The cost of an MBA
January 01, 1900
How much does an MBA cost?
The cost of an MBA course at a really good business school is actually more than the average wage in the UK or USA.
However, when you think about the cost of the MBA you must simultaneously think about the benefit from it - because these amounts are inseparable from each other, and cutting down on the cost could produce a disproportionately high drop in the benefits of the MBA.
You can take an MBA for $8,000, but you can't expect that to be a good one. The average cost is $40,000 for a year (or $80,000 for two years). Some MBAs are $60,000 a year, and with MBAs the more you pay the more you get. It's not just the instruction, it's the brand.
The tuition cost of an MBA is more often than not an indication of its quality and regard among employers. But it's also worth finding out whether or not that figure offers value for money. Do the tuition fees cover textbooks and study materials? What is the student per tutor ratio? What are the support services like (eg. dedicated careers services)? Is there a good alumni network for you to draw upon? Are you given preference in choice of accommodation?
Futhermore, the cost of an MBA isn't about how much you will have to pay to the business school where you are taking your MBA. There are numerous other costs as well.
First and foremost, if you are taking a full-time course, is the opportunity cost of not working for a year or two years depending how long your course is. You are unlikely to be able to have a job whilst taking a full-time MBA course so you have the cost of taking the course plus the foregone salary.
Even if you are taking a part-time course you may only be working 4 days a week, in which case a cost is the one day's pay that gets foregone.
Other costs could be travel costs to the business school. Depending on where it is, you may need to pay for the underground, the train, a bus or petrol and parking if you would be driving to campus. If you are coming from abroad you may get lodgings near to the business school, and that is a cost too. Should you be coming from abroad you will also want to go home and see your family and friends from time to time and you would have to pay for flights to and from the location of your business school.
Other costs of doing an MBA are related to studying. You can make your life a great deal easier by buying yourself a laptop so you are not relying on your business school's computer system and also so you can work on your assignments in your own time and in a place of your choosing. You also will have to buy text books, and you may need at least one for each course. If you are clever you will be able to get the books cheaper by approaching alumni or buying them second hand, but the latest text book will contain the latest thinking so be careful with that.