10 answers

Is business school a good choice to attend after college?

Asked San Jose, California

I plan to major in Econ or Finance and hopefully work on Wall St. one day. Is it worth paying for additional education to get my MBA or is going straight into the work force a good choice? #business #finance #education #higher-education #economics

10 answers

Chris’s Answer

Updated San Carlos, California

I believe that at this early stage in your education/career, getting different types of experience is quite valuable. I was able to get an internship in college that led to a full time job after. At this point in my career I have opted not to get an MBA, based on discussions i've had with others in my industry. However, I have many friends who are getting ready to apply/go to MBA school very soon. They all have at least 5 years post-college working experience under their belts. I think that if you do decide to go, it's best to have some experience in the work place so you have an even better idea of WHAT exactly you want to get from an MBA. You may realize you love/hate a certain type of work and that may have an impact on if you want an MBA or where you go to get it. In the end I think getting into the early workforce will help determine which way you want to go in the future.

Updated
Thank you for your insight! You're about the fact that I still have time to decide so I'll make sure I know what I want in my career before I go into it.

Jeanne’s Answer

Updated Burlingame, California

Hi Prithvi, I got my MBA after working for 6 years.

I strongly encourage you to work first, especially because what you study in school may already prepare you for a job an in finance, an MBA isn't necessary (whereas it might be helpful for someone studying a non-business field, such as biology, in order to enter into a business position).

Additionally, the experience you bring into business school can change what the program can do for you - with more experience, the learnings are more applicable. If you have no work experience, it's harder to apply the class lessons, and you end up paying a lot of money for not as much learnings.

I really enjoyed business school, but it's not for everyone. It's great you're already thinking so far ahead, but definitely give yourself time to enjoy and explore college first and then see if it's something you really want later on!

Updated
Thank you for the response! I've heard a lot about people taking some time after college to work and get experience before they pursue an MBA and it looks i'l probably do just that.

Matthew’s Answer

Updated Irvine, California

The average age going into business school is 27. I think the majority of people will get work experience before going back to business school. http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/admission-requirements/Pages/class-profile.aspx

If you're very sure about business school think about applying for a 2+2 program where you get deferred admission to bschool before leaving undergrad http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/application-process/Pages/2-plus-2-application-process.aspx

Updated
Thanks so much for the information and the links for me to read more on!

Geoffrey’s Answer

Updated Boston, Massachusetts

Hi Prithvi,

Great question! Here are my thoughts...very much aligned with Jeanne's comments.

(full disclosure - I don't have an MBA myself and have no plans to pursue one)

In my opinion, you'd be better served to get several years of work experience before pursuing an MBA, for two key reasons:

1) Having work experience, particularly at a prestigious firm (you mention Wall Street), will help you stand out in the very crowded pool of applicants to top-tier business schools...this is of course in addition to strong scores on your GMAT exam, etc.

2) Having work experience will also make your MBA experience, wherever it may be, much more valuable and applicable. As I understand it, the real value of an MBA is the dialogue that takes place in the classroom, where your peers share their diverse insights on business topics based on what they've seen and lived in the real-world. You'd no doubt learn a lot from business school coming straight from undergrad, but it would again be more of an academic exercise, just learning the theory. If you come in with real world experience, the objective becomes much more practical, learning how to apply the theory you are learning to actual scenarios.

Hope that helps...good luck to you in whatever you decide to do!

Thanks,

Geoff

Updated
Thank you for the additional input! Looks like getting work experience should be my first priority after college so now I know what to look for first.

Susan’s Answer

Updated Ardmore, Pennsylvania

Working before entering an MBA program is important. The more context you have for your coursework gained through relevant work experience, the more valuable you will find your post grad education.

Rachana’s Answer

Updated Newark, Delaware

I would recommend working a minimum of 3 years before pursuing business school. The work experience gives you a great foundation to reflect upon.

Nickisher’s Answer

Updated Arlington, Virginia

I believe that you should continue to further your career in your field. I believe it will be worth it to go to school to get your MBA because eventually you are going to need it, if your career requires it. However, I believe you should gain some experience. Take a year of and gain some experience. The more experience you the better.

Robert’s Answer

Updated Newark, Delaware

A few points to add since I didn't see them above. Good responses above. I also recomend waiting for these additional reasons (I got my MBA 18 years ago, paid for by my company, after graduating undergrad 4 years earlier). Waiting allows you to: a. Try different jobs, move around the country/world a. Get a concentration if you find something you love b. Get your company to pay for it c. Find out if you hate business and want to be an artist, etc.
d. Find the right time to attend B-School. Maybe you want kids first (makes it harder to find the time), or you get a job with extensive travel e. See what your company offers for training and what they value. Some companies have extensive training/mentoring which may serve you better.

An MBA helps open doors (get more interviews) but real experience and problem solving skills are key to a strong career. Sooo much help on-line now adays. Read "Snapshots from Hell" if you want a feel for a tough MBA prgram.

Jenn Wilcox’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

I echo the recommendations to work a few years before business school. Not only would it help you with the application process, but it also gives you an opportunity to think about what you want to do next, whether an MBA still makes sense for you. I'd recommend checking out the following resources: http://poetsandquants.com/ http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/programs/mba/admission/evaluation-criteria

Troy’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

Good day, you in already in a great position with your plans, a big congrats to you on making these bold decisions and going after them. You will be very happy with a Bachelor's Degree in either of those majors and will find gainful employment. If you are looking to take it a step further why not? A graduate degree is not a bad idea for career advancement in leadership positions. What you will find is a large percentage of students in graduate school are in their late 20's all the way to 50's/60's. This is because usually this degree is obtained when an individual has entry to mid level experience in their career and they want to pursue a position that may require further education to increase chances of promotion, higher pay, and better qualifications on your resume. Also extra knowledge and bettering your knowledge on business matters tends to only put people in better standings and gives more confidence in career navigation. To go through with a graduate school or certificate is a good idea because you will get it out of the way soon but may find yourself in a high level of debt. However just like Doctorate or Masters level students they have extra fire in chasing their dreams and making a great name for themselves while they pay their dues early so later in life they can have substantially more choice, flexibility, and success over their own career path.

My best to you! I'm certain you are going to feel great about your decision and that the right choice will become evident to you in time! :)