February 20, 2019

The ROI of an MBA

If you want to last in business, you need to get a return on your investment. Financial profits, of course, are what keep companies alive.

If you have or want a career in business, you’ve probably considered getting an MBA, which can increase personal earning potential. But increased earning potential isn’t the only reason to pursue another degree. Strayer University faculty say there are a wide variety of benefits that come with getting an MBA, among them:

Expanded Career Options

An MBA gives students an understanding of accounting, finance, human resources, management, marketing, and other foundational aspects of business, which may be useful if you’re hoping to jump career tracks or assume more responsibility at your current job, says Strayer University business professor Andrea Banto. “With an MBA, you can become more specialized if you pursue different concentrations,” Banto says. “You can focus on the kind of learning you’ll need to succeed down the road.”

What’s more, some companies require or prefer an MBA to be considered for certain jobs. Without that education, you may be at a disadvantage or unable to apply for the position you want.

Increased Respect

Earning an MBA can boost your reputation among company leaders and managers. “Generally speaking, students who are enrolled in an MBA program are viewed in a positive way,” Banto says. “Employers like that they are learning and bringing new ideas and knowledge to the workplace.”    

Employers are often particularly impressed with mid-career adult learners, says Strayer business professor Adrienne Garabedian. “Adult learners have a lot on their plate,” she says. “Their ability to juggle a job, coursework, and other responsibilities earns them the respect of their peers.”

A Sense of Accomplishment

Not everyone is motivated by external forces. For many students, the most certain return on their time and money invested in an MBA is a sense of satisfaction. “You’re getting an in-depth foundation that can make you more competitive in the workplace,” Garabedian says. “Completing your degree may be the most important thing. For many people, the learning process is very engaging and the degree brings a sense of pride.”

A Bigger Professional Network

Working on an MBA not only exposes you to new ideas, it also introduces you to new people, expanding your professional network. “The MBA is a great opportunity to build connections that can serve as great resources in your career,” Banto says. Interacting with others in the online classroom, students meet people with experience in other fields. They can ask for advice or suggestions on how to find a job. They may even learn about jobs that aren’t posted or that they didn’t know about. “I’ve had students who found new jobs or learned about new positions/ careers through the interactions with other students in my class,” Banto notes.

Higher Earning Potential

Finally, an MBA may increase a graduate’s earning potential. A 2015–16 survey of 11 online MBA programs by U.S. News & World Report showed that graduates of online MBA programs experience a 22% increase between their average entering salary and their average salary three months after graduation. A recent JWMI survey* found that 68% of students in Strayer University’s Jack Welch MBA program got a raise or promotion while enrolled in the program.

“Ten years ago, I would’ve said an MBA meant only an increase in salary,” Garabedian says. “Today, an MBA can help you stay competitive. But the true benefits that come from getting the degree go well beyond higher earnings. The degree gives you security, stability, and more.”

Advance your career with an MBA from Strayer University.

* Based on March 2015-March 2017 survey of JWMI MBA graduates in their last course. There were 476 survey respondents out of 500 students surveyed. The Strayer MBA and the JWMI MBA are different programs. Data from the JWMI MBA program is not representative of the Strayer MBA as a whole.

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