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The Pros And Cons Of Studying For An MBA


An MBA (Masters of Business Administration) is viewed as being one of the best ways to advance your career. Studies show that the average salary of an MBA graduate is £80,000 pounds. However, the decision whether to study a MBA or not should take into consideration other factors rather than just the potential for a higher salary.

Below you can find out the major pros and cons of studying for an MBA.

Pros of studying for an MBA

MBA pros Career progression

One of the key benefits of having an MBA is career progression. Some companies want to see their management level employees have the accreditation. People who lack an MBA qualification sometimes find that they experience a “glass ceiling” where the find it difficult to move into higher level positions. Studies have shown that MBA graduates are more likely to achieve top management positions in Fortune 500 companies, compared to other employees in those organizations.

Develop professional relationships

One of the most overlooked advantages of an MBA program is the relationships that you form while studying the program. The people that you will meet during your MBA program are invariably ambitious and career driven. Because of the team work and intense environment of an MBA program, the relationships formed there are very difficult to replicate otherwise. Being able to call on these people in the future can bring innumerable benefits. 

Personal development 

Money and a better job might be exterior benefits of an MBA program but the internal benefits are just as important. An MBA program is a fantastic opportunity for personality development. An MBA program will push you to go outside of your comfort zone. This can help you to increase your confidence and ability to lead other people. Completing an MBA program also requires students to develop excellent time management skills and maintain discipline. These attributes can help you to excel in your future career.

Opportunity to switch careers

Many people who study for an MBA do so because they switch into another industry. In particular many MBA graduates choose to enter either the financial or consulting industry following their graduation. Having an MBA opens up opportunities in these industries, which may not otherwise be available to students who have a different educational or career backgrounds. One of the reasons that MBA graduates’ salaries are significantly higher than the national average is because of the opportunity to enter into more lucrative industries as a result of the qualification. 

Provides a competitive edge

People that have an MBA immediately have a competitive edge over those who lack the qualification. An MBA is an excellent way to stand out against other applicants when applying for a job. Because of the work that goes into earning an MBA, employers recognize that holders of the qualification are disciplined and ambitious. In addition there is knowledge that an MBA graduate can bring into an organization. For these reasons MBA graduates rarely find it difficult to get hired.

Master managerial skills

Many people who apply for an MBA do so because they would like to move into management but feel that they lack the skills to do so. In an MBA program you will learn the skills to deal with real-life situations managing other employees. There are few other academic programs which develop these management skills in the same way. You will also learn how to use your role as a manager to advance the goals of the organisation as a whole.

Skills to start own business 

Not everyone who studies for an MBA does so because they want to move upwards in an existing organisation. A significant proportion of people who study for the qualification, do so because they are aspiring entrepreneurs who want to learn sound business skills. The skills and knowledge taught in an MBA program can be invaluable when setting up and managing your own company. Because of the case study emphasis in MBA programs, you can learn how to identify and solve real-life problems based on the experiences of other businesses.

Cons of studying an MBA

MBA Cons Cost

Obtaining an MBA can involve a considerable financial commitment. Tuition fees for an MBA program can cost anywhere from £15,000 to £70,000. This doesn't include other costs such as housing and textbooks that you also need to take into consideration if you are studying full time – not to mention loss of earnings whilst taking the time out to study. The relatively high costs of studying for an MBA means that the decision should not be taken lightly. You want to be sure that you will get value from your qualification and that you are committed to seeing the process through. 


Time commitment

Studying for an MBA takes a maximum of two years full time and a minimum of one year, depending on the program and which country you are studying in. If you are undertaking your MBA part time the qualification can take even longer to earn. This is a considerable commitment of time. You need to consider the impact of this on both your life and your finances. For example if you are studying full time for two years and you currently earn £50,000, then the actual cost of studying in lost wages is £100,000. If you are working while you are studying then you need to be sure that you will have enough time available. Studying for an MBA requires a high level of commitment and discipline. You need to be sure that you have a supportive family or partner who understand why you may not always be available.

Do the pros outweigh the cons?

Having an MBA is not a guarantee for a success career. As many past MBA students will attest the qualification will get you your first good job, but it is up to you to get your second one. That said, for people who have a desire to progress in their career and achieve major work goals, it is difficult to replicate the benefits an MBA can provide. The network that you develop and the skills that you will learn are invaluable for your future work life. Finally, an MBA is still considered the gold standard for high achieving employees.


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