Trying to get a jump on the competition? Perhaps you’re just curious about getting a Master’s degree someday. Either way, you’ve probably heard that there are challenges that come with pursuing an MBA. It takes a special kind of person who is willing to sacrifice their life for two years in order to accomplish their dreams. Are you up for it?
In the current time and age, getting an MBA degree has earned different kinds of fame. An MBA degree can help you land your dream job and grab a leadership position in the company. But it is not that easy to get into business schools. And yet, on the other hand, even if you get through, there is the challenge of completing your studies to obtain an MBA degree.
If you’re thinking of pursuing an MBA, you should consider a few things before enrolling.
Fear of Being Overwhelmed
Business school is a highly structured program, but some students are concerned that they won’t be able to do well in a fast-paced environment. Others worry about balancing their life responsibilities with the demands of studying full time.
The best way to address these concerns is to get more information from current students and from recent graduates about what life is really like in a business school program. These conversations can help you figure out whether you have the skills you need to succeed and if this kind of challenge is right for you at this point in your life.
If you decide that an MBA program isn’t right for you yet, there are other ways to sharpen your business skills or explore new career areas. Experienced professionals might consider taking non-credit classes or pursuing MBA programs online that don’t require physical attendance.
Most MBA students come from a business background and have a firm grasp of the fundamentals, but many lack the quantitative skills necessary to succeed in a top-tier program. This can be especially difficult for students with a liberal arts or humanities background. The best way to overcome this challenge is to take a math refresher course before starting your MBA program.
Although the case study approach to management education can enable a student to apply theories and models to practical situations, it is also fraught with limitations. Simply put, a student cannot address most strategic and operational issues facing an organization because they lack extensive practical experience. The limitations of case studies become even more evident in the live context of a management classroom where students are asked to interact in groups.
Balancing Work and Life
Most full-time MBA students choose to work while earning their degree. While it’s possible to balance work and school, it’s not always easy. Time management is critical, so make sure you’re realistic about how much time you’ll need to study each week. You may also want to consider changing jobs if your current position requires a lot of travel or overtime hours. If you’re considering an executive or part-time program, keep in mind that these programs typically require more time than a traditional MBA because classes are scheduled in the evening or on weekends. Flexible scheduling can be helpful, but it won’t change the fact that earning an MBA will require dedication.
Tuning Out Distractions
It’s easy to get distracted when you’re trying to complete classwork or study for exams. The constant buzz of traffic, friends coming by, and social media notifications can easily take your attention away from what matters.
To overcome this challenge, it helps create a schedule for yourself that sets aside time for schoolwork, personal time, and socializing. When it’s time to work on your MBA coursework, make sure you have a space where you can focus without being bothered by other people or outside noise. Set your phone to silent and put it on the other side of the room, so notifications don’t distract you from your work.
The most obvious challenge MBA students will face is the financial one. To tackle this challenge, students need to prepare a budget for their studies. As part of their budget, they should include any income they might receive from a part-time job or other sources.
The cost of an MBA has skyrocketed over the past few decades, and many students take out loans to help pay for it. In fact, the average student debt load for MBA students is $40,000. That’s not a small change by any means, and the interest rates on such loans can be very high. These obligations can make it difficult for graduates to save up for other things — like a house or retirement — or even just to get by month-to-month.
Students who wish to pursue an MBA must first assess whether or not they have enough time to fulfill all the program requirements. This can be particularly challenging for people who already have full-time jobs and families to attend to. To complete an MBA program, students need to know how to manage their time effectively and efficiently, otherwise, they’ll find themselves overwhelmed by all the work piled up over time.
The commitment required by an MBA program means that most people have less time for friends and family than they did before entering school. This can be difficult for many people because they might feel like they’re missing out on life while studying hard to get a good job later on down the road.
An MBA education is a big investment that can reap great financial rewards. But at the same time, attending an elite MBA school also comes with a great deal of stress and pressure. And not every MBA student will face all of these challenges, but it’s good to be aware of them to plan your schedule accordingly. Whether you’re currently enrolled in an MBA program or considering one for the future, this list is for you.