Is Earning an MBA Worth It?
Earning an MBA remains one of the most direct ways to advance a business career. From increased earning potential to networking opportunities offered by class cohorts and alumni networks, the value of an MBA in today’s business market is well-documented.
MBA Return on Investment (ROI)
A 2016 study by the Graduate Management Admission Council reports that professionals who hold a graduate degree in business earn from $500,000 to $1 million more over a 20-year career than do their colleagues without MBAs or advanced business degrees.
Nevertheless, some people may ask: With the proliferation of both MBA programs and MBA degree holders, is an MBA still worth it in 2017? Reputation matters, according to U.S. News & World Report. Though employers may no longer view an MBA as a distinguishing factor, they recognize that a top-tier MBA program provides an up-to-date and relevant curriculum that prepares students for today’s business challenges.
Career Paths and Opportunities Available to MBA Graduates
There are many high-demand positions and no prescribed career paths for MBA graduates. Since having an MBA can help set the stage for advancement into a management position for professionals from accountants to engineers, career opportunities for an MBA graduate are highly diverse and dynamic.
What Kind of MBA Program is Right for Me?
The most pressing question for people considering an MBA may be: What’s the best way for me to earn one? Today, there are a variety of programs and formats from which to choose, which helps prospective students determine how to maximize their return on investment on an MBA and find the optimal fit.
Part-time MBA programs are a good option for students who must continue working or balance multiple obligations. Since part-time students enroll in fewer courses than do full-time students, they may spend just a few hours each week in the classroom. Part-time programs offer more flexibility than full-time programs but take longer to finish, typically three years.
Top schools commonly design their full-time MBA programs to be immersive educational experiences that demand a significant time commitment each week. Most students take a full course load, making it difficult to simultaneously hold a full-time job. These MBA programs often are the fastest track to earning an MBA.
These programs are geared to professionals with more than 10 years of experience, who are looking to move into executive leadership positions. Executive MBA (EMBA) programs focus on the challenges of high-level administration for an entire organization and usually offer few or no opportunities for specialization. Students in these programs may be given the opportunity to complete a portion of the coursework online.
Earning an MBA online provides students with both flexibility and an opportunity to earn their MBA in less time than it typically takes to complete a part-time MBA program. Advances in online learning and virtual collaboration technology enable schools to provide students with an engaging, interactive, state-of-the-art online learning experience. In programs that employ a cohort model, this technology can pave the way for seamless collaboration with classmates from all over the country and the world.
Choosing an Online MBA Program
Beyond Quantifiable Benefits
Numbers aside, there are distinct advantages with financial implications to obtaining an online MBA at USC Marshall, beginning with the quality of our education and reputation. Additionally, the online format empowers individuals to pursue an intensive, comprehensive business education without giving up their current positions and salaries or incurring the expenses and disruptions of relocation.
Why Choose USC Marshall?
The USC Marshall Online MBA (OMBA) is an innovative program that capitalizes on the potential of the online format and welcomes students into the greater Trojan Family that is more than 380,000 members strong. The OMBA holds a top 5 percent ranking from U.S. News & World Report, tying for 12th place overall and earning 2nd place for selectivity among more than 250 participants in the 2017 Best Online MBA Programs ranking.
Benefit from a curriculum developed specifically for online delivery
The Online MBA (OMBA) program takes advantage of a full range of media and technological learning tools to give online students a distinctive educational experience. Every course is designed top-to-bottom specifically for an online learning format and led by several members of the Marshall faculty. Interactive lectures, faculty-led discussion modules, and the latest virtual collaboration technology provide an engaging experience to students, wherever they live or study. Though the curricula for the online and on-campus MBA programs are different, USC confers the same MBA degree to graduates of both programs.
Connect with your cohort
Students benefit from a cohort format that offers numerous opportunities to connect with classmates from a diverse array of professional backgrounds. The program begins with a best-in-class residential week on-campus in Los Angeles, during which students form strong bonds with program faculty and each other. This experience sets the stage for successful, collaborative online learning throughout the program, as well as lifelong friendships.
Learn from leaders
Courses are designed and taught by the same innovators and bold thinkers who teach our on-campus programs. Students easily interact and connect with faculty members through online collaboration and discussion tools. They also can schedule one-on-one faculty sessions via webcam.
Complete real-world business cases
Students develop strong problem-solving skills by engaging in contemporary, practical exercises and timely real-word discussions. The integrated MBA curriculum also provides a holistic understanding of how organizations work. Graduates exit the program with an e-portfolio highlighting the work they have completed as a student—a valuable resource for future professional opportunities.
Gain in-demand skills
Students acquire skills that are expected of global leaders in today’s digitally driven business landscape and can give them an edge in a competitive job market. These skills include:
- Thinking like an entrepreneur to drive business growth
- Communicating with international team members and external stakeholders
- Interpreting and acting on digital analytics and metrics
- Managing remote employees and other long-distance teams
- Developing a global perspective
- Using social media to strengthen brands