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Is an MBA Really Worth the Cost?


Have you ever thought about going back to school for your MBA? If you’ve looked at the costs of doing so, I bet you might have had second thoughts. Well, I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble, but before you shell out $80,000 on schooling, you might want to take a look at the infographic below:

Worth of an MBA
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Many of you know that I’m going back to school for my Masters in Business Administration, and while this infographic made me think twice about it, I still think it will be beneficial. Not only are my costs extremely low because my company is paying for it, but even if my income increases only $4,000 a year, it will still be worth it. Plus, I’ll be more marketable for another job or even another career.

Do you think you’ll still go through with the MBA program? Perhaps you’ll seek out a cheaper school?



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I have a feeling you will make it worth it. You can make this same argument for a BA. College students are fight for loan forgiveness because it RIDICULOUS how much college costs.

  2. Very interesting. I’m about to get my MBA though and I would say it’s very worth it. Where I live it’s pretty hard to get a job in the financial industry without an MBA.

  3. Watch out thinking you will be more marketable after you MBA, what if it’s the contrary and it makes you overqualified for certain positions?

    • If you are over qualified with an MBA, chances are you should raise your standards of what jobs you are applying for….

      • I would agree with that, unless you really need some income to survive. Then it’s time to just find a job to make some bucks fast!

    • Many employers that I personally know of deliberately are not hiring individuals with an MBA since they require a higher salary then someone who has a B.A.

      • Yep, I’ve heard the same thing. Especially for those that don’t have experience. They come at a higher price tag, but are they really more valuable? Not hardly.

  4. I think the original idea behind the MBA degree was to complement a technical degree–in an engineering discipline, for example–to give business training to technically educated professionals who want to move into management. Somehow it morphed into a way to grow salary for virtually anybody, even those with business-oriented undergrads and/or lots of business experience. That’s how the MBA got a bad reputation, imo.

    I think it’s still worth it for the technical types, but not for business types. But then, I’m biased. 🙂

    B.S.-Chemical Engineering
    MBA-Finance concentration

  5. I have been considering getting my MBA. My company would pay for part of it. I definitely would be taking it part time online though and not at a top 10 school that costs through the nose. The article definitely makes you do a double take though to see if it is worth it.

  6. All degrees have value, but a professional degree depends on the individual more than any other. The degree may get in the door, but it is the holder that matters.

  7. I was fortunate – my company sponsored my MBA. Not a top tier school, but I have the degree (and graduated with honours and no debt – win!).

    Do I think it would have been worth it otherwise? Perhaps. I was already a licensed accountant with a good salary and career – but I wanted to change career paths. My MBA has allowed me to do that.

    I don’t think it hurts to have it.

  8. Great post! I considered changing careers before I began to freelance, but to change to the career I dreamed of, I would have needed an MA and an extra year of undergrad. This wouldn’t have been worth it because I would have made at most an additional $10K per year. In working out the math, I saw little benefit, especially considering the hubby and I would probably have to move to a higher-cost-of-living area.

    • Yep. Sometimes the dollars just add up to an amount that’s too big, and that’s ok! I bet you made the right move.

  9. I agree with the infographic and your assessment. For me, it was worth it because like you, my company paid for a good portion of the cost.

    Many have the belief that they get their MBA they will be making six figures when they graduate. That is not how I found it and neither have most of my friends.

    • Great comment MSG! Thanks for the input.

  10. A scary set of numbers indeed. MBAs have the same conceptual place as MDs for many people, expensive, lots of work, but high earnings potential and easy employment.

    However, as with anything, an MBA is what you make of it I suppose.

    • I think if you already have a defined career path in your place of employment, an MBA will really increase your odds of success. If you are currently unemployed, however, I don’t think that an MBA will really help.

  11. A few years ago I heard someone comment that the MBA has turned into the GED of Graduate School.

    That’s part of the reason I chose to get a Master’s degree in Dispute Resolution instead of an MBA.

    Conflict Resolution skills are quickly becoming more valuable to potential employers due to the most diverse workforce in modern history. I chose to hyper-specialize in Generational, Gender and Cultural Conflict for that very reason.

    • Interesting twist on the MBA. Thanks for the comment!

  12. I think MBA is largely beneficial if from a top-tier school (top 10) otherwise it is still beneficial but not as much unless it gives you a break into the industry/field you wanted to be in (even then it may be of little more salary value)

    • Yes, MBAs from top-tiered schools are highly regarded, but one should still measure the input cost vs. the output costs. An Ivy League grad school could cost more than $100,000. If you’re only going to earn an extra $5,000 because of it, you might want to rethink your choice in schools. If, however, you could earn an additional $25,000 a year with your new degree, it might be entirely worth it.

  13. To be more specific an Ivy League school is more about networking with the cream and usually leads to a sharp change in perception after which money/status just follows. So for the most part it leads to much more money than $5K but in a rare case if its just giving that kind of an increment then yeah it is not worth.

    • I’ll agree with that President. Thanks for the comments!

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