What Is The Right Time To Join An MBA Program

By | December 23, 2018

As soon a person reaches the age of twenty, the need for a job starts. The steps for career evaluation also start side by side. The prime question is whether to pursue studies or to enter a job. In some cases, it becomes mandatory to complete the qualification before stepping into the professional world.

However, in the case of an MBA programme, there is an advantage, unlike the other professional courses. It is in being of value-add to the existing work profile. This is more so if the profile is in soft skills like sales& marketing, HR, operation & logistics, public relations, etc. The acquisition of an MBA degree gives the required background for already working experienced professionals. If the person is a fresher, then it gives them theoretical and practical knowledge before he or she starts the career.

This poses a major question – what is the right time to do an MBA?

It is difficult to pin down a certain age or certain experience criteria which will benefit more as compared to others. Everything has its unique benefits or limitations and making a choice is ultimately need and scenario based. To some extent, it is also shaped by the country and society milieu.

The archetype post graduate MBA courses offered worldwide is –

  1. Full time: The duration of this course is of two years, and it takes up the whole day similar to school classes. This course is undertaken by fresher students who have just graduated and would like to have the MBA before stepping into the corporate world. It is not possible for the students to carry on with any jobs while undertaking a full-time course.  
  2. Part-time: The duration of this course is most of three years, and sometimes it can go up to four years. The part-time course is undertaken by working professionals who are busy with a 10 am to 6 pm jobs. The classes are held in the evening or on the weekend. The course content and training impartment methodology remain the same.  Also, the fee structure for regular MBA is fairly more than Part time MBA.

Considerations and Evaluation:

It is very much necessary that the aspiring MBA entrants whether students or working professionals are in constant touch with their peers and colleagues. They need to be aware of contemporary industry trends and career growth options. Person to person networking is the need of the hour. As mentioned earlier, MBA is qualification which is market and business-centric. Learning and understanding one another’s opinions and experience is essential.

Option 1:

Moving too early, say right after graduation may be very tempting but not always advisable. Some of the limitations are glaring on a closer evaluation –

  • The student may not be ready for the program available from the top ranking MBA schools and colleges of the world.
  • Admission into the premier business colleges is the gateway to plumb starting jobs with over the rooftop salaries but getting in here is only possible for the BEST of the BEST.
    • The second tier MBA schools may not give the same level of the job offer. The lesser known the MBA school or college, lesser is the scale of on-campus placements. This can sometimes be very disappointing.
    • Preparing the entrance test can take several years to enter the top level institutes. This is risky as it leads to loss of years in starting a corporate career. The competition is intense to get in premier schools, and it is not easy.
    • Preparation for the entrance test of MBA sometimes starts from the early years of graduation when one is not even sure which career path to select?

    The advantages are several –

    • Early high altitudes start to a career.
    • Higher pay packages.
    • Always on high managerial profiles.
    • On demand by the brand names.

    Note: There is the BBA or the bachelor business graduate program. However, while vying for a good MBA college; this graduation stream does not give any special advantage as admission is via entrance test.

    It can be concluded that getting into a full-time MBA course right after graduation is certainly worthwhile considering but with due diligence. The fad of an MBA should not be an overriding concern. It is frequently experienced that younger MBA pass out are very much inexperienced once they enter into a job profile and at the same time they are overpaid. This creates discontent with the peers. Delivering results is a different thing altogether, and the theories of MBA may not always suffice.

    Option 2:

    At the other end of the spectrum is getting into an MBA after some years of experience. It is difficult to define after how many years of experience in work, the move to MBA should be made. This is situational based and varies case to case. Most of those who are already working opt for a part-time MBA and continue workingama. So, if someone joins an MBA course after four years of work experience, then by the time they pass out, it is almost seven years of total experience.  

    However, there are certain disadvantages when joining MBA after a few years of experience –

    • Good opportunities for growth at the early stage may slip out. They may not be available later.
    • With more experience, there are fewer opportunities. In the corporate ladder, there is smaller space with each step higher.
    • Increasing age is always a barrier.

    The advantages are many –

    • With good work background experience, it is much easier to understand the theoretical aspect of MBA and subject nuances.
    • The person is clear as to what is the subject specialization that he or she wants.
    • The confidence is key element imbued when going for a part-time MBA after several years of experience.
    • Completing a part-time MBA after years of work experience gives the incumbent high chances of fast growth because they have already proved themselves.

Conclusion:

Everything said and done; it is difficult to pinpoint the exact time for joining an MBA. However recent precedence has shown that more people are opting to for an MBA after some relevant work experience years, optimally around 7 to 8 years.

Companies at the other end are also encouraging promising employees to take a sabbatical, go for a good MBA and then re-join the organization because an MBA is always in high demand.

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