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Is the pursuit of an MBA worth the financial debt I will incur? I want to be more marketable professionally, but the price tag is a bit much.


There’s a growing consensus that an MBA just isn’t good value, not for the money spent or the time, either. The only ones that are thought by business leaders and educators to carry real weight in the real world are from a handful of schools: Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Chicago, Wharton. MBAs from other places may or may not make graduates more employable, and it’s unclear whether the jobs that they help them get are more prestigious or lucrative. Even at the top schools, the expense of obtaining the degree, which can approach $200,000 over the course of a two-year program, may exceed the benefit that graduates are likely to receive by being able to move to the head of the line when good jobs are handed out. Perhaps that’s why applications for MBA programs have fallen at many schools since the 2008 recession and financial crisis. You might be better off, therefore, to keep your money in your pocket – or else not borrow it – and spend the two years taking online courses, which are often free, and working and schmoozing within the industry in which you’d like to make your career.

-Conrad de Aenlle