Are you trying to decide if getting that MBA degree will help advance your career?
If so, my message is for you. I completed my MBA degree through Excelsior College last July 2015. My situation does not yet show a positive return on my investment because I failed to obtain work experience in my field before I graduated. In fact, this is the reason I feel compelled to write about it.
My life trade-offs for going to school meant little time with family because every week night and every weekend were spent on school work, and because I attended online college year-round, there were no holidays off. I wasn’t even free for Mother’s Day. For six years. When you take online classes, assignments are due, discussions must be completed and there are no deviations from the school calendar, ever. There are no breaks.
I worked in a constant state of stress trying to meet deadlines, get enough sleep, manage a household and earn an income. It took endless perseverance. Every advanced degree student who works will have similar struggles.
My message to anyone considering advanced education in business is don’t do it unless you meet one of the following situations:
- You can attend an ivy league school.
- You are military.
- Your current employer rewards and respects employees who obtain an advanced degree and actually provides a path for promotion once achieved.
- Your program includes extensive internships starting the first year of school.
Do yourself a favor and only consider college programs that offer extensive internships where you can start working that first year of school. You need to gain experience and build relationships with employers who can give you a reference in your field while you go to school.
The most important factor employers look at is the work experience you have that apply to the job you seek. They rarely look at potential based on degree completion. These days little value is assigned to the sacrifice and hard work required to complete an advanced degree. You’ve got a lot of competition for the job, don’t let the employer put a label on you that says educated but inexperienced. Don’t fall into the this is all I could possibly be because this is all I have been trap.
Consider the debt, the sacrifice, and what you need to do to ensure you have the experience to walk right in to a job (even entry level) in your field upon graduation.