A Master's of Business Administration (MBA) is an advanced degree offered by most business schools to college graduates who (preferably) have a few years of work experience. MBA coursework teaches students essential skills for the corporate world by focusing on both the technical (e.g., finance and economics) and personal (e.g., leadership and management) abilities. Earning an MBA has become an essential step in establishing a successful career in the business world. Some companies are willing to sponsor their employees' education, either while they are working part-time, or during a hiatus from their employment (with a contract to return afterwards).
Today most business people in management positions have MBAs. While it is possible to achieve success in the business world without an MBA, not having a degree from a top business school can be a severe handicap because so many people continue their education and training. Both the quantitative and qualitative skills taught in MBA programs are qualities that are in high demand in the real business world. If you decide not to pursue an MBA, it is possible that you are making a decision that will hinder your future success in the corporate world.
There are a multitude of reasons why so many people now consider an MBA to be an integral step in their career paths. Just having an MBA can make the difference between a high-paying, high-power job, and an endless cycle of unsuccessful interviews. Statistics show a pronounced difference in salary between graduates of top MBA programs and the MBA-less (on average the former earns as much as twice the latter). There is also a substantial gap in pay between those with MBAs from top schools, and those who graduate from lower-ranked institutions. Because the stakes are so high, seeking expert advice, and meticulously preparing your application is essential for your future success at a top business school.
Increased salary is only one of the benefits of an MBA from a top business school. Job flexibility and security, the opportunity to make important connections, enhanced upward mobility, and the satisfaction of doing more interesting, significant work are just a few of the reasons why hundreds of thousands of applicants attempt to gain admittance to business school each year.
Entrepreneurs often seek MBAs before they strike out on their own so that they can learn from businessmen who have already succeeded. This gives them a greater chance of success in the real world. An MBA provides both a qualification that will help further your career path and a body of practical knowledge. This combination of credentials and expertise will help you achieve your goals regardless of the profession you choose.
During your years in business school, you will likely meet many people, some of whom may prove to be valuable contacts later in your career. The establishment of a broader network of contacts is one of the reasons why it is important to go to a top business school. The better the business school, the more valuable those contacts are likely to be.
Interacting with a network of well-trained and educated business contacts while in school is also excellent practice for your re-entering the business world full time post MBA. Working closely with others and finding common ground with your fellow students provides you with training for any future positions with much higher stakes. By then your business and interpersonal skills could mean the difference between winning or losing a multi-million dollar contract with an important client.