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So You Want to Go to Business School

Do you want a flexible career that’ll allow you to pursue your goals on your own terms? Easily transferable, practical and generally respected, a business school degree puts you in the driver’s seat. If you’re considering a career in business, it all starts with putting in an application for business school. How do you get in? What can you expect after graduating? Here’s a bit of discussion on the logistics of going to business school.  

What Do You Need to Get Into Business School?

If you’re pursuing the traditional MBA, you’ll have to start with a four-year University degree from an accredited college or university. Another common prerequisite for admission is the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). These tests are primarily about seeing whether you have a knack for the material that’s going to be covered in class as well as the general analytical, reasoning and writing skills to perform at the school's level. You may have to sit for the exams again if you took one of these tests a while ago as the scores do expire. Preparing and studying for these exams as well as taking practice tests is really important for getting in!  

Choosing a Program

So you’ve taken the exams and now need to apply to specific business schools. How do you choose the right degree program to apply to? Truthfully, it all depends on what your personal strengths are as well as what you’re looking for in a degree program. That being said, Marketing, Finance, Accounting, and Business Management are some of the main business degrees that students can work towards. Some schools even offer entrepreneurship programs and courses or other specialty sectors that might be very interesting to you. While you consider the merits of these programs, you also have to ask yourself what level of academic rigor you're looking for. Are you drawn to Ivy Leagues, schools that are reputed to be academically challenging, or is a mid-level program fine with you? Would a public university work better for you than a private one? Is your preferred program even being offered at this university? Don't just look at your first degree choice. See if your second and third options are available there as well.  

Selecting a School

Ultimately, you want to choose a school that's well-suited to you as an individual. This means being informed about broader issues like the admissions process while also learning more about the types of professional placements that are possible through the school. If you can find social groups and student clubs that cater to your interests, you're in even better shape. For those who really want to get a more accurate perspective on campus-life and future job prospects, you may want to consider speaking to alumni directly.  

What about the Money?

As you likely already know, tuition fees can range as low as just a few thousand to well over $30,000 per year. Costs tend to go up when you’re pursuing a graduate-level degree, especially at a private institution. When living expenses are also considered, you may want to consider the perks of choosing an institution that’s close to home. There are also scholarships and grants that can save you a bundle if you apply ahead of time. Also, there are many options for student loans. Make sure to fill out the FAFSA on time to see your options.  

Job Expectations

One of the biggest advantages of a business school degree is its flexibility. Individuals who don’t want to find themselves tied down to a particular job will love what these degrees have to offer. Investment banking, management, accounting, consulting, and financial planning are just a few of the areas where a business school graduate can find work. There’s also the option of working with marketing firms or becoming your own boss as an entrepreneur. All in all, business school is an excellent option for individuals who want a practical degree. The median starting salary for Business Management majors or concentrations is already good and the higher ceilings of these degrees show that there’s a lot of earning potential here for those who are entering the workplace after graduating. In a world where job security’s becoming a growing concern for many people, there’s no underestimating the value of a multidisciplinary degree program.

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