Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Big Decision - To do an MBA or not

I know I know!!!! You have read this a thousand times before on every site possible. But you are still not able to make that decision! Well, I faced the same dilemma an year back and now I can confidently say that I made the right choices. An year back I was like any of you - an Engineer, earning a good salary and doing a decent job. However, there was something amiss and I was not wholly satisfied with my job and my career progress. I had been in the semiconductor industry for four years but had not moved more than an inch or two in my job responsibilities. And I want to clarify, I was and am good at my job and got constant hikes and promotions. This does not always have to be equivalent to job satisfaction though. I realized I was not enjoying the work I did for two reasons - First, I was not making decisions in my job and Second, I was not able to utilize my brain enough to do something innovative/creative. After a lot of thought I realized I wanted to move out of an engineer's shell and move into a new world where I could make decisions and also take responsibility for them. An MBA is an obvious path for my goal isn't it? But this decision was not as easy as it sounds here. I did a lot of research trying to match my interests with the job responsibilities of an MBA. This together with a whole lot of brain storming(brain-eating rather) sessions with my family/friends ultimately led to this decision.
I heard a lot of what if's and but's about leaving a well paying job and age and going back to school stuff. Today, I know I have taken the right decision and I am here to tell you how you can take this crucial decision in your life.
First of all, its your decision, about your life and career, and you need to justify it only to yourself. If you are satisfied with your choice, you do not need to explain it to anyone. Which leads me to another important point - an MBA is an important step in any one's life but its not for everyone. You have to do a lot of self-analysis to understand your needs and suitability for an MBA. A particular kind of course that your friend did may not be as good for you. This comes from the fact that your friend and you are two different people and have different skills and aspirations in life.
While money is an obvious factor on every one's mind it should NOT be the most important factor in your choice of MBA or schools.
So first and foremost you need to understand your need for an MBA. It may be to climb the career ladder in your current job if you are lacking the required skills to reach a higher position. In another case it could be your lack of interest in your current field of work and your interest in another field which requires you to have skills of an MBA.
And in case you do not have a reason to do an MBA-DO NOT just because your best friend is doing so. Its highly possible that you are doing quite well in your current position and enjoy your work well enough but are being influenced by the decisions of someone else.
Hence, as I said earlier an MBA is an important and critical decision and should be taken with utmost care.
Some Do's - Analyse your needs, current skills and skills if any you want to acquire. Will an MBA help you acquire those skills and is it the only option?
-Do you want to come back to what you are doing with new skills or want to do a different job altogether with a completely new skill set.
-Going back to school is tough after years of work. Are you really ready for it?
-MBA is an investment and you have to give it time to reap the benefits. Are you ready to wait for it?
Some Dont's - Do not do an MBA only to earn a few bucks more. You might be better of here with a few thousands less than with an MBA degree and no clue as to what you want to do.
-You are an individual and hence don't get influenced by the decision of others who are doing an MBA. It is not a rat race and should not be mistaken for one.

I hope you will make a better and hopefully right decision regarding an MBA after reading this!!
More to come once you have decided to do an MBA. Don't forget to come back here!!


Amit said...

Good post ! Interested applicants can also check out the following post :http://wafter.blogdrive.com/archive/23.html

good blog..keep writing!

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