How do you measure your MBA's ROI in 2017?

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When it comes to continuing your education, calculating the return on that investment isn’t as simple as determining your post-graduation salary and bonus-to-debt ratio.

Every investment entails risk, and every loss is mitigated by both short- and long-term consequences. For that reason, before you choose to defer two to three years of your life — and spend potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars — on an MBA, you need to ask yourself that simple question: “Why?”

The worth of the degree you earn is proportionate to how well any given MBA curriculum aligns with your own talents, habits, interests, values and goals. It’s easy to be attracted by the practical benefits promised by the MBA. (Who doesn’t want a future of steady career advancement, leadership opportunities and financial security?) But remember, the MBA is still a graduate degree, and to disregard the intellectual challenges you’ll have to meet in order to realize your professional potential is to set yourself up for failure.

Mitch Howe, class of 2017, put himself through some real soul-searching before he decided to apply to TCU’s Neeley School of Business. “I was working essentially two full-time jobs, serving as an assistant men’s basketball coach and academic advisor at a community college in Syracuse. After the honeymoon period in both jobs was over, I recognized that I wasn’t happy and didn’t think that continuing in higher education or in basketball was maximizing my skill set.” As an English major, Mitch missed being able to utilize his writing expertise. And, while coaching certainly allowed him to further develop his interpersonal and critical thinking skills, he realized his present circumstances would prevent him from pushing his diverse capacities and capabilities into a state of real synergy.

For Mitch, investing in an MBA meant investing in himself. “More than anything, my time at TCU has helped me develop a confidence that I didn’t have before. I’ve learned a lot of things that I didn’t know previously, and I’ve developed new ways to both find and present information, but easily the biggest benefit has been the personal growth I’ve undergone. It’s helped me figure out what I really value in a career, what my strengths are and how to make those strengths clear. That alone has been worth the cost of attendance.”

The statistics documenting strong the MBA’s ROI are extensive—and they’re compelling. In the past decade, salaries for professionals with an MBA have increased by approximately 10 percent. On average, full-time MBAs see a starting salary increase of more than 80 percent after earning their degree. Three out of four graduates agree that they couldn’t have secured their current position without their MBA. Surveys by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which administers the GMAT and tracks various MBA cohorts from pre- to post-graduation, reveal that more than 95 percent of MBAs are extremely satisfied with the benefits they’ve accrued from their degree. 

Nevertheless, these statistics don’t tell the whole story. And the story of Mitch’s success is still being told. As soon as he graduates in June, Mitch will be joining a new team at IBM, working as a senior client relationship representative in the company's Summit program. Mitch’s MBA hasn’t just enabled him to change careers; his MBA has changed his life in ways he could never have anticipated.

“In 18 months, I’ve moved halfway across the country, held two internships, done a consulting project for Alcon Vision Care and served as the social media coordinator for the MBA program. I’ve traveled to South Africa, toured the headquarters at Twitter and, most importantly, met people who are going to be some of my best friends for the rest of my life, all because of the TCU MBA program,” he says.

Discover how you can expand your personal and professional horizons with an MBA from TCU. Request more info about the Neeley School of Business graduate program or apply now.

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