Business-school applicants have to juggle their real-world work and family commitments with GMAT-taking, tedious applications and dozens of essays. It can be difficult to figure out when to apply-and when to tell the boss you might be leaving. Here's how to handle M.B.A. application season:
Shane Torchiana was working in asset management in a job focused on global-fixed income, but he wanted to make the leap to analyst and eventually become a fund manager.
His first thought was to apply to a traditional two-year M.B.A. program. But he believed he didn't need years of general management training in order to get the specific career he wanted. After researching his options, Mr. Torchiana opted for a master's degree in finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, a new yearlong program launched this year.
The resources available for students returning to college are countless. Many students may never have finished college, they may have been interrupted, or they may be choosing to return to pursue a higher degree.
In any case, not only are there federal student loans, private or alternative loans, but there are also many scholarship and grant programs that invest in the educations of returning students.
Deciding to seek one or more graduate degrees is a major commitment of time and money; a decision not to take lightly. You will face several years of intense work and research -- a much more demanding course load than in your undergraduate program. Before deciding your next step, you should take the time to honestly answer these five questions.
Many colleges have added programs that allow students to complete studies long-distance, using the Internet to connect with professors and fellow students. Sometimes returning students can finish degrees without setting foot on campus.
You could live in the boonies, or maybe you have five kids and a job that keeps you at your desk until 7 p.m. every night. Or perhaps you're on the road five days a week.
You want to get ahead and know a master's of business administration (MBA) degree could be the ticket, but for one reason or another, you can't attend class at the local university. Should you consider enrolling in an online MBA program, or is that a waste of time and money?
With more than $60 billion earmarked for student loans, the federal government is committed to helping you attend graduate school. Perkins, Stafford, and PLUS loans are all available to graduate students.
These days, education is playing a bigger part in your career than ever before. More and more, employers are encouraging employees to take advantage of tuition reimbursement programs to go back to school -- but workers wonder if it's worth the time and effort.
Additionally, the unsightly job market is making college students rethink their entry into the real world. Instead, many students are continuing their education -- but they don't know if the extra credentials will help or hurt them when they do join the work force.
About the Author:
Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
If you're considering an MBA, you may wonder if you're cut out for the experience. Joanne Starr, assistant dean of admissions at the University of California (UC) Irvine's The Paul Merage School of Business, shares her insights into the process of considering, applying for and taking part in an MBA program.
Is It Right for Me?
"An MBA is a generalist degree, applicable to many business functions," says Starr. "Ask yourself if you know what you want to learn and where you see your career going."
About the Author:
Susan Aaron is a Learning Coach for the career site Monster.com