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Many people will attend college for four or five years, earn a bachelor’s degree and go out into the workforce. But should you stop there? Depending on what your aspirations are for the future, earning a Master’s of Business Administration – can propel you toward your goals.

Roberto Chavez, director of the graduate programs office at Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship of Kent State University, and Elad Granot, dean and professor of marketing at Dauch College of Business and Economics of Ashland University, said there are many benefits to getting an MBA.

Granot said there’s nothing “average” about the MBA anymore. He said that really is a credit to all of the benefits it provides. In general, many people pursue their MBA for a variety of reasons, he said, with the most common reasons being promises of a bigger payday.

He said they have done research on Ashland’s alumni and on average see an increase of an average of 40% in their salaries once they obtain their MBA – and sometimes even in the middle of their degree.

“The other reason is that many are looking for the ability to pivot into a new industry, or launch themselves into an entrepreneurial venture or an executive path,” Granot stated. “There’s a lot of talk now about the great resignation all over the market. A lot of people are retooling and reshuffling their careers. And having an MBA is a proven way to improve their odds in terms of whatever path that they’re choosing.”

Chavez said there’s really not one set outcome with the MBA as most people use it to advance their professional opportunities after they finish their degree.

“We get fashion students who want to open up their shop or they want to work within the fashion industry, so they want a better understanding of that side of the house,” Chavez said. “So, they’ll do one of our dual degree programs with fashion and business so they can get both areas. It just runs the gamut.”

Chavez said a student who is fresh out of their bachelor’s degree might seek the MBA to differentiate themselves from someone else who has just an undergraduate degree.

“They’re not quite sure where (they want to work) in business, but they know they want to end up doing something in business,” he said. “They might have a health care background and want to work within the hospital, and they want to have a better understanding of the business side of things. So, they seek the MBA to kind of bolster their healthcare or their medical background.”

Granot warned that not all MBA programs are equal and you need to look at not only the credentials of the faculty, but also their professional credentials and their professional track records.

“You really need to check under the hood, as it were, in an MBA program to make sure that the faculty are not just ‘book smart’ academically,” he said. “At the MBA level – especially if you don’t come from a business background or an executive background – you really want to make sure that the faculty provides you with the expertise that isn’t just theoretical, but practical from their careers and their experience as well.”

Granot said an MBA is the most sought-after graduate degree in the world. He added there is a proven return on investment. Almost 100% of students who study their MBA and finance it through loans and pay them back in two years, according to Granot.

“So, it’s an incredibly efficient degree to obtain, not just in terms of what the returns are but, also in terms of covering your investment,” he said. “If you compare that, for instance, to law schools, where just over 5% of students are able to pay off their debts in that same time frame, you see the difference and why the MBA is such an attractive degree.”

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