Is an MBA Worth the Cost?

Whether you’re applying for a leadership position at your current job, looking to make a career pivot, or launching your own company, an MBA can help you develop the functional skills and the well-recognized credential to advance your career. But an MBA comes at a cost, with tuition at the top-ranked schools running into six-figure sums. The key question is whether the investment is worth it for you and your long-term career.

Many MBAs use the experience to learn about new industries and functions they hope to move into in the future. Schickler said he’s seen graduates go into more traditional sectors such as consulting, but also into less conventional fields like technology and sustainability.

Aside from industry and function, an mba can also expose you to a wider range of ideas, helping to sharpen your analytical thinking and broaden your perspective. Using a scenario-based learning approach, professors can challenge you to tackle complex business issues from multiple angles.

An MBA can also teach you how to manage a team and build trust within it. Students are often exposed to a wide variety of management theories, including those taught by the late Stanford professor Jack Pfeffer. Among his most controversial concepts is that it’s easier for power brokers to retain their authority and keep the status quo when they “groom successors.”

Finally, an MBA can provide you with a strong network of other alumni from a wide variety of industries. Those connections can come in handy when you need advice from someone who’s been in your shoes or can offer insight into a challenging problem.

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