Interested in advancing your career but not sure how to get the business skills you need? Wondering if getting an MBA is the right move in the New Year? Having trouble choosing between what are considered the best MBA programs out there?
With hundreds of MBA, mini-MBA, online MBA, and professional development programs available in Austin and online, it can be hard to find the right program for your specific goals and needs.
As you research the options available to you, ask yourself some key questions (and be honest with yourself!):
- How much time can I realistically commit to the program?
- What would I be giving up by dedicating time to a program? (In business terms: What is the opportunity cost of this program?)
- What is my budget? Am I willing to take on debt?
- What are the most important outcomes I am looking to achieve? Is it to build my network? To get a better job this year or build skills for the long-term future?
- What are the steps I will take after completing an MBA program?
- What specific skill gaps do I have that an MBA program could help me fill?
Once you identify your resources and the outcomes that are most important to you, you can align your goals with the available options (traditional MBA, online MBA, or mini-MBA) to determine the best MBA program for you.
If you are in a position to leave your career for several years, have the financial freedom to invest in your long-term future, and value the MBA stamp of approval, a traditional onsite MBA may be the best path forward for you.
If you have financial freedom, less time to commit to getting your MBA, but still value the accreditation, online and executive MBAs are offered at often half the cost and time of a traditional MBA.
If you are looking to advance in your career, build your network, and brush up on your business and finance acumen, but don’t have the resources and time to commit to an expensive accredited MBA, one of the new mini-MBA options available may be the best choice for you. You may prefer an online cohort-based program such as Seth Godin’s AltMBA or an in-person cohort format such as the Invited MBA.
If you want to learn new things at your own pace but aren’t interested in expanding your network or going back to school, there are also thousands of free or public online classes such as Linkedin Learning or Udemy that can help you brush up on your business and leadership skills, or can simply help you gain inspiration.