Three factors why should you do an MBA after 30?

 A question that I get from a lot of people is, "Is it ok for me to do my MBA when I'm in my 30's? Or is 30 too old for an MBA" Well, I've got an answer for you and I'm going to tell you how to actually convince the MBA admission committee. 

But before that, how do you convince yourself? Why should you really do an MBA? What is the Return of Investment behind it? I'm going to give you three factors that you should be considering if you are over 30 years and looking at an MBA program. 

 

MBA after 30

First factor

You need to understand that in your industry and in your function, you probably have grown because you were an operational expert. Maybe, you were great at technology. Maybe you were great at finance. Maybe you're great at manufacturing. But at some point, you are going to hit a glass ceiling of sorts where you know, you need to know more about what's happening in the organization. 

You cannot be just an operational expert who is focusing on one area. MBA gives you that cross-functional exposure and the example that I usually give is that, MBA is more like a thali, a Gujarati or a Rajasthani thali where you have a little bit of everything. So you kind of go and you sample. 

A little bit of accounts, a little bit of sales, a little bit of strategy, a little bit of operations, and whatever you like, in the second year, or maybe towards the end of the course, you can take electives and learn a little bit more of that. But it really gives you a cross-functional exposure that will help you become the visionary business leader that you want to be. 



Second factor

The second reason why you should consider doing an MBA is, probably you have about 8-10 years of work experience, maybe more, and what you might have realized by now is that, leadership, having a perspective, having an opinion, having a general wider view of a problem is something that is needed as you rise up the corporate ladder. Now how do you really get that perspective? 

Now what a B-school does is that, in that one year or two years, it really creates this very strong team based learning, which means you could be in a team where you have people with different functions, different backgrounds, different personality types, sometimes ever different nationalities, especially if you are looking at an international MBA degree. 


Now, in that one or two years, when you are together with this group, what you really get is, you get a version 2.0 of yourself. And that's really the point of doing full time MBA programs, right? You don't want to be the same guy who entered an MBA program. You want to be a completely different, transformed person by the time you come out. So this perspective, this leadership, is what an MBA gives you. 

Think of it this way, for a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So if you come from, let's say, a business is facing a particular problem, and you want to turn around, and you are a CEO who has been called, if you are going to be looking at the problem from an accounts perspective, the first thing that you will say is, cut costs.

 

If you are going to be looking at it from a marketing perspective, you are going to say, increase the advertising budget. If you are going to be looking at it from a product perspective, you are going to say increase the number of features. But what you really need in leadership or a management position is you need to be able to look at it, from a wider angle, or a wider lens. So the same problem you're seeing but you are not just looking at it from one perspective, you are looking at it from multiple perspectives. 


Third Factor

The third factor is, you know and I want you to think about it, if you are in your thirties and if you have been working for a few years now, you will realize that one of the biggest things that is going to get you your next job is not LinkedIn, or Indeed or ZipRecruiter, but it's actually people you know; people who are going to reference you. And one thing that kind of really stands out in your resume is the brand equity of either your employers or your education, and that's where an MBA really comes into play. 

It gives you the brand credentials to put on your CV, but it also gives you a very rich network. So by the time you are 45 and you are looking for that CTO role, your job is not going to come because someone posted that job. Your job is going to come because someone is going to call you and say, "Hey there is a requirement, and I know that you are a great guy for that". So an MBA really equips you for that future.  

 

And if you are going to think, "What is the ROI of an MBA?"  I would like you to think of it a little differently. See, about 80% of your entire income or wealth you are going to get is in pretty much the last 10 years of your career. So the whole idea is that, if you were to plot a graph of the income that you earn vs number of years, what you'll realize is, with an MBA or without an MBA, the graph is going to be a little different. 

And at this point you need to ask yourself, am I looking at an MBA as an investment that is going to be helping me in my career over the next ten, fifteen, twenty years? Or, am I going to look at it as a short term ROI, something that I can quickly flip over and get in the next two to three years. 

 

If you are going to be thinking the latter, then an MBA ROI could be a little disappointing, the numbers may not work for you. But if you are looking at it as an investment, if you are looking at it as an investment in yourself that is going to last ten, fifteen years, twenty years, you will definitely see that an MBA will give you the ROI. 

Think of it as a piece of land that you bought. If you are going to be just buying it and speculatively sell it in a year or two, I cannot really guarantee whether you are going to make money off it. But if you are willing to stay invested and if you are looking at a time horizon of ten, fifteen years, an MBA, just like a land, will give you the ROI.

So if you are a mid-level professional, you don't know whether a B-school would like you, if you want us to have a look at your profile,go ahead and let us know, we would be happy to work with people like you and if you are looking at people who have actually considered doing an MBA and actually did it, I have two such MBA candidate, one of whom went to IIM Ahmedabad for a one year program and the other who decided to go to the US to do his two year MBA. 


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