Finding the Right MBA

You could do much worse for yourself than choose to enroll in an MBA program. Studies show that the number of companies that are interested in hiring recent MBA graduate is on the rise. MBA programs are a good choice if you are looking for ease of finding employment.

But still, finding the right MBA program is not an easy thing to do. There are plenty of things you will need to consider before you choose the one that will suit you the most. With that in mind, let’s see what some of the criteria you have to think about if you want to choose the right MBA program for you.

The Price of an MBA

You should be aware that getting an MBA in a top school is not cheap. While there might be some other criteria you want to consider first instead of pricing, you would be doing yourself a favor if you thought about the fees first. A full-time MBA program from one of the top 20 schools can set you back between $55,000 and $140,000.

Even on the lower end, prices for MBA programs in top schools are high. Keep in mind that the tuition fees have been rising faster than the inflation or the average income. If you plan to go into debt to pay for education, you should calculate how hard it would be to pay off that debt. Be aware of your possibilities, and then choose a group of schools you can afford. Also, keep in mind that you can choose online MBA programs, some of which even come with a possible GMAT waiver. They might allow you to work your way through your studies easier and get your degree without as much debt.

Your Goals

You probably want to enroll in an MBA program so you can achieve some goals after you finish it. Becoming an entrepreneur and an investment banker are two wildly different things. You must have some sense of direction when enrolling in an MBA program.

It pays to be aware that your goals might change, though. The very best thing about getting an education isn’t the fact that it will help you get a job. Being exposed to new and interesting things can have a life-changing effect on you, and that’s the best thing about education. And that effect might make you change your mind about your goals.

The Classes and the Methodology

What you learn and how you learn it will influence your experience at the program. It might also influence your success. What you learn should be the knowledge that will be useful to you when you finish the program. The lectures should reflect your goals. They should also have an element of surprise because you want something unexpected and new in your curriculum.

The way MBA programs teach today mostly involve a mix of lectures and case studies. If you want a more real-life, hands-on approach, you should look for programs that offer solid experiential learning. Experiential learning often includes internships — always look for paid ones first! — as well as exchange programs and certain elective classes. Again, you should be interested in programs that offer you opportunities that are in line with your goals and capabilities. Keep in mind, though, that internships can be a great way to easily slide into a post-MBA career.

There are many other criteria you can look for in your prospective schools. For example, you can estimate the size and quality of their alumni networks. You can pick the schools with the strongest career development centers, or the schools that have the highest cultural diversity. In some career paths, accreditations count for a lot. So, when you’re looking into different schools and the MBAs they offer, do a pros and cons list. It’s a simple tool that might show you which schools match your preferences the most.