Considering studying for an MBA? 5 reasons to return to the classroom

If you're interested in heading back to school, but are still hesitant to make the leap, consider the following five reasons why returning to the classroom could be a wise career move.

Opting to study for an MBA has become an increasingly popular decision in recent times. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Education reveal that the MBA is now the most popular Master's program in the nation, thanks to increasing interest from employers and favorable job prospects.

What is a Master of Business Administration?

MBA programs provide students with a comprehensive education in areas that come together to make any company a success - think marketing, finance, sales, management, human resources and so on. Students typically return to the classroom with hopes of expanding their careers and increasing their employability.

If you're interested in heading back to school, but are still hesitant to make the leap, consider the following five reasons why returning to the classroom could be a wise career move:

1. A diverse qualification

An MBA program will teach you about all aspects of running a business, and will also offer courses on specific industries, explained. As such, you will find that you are qualified for varying roles across a wide range of industries. For example, you could put your managerial skills to work in a position as a health services manager, or assume a similar management role but within the financial services industry instead.

"Getting a MBA is a great way to diversify yourself," says Tara Stradling, Consultant for Beacon Hill's Financial Division in Chicago and a MBA graduate herself. "Say you received your Bachelor's in Health Care Administration – receiving your MBA will make you more well-rounded. It will add skills like project management, business communication, information technology, accounting/finance and marketing skills. Plus, you get access to another alumni network and exposure to professors who design their curriculum for business-minded, busy professionals."

2. It can be completed online

Many universities now offer MBA online degree programs. The beauty of online learning is that it allows you to balance your current career and other commitments with study at a time that suits you best. So instead of commuting to campus on a weekday morning for lectures, you can complete the work during the evenings and on weekends from your own home.

"I value the on-campus or combination (on-campus/online) experience, but if someone is already a senior working professional, having the online MBA provides great flexibility," says Navjit Dang, Recruiting Manager at Beacon Hill's Technologies Division in Madison and also a MBA graduate. "It is important to identify your personal 'why' for obtaining a MBA, so that you can choose the appropriate school."

"Online learning allows you to balance your current career with study."

3. Lucrative opportunities

One reason why professionals enroll in MBA programs is that it increases your earning potential. explained that average salaries nationwide for MBA graduates can be as high as $120,000 per year. While it must be stressed that salaries will of course vary, contingent on the role and industry, it's evident that an MBA qualification is a great first step on the road to a high-paying career.

"I believe that a MBA becomes even more important as one climbs the corporate ladder," notes Navjit. "A MBA signals a certain educational background and experience that is widely understood, expected and accepted by corporate America. In fact, I've found that most senior and executive opportunities now prefer a MBA as part of the qualification criteria."

4. Connections

You'll no doubt interact with your peers during your MBA studies, and the relationships you build during this period could turn into invaluable professional connections later on. After all, many of you will be studying for an MBA for the same reason - to excel in the world of business. Similarly, the professors who teach you during this period could be great connections to have in the years after graduation. The Harvard Business Review also noted that, as a former student, you will have access to the alumni association of your school, which could again help you build and develop your career.

5. It helps with problem-solving and communication

An MBA will teach you more than just the ins and outs of business practice. You'll also work on problem-solving and communication skills. After all, the MBA is a Master's program, so you'll be expected to write and think in a more nuanced way, CIO detailed. The communication and critical thinking skills you accrue during your studies will pay dividends in your future career, as you'll find that you are more effective at getting your message across - in both written and verbal formats - and addressing any problems you face.

Beacon Hill can help

Once you have completed your MBA program and are set to embark on your exciting new career, consider enlisting the services of Beacon Hill to assist you with your search. With multiple locations across the U.S. and job openings in many industries, we can help you find a rewarding position that will best suit your experience and skill set. We also staff contract positions, which could be an ideal option for you while you are still in school to apply the skills you are learning to the real world. 

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