where this is especially true¹. For example, MBA alumni employed in consulting reported a mean annual salary increase of $46,414 – from $86,188 to $132,601 – after completing their degrees¹. What’s more, if you are planning to earn your MBA and return to the workforce after an absence, you will have made “a fantastic career investment,” regardless of which industries and business functions pique your interest¹. Earning your MBA will also help you build the strong foundation you need to manage your household finances more effectively.
Another advantage of returning to college and completing your MBA as an experienced professional is that it will allow you to greatly expand your professional network. Since 60 percent of business professionals find that their networks provide them with more opportunities than they would discover on their own, MBA programs help them build a variety of lasting connections both inside and outside the classroom². With its small class sizes, Ramapo College’s MBA program makes it easy for students to develop lasting, invaluable relationships not only with their peers, but with faculty and visiting guest lecturers as well. Additionally, you will have the chance to network with Chinese business professionals and MBA students by participating in the China Immersion Trip elective during the fall of your second year in the program. You may also elect to participate in our signature Capstone Consulting Project, which will provide you with opportunities to build valuable connections with Ramapo’s New Jersey and New York corporate partners.
While earning your MBA can undoubtedly help you unlock considerably higher salaries and expand your professional network, pursuing this additional degree will also help you hone a variety of soft skills vital for business success. Even if you have not been in the workforce for several years, chances are you do possess valuable volunteer and community leadership experience, such as managing your children’s school PTOs³. Also, since leadership “touches on nearly every aspect of organizational success,” from initiating action to creating stronger work environments,” Ramapo’s MBA program will help you build a strong foundation for future leadership opportunities through courses like Becoming a 21st Century Leader and Leadership in Contemporary Times. Furthermore, you will have myriad opportunities to apply skills you’ve developed through community experience, including negotiation and collaboration, both in the classroom and through an array of hands-on learning experiences. In short, pursuing your Ramapo MBA will enable you to bolster your soft skills for continued professional success.
Recognizing that continuing education is paramount for business success in any discipline, Ramapo College’s comprehensive, 42-credit MBA program is designed specifically with today’s working professionals in mind. Our focus on leadership and critical thinking, along with small class sizes and hands-on learning experiences such as the optional China Immersion Trip and Capstone Consulting Project, is an excellent fit for professionals who possess 20 years or more of business experience. Additionally, even if you have been out of the workforce for some time and have not taken a college course in two decades, you can brush up on business fundamentals with our six new foundational courses. With a focus on key concepts in accounting, finance, management and marketing, all six classes will provide you with the knowledge base you need to succeed throughout the program and after graduation as well.
While Ramapo’s MBA program indeed provides experienced professionals with the opportunity to revitalize their careers or gain the skills necessary to reenter the workforce following a considerable absence, it is also designed to fit right into their busy schedules. For example, with its hybrid course format blending in-class online learning components, our Flex program allows you to earn your degree without sacrificing your day job and/or family commitments. Additionally, you can maximize your employer’s tuition reimbursement by spreading coursework out over three to five years, all while continuing to gain valuable experience in your current position. Meanwhile, if you have been out of the workforce for a while, we offer a variety of financial aid options to help make your tuition costs more manageable.
To learn more about Ramapo College’s MBA program, visit https://www.ramapo.edu/mba/ for more information.
¹Source: Poets & Quants – “Where MBAs Make The Largest Salary Leaps” by Nathan Allen. Retrieved from https://poetsandquants.com/2019/03/22/where-mbas-make-the-largest-salary-leaps/.
²Source: The Princeton Review – “Why Get an MBA? Build Your Professional Network”. Retrieved from https://www.princetonreview.com/business-school-advice/why-get-an-mba-network.
³Source: HR Daily Advisor – “Career Relaunchers 101: Recruiting ‘MBA Moms’ Back into the Workforce” by Susan Rietano Davey. Retrieved from https://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2018/07/26/career-relaunchers-101-recruiting-mba-moms-back-workforce/.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the ten-year mark is more often than not a career crossroads for business professionals. If you have anywhere between 10 and 20 years of experience in your chosen discipline, chances are you feel pigeonholed into a particular role, such as portfolio manager or IT analyst. Perhaps you have even been passed over for promotion in favor of a coworker with skills and experience practically identical to your own. Although you most likely have achieved a significant measure of success, you realize that you must enhance your skill sets in order to advance to the next level. You may also regret not earning an MBA sooner and ultimately decide to bolster your resume with this advanced degree. Here are a few excellent reasons why an MBA is an essential tool that seasoned professionals can utilize in order to change careers or advance in their current one.
One major benefit of earning an MBA after 10 to 20 years of experience is that it provides professionals with the solid foundation necessary to become strong business leaders. By forcing ambitious, type-A students from a variety of backgrounds to work together both inside and outside the classroom, MBA programs help teach experienced professionals invaluable leadership skills, such as integrity, teamwork and self-confidence¹. Additionally, since business leaders must possess “a solid background in organizational theory, business finance, planning and other technical skills,” completing an MBA is a crucial next step for seasoned professionals who aspire to leadership positions¹. Recognizing that developing today’s working professionals into skilled leaders is paramount, Ramapo College’s MBA program places key emphasis on leadership. With leadership-focused courses, including Becoming a 21st Century Leader and Leading Business in Contemporary Times, graduates will possess the knowledge base they need to succeed as leaders within their organizations.
While an MBA indeed enables seasoned professionals to sharpen their leadership acumen, it is also a vital tool for developing interpersonal, entrepreneurial, communication, and strategic thinking skills². For instance, Ramapo MBA students who elect to participate in our signature Capstone Consulting Project will collaborate with each other, as well as faculty members and business executives, to address the real-world business challenges facing the College’s corporate partners in New Jersey and New York. In addition to learning how to think strategically to better comprehend the steps Ramapo’s corporate partners must take to ensure continual success, participants will learn to compromise and negotiate to incorporate others’ ideas into providing solutions for the client’s business problem. With that being said, pursuing an MBA will help experienced professionals become valuable team players.
Another advantage of returning to college and completing an MBA after 10 to 20 years of experience is that earning this advanced degree can be especially helpful for professionals who plan to change careers. According to Idie Kesner, the dean of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, pursuing an MBA enables students to “explore a variety of different functional areas” in business, such as accounting, finance, management and marketing³. What’s more, Kesner says that MBA programs provide career-switching professionals with “the cross-functional disciplinary perspective” they need in order to be successful in their new profession³. However, these are not the only two advantages an MBA has for individuals seeking to pursue a new and different career. Though MBA programs allow students to explore potential career paths across a diverse range of industries and disciplines, they more importantly provide opportunities to do so in a relatively low-risk environment³. For example, if you fail on your first attempt at a particular project, you will learn valuable lessons without having to face the dire consequences of failing on the job³. This demonstrates that an MBA is clearly essential for experienced professionals considering a career switch.
Acknowledging the importance of continuing education for career revitalization, Ramapo College’s comprehensive, 42-credit MBA program is designed specifically with today’s working professionals in mind. Our critical thinking- and leadership-focused curriculum, along with hands-on learning experiences such as the optional China Immersion Trip and Capstone Consulting Project, is an outstanding fit for professionals with 10 to 20 years of experience who are looking to advance in their current careers or pursue a new one. Also, even if you have not taken a college course in a decade or more, you can brush up on fundamental business principles and practices through our six new foundational courses. With a focus on key concepts in accounting, finance, management and marketing, all six classes will give you the strong foundation you need to succeed throughout the program and after graduation.
While Ramapo’s MBA program indeed provides working professionals with 10 to 20 years of experience the opportunity to revitalize their careers, it is also designed to fit right into their busy schedules. Since our Flex program features a convenient hybrid course format, blending in-class and online learning components, Ramapo MBA students can earn their degrees without having to sacrifice their day jobs or time spent with their families. Students can also maximize employer reimbursement by spreading out their coursework over three to five years, all while gaining valuable work experience in their current positions.
Prospective students interested in learning more about Ramapo’s MBA program are strongly encouraged to visit https://www.ramapo.edu/mba/ for more information.
¹Source: The Thriving Small Business – “Two Reasons Pursuing That MBA May Make You A Better Leader” by Patricia Lotich. Retrieved from https://thethrivingsmallbusiness.com/two-reasons-pursuing-mba-may-make-better-leader/.
²Source: The Princeton Review – “Why Get An MBA? Practical, Applicable Skills”. Retrieved from https://www.princetonreview.com/business-school-advice/why-get-an-mba-skills.
³Source: Poets & Quants. “Why The MBA Is The Right Choice for Career Switchers” by John A. Byrne. Retrieved from https://poetsandquants.com/2019/10/02/mba-for-career-switchers/.
Deciding to pursue an MBA can be nothing short of intimidating. If you are a professional with 20-plus years’ worth of business experience, chances are that even if you have spent ten months or even a year researching potential programs, you may doubt yourself, asking questions like, “How will I be able to keep up with a younger generation of graduate students?” and “How can I earn my MBA without having to give up my day job?,” among others. Perhaps your current job or industry has been undergoing a steady decline, or maybe you feel the desire to challenge yourself with an entirely new career. No matter your motivation, here are a few excellent ways how returning to college and completing your MBA after 20 years or more of experience can help you stay in the game and continue to excel as a business professional.
One major advantage of earning an MBA after 20-plus years of professional expertise is that this advanced degree will provide you with a diverse skill set that you can easily transfer to a variety of roles and business sectors. Although you may have your sights set on a career such as Wall Street investment banking or financial consulting, keep in mind that plenty of MBA alumni have landed lucrative positions in technology, healthcare, consumer goods and a diverse array of other industries¹. This can be especially helpful if you are looking to make a major career change, as the skills you strengthen during an MBA program – including but not limited to leadership, creativity and critical thinking – will benefit you greatly in whichever endeavor you decide to pursue. Additionally, if you are considering a career transition into a specific field, such as digital marketing or hospitality management, many MBA programs offer dedicated academic tracks, or concentrations, that allow students to “dive deeper into the nuances of a particular industry,” such as business analytics¹. However, if you are a career switcher unsure of which discipline to pursue, it is more advisable to pursue a general business degree¹.
Another benefit of returning to college and completing an MBA is that this advanced degree helps experienced professionals open the door to consistently higher salaries. It is well worth noting that the average salary increase for MBA alumni is a remarkable 77 percent, from $46,974 before beginning their studies to $83,176 shortly after graduation². Since you will most likely have anywhere between 10 and 15 years left in the workforce before retiring, furthering your business education with this additional degree will provide you with the greater financial stability you need throughout your later career. What’s more, if you are interested in pursuing a second career as an entrepreneur, earning your MBA allows you to have a strong foundation of business principles and practices in place before launching your new venture³. Though it may sound surprising, pursuing your MBA can help you prevent the disastrous consequences that can come with “launching prematurely and learning the hard way” through failed startups and missed opportunities³. This demonstrates that an MBA is definitely a valuable tool not just for aspiring entrepreneurs, but for any seasoned professional.
Recognizing the importance of continuing education for career revitalization, Ramapo College’s comprehensive, 42-credit MBA program is designed with today’s working professionals in mind. Our leadership- and critical thinking-focused curriculum, along with small class sizes and hands-on learning experiences such as the optional China Immersion Trip and Capstone Consulting Project, is an excellent fit for professionals with at least 20 years of experience who are looking to pursue a new career or advance in their current one. Additionally, even if you have not taken a college course in two decades or more, you can brush up on fundamental business principles and practices through our six new foundational courses. With a focus on key concepts in accounting, finance, management and marketing, all six classes will give you the solid knowledge base you need to succeed throughout the program and after graduation.
While Ramapo’s MBA program indeed provides experienced professionals with 20 years or more of expertise the opportunity to revitalize their careers, it is designed to fit right into their busy schedules as well. For instance, our Flex program features a convenient hybrid course format blending in-class and online learning components, allowing Ramapo MBA students to earn their degrees without having to sacrifice their day jobs, family time or personal commitments. You can also maximize your employer’s tuition reimbursement by spreading out your coursework over three to five years, while simultaneously continuing to gain valuable work experience.
¹Source: U.S. News & World Report – “4 Key Career Benefits From MBA Programs” by Stacy Blackman. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/mba-admissions-strictly-business/2016/04/08/4-key-career-benefits-from-mba-programs.
²Source: BusinessBecause – “The Average MBA Will Increase Salary By 77% After Graduation” by Craig O’Callaghan. Retrieved from https://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-rankings/5519/average-mba-will-increase-salary-by-77-percent-after-graduation.
³Source: Entrepreneur – “Don’t Skip the MBA. It Makes You a Better Entrepreneur” by Andrew Lancaster. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/332403.
If you are a seasoned professional with between five and 10 years of experience, chances are that you might have come to a career crossroads at some point. Even if you have accumulated a variety of licenses and certifications in your chosen discipline, you may feel pigeonholed into a specific role or area of expertise. For instance, you might be referred to as a marketing copywriter or accounts payable specialist, rather than an exceptional strategic thinker or skilled people manager. Additionally, though you have probably considered pursuing an MBA for some time, you will likely ask yourself, “How can I earn an MBA and advance my career without having to give up my day job?,” among other questions. Here are a few excellent reasons why professionals with five to 10 years of experience should revitalize their careers with an MBA degree.
One significant benefit of earning an MBA after five to 10 years of experience is that this advanced degree can open the door to a more financially rewarding career. According to a January 2018 Financial Times report, the average annual salary for MBA graduates is approximately $145,000¹. This should not be a surprise, though, because MBAs help to “pave the way for great responsibility and the opportunity to take on leadership roles” such as brand manager or assistant director of finance¹. This demonstrates that even though seasoned professionals are likely to be on an upward trajectory already, an MBA will enable them to accelerate their careers even further.
While pursuing and completing an MBA can indeed pave the way for leadership opportunities and consistently higher salaries, it can also help you build a strong business knowledge base that you can apply at work every day. Consider the case of Wharton School EMBA alumnus Lee Leibowitz. Although he did not begin his MBA studies until he was in his thirties, Leibowitz was able to enroll in a program where he and his fellow cohort members all possessed real-world business experience within a variety of disciplines². Additionally, with several years of experience under his belt, it was easier for Leibowitz to “make the connection between the knowledge he learned in the classroom and how it applied to what he was working on in the office” day in and day out². In short, even if you do not have a business background, earning an MBA will help you develop a strong foundation for success in your chosen profession.
Another advantage of returning to college and pursuing an MBA after gaining five to 10 years of experience is that it can be especially helpful for professionals interested in testing the waters of entrepreneurship. Though it may come as a surprise for some, earning an MBA is a cost-effective way for aspiring entrepreneurs to build the strong foundation they need to succeed with a new business venture¹. What’s more, according to Grammarly co-founder Max Lytvyn, “An MBA can be easier and cheaper than learning lessons the hard way,” namely through failed startups or several years spent trying to ascend corporate totem poles¹. In short, even though completing an MBA degree is not an automatic ticket to entrepreneurship, MBA programs teach many of the “fundamental skills necessary to run a business, generate revenue, establish partnerships, manage people and generally avoid financial or legal issues” when pursuing a new business endeavor¹.
Still another benefit of enrolling in an MBA program and completing a degree is that it can help mid-level professionals with their own personal growth. According to the Harvard Business Review, while 75 percent of MBA alumni during stable economic years found their degrees to be financially rewarding, that figure rose to 79 percent for business school graduates who earned their MBAs during recent recessions¹. What’s even more impressive, though, is that 95 percent of the aforementioned graduates described their MBA program experiences as personally rewarding¹. This demonstrates that no matter what your chosen profession, from risk management to travel and hospitality, earning an MBA after five to 10 years of experience can be revitalizing both professionally and personally.
Recognizing the importance of career revitalization through continuing education, Ramapo College’s comprehensive, 42-credit MBA program is designed with today’s working professionals in mind. Our focus on leadership and critical thinking, along with hands-on learning experiences such as the optional China Immersion Trip and Capstone Consulting Project, is an excellent fit for professionals with five to 10 years of experience who are looking to take their careers to new heights. Additionally, even if you have not taken a college course in several years, you can brush up on fundamental business principles and practices with our six new foundational courses. With a focus on key concepts in accounting, finance, management and marketing, all six classes will help you build a strong foundation for success in the program and after graduation.
While Ramapo’s MBA program indeed provides working professionals with five to 10 years of experience the opportunity to revitalize their careers, it is also designed to fit into their busy schedules. With our Flex program, which blends in-class and online learning components into a convenient hybrid course format, Ramapo MBA students can earn their degree without sacrificing their day jobs. Students can also maximize their employer reimbursement by spreading out their coursework over three to five years, all while continuing to gain valuable work experience. Ramapo also offers its MBA students the chance to select three electives within a defined track tailored to their relevant career experience. For example, students with a background in investment banking can pursue the finance elective track, while those with human resources expertise can opt for the management track.
Prospective students interested in learning more about Ramapo College’s MBA program are strongly encouraged to visit https://www.ramapo.edu/mba/ for more information.
¹Source: Career Contessa – “How an MBA Can Improve Your Career in Every Industry”. Retrieved from https://www.careercontessa.com/advice/MBA-improve-career/.
²Source: The Wharton School – “4 Ways to Break Through a Career Plateau” by Emory Saia. Retrieved from https://www.wharton.upenn.edu/story/4-ways-break-career-plateau/.
You might be tempted to think so given the rash of stories in the WSJ and higher education publications describing dwindling applications and the closing of full-time MBA programs. What gives?
To be sure, higher education institutions are wrestling with competitive, cyclical and secular issues that are coalescing to form the perfect storm. HBS Professor and best-selling author Clay Christensen predicts that 50 percent of colleges and universities will close or merge within the next decade. A quick Google search yields a parade of private and public closure and merger announcements over the last three years. In December, Albright College, Reading, Pa., announced a 45 percent tuition cut, ending a decade of 4 percent annual tuition hikes. In February, Concordia University, a small historically black private college in Selma, Ala., announced its closing two years shy of its centennial celebration. You don’t need a business degree to see that declining demographics, excess capacity and rising prices spell trouble for higher ed.
Full-time MBA programs are not immune to the changing landscape. While applications to MBA programs have always been countercyclical, about a dozen full-time programs have announced closures in the last three years, and more are likely to follow. All but the elite full-time programs are feeling the sting of too much student debt, rising demand for cheaper online programs and the unwillingness of workers to commit to a two-year absence from a rapidly changing marketplace. International applicants, once a stable source of demand, no longer flood admissions offices as they once did, due in large part to the uncertainty over the Trump Administration’s immigration policy. Many experts believe that it may be some time before these full-tuition-paying students return to the U.S. in large numbers.
Today’s MBA is not your mother or father’s degree. Businesses are increasingly being challenged by marketplace disruption and innovation, global competition and artificial intelligence’s potential to displace millions of jobs. To manage these challenges, employers are looking for individuals with creativity, empathy, agility and soft skills that were until very recently, not part of an MBA curriculum. Corporate social and environmental responsibility is no longer an aspirational goal and is instead driving everyday decisions.
New delivery platforms have emerged to offer business professionals greater flexibility and better work-life balance. Stackable micro credentialing and online programs provide applicants with a cheaper and faster alternative to acquiring needed skills. Business schools are redesigning their programs to align with a world of big data, block-chain technology, real-time analysis and matrix organizational structures. MBA curricula are embracing these marketplace advances, just like any business must do to remain competitive.
While all of this makes for dramatic headlines, the value of an MBA remains the gold standard for business professionals; its standing as the quintessential continuous learning degree for business professionals is unbowed. MBA graduates are thought to be more resilient and self-motivated, and they possess what all companies desire in their employees – critical thinking skills and a growth mindset. So important are these markers for success that they often trump prior experience when it comes to the hiring process. Moreover, in a world where nonlinear career paths are the new norm, an MBA degree is the gateway to opportunity and advancement. That aspect of an MBA remains the same, no matter what the future holds.
There’s been a rash of articles recently talking about the demise of an MBA degree but before removing those hallowed letters from your resume or enrolling in a Master’s of Fine Arts program instead, read this.
To be clear, much is happening in the MBA world, and not all of it is good news for higher education providers. It’s true that a half dozen or so programs have either closed or are considering closing their full-time MBA programs. Wake Forrest and Virginia Tech shook the industry years ago with closure announcements and, more recently, the University of Wisconsin unveiled plans to end its full-time MBA program only to retreat from its decision after an uproar from their alumni. Many other schools are no longer planning for the growth of their full-time MBA programs.
What’s missing from the headlines is that schools aren’t getting out of the MBA business altogether, they’re merely reallocating scarce resources to their most productive use. Business schools are practicing what they preach and managing their programs like a portfolio manager maximizing returns on their investments. Many are shifting resources to flex, online and part-time MBA programs and focusing on new opportunities like Data Analytics, which is now the fastest growing graduate business degree.
What the authors fail to consider is that much of what is ailing full-time programs is not all that surprising. What is clear, however, is that not everyone is feeling the pain. The top-ranked MBA programs are quite profitable and experiencing application growth along with rising GMAT scores, but they are the exception. And there seems to be no end to the all-in cost of attending an elite school, which now tops $200,000.
According to a survey by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), enrollment in full-time US MBA programs fell by a third between 2010 and 2016. While the decline is dramatic, it’s important to note that full-time MBA applications are countercyclical, rising as the recession unfolds and declining as the economy and job prospects improve.
The drop in US enrollments was masked by a rise in international applicants, which has been the only bright spot in an otherwise bleak picture for US business schools. But in the last year, interest from overseas has declined sharply due to a wave of uncertainty following the inauguration of President Trump. The scrimmage for student visas led many to seek enrollment outside the US. The loss of this large pool of full-paying students has been particularly problematic for full-time programs.
Another cyclical development comes courtesy of the Financial Crisis and the muted recovery. Facing a bleak job market, many college graduates opted to stay in school to complete a Master’s degree in finance or management – programs that typically do not require work experience. This thinking fueled a wave of enrollments into one year Master’s programs, pulling forward demand that might have otherwise opted for a full-time program two or four years hence. According to a 2017 survey by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), “Three in four prospective graduate business school candidates who hold a prior Master’s degree are considering enrolling in MBA programs.” It’s unclear how many of them will choose a full-time program.
At some point, the US will experience another recession and a future US President may ease restrictions on international students wishing to pursue a US education but until then it will be tough sledding for full-time MBA programs. However, the ebb and flow of demand doesn’t diminish the long-held view that an MBA is one of the most versatile and coveted business graduate degrees. It conveys to its holder a set of skills, knowledge, and stature that is without equal in the world of business.
There’s no fake news there.