What is an MBA? What does having an MBA mean and what are the benefits? These are a few of the many questions that prospective MBA students consider while they decide what to do or which direction to take, academically and professionally.
An important part of the decision-making process is a pragmatic one. Students want to know, is it worth it? Will I make more money after I graduate? An article published in Forbes magazine reported a research study that showed that full-time MBA graduates from schools around the country start their careers with initial salaries 50% higher than what they were earning in the year before beginning the program. Then, over the next five years, their pay nearly doubles.
So, yes, it is worth it, because individuals with an MBA simply make more money than those without. But some may be skeptical of the difficulties arising from finding a job in the first place, especially after the recession of 2008. In terms of the time it takes to become employed after leaving an MBA program, the same Forbes article goes on to explain that employers recognized the value of an MBA graduate and the employers feel that when they hired an MBA graduate they are getting back the full value of their investment. This helped salaries to stay up during the economic meltdown and guaranteed that graduates get employed within a few months of graduation.
What this indicates is that, on average, MBA students find higher salary jobs before the grace period on their student loans ends (should they have any student loans). This highlights another concern for prospective students of the MBA program: how much does it cost, and if I borrow money to pay for the program, how long does it typically take to pay it off? To answer these questions, the article goes on to explain that the average amount paid by an MBA student for the program, as well as forgone salary during studying years, is returned within the first 3.5 years of working. So even though this is a high expenditure, you can feel confident in receiving a strong return on your investment.
Now that some of the Q&A’s about value are resolved, prospective MBA students might be wondering what is entailed academically in an MBA program? In this respect, there are a few choices. At the Anderson School of Management we offer an accelerated MBA, a focused MBA, an EMBA and MACCT programs.
Anderson's 3/2 Program
One specific program that its designed to help undergraduate students to obtain an MBA without having the business background is the 3/2 program. Let me tell you a little bit about it.
The 3-2 program is designed for students who are working on an undergraduate degree in an area other than business. For example, students may be working on a degree in Psychology, Economics or Journalism. The 3-2 program allows students to complete their undergraduate degree, but also take six graduate business courses. These six classes will be the student’s minor for their undergraduate degree. Once they have successfully completed the six graduate business classes and graduated with their bachelor's degree, they will be automatically rolled into the MBA program. At that time, the student will only have 19 credit hours left to complete the MBA program and that can be done in about two semesters. While the students are still an undergraduate student, the six classes they take in the MBA program will be for their undergraduate minor and they will pay undergraduate tuition for the courses.
In order to be eligible for the 3-2 program, students need to have about 90 credit hours towards their bachelor's degree completed. Additionally, they will need to take the GMAT or GRE (these are the graduate school equivalents to the SAT or ACT) and you will need to have a 3.0 GPA.
Students should apply to the 3-2 program when they are in the second semester of their junior year so that they can begin the program (begin taking the graduate level classes) in the first semester of their senior year. They will take three of the graduate classes their first semester of their senior year, and the remaining three classes in their second semester of their senior year. I encourage students interested in the 3/2 program to schedule an appointment with me so that we can go over when they should apply to the program.
There are a multitude of reasons to invest in an MBA. An MBA will increase your career options, expand your professional network, and positively impact your life as you invest in yourself and create value in your professional brand.
Erick Rodriguez is Anderson's Senior Academic Advisor for Graduate Programs. Click here to contact Erick.