Would you like to earn more than $70,0*-

Salary ranges vary across different parts of the United States. Earning an MBA may be the ticket to launching a successful and lucrative career.

Up-front preparation is the key to making the most of your graduate school experience. Let’s look at the many aspects you should consider and then we’ll cover the best universities in the world to get an MBA.

What Are the Benefits of Having an MBA?

Is the MBA actually going to change your future?  Here are 7 benefits of earning an MBA.

  1. Developing management skills that attract companies’ attention
  2. Gaining access to a larger network of business colleagues
  3.  Increased salary opportunities
  4.  Preparation to start your own business
  5. Increased opportunity to hold high-level management positions
  6. Study abroad experiences, increase your knowledge of international social and business practices
  7. The MBA has proven versatility. This range in skills allows you to compete in a wide and varied marketplace.

Graduate school is not for everyone. There are many considerations to investigate before taking the leap. Consider the cost versus benefit required to get an MBA.

What Criteria Should You Consider in Different MBA Programs?

You are going to be investing a lot of money and time. Here are some questions to begin your exploration.

  • How much does the program cost?
  • Will the future salary options outweigh the cost of getting the MBA?
  • If you are a woman, you may wish to look at the success rate of women in the program.
  • What is the employment rate of graduates?
  • What is the program’s QS ranking?
  • Does the university offer electives and flexibility to specialize in areas of business?
  • How accessible are the faculty to you?
  • Does the university culture allow you to reach your highest potential?
  • What is the international diversity in the school? Knowledge and experience in cultural diversity increase your marketability.

What is a QS Ranking?

The QS or Quacquarelli Symonds World Ranking of Universities looks at the quality of each school’s performance in 4 different categories. These categories include research, teaching, employability, and internationalization.

The scoring system uses six performance indicators to calculate the universities’ rank. The indicators carry different weights.  There are four parameters that look at hard data:

  • Number of citations per faculty (20%). Faculty receive a citation when a published research article refers to their research findings.
  • Student-to-faculty ratio (20%). This is the number of academic staff members employed by the school compared to the total student enrollment.
  • International faculty ratio (5%)
  • International student ratio (5%)

The last two ratios help define the success of the university in bringing international students and faculty to their school.

Two surveys are also included in the scoring:

  • Employer reputation (10%). More than 37,000 graduate employers worldwide participated in this survey
  • Academic reputation (40%). More than 70,000 academics worldwide completed this survey

What are the 10 Best MBA Universities in the World?

The QS Global MBA Rankings for 2019 ranked business schools in Asia, Europe, Canada, Oceania, Latin America, and the US. Here are the top ten for 2019:

1. Stanford Business School, US

Cost: $141,180. QS Global MBA Rank: 1

2. Harvard Graduate School of Business, US

Cost: $146,880. QS Global MBA Rank: 2

3. The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Cost: $157,896. QS Global MBA Rank: 3

4. London Business School, UK

Cost: $92,718. QS Global MBA Rank: 4

5. MIT Sloan School of Management, US

Cost: $148,400. QS Global MBA Rank: 5

6. INSEAD, Paris

Cost: $100,909. QS Global MBA Rank: 6

7. HEC Paris

Cost: $74,481. QS Global MBA Rank: 7

8. University of Chicago Booth School of Business, US

Cost: $144,000. QS Global MBA Rank: 8 (tie)

8. IE Business School, Madrid, Spain

Cost: $86,734. QS Global MBA Rank: 8 (tie)

10. Columbia Business School, US

Cost: $148,800. QS Global MBA Rank: 10

The cost in this list refers to tuition for 24 months.

More schools were ranked for 2019.  If you do not see your school listed, you can find other sites the provide school rankings.

Things to Consider When Choosing a School

Graduate school is a big step.

Think about why you want to pursue an MBA. Will the MBA help you to achieve your career goals? Be specific. 

Do you have the motivation and self-discipline to complete a graduate degree? Many individuals work full- or part-time while attending graduate school. Do you have the self-control to focus on class assignments around your work schedule?

Keep in mind that the ability to quickly gain a working knowledge of different software packages will increase your value in the workplace. Look for schools that offer courses that include training in software applicable to your area of interest. 

Being able to anticipate software needs for your workplace will also increase your corporate value. You can be instrumental in keeping your company on the cutting-edge of the industry.

How to Improve Your Chances of Acceptance at a Top University?

Begin by creating a file of pertinent supporting documents. These can include transcripts, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, and letters of reference. Prepare a resume’ that includes certifications, awards, society memberships, and work experience.

Consider using an MBA admissions consulting company to take you step-by-step through the application process. This can improve your chances of acceptance to at least one top-tier program by as much as 94%.

Whether you are using a consultant or preparing to apply on your own, there are steps that can help you succeed.

  • Create a list of work experience that will help you be successful in an MBA program
  • What are your personality characteristics? Do you prefer a lot of quiet time alone? Do you like a fast-paced environment at home and work?
  • What unique personality or work-qualities do you have that will make you a good candidate for an MBA program?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? Some weaknesses may show strength in relation to a particular job? 
  • Do you have specific ideas about locations you would and would not want to live when considering school choices?

Once you have narrowed down your list of universities, it’s time to work on your resume.  Look at sites and templates that help you create a powerful resume.  If your resume doesn’t grab their attention immediately, you may not get a second look.

The purpose of application essays is two-fold. One is to give potential employers an idea of your thought processes and innovation. Second, and of great importance, is to show how well you communicate.

Have someone else read the essay and give you feedback.  You may want to consider hiring a professional copy editor.  Investing in development of a quality essay can be the difference in getting to the top level.

Ways to Get Help Paying for Your MBA

If you are currently employed, ask your Human Resources Department if your company offers tuition reimbursement. This benefit usually requires you to pay for the semester up front. When you have completed the semester, you are reimbursed for some or all of what you paid.

Grants are like scholarships in that there is no requirement for you to repay the money. While scholarships are usually based on merit, grants look at financial need. 

Some grant programs promote specific ideals or initiatives. For example, organizations may offer grants for minorities or persons with special needs.

Explore federal, state, and university aid. Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FASFA) is not only for undergraduates, but graduate students as well.

Federal or private loans are always an option. Hopefully, you will only use these loans to fill in the gaps. 

Stafford federal loans offer $20,500/per with a total limit of $138,500. The interest rate is fixed and there are origination fees. Repayment begins six months after graduation, but you must maintain full-time student status.

Graduate PLUS Loans allow you to borrow as much money as needed to pay for school minus other financial aid. There is no cap on the amount of money you borrow.

You must complete the FASFA application and you can apply for a Direct PLUS Loan. These loans also have fixed interest rates and origination fees.  Repayment begins six months after graduation as long as you keep full-time status.

Private loans come from banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions. You have the option of fixed or variable interest rates. Most of the time you must begin repayment while you are still in school. Some institutions offer lower payments until you graduate.

Is an MBA the Right Choice for You?

You have now considered personal motivation, career goals, financial feasibility, and desired location of study. Is the MBA the right choice for you? 

If you have decided on the MBA, diligently walk through the preparatory steps. This information will help to ensure a positive and successful experience.

Congratulations on choosing the MBA. Start preparing your checklist and marking it off.  Graduate school and new career paths are in site.

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