Last week the Contra Costa Times turned to Veritas Prep for advice on what is happening to the value of an MBA in the current economic climate. In the article, we provided some advice for applicants as they choose which business schools they want to attend. As always, we stressed that an applicant must look at so many things beyond just rankings when evaluating whether a certain business school is a good fit.
Adapted from that article, here are five questions you should ask when looking at any MBA program:
- What employers recruit from the school? If you want to switch careers and get a job in banking, but no investment firms recruit at the school, then don’t expect your post-MBA job search to be easy.
- How far do the school’s reputation and alumni network reach? Many schools provide an excellent education, but only have a regionally strong brand. If you want to get a new job in another part of the world after school, this may make it harder to do.
- What type of programs does it offer? Most business schools offer a full-time, two-year program. If this may not fit your schedule or you don’t want to quit your job, see if they offer part-time programs that allow you to work and study at the same time.
- What are its academic specialties? Is the school strongest in one specialty, such as finance or marketing? Or is it a more general management-oriented program? Make sure this strength matches what you want to focus on in school.
- How much will the school cost you? Obviously, half of the return on investment equation is the size of investment itself. If a school offers you a significant grant or your employer will cover the cost of the program, that may tip the scales in that school’s favor.
There are many more other important factors to consider, but these are all important questions you need to be able to answer for every school to which you plan to apply. Knowing these things will make you a stronger applicant, and will also prevent you from making a mistake when making an investment as big as a graduate business education.