Doing an MBA is no longer as unique and special as it used to be. It still gives a lot of credibility to your profile. But with more and more people joining the B School bandwagon you need to consider certain other things. What is the purpose of your MBA? How do you see yourself using this for your career? What is the right time to go for an MBA program? And more importantly, should you take the plunge right after your graduation or seek some work experience? Read on to suit your case…

1. Investment Required
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Going for a full time MBA program is a costly step. Especially for people who are already having 2-3 years of work experience. A premium B school would charge anywhere from 8-20 lacs for a two year course. Add to it, the opportunity cost of your salary which can be a decent amount at 2-3 years of experience. Add to it, your pocket expenses during these two years which are a result of an upgraded lifestyle, thanks to the paychecks at the end of every month during your work days.

2. Be clear on your Purpose.
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As we just saw how big an investment it is, deciding to go for an MBA should be backed up by long term career enhancement goals. “To earn more money” or “My current job sucks” are not very short term reasons. Below are few of the more mature and thoughtful reasons to go to a B school
I. Career Progression – Do you think you there is a glass ceiling in your industry and you would hit it within two or three years. Do you think your industry itself is eyeing a stagnation? If yes, you have got a good enough reason to opt out of your job and take the plunge.
II. Industry Switch – Do you happen to fall into your current industry or role by chance or without much planning? If yes, an MBA is worth the investment as it will give you all the exposure you need about almost every industry there is today. A premium B School would also expose you both theoretically and practically about the fundamentals and dynamics of each industry.

3. Is it worth?
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If you have a clear career goal and an MBA can help you achieve that, it is definitely worth it because work experience gives you an edge. Your college applications would reflect your work experience. This would get you an interview call from premium B School with a comparatively lower CAT percentile. According to a survey, 77% of the students at IIM Bangalore’s flagship PGPM program were those who had two to three years of work experience.

During your MBA, you would definitely be able to relate to most of the subjects better than fresh graduates sitting with you. You would be able to comprehend and participate during cases, role playing exercises and would be able to relate them to real work problems. And most importantly, you would be paid higher! Most of the companies visiting campuses for placement always rightly recognize work experience. Sometimes there is an advantage to the work experience guys in terms of the profile offered.

So while leaving your job and applying for a full time MBA program is costly, it is worth the investment if you have a clear career plan and are geared up to reap on the benefits of your work experience during your MBA.

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