An MBA: Is It Worth the Cost?

by Chad Agrawal

The cost of an MBA is sometimes astronomical, especially if you go to a prestigious school. People often think that a newly minted MBA is a one-way ticket to success, but this isn’t always the case. According to a 2011 US News study (, 35% of Fortune 500 CEOs had an MBA, while 40% didn’t even have a graduate degree.

So, if you want to get rich quick, an MBA isn’t necessarily for you. However, if you have a keen interest in how the theory of business works, then an MBA could be a good choice. An MBA is not practical, as it will not teach you the nuts and bolts business. Instead, it will show you how business works, and once you are an established professional, the knowledge gained from an MBA will take your business to a higher level. If you can understand that an MBA will help delicately fine-tune your business skills – as opposed to carve a start-up from scratch – then it’s worth the cost.

What an MBA won’t do

If you think an MBA will give you the edge when starting a company – think again. You won’t learn how to deal with payroll or how to balance a budget. According to Forbes, an MBA doesn’t deal with the practicalities of business. Instead, you’ll learn things like how to sweep cash flow between accounts in order to maximise profits. The problem is, if you have no cash to sweep the theory becomes redundant. Although some well-known MBA schools are starting to offer more hands-on subjects, like selling (Forbes), most of the focus is on textbook theory, such as case studies and best business practices. If you’re not interested in learning how giants like IBM or Coca-Cola operate and how you can apply this to your business then an MBA is probably not for you.

What an MBA will do

According to Forbes, an MBA is only really worth its weight in gold once you have an established business. According to a study, nine out of ten MBA graduates recommend doing the programme (Forbes). An MBA’s value lies in the fact that it teaches you analytical and soft management skills: things that you can’t learn on the job. It will give you sound judgment and you will learn how to refine your business techniques. You’ll learn about planning, strategic marketing and resource allocation. According to Forbes, an MBA is priceless, as it will teach you how to answer the most important question of all: Am I going to make money?

You need to understand that an MBA won’t instantly transform you into a Donald Trump or a Richard Branson. Before experiencing the true value of an MBA, you’ll need to get the hard-slog practicalities of starting up out of the way. According to, once you have a firm business footing, an MBA will open doors that you never knew existed, using tactics, psychology and networking. An MBA is definitely worth the cost, provided you know what you’ll get out of it before actually getting into it.

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

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