Elmhurst University—How to Choose the Right MBA Program
5 MIN READ
Pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a big decision. No matter where you are in your career or personal life, an MBA can be a transformative journey that can open doors to diverse career opportunities and personal growth.
However, picking a school can be a daunting task knowing which MBA programs are worth it. To make an informed decision, prospective students need to consider key factors such as curriculum, tuition and available resources.
Compare MBA Programs
The first step is to identify why you are getting your MBA: are you looking for a new job/career path? Are you looking for better connections/networking opportunities? Are you looking to upgrade your current skill set? Once you’ve identified your ‘why’, you can start to compare MBA programs.
Resources like the 2023 MBA+ Guide by Crain’s Chicago Business or a search of Business Masters programs on Niche are an easy way to see snapshots of multiple programs. One should utilize these tools, like the 2023-24 Best Business Schools list by U.S. News & World report, while also researching the schools for yourself to really understand what separates the programs from each other.
Which MBA Programs are Worth it?
After you’ve done your research about what the programs have to offer, be sure you dig into what that specific school/program can do for you: is the curriculum something that you will benefit from? Is the tuition affordable? Does the school have resources that will help you get ahead? Sometimes the best school might not be the best school for you.
The curriculum of an MBA program plays a significant role in shaping your knowledge, skills and readiness for the business world. Analyze the curriculum of prospective programs in terms of the following aspects:
- Specializations and Concentrations – Consider your career goals and interests when evaluating programs with various specializations or concentrations.
- Core Courses – A strong foundation in core business subjects like accounting, marketing, strategy and finance is crucial.
- Experiential Learning – Look for programs that offer experiential learning opportunities, such as case studies, internships, consulting projects and simulations.
- Flexibility and Customization – Some MBA programs allow you to tailor your curriculum by selecting elective courses that match your interests.
- Faculty Expertise – Research the faculty profiles to determine whether the professors are accomplished experts in their respective fields.
Tuition is often a central concern when choosing an MBA program. While the cost of pursuing an MBA can be substantial, it’s essential to view this expense as an investment in your future. Consider the following factors when evaluating the tuition of various programs:
- Financial Aid and Scholarships – Research the financial aid options, scholarships and grants that each program offers.
- Return on Investment (ROI) – Think about the potential earnings and career advancement that your chosen MBA program can provide.
- Part-Time or Full-Time – Decide whether a part-time or full-time MBA suits your current lifestyle and career trajectory.
- Reputation and Rankings – While reputation isn’t the sole determinant, prestigious MBA programs often offer better networking opportunities and a broader range of potential employers, which can positively impact your post-MBA career prospects.
Access to resources can significantly impact your MBA journey influencing everything from networking opportunities to research facilities. When assessing resources, consider the following factors:
- Alumni Network – A strong and active alumni network can offer valuable connections, mentorship and career opportunities.
- Career Services – Robust career services can provide guidance on resume building, interview preparation, job search strategies and networking events.
- Internship and Job Placement – Programs with a high percentage of graduates securing internships or job placements within their desired industries are indicative of the program’s effectiveness in preparing students for the job market.
- Industry Partnerships – Collaborations with industry leaders, guest speakers and corporate partners can offer insights, networking opportunities and potential job placements.
- Research Centers and Facilities – If you’re interested in research or entrepreneurship, explore the availability of research centers, innovation labs and facilities that can support your endeavors.
The Elmhurst MBA Advantage
At Elmhurst University our MBA program is designed for you. Choose between flexible options such as part-time, full-time, online or on campus. At Elmhurst, we will teach you persuasive presentation skills, advanced writing skills, emotional intelligence, critical thinking skills, Excel as a business tool and provide lifelong professional development. Every MBA graduate can take an annual course for free for the rest of their lives. This gives you an advantage in your career to keep growing, keep learning and keep staying on top.
Find the MBA Program that is Right for You
Choosing the right MBA program is a critical decision that requires careful consideration of tuition, curriculum and available resources. By evaluating these aspects in the context of your personal and career goals, you can make an informed choice that sets you on a path to success. Remember, the journey towards an MBA is not just about the destination—it’s about the skills you acquire, the connections you make and the experiences that shape you into a well-rounded business leader. With the right program, you’ll be equipped to thrive in the dynamic and ever-evolving world of business.
Interested in The Elmhurst MBA Advantage and think it might be for you? Fill out the form below to learn more information.