Skip to content

Know All About the MBA Degree Before You Start!

Should I Get an MBA Everything You Need to Know (1)

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) continues to be the most popular advanced degree in the United States and globally. Business-minded students have been eager to learn all about MBA programs, and colleges and universities have responded by developing in-person and online programs. Even before the pandemic, online MBA programs, in particular, were experiencing explosive growth.

An excellent question is “Should I get an MBA?” Possessing an MBA tells prospective employers that you have expertise in a range of skills such as communication, problem-solving, organization, and customer service. These skills, combined with specializations like technology, human resources, or international business, make you a valuable asset.

What is an MBA?

The term MBA carries an impressive reputation, but what is an MBA degree? In a nutshell, the Master of Business Administration prepares people to assume leadership roles in business or administration. The MBA program is theoretical, practical, and well-rounded. 

In addition to general studies in business administration, students in MBA programs narrow their focus and choose a specialty. The majority of MBA students already have at least a few years of professional working experience, and they undertook a lot of work in learning all about MBA programs and schools. 

Traditionally the MBA program takes, on average, 2 years to complete, but there has been a surge in the popularity of the one-year MBA. Asking yourself, “Should I get an MBA?” is just the first step. Competition to get into programs can be stiff, and the number of specialties is surprising.

Typical MBA Admission Requirements

Business schools are looking for the best candidates just as you are looking for the ideal program. Once you’ve done the research and are confident you know all about the MBA course and schools that will be the best fit, it’s time to take the steps toward getting this graduate degree!

First, you must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Next up is to take the standardized admissions test. Most schools accept scores from either the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) or the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) and will have a range of acceptable scores in their admissions information. Keep in mind that you will have to have taken either the GRE or the GMAT within 5 years of your application. 

In addition to possessing an undergrad degree and sitting for one of the standardized tests, business schools will be looking for at least 2 years of professional experience, short application essays, personal and professional references, English language proficiency, and an interview. 

Source: Pexels

Types of MBA Programs

By now it should be clear that there is a great deal of research to be done when considering all about MBA programs. The great news for prospective students is that there are several ways to pursue this graduate degree. 


This is the original program and was once the only way to obtain an MBA. The full-time program is in-person and most often a 2-year pursuit. During the first year, fundamentals and theories are taught and in the second year, students narrow their focus and choose from any number of specialties. Internships are offered between the first and second year which provides significant opportunities for networking and establishing important business contacts. 


Studying part-time offers students the flexibility to continue working while getting their MBA. Classes are often held on evenings or weekends and part-time students have greater leeway in the number of courses they take. It takes approximately 3 years to earn an MBA by studying part-time. 


Executive MBA programs are specifically designed for students who already have considerable professional experience and don’t have the time to undertake full-time studies. The course work is advanced and is delivered on nights, weekends, and in short, intensive residencies.


Online MBA programs are increasingly popular, and it can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years to earn the degree. Studying online is convenient and offers more scheduling flexibility than in-person studies. Learn more about the University of the People’s entirely online and tuition-free MBA program here.

How to Earn an MBA

Now that you know all about MBA course work, admission requirements, and the options for program delivery, how do you go about earning this degree? 

  1. Explore the field 

You’ve already asked yourself, “Should I get an MBA?” and the next logical step is to learn all about MBA programs and schools. Know what your career goals are and look at them in light of possible job openings. Network with people who are already working in a specialty you are interested in and never be afraid to ask questions. Most professionals are happy to share their experiences. 

  1. Gain Working Experience (optional) 

Most MBA candidates have at least 2 years of professional experience and this helps to enrich their education. Work experience can steer you towards a specialty and it gives you an advantage in your studies. 

  1. Check for Employer Sponsorship

Companies understand the value of well-educated employees and more and more organizations are offering tuition reimbursement. There may be certain requirements like a commitment to stay at a company for a specific period or a minimum grade point average.

  1. Explore Schools and Programs 

Most MBAs are structured so that students take several general business courses and then move on to a specialization. There is a wide range of specialties like entrepreneurship, accounting, IT, human resources, sports management, and finance just to name a few. The key to finding the right MBA program and school is research. A lot of research! 

  1. Take the GMAT (sometimes required) 

Scores from the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) are required by most schools, although some who waive this if an applicant has considerable professional experience. The GMAT measures verbal, writing, and quantitative reasoning abilities.

  1. Enroll in a Graduate Program 

At this point, all your research and organization will have narrowed down your search and it’s time to enroll in a program! Whether it’s full-time, part-time, or online you will be on your way to earning an MBA.

Benefits of Earning an MBA

There are many benefits that come along with earning an MBA. Some of these include: 

Improved skill set

As an MBA graduate, you will have not only studied advanced business theories but you will have also been required to take classes that will provide you with practical opportunities to be better leaders. 

More job opportunities 

An MBA is a useful degree that can be applied across many industries. An MBA increases your job opportunities and gives you a competitive advantage. You have the skills and knowledge to jump into jobs and be a valuable asset to a company. 

Higher earning potential 

People holding advanced degrees earn more than their peers with undergraduate degrees – 22% to 40% more. The new MBA hire earns an average median salary of $115,000 U.S

Expanded network

MBA students are given many opportunities to network during their program. Classmates, lecturers, internships, travel studies, and work experiences are all ways in which important and lasting connections are made.  

Better business understanding 

The MBA program is challenging and intense. Students graduate with a thorough foundation and understanding of business. Add a specialization and the MBA graduate possesses a valuable depth of knowledge.

Source: Pexels

Your Next Steps 

Research is the key to learning all about MBA programs and deciding which school and type of delivery are best for you. Take the time to think about your career goals and where you see yourself in the future. Carve out time to talk to more experienced people in your company and look for networking opportunities. 

For example, if you wish to learn at your own pace and for the fraction of the cost that most programs will be, you can enroll in our online MBA program at the University of the People. Our MBA consists of 12 courses that can be completed in as few as 15 months. With no live lectures, you can log on to learn whenever suits your schedule and also pay the course assessments as you go. Upon completion of your MBA, you’ll be equipped to excel in your business-minded career path or even manage your own business! 

Start looking into the different schools and make a checklist of the steps you need to take to get into the school that fits you best. The MBA program demands an investment of time, but this graduate degree creates exciting opportunities for career advancement, increased earnings, and often opens doors to jobs across the globe!