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Is An MBA Worth it in 2024?

By Charlene Lattea, WVU Online | Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Should You Get an MBA Degree in 2024?

Explore the advantages and potential impact of acquiring an MBA degree on your professional growth and opportunities.

Many aspiring business professionals consider pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to help accelerate their business career, or to get an exciting new promotion.

While there are many good reasons for earning an MBA, it requires a significant investment of time and money.

So, you may be asking yourself: Is earning an MBA a worthwhile choice for me in 2024?

There are a few things to consider!

What It Takes to Earn an MBA

The MBA helps you develop the skills you need for a high-level business administration position. You will take classes in accounting and finance, marketing, operations management, business law and ethics, entrepreneurship, and human resources, as well as specialized courses to prepare you for specific industries.

It is important to assess the value of pursuing the MBA, including the investment of time and money it will take. You should make sure that it aligns with your career goals and aspirations. In this article we will help you look at all the options before taking this next big step for your career.

Degree Requirements

The time it takes to get an MBA depends on the type of program you enroll in, with a traditional full-time degree taking one or two years to complete.

If you attend part-time, it may take three to four years. There are also accelerated options that allow you to graduate in a shorter period of time, usually 11 to 16 months. A part-time MBA program may be a better option if you want to continue working while you study.

Online MBAs offer the same education as an in-person program, but allow you to learn from anywhere you have an internet connection. If you do the MBA degree online, you can even continue to work full-time. An online degree typically takes a little more time than an in-person degree, perhaps as long as three to four years, but it is usually a less expensive option.

Financial Investment

The cost of an online MBA program varies widely, depending on whether the school is public, private, in-state, or out-of-state, and how much financial aid you receive. It could cost anywhere from $30,000 to $120,000, according to a 2022 report by Education Data Initiative.

MBA programs at public colleges typically cost less than private schools, although private colleges may offer more grants and scholarships. MBA programs at Ivy League and other top-ranked schools charge much higher-than-average tuition, while online programs, even those at top-ranked schools, tend to be more affordable.

The most important thing to know is that you will more than likely go into significant debt to get an MBA, depending on the type of program you choose. Be sure to calculate your costs and the debt you will incur and think about your return on investment (ROI) before you choose a program.

Measuring ROI is a method of determining whether or not your investment will have positive financial returns, and justify what you plan to spend on it. It is a ratio of investment costs versus gains.

The formula is: ROI = Net profit / Cost of investment x 100.

First, take your potential future earnings over a set period of time, such as 20 years. Then, subtract your cost of attending school to earn your degree and multiply by 100 to get the percentage.

Need help calculating your ROI? Try this ROI calculator provided by

The Advantages of Earning an MBA

While it is true that many people have achieved great success in business without getting an MBA, there are many advantages to earning this degree. Some popular motivations include increasing salary potential and developing advanced business knowledge, skills, and abilities that will allow you to enter a high-level career.

The following are some of the benefits you can expect to receive when you earn an MBA in 2024:

Enhanced leadership and management skills

A rapidly changing business landscape means you will need to acquire a diverse set of skills, so that you will be able to shift gears quickly no matter what industry you are in.

According to Alicia Plemmons, coordinator of WVU Online’s MBA program, the degree is ideal for students who want to build professional skills that are needed for top job placements.

"Our program focuses on teaching students cutting-edge skills in data analytics while building experience in leadership and team management," she says.

Other skills MBA students learn include strategic thinking, problem solving, technical skills, and entrepreneurial skills, networking skills, and how to operate from a global perspective.

Expanding your opportunities through professional networking

Building diverse networking opportunities should be one of your top goals as a business professional. MBA programs attract students with a wide variety of backgrounds and you will also be in touch with potential employers and networks of business professionals who can help you in your future endeavors.

Greater specialized knowledge and expertise

The curriculum of most MBA programs is highly practical, with courses centering on real-world case studies and group discussions. You will also be able to specialize in a specific area of business, according to your career goals and interests. Some of the different areas of specialization include data analytics, marketing, computer technology, human resources, and healthcare.

Developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills

Depending on the kind of business administration program you choose, you will develop communication skills, decision-making skills, leadership skills, problem-solving skills, and time-management skills, all of which are very important in the business world.

Another MBA to consider, if you already have several years of experience in a leadership position is the Executive MBA (EMBA). An Executive MBA is designed for working professionals and focuses on leadership, as well current trends in business. You will take classes part-time so that you can remain in your full-time career.

Gaining credibility and marketability in the business world

The MBA is one of the most popular degrees because it gives you credibility and marketability that leads to top jobs in any industry. Today, MBAs are going into many different fields, as the professional landscape changes and new opportunities become available.

Earning a higher salary

Although the cost of getting an MBA can be daunting, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council's 2021 survey, the average salary for someone with an MBA degree was 77 percent more than those with a bachelor’s degree. Graduates can expect to make notably higher salaries throughout their careers.

Improved career advancement and job opportunities

Many MBA graduates pursue the degree for the increased job opportunities it provides. Often, MBA graduates will have a job offer before they even finish their degree. Many of the job opportunities come from the business school you attend, since they provide internships, career systems, job postings and career services activities.

WVU Online expects the demand for MBA graduates to remain strong in fields such as finance, consulting, and technology. However, the job market can be highly competitive, and graduates with specialized skills, such as data analytics or artificial intelligence, virtual collaboration and communication, technology and innovation, and an entrepreneurial mindset may be in higher demand.

Deciding Whether an MBA Is Right for You

The MBA is considered a good investment for most people who are pursuing a career in business, but it is only a good decision for you if it fits with your goals, education level, and how quickly you wish to advance in your career.

Choosing the right program matters. You should look for ones that provide high value in terms of affordability, flexibility, employment rates, salaries, technical innovations, alumni networks, and more.

To decide if the MBA is right for you, consider the following in order to make an informed decision:

Is It Worth Getting an MBA at Your Age?

People pursue the MBA at different points in their careers. Is it the right time for you? Do you still have many useful working years ahead of you? You also need to consider if you have the time and energy to take on the vast amount of work, often completed along with a full-time job, as well as the significant debt that will have to be paid off in the next few years.

How Useful Is an MBA in Your Industry?

Getting an MBA has many benefits, but this is degree is not always necessary, depending on what kind of industry you are involved in.

For example, only about half of CEOs of large companies in North America have an MBA, as of 2021.

If you want to enter investment banking and finance, consulting, or work for a large company, you should definitely consider an MBA. But if you plan to start your own business, or work in a specialized industry, there may be other alternatives to reach your goals.

Maybe a bachelor’s degree and several years of experience would be just fine for your situation. Or maybe you could get a different master’s degree that better fits in with your goals, such as marketing, business analytics, or human resources management.

You may want to ask yourself these questions, when trying to decide if an MBA is right for you:

  • Why do I want an MBA?
  • What do I plan to do with this degree?
  • Do I need more versatile skills in order to achieve my career goals?
  • Do I need to network with other business professionals?
  • Would I like a leadership position in a prominent organization, possibly a CEO?
  • Am I ready to possibly take on significant debt, even though I will be making a higher salary later?
  • Do I want to be a CEO?
  • Is getting an MBA worth the time and financial commitment it will take?
  • Can I possibly reach my goals without it?

After answering these questions, you should know whether getting an MBA makes sense for you and the plan you have for your life.

If an MBA will get you closer to your vision, you should go for it. But if it doesn’t, you may want to think about alternatives.

Ready to earn your MBA? Connect with WVU Online today!

The future for MBA graduates is very promising. As you build your career, you may want to improve your skills with a degree from WVU Online.

The WVU John Chambers School of Business and Economics offers an Online MBA program for working professionals who want the convenience and flexibility of online learning from a nationally recognized university.

Learn More Apply Now

Deciding Whether an MBA Is Right for You

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