If you have been considering going back to school to earn your MBA, you may ask yourself if there is a “right time” to commit to furthering your education. Before taking the plunge back into school, there are a few questions you may want to consider first to help you determine what is the best time for you to earn an MBA.
Decide on Your Career Path
Before you begin the process of working toward your MBA, you should first make sure that you have a clear idea of what avenue you want your career to take after graduation. If you have a specific area of focus in mind that you want to pursue after you receive your MBA – such as marketing or international finance or operations management, it will help you determine your course of study.
Having this focus will also assist you in finding a job quickly after graduation as you will have already done the legwork and won’t need to decide what is right for you.
Consider Job Experience and Flexibility
Going back to school can be a break from the 9-to-5 grind, however, it isn’t always an option. You may want to look for a program that allows you the flexibility to both continue to work full-time and pursue your MBA while you maintain your current position.
If you plan to use your MBA as a stepping stone to ascend to a top position at your dream company, that won’t happen if you don’t have enough work experience.
For instance, if you hope to helm a marketing department, you should certainly have several years of practical, on-the-job marketing experience before going back to school. An MBA without experience will not serve you well.
Put Your Financial House in Order First
If you do plan to leave the job market to focus on earning an MBA, you need to make sure that you can afford the costs. Not only will you need to pay for tuition, you will most likely be losing income from your job.
Ensuring that you are financially able to take on the responsibilities of school is an important step in deciding when it is time for you to earn an MBA.
Steps to Take to Find the Right School
Once you have determined that now is the right time to start working toward your MBA – you have the money, experience, and your career path decided, there are a few steps you need to take to go from dreaming about an MBA to actually earning it.
- Take the GMAT and other required tests. Get these out of the way. These tests are your first step on the path to receiving your MBA. Your scores will influence the schools you can and will apply to.
- Research programs. Like anything in life, no two MBA programs are exactly the same. The staff and facility and course of study at the school you select will be important components in determining your success.
- Line up financing. Determine your expected costs before you apply. If you can, line up financing for your schooling in advance. This might mean using your savings or asking for a loan from family or the bank or determining if you need to apply for a student loan.
- Begin the application process. You will need to determine when applications need to be submitted and give yourself plenty of time before hand – months – to ensure you have all the required documents available.
The right MBA can catapult your career if you obtain it at the right time. If you have decided an MBA is right for you, then the best time to earn an MBA is now.
This article was provided by Drexel University Online, an accredited university located in Philadelphia, PA. Learn more about Drexel University Online degree programs here.