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Is the M.B.A. Degree Worth the Cost?

Updated on March 24, 2013

I guess it might depend on your perspective, your experience, your goals. But getting the MBA is not necessarily the most cost effective education. That depends on the costs, if you are getting one from Harvard, the two years will run $175,000. Yeah, you read this right. Less prestigious schools will cost less but at the end of the two years you have a piece of paper and two years of classroom theory and maybe some internship experience.

According to surveys, the average salary potential for you with no or less than one year experience is a mere $47,000. Yeah, that's right. I was in shock. That's like $25 an hr or so. If you got your MBA from USC or UCLA or other non-ivy league schools, you have a 25% chance of looking for work once you graduate. That is because of the economy and more unemployed people already have college degrees, maybe not the MBA, but still qualified because of experience.

It is not rocket science about what most employers want for most positions - experience. All the education, lectures, term papers will not give you that. That is the case whether we are talking about a sales gig or entry management or nearly anything. Many feel that the MBA is many cases is not worth the cost and one should invest in hard skills. For instance, going to a school to learn coding for 10 weeks. It costs $12,000. That is a chunk of money BUT their starting salaries begin at $80,000 and 88% who learn to code are hired.

Before you decide on the MBA, consider what the payoff is at the end first. Is the MBA really cost effective for what you like to do? If not, why not relocate to a place that really has your interests and goals in mind and start there instead of the school telling you where you must live. Having an MBA is fast becoming the "new" B.A. or B.S., seems like too many have them and they are working at a job that does require it. Yet, so far, all they got was the debt.

Like most already know, put yourself in the shoes of the future boss and imagine who would you hire: a person with no experience but the MBA or a person who has only a B.A. or none, but has created a business that was profitable for two years?


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    • tuteramanda profile image


      5 years ago from beijing china

      if you are already a boss ,that is worth because you can build you social network through it,if you just a university student,no

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Well, yes, Singh, the MBA can do many things for employment but it is not always cost effective for some-just saying.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Perrya, I am a service officer and MBA. I would never be a executive director withal fat pay packet in a multinational without MBA. So the moral of the story is MBA cannot be denigrated

    • Doodlehead profile image


      5 years ago from Northern California

      I am someone who has experienced university education from Nobel Prize winners at three top universities (one ivy league) and several state universities and numerous junior colleges. The teaching at the junior colleges was the best of the three. Hands down. I enrolled recently in an MBA.

      I chose a tiny private university which is regionally accredited. The program offers all the topics and concentrations at most AACSB schools, and in addition, I can take one course on a topic of my choice as a research project.

      As a self-employed person, nobody cares whether I have an MBA. I found that my professional designations were extremely helpful in my work though. I debated about enrolling in a "fancy" MBA and took several years to decide against doing it. Experience seems to be what gets me results in my work, and my MBA has a pricetag of about $20,000, but with the tax credits and so forth and the included IPAD (YIPPEE) in the tuition, I couldn't be happier. The chair of the department has experience in the area I have have a deep interest in (and no experience) so I can learn from him and talk to him. I am sure if I were in a "top" school I would no have this opportunity. I know because I attended a "top" school and I don't really think it was all that "tops".

    • gags3480 profile image


      5 years ago from Kanpur, India

      I fully agree with you. That's why I selected Indian Chartered Accountancy as my career.

      I founded it economical and it's also the toughest degree in world which gives you a great career platform.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 

      5 years ago from Pune, India

      You are right, and if the Degree is a necessity for certification, one should try for cheaper colleges. Also, there are lot of other cost effective management degrees equivalent to MBA, one should try for them.


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