You might be asking yourself is an MBA worth it for the time and energy it takes to complete one. Most people agree that a Master’s in Business Administration degree can enhance a career. This often leads to more chances for promotion to top jobs and also better compensation.

Those with a MBA are often more attractive job candidates for employers. This is particularly true for those who are seeking leadership or management positions or a job that requires a specialized skill in a certain area such as healthcare, finance and project management.

Determining whether earning an MBA is worthwhile requires careful consideration of where you are in your career. You need to weigh the pros and cons of spending time and money going back to school. Then decide is an MBA worth it.

Advantages of Earning an MBA

Before properly considering whether it’s worthwhile to earn a MBA, it’s important to know the benefits of attaining this level of education. Here are some of the areas where it offers a clear advantage.

Critical thinking. In a MBA program, students are taught to assess challenges and search for solutions. This is a critical function in the modern, technology-driven business world, where there is a constant flow of “creative destruction” (older processes being supplanted by new, more efficient methods).

Decision-making. This is key, especially for those with a goal of taking on a leadership position. Every successful enterprise needs knowledgeable, skilled leaders who have the expertise and confidence to make the hard decisions.

Ethical leadership. Everyone has repeatedly seen this scenario play out: a company with a bright future is derailed by management who engage in unethical behavior or shortcuts. Many MBA programs make ethics – knowing the rules and working within them, among other issues – a part of the degree program.

Finances. Those with earn a MBA also learn the latest in financial modeling. They also learn to see the business world through a global perspective, a critical issue in the modern marketplace.

Your Time and Money

Many fear returning to school because of time constraints, which is certainly a major issue for busy professionals. However, MBA programs are offered on both a full-time and part-time basis, making it easier to fit into your schedule. Even full-time programs, particularly those aimed at working professionals, schedule classes in the evenings.

There is also the increasingly popular online option. Online courses can save costs and also offer a great deal of flexibility in scheduling classes around your schedule.

As for the bottom line of whether a MBA is worth the money, much depends on your career plan and goals. For those looking to move into a leadership position, a MBA is likely necessary. Most companies will not consider promoting someone to a management position without an advanced degree.

But even for those who are not seeking a leadership position, a MBA can still prove useful. Much depends on the career path. In certain areas, such as project management, finance and healthcare, a MBA with a concentration in those areas can prove useful to attaining the latest knowledge and skills needed to be considered an expert. At the very least, such a MBA could increase your chances of getting called in for an interview.

Whether you decide, is the MBA worth it to you or not, it’s important to consider all the various factors and determine if it’s what you need at this particular juncture of your career. The good news is that if you do decide to pursue a MBA, there are many different options available to achieve your goals.