I have just completed my MBA degree at a local institution which has lasted for 18 months and I thought I could share my experience with the program for the benefit of those who are interested to get one.
To begin with, there are always two sides of a coin. While there are people who are pro doing it, there are people who are against it on the other side. In this post, I will try to balance both views from my experience with the program.
I started off applying for the program much younger during the days. I was 26 when I submitted my applications along with my GMAT score and was contemplating choosing between taking an overseas or local degree and the opportunity costs for each of the program. At the end, I decided on a local institution which allows me to complete the course on a part-time basis and they are located near the town area so I can commute easily after work. Even then, I postponed the admission until a year later due to marriage and job change factor during that year.
Midway through the course, I was juggling between work, school, family (with a kid) and blogging at the same time. There were some really busy times when I thought I would have given up but I did not. As a result of these grinding experience, I have become a much better allocator of time where I had to do things very productively with little time to waste. Until today, I still bring this to apply to my everyday life.
There are different set of objectives for the people who chose to do their MBA program. Some wanted to change career while others wanted to land an investment banking or consultant role or simply a higher paying job. For me, I wanted to improve on my self-efficacy throughout the program so I could be a better person myself. My objective was clear throughout the program so I just had to focus on it.
Thinking back, I have no doubt that taking the course have led me to become a more complete person. For instance, on soft skills, I had become more outspoken and confident giving presentations to the upper management which was not the case prior to the program. The fact that every single module in an MBA class requires at least one project presentation helped to mitigate the fear and get used to it. In terms of the hard skills, I started to look and analyze things on a deeper level and from a different angle, something which was not too apparent to me previously. Also, I learnt that for every decision I made had to be supported with justifications which in some way helped me in my investing because I no longer had to depend on gut feels.
Is the $69K MBA worth it?
However, to make the argument more logically balanced especially for those who are interested to get one, the MBA is not all rosy as what the media or internet suggested.
One of the biggest opportunity costs for taking the MBA is the tuition fees which does not come cheap. I paid $69K for the program over 3 instalments during the 18 month span and $69K can buy you many things, including knowledge. There are also people who will argue that you can learn the course online on your own. Through experience, I affirm that is a true statement. However, what you will miss is the interaction with fellow classmates and professors who will give you different inputs based on the same objective. You probably will also need to be really determined to learn things by yourself and not lose focus along the way. For me, the program was sort of acting as an enforcement to ensure that I adhere to all these commitments without losing focus to the external noises.
There are readers who have asked me previously whether the huge tuition fees is worth going for. To me, there are certain financial efficacies in life that should be prioritized first. Basic needs and emergency funds are one of those that I would place a greater focus above anything else. Once these financial issues are sorted out, only can we think about whether the tuition fees are worth going for.
There are also some people who think that the MBA is a gateway ticket to higher paying jobs. While to some extent that is true, many will be disappointed if the sole focus is on achieving a high paying dream job.
Overall, the MBA is a great program. Taking the MBA is akin to investing in growth companies with potential growth catalysts incorporated into the high target prices set by analyst. It will be up to us to ensure that our own intrinsic value match the expectations at the end of the day. Now, whether or not they are worth going for will depend on your needs, goals and financial situation in your life. Are you game?