Editor's note: Jamil Zaidan is a MBA student in the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI and currently in ISM 7505: Inbound Information Technology.
With costs of tuition rising each year, potential students are seriously contemplating if obtaining an MBA is really worth the cost. Is it really worth the tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours spent away from friends and family? The answer can vary for everyone as it depends on each individual’s situation. If you are working the corporate world (which is where I have been my entire career), the benefits of getting an MBA tend to outweigh the consequences for numerous reasons:
Actively Pursuing Your MBA is a Big Resume Builder
Corporations are always looking for candidates that can help improve their current state. Whether it be creating new products or solving complex challenges, it all starts from the brilliant minds of their employees. Showing that you are actively seeking your MBA shows that you are ambitious in improving yourself professionally, but more importantly you are being introduced to the latest problem solving skills and concepts in the business world today. With that said, if you are actively job hunting and pursuing your MBA, you are doing yourself a disservice not putting that valuable piece of information on your resume.
Get Certified While Going to Grad School
Having an MBA can open doors for your career like never before. While navigating your way through your MBA journey, you can also obtain certifications to go along with your degree. For example, at Wayne State University in Detroit, their ISM 7505 course requirements includes getting two certifications (HubSpot and Inbound, which are Inbound Marketing Certifications) as a part of the student’s grade (you can read more on it here). While the course is demanding, completing the course can pay dividends and can continue to build your resume over and above the degree you earned.
Higher Level Positions Require an MBA
While it is not always necessary to have an MBA to get higher level positions in the corporate world, it’s becoming more and more desirable and could be the reason you get an interview for a position. Have you looked at job posts today for any positions that are manager-level and higher? Almost every single post says Masters Degree required or at least preferred. Having an MBA makes you one of the few to differentiate themselves from the rest of the candidates trying to land the same job.
See the Big Picture
When working in a corporation, experts are created in some aspects of business but sheltered from the rest of the big picture because multiple departments handle other operations of the corporation. Your company’s workflows have worked just fine so far, so why is it so important for their employees to be more well-rounded? The more employees know the big picture of how the business processes work, the higher the possibility the company can start to streamline their processes making the corporation more efficient and profitable than ever before.
There has been a increased emphasis in some corporations (Molina Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI, etc.) in job swap programs where employees spend a couple days with fellow employees to see what their colleagues do and how their piece fits into the big picture. Unfortunately not all companies are taking the initiative to help all employees see the big picture in what and how they do things. If you are in that predicament, you can always choose a vast array of classes as an elective if there is a particular business area that you wanted to learn more about.
You Become a Subject Matter Expert
When you strive for an MBA, you usually have to pick an area of concentration of which you spend most of your time studying about. You can choose general management, ISM, Accounting, Finance and the list goes on and on. You may not know this while you choose your concentration, but you will develop an area of expertise that will help you along your professional career.
You can go several different avenues in choosing a concentration: you can pick something you are passionate about, something that relates to your current role, or a concentration that you do not have strong knowledge to become a better-rounded professional.
Personally, I started out as a Management concentration as I aspire to climb up the corporate ladder one day, but many of the electives I was interested in was under the Information Systems Management (ISM) umbrella. So halfway through my MBA journey, I ended up getting a double concentration in Management and ISM.
Earn Other’s (and Self) Respect
Having the MBA acronym at the end of your name signifies that you put in the time and effort for higher education. Not only do you take self-development seriously, but also are willing to sacrifice time and effort for knowledge for yourself and for the company you work for. More importantly, the degree you earned shows yourself what you are capable of and can do amazing things when put to the test. Hours of studying and testing instead of being with friends and family is certainly not easy, so when finished you do deserve a self pat on the back. You earned it!