If anything falls under the heading “life’s big decisions,” deciding to get a graduate degree is it. Here’s a handy set of questions to ask before you apply to graduate school.
Let’s start with the big one: Is this something I want to do? Many people believe that the MBA is one of the most versatile degrees because it applies to so many fields. You might want to be a consultant or you may want to start your own bakery – you’ll learn skills to do both in the MBA program.
Or maybe you’ll do both. Look at MBA grad Jim Koch – after a distinguished career at Boston Consulting Group, he decided to follow his dream and start a brewery. You know his startup as Boston Beer Company – the second largest craft brewery in the nation and the maker of Sam Adams.
There’s no such thing as waiting for a promotion. Career advancement goes to the employees who build their skills and gain experience. In many professional careers, getting an MBA from an accredited university is one of the best ways to demonstrate that career momentum.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably got a number in mind you want to – reach a salary that reflects your value in the marketplace and lets you live the type of lifestyle you want to live. A 2015 Graduate Management Admission Council survey said the median starting salary for an MBA graduate is about $100,000, which is about $45,000 more than the median salary for a bachelor’s degree. That’s a big jump!
In-person or online? In-person programs often take longer to complete and the time involved adds up quickly – commuting to and from campus for class and meeting with project partners. A good online degree should be flexible and allow you to complete it at your own speed. Your time is the most valuable resource you have. (FYI, Texas Wesleyan’s fully-online MBA is fast, flexible and you can finish it in as little as a year. Just sayin’.)
Affordability is probably one of the biggest things to consider when pursuing a graduate degree. Some degrees can run up to six figures. You want a degree that’s high-quality, but not too expensive.
One of the biggest ways to make graduate school affordable is through the FAFSA. You probably got to know the FAFSA pretty well getting your bachelor’s – it can help make your graduate degree affordable as well.