Why I Choose An MBA
University of Phoenix
Why we choose a Master’s Degree in Business (MBA) can be a compilation of financial, career, educational, and personal goals. In our job market, your MBA training can add value to your skills, experience, and over all marketability. The very nature of the degree can unite all of these skills together in one package that the market can recognize and respond to. Regardless of your reasoning you need to ask yourself this: “why is an MBA right for you?”
Today many students are opting to finance their own education. Not only are students borrowing more, but more students are borrowing. Nationally, annual student loan volume increased 76 percent from 1993 to 2000 after adjusting for inflation. The percentage of bachelor’s degree recipients who borrowed to finance their education increased from 49 percent in 1993 to 65 percent in 2000. The median cumulative amount borrowed also increased from 1993 to 2000. In 1993, bachelor’s degree recipients borrowed an average of $9,500; compared with $16,500 for degree recipients in 2000. As alarming this may sound many students eagerness to pursue the MBA has only grown.
According to BusinessWeek, graduates who earn an MBA degree generally enter into consulting, accounting, finance, management, sales, or marketing. A post-MBA employee can expect to receive a pay increase or an elevation in position. Depending on the industry and specialty the pay increase may range from 10 to 82 percent; moreover, an MBA graduate will likely experience a return of investment on tuition within 3-to-5 years. As with any statistics, personal interpretation and social influence may affect the outcome of your MBA.
An MBA may in fact give you a competitive advantage within the marketplace. However, not taking into account the debt mentioned above is insufficient and while we would like to believe that graduate students are motivated by their own personal self growth and educational goals, this may in fact not be true. The grim reality for many graduates when faced with such a substantial debt burden upon entering the workforce is graduate school. This opting to continue and forgo student loans both private and government give some students the additional time needed. According to a study by Accountemps, a global temporary staffing service for accounting and finance professionals, 80 percent of executives responding to the survey said that a graduate degree in business is still an important step to reach senior management ranks within most companies.
As adults we are taught to always weigh out our options. The average cost of a traditional MBA program is estimated at $40,000 for one year, according to MBAprograms.org. While this in the short term can add to the students financial burden; long term, if applied properly, an MBA can far exceed the cost. My case in point Thomas MacKay with CIO magazine stated, “It gives you credibility with your business peers. Having an MBA demonstrates your commitment to the business because you have previously invested a substantial amount of time and energy required to obtain the degree.”
The number of MBA degrees conferred annually has seen explosive growth over the last few decades, going from under 5,000 MBAs in 1960 to more than 100,000 MBAs in 2000 according to Businessweek MBA trends. The downside to this dilemma is the influx of qualified job applicants hitting the job market creates a “watered down” effect. The watering down of an MBA is compounded by an economy that clearly has room to grow.
With an increasing number of MBA’s now more than ever, nontraditional students going back to school, apparent from the numbers aforementioned, this increase cannot be attributed to traditional students alone. Employers are looking at not just where you went to school as in years before, but how have you applied your new business sense to the real world. The change in philosophy has helped grow the online MBA programs offered at many fully accredited universities. The very essence of these programs allows students to fulfill their job duties while increasing their merit at their current employer. This in turn is creating a pool of newly graduated students who have satisfied the market needs of a diverse individual with a proven history at work and in school.
In conclusion, my own choice to pursue an MBA was a deliberate joint approach. I not only needed to understand what all my options were, but to also project forward and realize where the future of an MBA may lie. I enjoy higher education and have for some years. The MBA, like any graduate program, may not be the answer for all recent graduates who are having trouble finding work. What it can offer is another tool for success when entering or re-entering the workforce. Coupled with real world experience and the motivation to get that elusive job, one may perhaps just ride on the heels of an MBA while moving up the corporate ladder.
My Jungian personality test reflection
My Jungian personality portrayed an accurate representation of who I am. I was placed into the category of ENTJ. To explain in more detail, I am outgoing, visionary, argumentative, have a low tolerance for incompetence and often seen as a natural leader. In my career experience when given the opportunity to lead it has come natural and easy.
The argument can be made that leaders are born and not trained through experience. Elliott Jaques, a clinical psychologist holding a Ph.D. from Harvard and an M.D. from Johns Hopkins, believes an individual’s cognitive capacity, which is roughly equivalent to IQ, is set at birth. Jaques argues that an individual’s leadership ability is inherently tied to cognitive capacity. Jaques’ theory states that no amount of training, coaching or education can increase this attribute and consequently, leadership development is an oxymoron.
However, researcher Daniel Goleman, believes that emotional intelligence or EQ states that an individual’s ability to recognize and regulate his emotions, and the emotions of others, accounts for 80% of leadership success in organizations today. While IQ may be set at birth, EQ represents a set of personal skills that can be learned and refined throughout one’s life.
In summary, I feel strongly that leaders are formed by a combination of learned behaviors and inherit abilities thus creating a leader. While we may never settle the debate a growing body of research suggests that effective leadership and personal success within organizations is correlated to our understanding, self-awareness, and empathy for others. We all see the world differently yet, to lead by example we must relate and communicate well with others, this simple task helps leaders naturally realize their own abilities and as a consequent learn how to understand those same strengths in others.
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