Choosing when and how to do an MBA is a big decision, and sometimes it can also be a risky one. You have a lot of factors to consider and naturally this might cause some anxiety. Business School Netherlands (BSN) has been in the MBA business for over 30 years, so we know what to look out for and which questions can make the decision more stressful. Let’s look at 5 of the most important questions to ask yourself before committing to an MBA programme.

1. Which institution do I choose?

This is the first, and arguably, the most important question. The institution you choose to do your MBA through can either mean that you end up with an accredited degree and a quality experience, or you get stuck in a frustrating experience with a sub-par degree at the end of all your efforts.

Be sure to check if your chosen institution is accredited with any accreditation institutions and check up on their claims. Accreditation is difficult to get and normally proves that the institution delivers on internationally or regionally accepted standards. Accreditation proof is one way to avoid bad schools and scams.

Independent reviews from students and alumni can also give you big hints as to whether an institution is worth your time or not.

2. What kind of MBA am I looking at?

Executive and practical vs academic and case studies.

It isn’t enough to do just do an MBA for the sake of doing an MBA. You must be getting some actual value from the degree. Will it help you in your career? How will it help you and will it give you skills that advance with you or will you leave those skills behind when they become irrelevant? Case studies and textbooks are good, but sometimes they can’t measure up to real-world experience.

3. How much time do I have for studies?

If you are opting for full-time classes on campus; do you actually have time to put your career on hold for 2 years? Do you have enough money saved up for your daily expenses plus the added costs of doing an MBA such as academic materials, travel expenses etc.?

If you are looking at online or part-time classes; do you have the proper internet infrastructure to access your materials? Do you have time to balance your studies and work commitments?

Normally, online studies will take a longer time to complete as they are designed to be completed at your own pace, whereas full-time studies follow a strict schedule.

4. How much do I have to pay for my fees?

This is another important question as an MBA is a high value and high-risk purchase. Our advice here would be to look beyond the initial expense and see if you would gain a high return on investment. You can get an idea of the return on investment by listening to testimonials from alumni or speaking to current students. Find out for yourself if the value that you get over the next few years or decades will outpace the expense of your studies in the short-term.

As a bonus, several institutions (BSN included) offer many different types of scholarships which can help you save money on your studies, but still, get the high value associated with a Masters degree.

5. Why am I looking at doing an MBA?

Here you need to be very honest with yourself. Are you doing an MBA to advance your career? Is there a particular skill that you are hoping to get? Do you desire the prestige and recognition afforded to the small number of MBA graduates in the world?

Whatever your reason is, be as direct and straightforward with your prospective MBA school as possible. Tell them what you hope to get from the MBA and ask how they plan on delivering on their claims.

Advertising and marketing an MBA is easy; delivering actual measurable results is difficult. This separates the fly-by-night schools from the schools that are worth your time.

Hopefully, this has helped you guide your thoughts towards the selection of your chosen MBA. As always, if you need any guidance or advice, please consider BSN ready to help.

For more information on our Action Learning MBA and Management Programmes, send an email to international@bsn.eu.

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