When Is The Right Time To Start Your MBA?
When a prospective student first enrols in the Master of Business Administration (MBA), it’s often a decision that they’ve pondered for some time. As humans, it’s in our nature to second-guess ourselves. It’s normal when making important decisions such as education, employment and big purchases, questioning whether it’s the right time, the right programme, or just generally the right decision for you. If you find yourself on the fence with your MBA, consider the below questions. They may help to determine when the right time to start your MBA is and put you on track to achieving your goals.
Does the MBA align with my professional goals?
Before the investments of time and money are considered, you must first analyse whether the MBA is the right programme for you and your professional goals. There are a range of factors that motivate students to study an MBA, with the most common being the desire to:
– change job or industry
– gain a promotion or increased salary
– formalise existing knowledge and experience
– gain an extensive and up-to-date business knowledge
– gain respect, credibility and influence
If you can relate to one or more of the above professional goals, chances are you’re in the right mindset to start your MBA. That being said, there are still plenty of other unique reasons why people choose to pursue MBAs, and this doesn’t make it the wrong programme for them. If you’re unsure about the programme itself, we recommend chatting to an AIB Course Advisor, who can discuss with you your goals and advise accordingly.
Am I at the right stage of my career?
The MBA applies to a range of roles across the business environment thanks to its diverse and holistic course content. It therefore is viewed as a valued and applicable programme for those at all stages of their career – from an experienced CEO to a technical specialist ready to take the next. Those earlier in their careers use the MBA as a stepping-stone towards more senior roles, whereas senior MBAs use the degree to gain additional knowledge, respect and recognition of their years of experience. Ideally, MBA students should have at least five years of practical work experience under their belts before beginning the degree. This ensures the student has enough experience in the workplace to apply the MBA theory to, and vice versa.
Can I commit the time to the MBA?
We’d be lying if we said the MBA didn’t take great commitment, but the good news is there are some flexible options out there for those who’d like to continue working while studying. Gone are the days when MBA students had to resign from their jobs to complete the degree. Thanks to online learning, an MBA doesn’t have to dictate your schedule; students can study when it suits them from anywhere in the world. Working and studying full-time will take some dedication, but with detailed planning, it can be incredibly rewarding as you’re able to apply the theory you learn at work the very next day.
Plan when you could fit study into your weekly schedule with the MBA Time-to-Study Calculator.
Is the MBA something I can afford?
The MBA is an investment, both financially and personally. It’s a decision that must be taken with some consideration to finance, as not everyone has the opportunity to complete their degree on their work’s budget. When researching MBAs, you’ll find there are some more affordable options out there as well as payment options for those who would prefer not to pay upfront. For example, the AIB MBA offers FEE-HELP to eligible Australian students. This scheme sees the Australian Government pay part or all of the tuition fees upfront, with the student to pay the loan back in due course. If finance is the only thing holding you back, this is a great option that allows the MBA to be started sooner rather than later.
Read more: Is an MBA Still Worth The Investment?
Every student will approach the MBA with different opportunities and obstacles, but if an MBA is a goal of yours, there’s no better time to start than now. Karen Lamb once said, “A year from now, you’ll wish you’d started today.”
Get to know the AIB MBA, the MBA for working adults.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.