When is the “Right” Time for an MBA?

It’s a common conundrum: pursue an MBA degree straight out of college, or wait until you have three-to-five years of work experience under your belt before returning to school.

With more B-schools accepting candidates right out of college, and the current job climate, the direct option is worth exploring, argues Scott Rostan, principal and founder of Training the Street, in a recent Wall Street Journal blog piece.

Here are four benefits Rostan gives for getting an MBA right after an undergraduate degree:

  1. By starting your career path with an MBA, you’re likely to start off with a more senior title, a higher salary and more responsibilities.
  2. It’s easier to move anywhere for your MBA if you have no spouse, children or mortgage to consider.
  3. From a personal-finance perspective, the sooner you begin repaying the B-school debt, the better.
  4. You pay a higher opportunity cost if you leave a position with a good salary to go back to school.

However, for those less certain of their career goals, time spent in the working world after college is invaluable, says Rostan, who likens pursuing an MBA to hitting the “restart” button on your career.

“Even if you return to the same profession,” he says, “the perspective you gained by working first can help you focus on the aspects of the MBA experience that will benefit you most.”
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