5 answers

Is obtaining an MBA through a 5 year accelerated program and then going into the workforce a better option compared to just getting a bachelor's in 4 years then working?

Asked Huntingtown, Maryland

I am trying to decide between getting my MBA in 5 years in an accelerated program or waiting until my company or myself can pay for online courses for an MBA while I am working a year or two after obtaining my bachelor's degree. I am interested in hearing feedback from business professionals who may have done either route to explain why one is better than the other in today's society. #mba #business

5 answers

Victoria’s Answer

Updated Dallas, Texas
Hi Thomas, This is a super question. Everyone's finances and career goals are different. I really like that you are weighing all your options. One reason to consider the 5 year option is to cut down on the tuition costs. I would look at your budget for the 5 year option vs. the budget for a 4 year undergrad + 2-3 MBA (it will be more). I would also project out what you plan to do after school and whether you need to work during school. Work experience is valuable and some schools will let you do cooperative learning or consult for companies trying to solve operational issues through capstone courses. Business school is very intense and you might like this emersion. Once you get out you will have more time and seed capital potentially (because school cost less) to start a business or buy a house. Employee tuition assistance programs are super and you are very lucky to live at a time where there are so many fabulous online and executive MBA programs. Companies will generally make you focus on specific areas that benefit the business and there are some expectations about paying back the tuition and maintaining good grades. Take some time to look at these corporate options as well, cost out MBA programs compared to reimbursement (this is a multiyear commitment) and weigh the costs and the benefit of traditional and executive programs. Look at the networks/alumni associations you will be able to tap into in each. Look at the industry or field that matches your interest and have multiple plans for achieving your goal. MBAs are lifetime learners and it is very likely that you will have core business knowledge as well as a major field: MIS, HR, Accounting, Marketing, Security, Finance, Operations Research, etc. This combined knowledge and expertise is what makes you valuable. There are some fabulous opportunities to use an MBA in a STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). These fields pay more in general, are super in demand, and will literally rewrite the economy as we know it). Some of these specialties will require additional certifications most likely and continuous learning - but that is very good and makes you more valuable. Since most professionals have multiple careers over their lifetimes this means that you will be going to school or learning online or in the classroom throughout your career. I am very excited for you. Attaining your MBA is an incredible journey, lots of hard work, and super rewarding. Remember to work closely with your classmates because everyone does better by working together. Whenever you feel like you aren't getting something, chances are there are 10 other classmates who don't get it either. Keep going, be positive, and find mentors and friends to help you on your journey. This field will definitely take you places since MBAs work all over the world in all industries and sectors. Consider internships as well as volunteering to develop your network and find your way. There are non-profits that need and work with MBAs as well and many corporate programs encourage volunteerism. By helping others you will learn more about yourself and meet so many amazing people in both business and other areas. You are definitely on the right track! #mba #business , #stem
Updated
In my opinion, yes. If I could go back, I would absolutely do the 5 year MBA program versus the 4 year Bachelors. It is intense but it does give you an edge when you go out into the work force. While work experience is valuable, it is very unlikely that the one year of experience you would get after obtaining your bachelor's would be equivalent to the knowledge obtained in that extra year in the 5 year program. I did end up getting my MBA while working full-time but as I said, if I could go back, I would have done the 5 years straight through. Now, there's no guarantee you will get a fantastic job because you have this MBA, but on your resume the MBA not only reflect knowledge but commitment to excellence and that speaks volumes.

Mike’s Answer

Updated Alabaster, Alabama

Personally I completed my Undergraduate Degree (Electrical Engineering), started a job, and then began my MBA the first summer I was working. I was lucky in that the program I went to had a variety of students. There were some who had just finished their Undergraduate and went straight into Graduate school. Others had been out a few years and were going back. There were also a few that were 50+ years old and took 20+ years between degrees. This variety of experience was a great asset to my learning as we got varying perspectives.

The pros of going straight into Graduate school are that you can focus on the degree. Your study habits are already on point and you continue on. Job placement with the colleges is also helpful.

The pros of starting a career first is that your company may pay part of it (generally speaking about $5K a year seems to be standard). You also have work experience and/or scenarios to pull from while studying.

Either direction is a good fit for most people. Good luck on whichever path you take!

Updated
Thank you Mr. O’Brien!

Steve’s Answer

Updated Gainesville, Virginia

Yes, get the 5 year degree. An MBA translates to 10% more money annually and serves as a notable differentiator on a resume. Given two similar candidates, the one with the MBA will most likely get the job.


Many people leave university with the intention of returning later but then never do. Honestly, an MBA would be more insightful with 10 years of work experience but it's really hard to find a way to integrate school with work. Better to get the MBA now before you life gets more confusing.

Eileen’s Answer

Updated Clark, New Jersey
Thomas, if you are absolutely sure which type of Masters you would like to get and are able to do that right now, I say, go for it. I had my undergraduate degree in History. But once I was in a job that I felt I needed an advanced degree, I went back, and with the help of tuition assistance from my employer, I got my MBA with a concentration in Management. Good luck on your journey.

Sonya’s Answer

Updated Richardson, Texas

I would do the 5 year program. It will save you time and money. Life happens and it will be harder to stop your life and go back later. Try to find out if you can get the undergrad degree conferred while you are finishing up your final year in the program. You may want to have it in hand just in case.