An MBA, or Master of Business Administration degree, provides a number of benefits. It's an advanced degree that provides new management and finance skills, career-enhancing credentials and networking opportunities. However, the MBA isn't a perfect fit for all bachelor's degree holders as it does have some drawbacks.
Lack of Specialization
MBA programs tend to cover a broad array of business and leadership courses, including finance, strategy, international business and human resources. For this reason, it doesn't necessary provided the same level of professional specialization available through more focused advanced-degree programs, such as those in economics, educational administration or the sciences. The MBA essentially provides a broad curriculum emphasizing strategic thinking, business planning and financial planning awareness.
Limited Professional Exposure
A common choice for a person in a business-related career is whether to return to school for an MBA or invest the time in climbing the corporate ladder. An MBA program is usually classroom-based, meaning it doesn't have much in the way of practical or hands-on business experiences for students. Business executives may prefer to hire and develop four-year graduates with proven leadership in business and time invested in the company.
Questionable Career Benefits
The overall value of the MBA is uncertain. An October 2007 "CBS MoneyWatch" article noted that people who complete the degree early in a career often see an income boost. However, this may be attributed as much to professional skill development and time on the job. MBA grads in the midst of their careers are less likely to see a significant boost in income over time as a result of the degree, according to the article. This makes the $100,000-plus some students spend on an MBA a questionable investment.
While an MBA certainly enhances educational credentials, a September 2012 "Entrepreneur" article noted that many employers prefer to mold employees internally as opposed to hiring employees fresh out of an MBA program. In some cases, the label "MBA grad" is used with a negative connotation to describe a worker rigidly confined by the theoretical and research-driven education provided in a typical MBA program. Employers may prefer to develop an employee through their own critical-thinking processes.
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