Does Having an MBA on Your Resume Really Matter?

Having an MBA on your resume really matters, if you intend to work in a field that requires you to have one. Also, an MBA on your resume matters, if the field in which you are employed necessitates the degree for career advancement. Ultimately, how much the MBA credential will matter depends on your career choice and goals for employment. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Does an MBA Help Your Career?

Many people see a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree as a golden ticket to career advancement. However, depending on what field you're in and what stage you're at in your professional life, having an MBA may not actually improve your resume. Read on to learn more about the costs and benefits of earning an MBA.

Should I Pursue an MBA Degree?

An MBA is one of the most common graduate professional degrees. It can have applications in industries and professions as diverse as marketing, import/export, manufacturing and entrepreneurship (starting your own business). As a result, many students who aren't sure what to do after college opt to pursue an MBA.

However, immediately post-graduation may not be the best time to pursue this degree, and even an MBA can't guarantee you a job. There are certain things you should consider before committing to the time and cost of earning a graduate degree.


Most programs take at least two years to complete. This can result in a significant loss of income and work experience, even for business professionals. Furthermore, according to Business Week, top business schools can cost around $150,000 for tuition, fees and related expenses. If you're only considering the MBA because you don't know what else to do, you may want to think long and hard about whether the investment of time and money is worthwhile.

Career Field

Although the MBA degree is widely applicable in many industries, it isn't required (or even particularly relevant) for many others. Consider your long term career goals and find out how many people in upper-level positions have MBAs. If most do, then this is likely to be a good choice for you. If it's not a common qualification, then the degree may not be particularly useful.

Professional Requirements

It's also important to consider whether an MBA (or another degree) is not only common, but actually required. Even outside of law and medicine, many fields and professions require specific degrees. For example, most engineers need an advanced engineering degree and most professors need a doctoral degree in their subjects. As you research your long term career options, you may find that an MBA is a requirement for advancement. On the other hand, you may find that you will have to have a different graduate degree and could be wasting your time in an MBA program.

Work Experience

Even if an MBA can help you in the long run, now may not be the best time to pursue the degree. Many entry-level professionals can gain more from a couple of years of work experience than they would from immediately earning an MBA. In fact, not only can these years of experience improve your resume, they may also help you get into an MBA program if and when the time is right.

Can an MBA Help My Resume?

Ultimately, having an MBA on your resume really matters if:

  • You're a mid-career business professional.
  • An MBA is a common qualification for your profession.
  • Your industry or field requires an MBA for upper-level advancement.

Having an MBA is less likely to help your resume if:

  • You're an entry-level professional.
  • Few professionals in your field have MBAs.
  • Your profession requires another specific graduate degree for upper-level advancement.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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