Law School

Why pursue an MBA?

An MBA is a significant investment. The fees of a top MBA program could easily run between $70k and $130k. Further, you forego your salary for the period of the program. Add the time and effort you will invest, and pursuing an MBA is a major decision.

So, why do an MBA at all?

the average MBA holder’s career accelerates 30% faster than that of someone without an MBA
Career acceleration is one common reason. An MBA is a valued credential recognized all around the world. The skills and knowledge obtained in an MBA program are highly valued by many employers. In several industries, such as management consulting and investment banking, an MBA is a de facto requirement for career progression.

Similarly, in many large corporations, an MBA is often the price for progression from technical/specialist roles such as technology, logistics, or accounting, to management positions. A reputation.com study found that the average MBA holder’s career accelerates 30% faster than that of someone without an MBA.

64% of MBAs who graduated in 2012 entered a new industry
Another popular reason is career change. For people from various industries, an MBA opens up the path to enter management consulting, investment banking or venture capital. An MBA is also useful in changing careers more generally, e.g. someone from a manufacturing background may find an MBA helpful in transitioning to the pharmaceutical industry. At the extreme end, even artists, performers and athletes are able to make the leap into the corporate world with an MBA. According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 64% of MBAs who graduated in 2012 entered a new industry.

A change of scenery can also be a good reason to pursue an MBA. While working for some MNCs does provide a degree of international mobility, an MBA greatly expands your opportunities in international markets. In fact, a majority of MBA graduates tend to find work close to their business schools. If you live in Singapore and would like to work in the US, then completing a US MBA might be a good option for you.

One of the biggest benefits of an MBA is the expansion of your professional network. The MBA opens up your school’s academic, student, and alumni network to you, which can be very valuable. Many people, including those who’d like to pursue entrepreneurship after the MBA, cite this ability to make wide and relevant connections as their most important motive to seek an MBA education.

Finally, of course, employability of MBA graduates is high.

In purely financial terms, an MBA typically pays itself off in about 3 years.
For one, MBA graduates from highly-rated business schools are highly desirable for blue-chip employers. According to data released by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) in January 2013, even in a tight job market, 92% of 2012 business school graduates worldwide found employment within 3 months after graduation.

MBA salaries also remain high. Graduates from highly-rated schools could earn anywhere between $70k and $120k per year. These salaries represent 50% to 120% increase from pre-MBA salaries. In purely financial terms, an MBA typically pays itself off in about 3 years. The lifetime salary enhancement for the average MBA graduate from a highly-rated business school is over $2 million!

Mid 50% salary statistics* by function for HBS class of 2013

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