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How to Pick the Right University so You Can Get the Career You Want

Whether you’re getting ready to finish school and are thinking about your next options, or have been in the workforce for years but want to change careers, it’s usually important to study a degree that will help you get the type of job and lifestyle you’re after.

However, choosing a university can be incredibly daunting, and something you really want to get right the first time. You should keep in mind that it’s not all about the course you want to study either; there are many factors to weigh up. To help you make a decision, read on for some tips on picking the best college for your needs.

Location

For starters, consider the location of a university when comparing options. Obviously, if you wish to keep living at home as you study, (in order to save money), you should look for a facility that’s within driving distance. On the other hand, if you’re actually looking forward to moving out of home, you might like something that’s in another city or state. Note though, that if this is the case, you should still think about location as far as finding a campus close to things like affordable accommodation, grocery stores, restaurants, bookshops, and transport hubs.

Location may be an important factor for you too if you plan to continue working in your current role while attending university. If this is the case, you perhaps want to choose an education provider that’s situated not far too from your workplace, or perhaps in between your work and home.

Similarly, if you have a family and have to fit your studies in around dropping off or picking up children from school, sports facilities, home, and other spots, you will probably want to find a campus that isn’t far from your house and other regularly-attended locations.

GMAT Waiver

Flexibility is another factor many students consider when evaluating university options. For instance, you might think that finding a university that offers an online version of the courses with a GMAT-waiver MBA program, is the answer. However, be very cautious about these types of programs, there is a reason they are waiving the GMAT.

See the above video for more information. However, if you’re working full-time and need to fit your studies in around your work schedule, or have other commitments each week that preclude you from making it to on-campus classes, you may need to find a suitable online course, or one that offers more flexible class times, such as at nights or on weekends. Flexibility might also come into play if you want to attend a university that allows students to combine degrees, accelerate their program’s timeframe, or otherwise fast-track the total time spent studying.

Most Importantly

Lastly and most importantly, find out what kind of career support you will have access to if you attend a particular university (e.g. job fairs, work placements, internships, career counseling etc.). Then weigh their track record for placing graduates. What percentage of graduates end up getting a job in their field? And what percentage end up working as Baristas at Starbucks? So job placement is not the total answer the key is job placement in an appropriate career.

You also need to perform an aggressive cost/benefit analysis. Financial aid might be a factor, so investigate if opportunities to apply for aid, scholarships, discounted textbooks, and other monetary assistance are available. Once you know how much it is actually going to cost you for the two years of additional education you need to add in the opportunity cost of getting that education i.e. what else could you have been doing with that time? You could either have been learning job skills on your own (while working) or you could have had a side gig earning money… either way if your time is being spent at University you can’t do either. So you have to weigh that against the increase in salary (if any) that results from getting an MBA from that particular school.

Cost / Benefit Analysis

This is the kind of stuff you should learn in an MBA program i.e. how to do a Cost/Benefit analysis.

Let’s assume that an MBA is going to cost you $100,000 and you have a 60% chance of getting a $10,000 increase in salary. Further assume that it will take two years during which you could have earned $30,000 each year. Your total opportunity cost is $60,000, your cash cost is $100,000 plus interest. Net cost say $175,000. that means that at $10,000/yr. it will take you 17.5 years to break even. But it gets even worse you only have a 60% chance of getting that $10,000 so you have to adjust it to $6,000 meaning that your break even for calculation purposes is $175,000/$6,000 = 29.2 years i.e. basically your entire working life. In this case it would not be worth getting an MBA at all. You need either a higher increase in income, greater odds of getting a job or a lower cost of education.

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