Should You Consider an MBA?
(Continued from 2)
According to the GMAC survey, the average starting
annual base salary for MBA graduates vary by program
type, with full-time MBA graduates averaging $80,000,
part-time: $75,000 and Executive: $92,500.
Expert opinions vary on which mode of delivery - traditional
versus online - is preferable. Proponents of traditional
MBA program emphasize the importance of total
immersion. In this type of program, students have
continuous in-person access to teachers and other students.
They have the opportunity to a network of business contacts.
the full time format at top MBA
programs is the best learning and leadership experience
in all of higher education," Danos said.
Leslie E. Vance, Ph.d, and Mentor in Information Technology
Governors University (an online university), said
that regionally-accredited MBA programs have to meet
the same academic requirement regardless of the mode
In an online MBA program, the student works
in an educational environment which more closely mirrors
todays business reality...a world-class executive
must be able to collaborate with colleagues who are
separated by thousands of miles and several time zones
in order to achieve business goals, Vance said.
A prospective student who is thinking ahead in
their career will want to be sure that the MBA program
they choose enables them to study in an environment
which more closely mirrors todays business reality.
Online programs can be conducted purely online or
in a combined online/traditional format. An example
of this program is the Duke
Global Executive MBA, which includes lengthy periods
of residency with intense instruction followed by extended
periods of distance learning.
At the University
of North Carolina, students can enroll in a variety
of program options, including the OneMBA
program. In this program, executives meet one weekend
per month near Washington, DC and have four weeklong
residencies with partner schools in the US, Europe,
Latin America and Asia.
And while full time program options may seem costly
for a mid-career changer, many students finance full
time programs with loans and scholarships.
According to Dean Paul Danos at Tuck School of Business,
Finances alone need not deter the applicant. Most
students at top schools invest in their futures and
borrowing is usually a part of the financing of their
two years in the program. However, the upgrade in career
options, the amounts earned in paid summer internships
and the salaries upon graduation more than offset the
Is the MBA for You?
Storrie advises potential MBA students to consider
why they want an MBA,
how it fits into their long-term career interests, and
then match their
interests to the right program. Prospective students
should explore career
options and find out what skills are important for the
desire. It is important to research what different MBA
programs have to offer by reviewing their literature
and talking to MBA grads of those programs about their
In this scenario, said Storrie, the
MBA graduate has the best chance of feeling they received
a great education and it took them a step closer to
achieving their career goals.
But, according to Brady, Regardless of the school
or even emphasis of the program, the degree means very
little three to five years after graduation; the focus
moves entirely away from credential to performance
the degree will help improve their performance, go for
Sharon Reed Abboud is a Northern Virginia-based freelance