The Rise of the MBA
Over the past few decades, obtaining a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) has become a desirable way for students to launch a successful corporate career or push their current career in a different–and higher–direction.
• 1881: Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania was the first collegiate school of business.
• 1900: Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth opens the first graduate school of management.
• 1908: The first MBA is offered through the Harvard University Graduate School of Administration.
• 1943: The Booth School of Business at University of Chicago begins offering an Executive MBA.
• 1971: Approximately 26,490 students complete a Master’s degree in business during the 1970-71 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
• 1975: The MBA becomes more popular than the traditional high-earning law or medical degree.
• 1990: MBA curriculum becomes more analytical and is criticized by some for not focusing on leadership.
• 1996: Approximately 93,554 students complete a Master’s degree in business during the 1995-96 school year.
• 2008: More than 250,000 were enrolled in some kind of MBA program in the U.S., according to the Graduate Management Admission Council. Of those 250,000 eager learners, 100,000 walked away with degrees that year.
• According to the United States Department of Education, the MBA is now the most popular post-graduate degree in the country.
• Popularity also equals growing costs associated with this graduate degree. The average cost in 2013 for an MBA was $111,418 according to U.S. News & World Report.
• 191,571: The number of students who completed a MBA in 2012.
• MBAs can encompass a number of career fields, including healthcare, finance, marketing, economics, human resources, information technology, or international business.
• Commonly considered a man’s field of study, women accounted for 30 percent of full-time MBA students in 2011–with numbers of female enrollment continuing to grow.
Ready to Apply? Wait a Minute!
MBA programs can vary greatly by institution. However, there are a few prerequisites to consider before putting in an application to your dream program. The typical application process may require:
• Three years of professional experience
• Undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or more
• GRE or GMAT testing
• Letters of recommendation
• prerequisite classes, such as statistics or other math-based classes
If you’re considering an MBA–it pays to do your homework up front. Transcriptions, admission essays, and fees may all have their own individual deadlines, so reach out to an advisor at the school of your choice before beginning.
Time Well Spent
• The average time it takes to complete a MBA is two years.
• Some MBA programs allow students up to six years to complete their degree.
• According to SBBCollege.com, people earn 50 percent more after obtaining their MBA.
• Other benefits associated with a MBA include a wider range of career options at leading corporations and more stability in an ever-increasingly competitive job market.
• The Graduate Management Admission Council found that 95 percent of MBA graduates found employment after completing their degree in 2013. That’s 9 out of 10 degree holders!
Virtual Learning: The MBA Remixed
Traditional MBAs mean many busy professionals either have to pull double time with work and school or even take time out from their career. Investopedia estimates that the average professional could lose two years of wages (at $60,000 a year) if they went to school full-time.
Five Schools That Have Adopted Online Learning
Five prestigious schools currently offering online MBAs include:
• Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business
• Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business
• University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flager Business School
• Temple University’s Fox Business School
• George Washington University
Three Ways To Learn and Earn
More business schools are now offering more flexible learning options for potential students. According to a Fortune.com article, online classes are surpassing traditional enrollment.
The three most popular learning options include:
1. Completely online. Students stream live lectures and complete assignments online. This type of program typically requires students to participate in an initial on-site orientation before beginning. After that, students can learn from anywhere–and on their own schedule. These programs are geared toward independent learners or busy professionals who want to maintain their career while attending school.
2. Hybrid. It includes an even mix of online assignments with a few on-site classes or residencies per semester. This option may appeal to students wanting more face-to-face time or thrive with some structure.
3. Traditional. In-class learning is augmented with technology that allows students to complete some curriculum at their own pace. Best suited for students who want to stay close to home but need some flexibility.