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Staying in the Game With Your MBA

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

²Source: BusinessBecause – “The Average MBA Will Increase Salary By 77% After Graduation” by Craig O’Callaghan. Retrieved from

³Source: Entrepreneur – “Don’t Skip the MBA. It Makes You a Better Entrepreneur” by Andrew Lancaster. Retrieved from

Categories: MBA