I recently wrote an article in Poets & Quants about the continued value of an MBA and why now is actually a very good time to get the degree. I won’t repeat that entire piece, but I think it’s worth emphasizing a few key points from it:
- An MBA is a long-term investment in yourself. In times of economic uncertainty, like right now, the MBA offers a unique opportunity for early-career professionals to retrench and retool, preparing you not just for the next stage of your career, but for a lifetime of success. The short-term return on investment for an MBA remains incredibly strong, so it is a powerful tool to enhance your immediate professional prospects—but the long-term value is where an MBA really shines: the MBA is about raising both your short-term floor and your long-term professional ceiling.
- An MBA is about more than consulting and finance. One of the truly transformative aspects of the MBA is how versatile it is. People typically think of it as a feeder for consulting and finance—and it’s true that many MBAs go into those fields—but the MBA can open the door to a limitless range of career paths. That’s why so many graduates end up doing something different from what they thought they would when they started their MBA; it exposes you to so many possibilities that you didn’t even knew existed. As a lawyer myself, I know that some people think of law school as the place to go if you’re young and smart and still figuring out what you want to do, but the MBA degree also opens many doors.
- An MBA can be a force for good. Good management and doing the right thing never go out of style, but sometimes it feels like they do. You need only look at companies like FTX, Theranos, and Nikola to realize that principled management makes a difference. And that’s what an MBA teaches–how to make a positive impact in your organization, community, and the world more generally. And I would say that a place like Yale SOM, whose mission is to “educate leaders for business and society,” is particularly well-positioned to prepare you to have this kind of positive impact. (If you want to learn more about why that’s so, check out this YouTube video.)
- Now is the right time for an MBA. Of course, the best timing for you to apply will depend on your own career path and circumstances, but I can say that it could well be a good time for many of you to consider an MBA. Given the overall economic climate, we anticipate our final application round this spring will be much more active than usual, and we are planning to admit more aggressively in this round than we typically would. So, although you may normally hear the advice that you shouldn’t apply in Round 3, I would say that this year could well be an exception—if you’re open to beginning your MBA studies this fall and able to prepare your application by our April 11 deadline, it is worth submitting now.
As always, I hope this information is helpful. I remain a firm believer in the transformative potential of an MBA—and I also think that right now can be a very opportune time to get one.
Assistant Dean for Admissions
Yale School of Management
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