The MBA is an expensive investment. Harvard Business School (HBS), for example, has a price tag of about $250,000. Add to that the financial impact of not earning an income for two years and it is clear why many individuals shy away from pursuing the MBA in the first place. Yet, ask anyone applying to business school, and you are likely to hear that they believe that the return on their investment can be significant. The numbers from graduates of top business schools support this: 86 percent of women and 89 percent of men surveyed in a Catalyst study reported that they were very satisfied with their MBA career after attending business school.
Often, the value of the MBA can be characterized as falling within one of these eight benefits:
1. Expanded network
2. Strategic skills
3. Analytical skills
4. Quantitative skills
5. Soft skills (leadership, communication, negotiation, agility in thinking on your feet, team management, etc.)
6. Increased knowledge
7. Significant salary bump
8. Access to new career
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) conducts a biannual survey of MBA alumni. Seventy-nine percent of the alumni polled in the 2006 alumni survey indicated that they are positive about their decision to pursue an MBA
(Source: MBA Alumni Perspective Survey, September 2006).
So if you have decided that the MBA is for you and you are clear on why you want to pursue this degree and what it will offer you in the long term, let’s examine the specific influences that shape which MBA program a candidate chooses.