That said, in the long run just a degree will not aid in sustaining or even maintaining career growth may it be in terms of higher job roles or salaries. The Degrees will certainly give one the much needed head start in the career graph, but ultimately it’s the individual's hard work, intellect, skills and overall personality that can sustain/enhance it.
1. Evaluating where you are in life in relation to when you are completing your MBA
- Do you have available time to be a full time student or is a part-time program more feasible?
2. Where do you want to be after the program?
- Can it be done without going back to school?
- Are you looking to advance your career within the same industry or jump to another one?
3. Can you afford it/return on investment?
- An MBA will most likely result in a higher salary - will the cost of school be worth it for this increase?
- Full-time/part-time cost of attendance
Any degree or certification comes with a cost that should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to pursue it and from which institution. At times a degree from a costly institution may not guarantee a high paying job. This is important to consider if you're planning to take on debt to cover your tuition and fees.
If your question is whether or not to bother with it if you can't get into a top 10 program, then you might want to rethink your motivations.
In my experience, the simple answer is that there isn't a steadfast rule here. I have found the skills, work ethic, and personal references are typically the most valuable. When it comes to something like an MBA, it can make the difference in getting an edge in a job in a competitive market. Partly because it builds your experience and partly because of its value in general. That said, if you have job experience, have worked your way up, and go the route of specialized certificate programs from similar universities, you can get the same impact.
Long story short, there is no simple answer or one way. Whatever path you take, learn as much as you can, work as hard as you can, and perform well, and you will see the desired results.
Best of luck!
MBA from reputed universities will be very helpful if you are doing such degrees as part of full-time studies. If you have the time and caliber, please go for it!
But if you are working and do not intend to leave your job, yet wish to get a degree from such reputed places, please do a proper ROI (return on investment) calculation before investing in it.
If you are already working, the most important question to ask yourself is -
Why do you wish to get an MBA degree now? (Very important question!)
a) Is it just to get a promotion at work?
b) Or do you wish to leave the existing organization and get a new role elsewhere?
c) You wish to learn more about ways to manage so that it helps you in your upcoming role?
If a) is correct, then just doing an MBA may not work. If that is what you intend to do, please have a candid conversation with your manager. Please let him know very clearly that you wish to go for an MBA and that, you are hoping to apply the skills in a suitable role once you complete it. That will give him an idea of your plans and will set the right expectations. At the end of the day, the degree is not just a paper, it needs to translate to capability and value that you bring to the table for an organization. But even after that, I have seen many instances, where not much have changed for the candidate even after.
If b) is correct, then you have to check for the kind of placement opportunities that the course provider is providing. Upgrad has some courses with supposed placement opportunities. Though they do not have courses from Harvard or Stanford yet, they do have some good institutions that they have collaborated with.
If c) is correct, you can even go for short-term credit or non-credit courses. Think of it as plugging the gaps in your skills. Lots of platforms provide these courses, like LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, EdX, etc. to name a few. The courses are experiential in nature, often come with graded assignments, and will help you to cross-skill and upskill quickly on focussed areas.
By the way, I forgot to mention, the universities you mentioned hardly provide MBA degrees for working professionals, they usually provide some credit or non-credit courses, typically in MOOC format. Off late Coursera and EdX have introduced master's degrees and masters track certificates / micromasters that charge you way lesser than a full-time MBA degree. I have seen people take those courses. You can think of those too if you want. But remember what I said in a) as EdX and Coursera do not provide placement opportunities yet. So, while it may look great on your CV, unless you can sell it, it will still be some investment with negligible returns.
So, ultimately the decision is yours. Do your research properly before you take the plunge!
All the best!