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MBA vs Real World Experience – The Great Debate

The debate is almost as old as higher education: What are employers looking for in job applicants and how can they get it? Is real world experience worth more than a degree?

The correct balance of importance for an advanced degree versus work experience is often hard to find. That assumes there’s a single “correct balance,” for every business management career, which there’s not. Furthermore, when it comes to retaining a job, what’s best for staying employed, growing in your career, and earning a solid salary?

Do Employers Recognize the Value of an MBA?

The answer is yes. According to Lynn Lee, managing director of Atlantic Research Technologies, a global executive research firm, employees find it easier to progress with an MBA degree.

“In many large multinationals and most high tech start-ups, very few CFO's do not have MBAs,” Lee said. “It is very rare to see a VP of Sales and Marketing at a large multinational without an MBA.”

The Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) 2015 annual Year-End Poll of Employers, revealed that three in four employers (75%) expect to hire MBA graduates in 2016, compared with 71 percent of the same companies that hired MBA candidates during the previous year.

Among companies planning to hire MBAs in 2016, 85 percent plan to hire as many or more of them than they did in 2015.

Employers view hiring MBA grads as a smart investment and are willing to pay a premium for professionals who hold the credential.

Does an MBA Really Pay?

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business estimates that since 2007 MBA tuition has surged by at least a third in the U.S. MBA degrees are sometimes viewed as too expensive, although scholarships, low-cost loans, paid internships and flexible payment options are available.

Real world experience is hard to quantify and it is not easy to discern its value to a company. By contrast, and MBA is a clear signal that a graduate will have an expected skill-set. This is especially true if the MBA is rooted in a specialization.

An Online Degree Balances MBA and Experience Today, an online MBA is a practical alternative for those who cannot attend full-time on-campus classes. Universities and colleges that previously only provided on-campus courses are realizing the need to expand degree programs. With online programs, schools can deliver lower cost, top quality MBA education to a wider student base.

Some of the major advantages of getting an online MBA is that you don’t have to quit your job, leave your life and family, or spend as much on tuition as a full-time on-campus MBA program requires. With an online MBA program, you can work toward future goals without putting anything on hold.

At a time when education costs are soaring, online MBA programs offer students an affordable and flexible alternative. Students seeking an online MBA now have many options, including well-known colleges and universities that offer on-campus classes.