“Why should I get an MBA?”: The Most Underrated Reasons to Get an MBA

When prospective students stop to ask themselves, “Why should I get an MBA?”, they come up with a lot of reasons. Many think the MBA is a great path to a bigger paycheck, which is honestly most often the case. There are lots of other popular answers to this question. Forbes contributor Eric Jackson, however, has come up with a list of the top 10 most underrated answers to that big question: “Why should I get an MBA?” He says, “These are things you’re probably not even thinking about if you’re in B-School today but will mean something several years from now.”

Feel free to check out the full article, but here is a bullet point list of all the things Jackson points out that an MBA gives you the chance to do:

1. Reflect on big business issues: “Taking two years off to sit in a classroom might seem crazy in today’s deadline-driven world…Yet, on the other hand, it’s an amazing luxury to be able to get out of the day-to-day grind and actually sit and learn with a little reflection mixed in.”

2. Make lifelong friends who will accomplish great things: “These friends are more than just good people.  They’re likely to go on to be successful in their speciality of business that they focus in.  They’ll be sounding boards for you in the future.  Friends of their friends will probably be potentially invaluable contacts for you down the line.”

3. Realize how little you know about the world (and “make a dent in that ignorance”). This is a great, and often overlooked, answer to “Why should I get an MBA?”

4. Learn how a bunch of high-strung personality types can work together as a team: “You all think you’re brilliant.  You all likely want to be the leader when a task presents itself.  It’s a great challenge to learn how to work together and get other Type-A types like you moving in a similar direction.  You may not figure out how to do it perfectly but you will get the chance to learn.

5. Think about the global economy and not just your own small world.

6. Be really challenged by professors: “If you’re lucky, you’ll get into their classes.  If you’re smart, you’ll try to build relationships with the professors and make the most of learning all you can from them.”

7. Listen to accomplished visiting executives speak—and later ask them questions.

8. Refocus yourself: This is a really great answer to, “Why should I get an MBA?” Jackson points out the difficulties people can have trying to reinvent themselves when they are 30, and then 35, and then 40. Business school gives you a great opportunity to go ahead and focus your career now.

9. Learn how to manage others.

10. Learn how to get up and present yourself: “The MBA student population is more speech-savvy than the general population, but a lot of B-School students stink at speaking too.  Nevertheless, you’re going to get lots of opportunities to improve it.  You might as well take advantage of it and actually get good.  You’ll be amazed how far it takes you later in life.”

What are some of your favorite answers to “Why should I get an MBA?” When you’re applying to business schools in DC, thinking about this question (and its answers) can really help motivate and focus yourself, your application, as well as the career you hope to have.

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