An MBA degree can open the door to a world of possibilities, from higher income potential to a better understanding of how to run your own business successfully. The MBA is also one of the most popular graduate degrees in the United States. Each year, over 180,000 people earn their MBA across the country, and thousands more apply to start their degree program. Yet, in spite of its popularity, the MBA has quite a large number of misconceptions surrounding it. Before you throw your hat in the ring and start your own MBA training or before you assume that an MBA is too much work or too expensive to benefit you, take some time to dispel some of these common MBA myths and learn the truth about this popular degree.
1. Studying Business is a Prerequisite for an MBA Program
The MBA program is available to anyone. While having an undergraduate in business is common and can be helpful, it is not a requirement for many schools. In fact, some people will choose to pursue their MBA after discovering that they have a knack for business after starting their careers. Others opt to move forward with MBA training after deciding to venture out into entrepreneurship. Don’t let a lack of a business degree prevent you from applying to an MBA program.
Of course, a business undergraduate degree can make the MBA process easier, but it’s not essential. Sometimes the skills learned in a career can set the stage for MBA training. Sometimes an MBA is what is needed to launch a new career path. While each school has its own prerequisites for their MBA degree programs, you can often complete these quickly if they weren’t part of your undergraduate training.
2. Only Men Pursue an MBA
This misconception has prevented many women from pursuing graduate-level training, yet it is entirely false. In fact, the number of women pursuing MBA training is growing every year.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ most recent published findings, women make up 48 percent of those earning master’s level business degrees at United States universities. While men did make up the majority for these programs, women had an almost equal presence.
This misconception is a result of historic precedent—one that’s sliding into obscurity. Decades ago, it was uncommon for women to pursue graduate-level training in business. This is changing as women continue to prove that they are more than capable of leadership roles in the business world.
3. An MBA is not Worth the Investment
Many MBA students fear that they will not be able to find a high paying position after graduation, and their investment of time and money will have been pointless. This is not true. Graduates of MBA programs remain in high demand. While average salaries for MBA students are hard to figure definitively, because they vary tremendously based on the industry where a student works and the area of the country where a student lives, earning an MBA typically increases earning potential significantly.
Just how much more could you earn with an MBA, and is it worth the investment? Is earning an MBA worth it financially? Nerd Wallet reports a median starting salary of $105,000 for new MBA grads. That’s a big upgrade over the $65,000 starting salary for bachelor’s degree holders. An MBA is a solid investment that can reap big rewards through higher earning potential over the years.
4. MBA Training is Only for Managers
If you don’t see yourself in a position of management, you may fall victim to this misconception. Many people mistakenly assume that only managers or management professionals need MBA training. The truth is, there are many different concentrations to consider when pursuing an MBA that can help you fine-tune your skills, even if you aren’t looking to land an upper-level management job.
For instance, many people are starting their own businesses and becoming entrepreneurs. An MBA can offer a vital understanding on how to run a successful business. Others want to focus on finance, and an MBA with a finance concentration can provide the right foundation for roles that tackle financial problems. At the University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC), you can even opt for a healthcare administration concentration with either the fully Online MBA or the Flexible MBA programs. This degree helps you learn the business side of healthcare, so you can move into administrative roles. There are so many options beyond just managerial positions that are available with an MBA degree.
5. Earning an MBA is Too Difficult
Some people decide against pursuing an MBA because they assume it would be too much work. Like many of these MBA myths, this one is rooted in some historic truth. Before the advent of online MBA programs, earning this graduate degree often meant taking two years off of your career to attend school. This was not attainable for many people. But this has changed.
Is earning an MBA hard? It can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. The coursework in an MBA degree program is designed to challenge your thinking and prepare you for the business world, but it is not out of reach.
Is an MBA program too much work for a busy working professional? Just how much work is an MBA? Whether choosing a flexible or online MBA program, you can easily fit the coursework and class experiences around your work and family schedule taking the appropriate amount of time you need to complete the program. Online programs, like those at UTC, are designed specifically for working adults and offer a tremendous amount of flexibility. Likewise, campus MBA programs often offer courses in the evenings and can be completed in as little as two years while working full time.
If you have been putting off earning an MBA because you think it would be too hard, look into both online programs and campus-based programs catering to busy individuals. You just might find that the degree can fit around your current life while opening a number of doors for your future at the same time.
Today’s MBA students have options. By dispelling these MBA myths, they can see the world of opportunities opened by pursuing a graduate degree. If you’re interested in learning more about flexible graduate degree options that can work around your schedule, reach out to UTC for more information about either our 100 percent Online MBA or our campus Flexible MBA.