Going to business school is a good opportunity to advance your career or start one. Your age, familial situation and location will all play a part in choosing a school to apply to. Many MBA students are in their mid-20s and early 30s, with very few coming right out of college. You’ll even find some in their late 30s or 40s attending business school full time. Even if you are younger – say, between 24 and 32 – you still have to consider the following factors when applying to business schools.
- Your Age
One mistake students in their mid-20s make is only applying to their top two business school choices. They do this on the notion that they will be able to reapply in the future if they’re denied, once they’ve gained more experience in the field. Some of the younger applicants are able to pull this off, but this shouldn’t be an option if you’re a little older. If you’re in your later 20s, you should instead apply to a variety of business schools. This will give you a chance to possibly attend a school the following year.
Your focus should be on applying to a mixture of safety schools and those that are a bit more difficult to get in.
- Your Desired Career Path
You should have some idea of where you want to be in 10 years’ time career-rise. Some positions allow you to work in the same field for many years without going back to school, while others require additional education for you to propel your career. For instance, if you decide to work in investment banking or consulting, you will need to further your education to learn of new policies and traditions. The more a field evolves, the more likely you will have to continue your education. If you don’t want to go back to school after you graduate, then pick a career path that doesn’t call for it.
- Your Satisfaction with Your Career Track
Some people end up locked in a position that’s too narrow or technical to branch off elsewhere. This leads to them going back to school to obtain additional skills so that they can expand their horizons. One mistake they make is applying to only a few of the highly ranked programs out there. If you’re in this bracket, you should cast the net wider by applying to B-schools as well. You can find great ones in the top 20 list that have excellent alumni networks, career programs and courses.
- Applying for the First or Second Time
Again, the more schools you apply to, the better your options, especially if this is your second go at it. If you waited a few years to reapply to business schools, and have successfully improved your level of experience, you can target both your top choices and two or three others.
- Your Family
Do you have children or a love interest you’re involved with? These are important factors for a number of reasons. For instance, some students want a quicker course that will allow them to graduate sooner, so they can get home to their children or settle down and start a family.
Keep all of these factors in mind if you’re considering NEC’s masters in project management or any other business-related program.