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Is studying MBA in USA really worth it? What if I do not make more money in Job?

Few of my friends question me indirectly questions like:

  • What are you trying to achieve by doing MBA ?
  • Will you really make more money after MBA in USA ?
  • What if you do not make more money after MBA ?
  • Why dont you do it online ? You get the MBA degree

I have explained the differences between MS and MBA and if one should apply for MS or MBA in US after Bachelors in previous articles. Here, I will try to give my answer to above questions.

MBA in USA AdvantagesIf you think logically, what my friends are asking is correct. What if I really do not make more money, is my degree going to be waste?  Let’s try to analyze the question and possibilities by using some math ! Imagine you are spending $60,000 towards your MBA in USA.  What is the Return on your investment for $60,000 ? When will you be break-even? When will you make more money from the MBA degree?

Traditional Thinking of MBA and earning after MBA

If everything goes well and you get a job promotion and make $5,000 more every year then it takes 12 years for you to break-even. ( I am taking a very minimum hike scenario, in reality you may get more, but for discussion let’s look at worst case scenario as base case )  . Even if you get promotion even at the age of 45, still you will be break even financially. Let’s look at the best case scenario, imagine you get that promotion at age of 35, and then you are making $50,000 dollars on top of your investment. What I have explained above is just layman’s thinking of finances and how most of us looks at finances…This is probably not the right way to look at MBA. It is not just about making more money…

My perspective, what does MBA really give you?

After my personal experience of studying MBA courses, here is what I think about MBA. In MBA, you study about many concepts of Business that can be applied to personal life. MBA really gives you the ability to make better decisions financially and personally.  Doing MBA online is the worst thing that you can ever do. In fact, you learn NOTHING and may only learn just bookish material. You should go to MBA classes and discuss with professor and fellow classmates. You learn from knowledge and business situations of other companies explained by your fellow classmates. Bringing their companies experiences to class. Classroom is a place for exchange of ideas. Online, you may read the articles and do discussions online.. but it is not the same….

Few things that I learnt in MBA

  • How does Financial Markets work ?   How can I invest ?
  • How does Marketing work ? What makes a product good ? What makes a brand good ? How can I demand customer service ?
  • How does Sales work ? How not be tricked by Sales people ?
  • How does Economy work ? How to save or spend based on Macro economic conditions ?  Where to invest in terms of Macro economic Crisis ?
  • How to identify a trend and predict the future if I have a set of data ? How can I implement the data analysis concepts to real life ?
  • How to create a Business Plan ? How to start a business ? How to create a Marketing Plan for business ? How to sell  ? Everything about Entrepreneurship
  • What is Strategy ? How to think Strategically ? Looking at 1 year from now or looking at 30 years from now ? What is best ? what is your strategy for personal life or career  ?

I can keep on writing….The key point is, strategically thinking : two to three years of my life and $60,000 of investment is totally worth the time and money for MBA because, if I can make more educated decisions by using logic and knowledge for the next 30 years of my life, I will get at least 20 times more than I invested in my education. Just imagine, if I can invest my savings money 2% better with the knowledge I gained, I make a lot more… Also, imagine I can save and buy better products in the next 30 years, I am saving a lot too. The first case is making profit, the second case is cutting loss by not choosing bad products, both of these are adding value… Some may argue, you do not need MBA to get all these, you can study and learn all these. Come on guys…tell me, How many of you will take time to study all these with dedication, unless you have tremendous self-discipline ?

My view of MBA and investment on MBA :

You are investing in yourself to make educated decisions in future based on logic and knowledge. MBA is not just for getting a better job or making more money. You cannot really measure the value of all your decisions by just money. It is more than money !  If you are passionate and want to learn and grow, I personally think MBA is a something right to consider… You may make a ton of money, you may be intrigued to open a company and you may succeed in making millions, you may be failure as an entrepreneur,….or you may not make an extra dime in job or business, but still you know how to manage your finances and other things at hand with more knowledge and logic…

Image Credits : http://www.flickr.com/photos/markhillary/3593836225/


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  1. Hi. I’m a medical graduate from India. I am planning on doing MBA from USA. Are there any job prospects for international graduates in the field of Health administration because it’s not a very productive field in India yet. So.I shouldn’t do it if no job prospects.
    Thank you

  2. Hi I have completed MBA in India and looking to work in USA to earn more money, what are all the job opportunities available their for MBA , can anyone please suggest me……

  3. Hi,

    Rohit here. Appreciate You time in helping us. I am 2010 Mech Engg, H1B working at CA through L&T TS. I have altered many times in preparations, to go up the ladder and gain my financial ambitions through MBA & MS. I am interested to get educated for different options I have. My inclination is to do MBA in USA @ $80000 (Scholarship preferred). Is GMAT only option?


    • Rohit,
      Most of the schools take GMAT, but many schools started to take GRE as well. Depending on the school, you may need to take either one of them.

    • Hello,
      I have done my bachelors in Management Studies a few years back and have been working in a Government organization since past 5 years after Graduation. I had appeared for Chartered Financial Analyst and didn’t clear due to certain family issues. I am interested in pursuing MBA in US and was confused between opting for MBA (Finance) or going or a MS(Finance). Would my clearing CFA before going for MBA serve as an added benefit to it? Moreover what would be the credibility of my Government Work-Experience for MBA?

      • Vatsal,
        Well, getting CFA will help, if you are going for MS in Finance. You will probably need to take similar finance certifications in US to be certified practitioner. Regarding MS or MBA, it totally depends on what you want to do in long term. If you intend to do core finance roles, then MS in finance is better…but, if you want to get into Management centric roles, MBA will help. It is up to you, how you position yourself for any job…just having a degree will not get you anywhere….Take time to think about your final goal after 5 to 10 years and this degree should be your stepping stone for that…

  4. Hello.
    This is Deepak . I have completed my BE in mechanical Eng (2013) and have 3 years experience in a manufacturing sector as a Planning engineer. I intend to do my MBA abroad in Operations Management. Since my role as a planning engineer included taking care of manufacture of gearbox from raw material procurement to dispatch, I am choosing operations management. Other option would be supply chain management. Is it Ok to get done MBA from any university abroad?
    I have hopes and confidence in me. Will I be able to get a decent job so that i will at least be able to repay the loan I would be taking???

      • Kumar.

        Thanks for the valuable info.
        Also I have 2 more questions in my mind.
        1. Given a choice between Indian MBa degree ( Not from the top notch Colleges) and US MBA degree (Same as above) apart from the fees and placement, which one would you recommend for Operations Management.
        2. What is the current scenario for a Indian with a US MBA Graduate abroad in Manufacturing sector???

        • Deepak,
          1. MBA is a management degree and what you get is emphasis in your interest. Frankly, I do not recommend either, unless you getting degree for the sake of getting to get some internal promotion. MBA is all about the network and whole experience, just doing it for the sake of doing will not help. You need to pick a school that helps you get to your destination.
          2.I cannot really advise on specific area, you will probably need to do your research.

  5. Actually their is an education shift taking place in the US. Technology is so advanced that many prominent schools are offering their MBA programs online and the online version is just as, if not more, rigorous than the on site programs. I would recommend that anyone seriously considering studying for an MBA take the online programs into consideration. Many students are using that option to achieve their educational goals.

    • Not really. A full time MBA from a top tier school will always score over online programs.
      The “prominent schools” that you talk about are the ones outside of top 20 (at least).

      Your opinion applies to people who are already working in US and cannot go to a full time program for whatever reason ( jobs, especially H1B , dependents etc ) , but for an international student , it has to be a full time program.

      Generally, if an MBA is not from top 20 schools , it’s very difficult for an international student to get a job, which leads the student ending up with no job and heavy expenses.

        • i totally agree that full time is better for international students however online is very interesting also. i am in my second year MBA online and i really like it. it is very active, we have group work with people all around the globe with different backgrounds and different experiences. we also have connect session where we discuss and meet the tutors as well as the other students within the MBA.

  6. i would like to study in usa for earning mba….. i want to choose my concerntration on entrepreneurial finance and international business.
    does it helpful to do mba overthere and how ? im really keen to get mba degree but i have fear about the case of embassy/……

    • You should also “choose your concentration” on your English. With this level of grammar, MBAs can’t survive in India let alone the US.

    • Laxmi,
      It depends on the school you pursue MBA from. If you get admission in good school, it will be a great experience, but you need to be aware of the high fees for MBA in US. Well, you always pursue something with good hope, you try to do your best in everything and hope visa goes through…

  7. Hey guys,
    I have done my mechanical engineering and right now already pursuing MBA in one one the recognized university in USA. I am confused to choose the career, is it possible for me to get into the core industries where technical as well as management knowledge is utilized? Please suggest me, thank you

    • renu,
      Well, usually, you would use your MBA to work in your core industries managing people that have your core degree skills of engineering. MBA is a management degree and is meant to help you do that. If you are not sure, go to career center in your school and seek their advice.

  8. Hello..i am a commerce graduate from india having no technical background and currently i am pusuing MBA in IT from a private university in USA . What are the job opportunities available to me thereafter ?plz rply asap ..i need it..

  9. hi every one my name is Ramu my scenario as of now I’m doing MBA in ca usa and I’m international student and I had like three years experience in home country in well reputated bank (HDFC) and my question is after completing my MBA program on which platform and which position I should work in USA. looking for your reply

    • Ramu,
      I am not sure, what your plans were when you applied to MBA….You need to know what you want do for career…I suggest you go to your career center in School to understand various career options…you can even search online….

  10. hi guys i complete my mba right now this year and i want to a good job in usa so what is main requirment neccesarry about the job and interview give me suggestion ………

  11. Hi

    I second your opinion on online MBA. I don’t like that.

    What are your thoughts on part time MBA? My employer sponsors 90% of my tuition and I am planning to join a part time MBA in a nearby public university. Is it worth doing it? I would like to learn as well as propel career wise to next level.


    • Curid, Part time MBA is definitely worth doing it, it gives you the balance of working full time. The only downside is you might miss out on the activities in the school like student organizations, etc. Regarding career prospects, you need to plan accordingly. Check with the career center in the school you plan to apply on the opportunities and if you are eligible for all of them…it can be tricky at times because you may not be able to do the internship, etc with your full time job…so, evaluate all your options and make a decision.

      • Thanks for the response, Kumar. I’m not very keen in getting a campus placement through a MBA. I am currently on H1b and have 7+ years of IT experience. By the time I complete my MBA, I’ll have 10+ years of experience. I’m planning utilize my experience and MBA to get into middle management within(if possible) or outside my company. Basically I’m planning to fast forward my career by few years with the MBA. Will a part time MBA help meet that purpose?

        • Hi Curid, yes, part time or executive track should help. I think it sounds like a logical move. You just have to market yourself internally well that you are doing MBA and position yourself for the management role shift…I have seen many do that internally in the company and it works !

          • Thanks Saurabh. One final question. Does the part time MBA have to be really from a top college/university?

            I have a state university (UNH) in mind due to the following reasons:

            – Reasonable fees
            – Campus within 15 mi from my house
            – AACSB accreditation
            – GMAT waiver based on work ex

            The university is not a top league one, but it is in top 30 among all the state universities in US. MBA program/school is not ranked. But it is one of the 296 schools acknowledged by Princeton review and has AACSB accreditation.

            I just want to progress in my IT career and don’t have any plans to enter investment banking or consulting. Will a MBA from this state university meet my purpose?

          • Not necessarily. It all depends on what you want. If you are looking to use it in your IT career for management roles, maybe you can do it from any such school. While the factors you said look very appealing, look at the time you spend as well, which would be about two years on MBA. Personally, if I had a choice, I would do it from a top school, primarily for the sake of the alumni network that I would get connected to for any future opportunities. MBA is all about network and brand that can help you go farther. Think about it…if you do not have a better choice, go for it…

  12. Hello, plz guide me. I completed my bcom in india , wants to do MBA in us. Is it really worthfull ? Can I get gud job by doing this ?

  13. Hi Friends…..I completed BA in an Indian University. I am planning to persue my MBA in US…..Is it really worthfull ???????

  14. Hi Friends…..I completed BA in Indian University. I am planning to persue my MBA in US…..Is it really worthfull ???????

  15. Hi. Frns..
    Please guide me.. . I was in a confused state.. . I completed my btech in civil engg In 2012 . Till now prepared for govt jobs but i did not get anyone.. . So i am thinking to plan for study PG in USA.. . I bothEring about wat to take my preference whether to take MBA r MS.. Please guide me which one is cheap and best.. . For a better job to settle ina better position.. .

    • swetha my scenario is similar to yours .i have done my btech mech 2012.then joined merchant navy out of passion but passion isnt helping me out to make money .there are very less jobs hmm. now i dont wana regret for what has happened .well i am planing for my masters but not able to decide what to do..hmm life seriously shows a lot …


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