The MBA has long been recognized as a degree that can lead to career success. And Southeastern graduate Maria Paola is experiencing its benefits firsthand.

“I have always dreamed about my MBA,” said Paola, who resides in Colombia and attended SEU online. “When I got my post-degree in corporate finance, I thought that the next step should be a master’s degree.”

She achieved this in December 2014, completing her master’s studies and earning an MBA.

Going back to school, however, does require an investment in time and resources. You may be asking, why get an MBA? Is it worth it? From a student’s perspective, here are five key reasons to advance your education.

  1. Acquiring new skills that lead to better job positions

    One of the strongest reasons for obtaining an MBA is career advancement. As discussed in 6 High-Paying MBA Salaries, employees with the degree and five to nine years of experience earn nearly $15,000 more than those with a BS in Business Administration and the same amount of experience. An MBA results in higher pay and increased job opportunities.
    Paola mentioned that learning new skills in organizational behavior has helped her in her profession. She currently works in a multinational corporation where communication and persuasion are important for improving her leadership potential.

  2. Increasing in intellectual knowledge

    An MBA is the latest stop for Paola, who has an impressive education. She started with a double major in international business and language and French culture. She has also studied industrial engineering, finance, internal audit and corporate finance.
    In her MBA studies, she extended her knowledge in a wider range of subjects. Two of her favorite classes were Leading Across Cultures and Information Technology Leadership, which have enhanced her understanding of leadership.

  3. Returning to an academic environment

    It’s one thing to enter into the workforce after high school or college, but what about once you’ve acquired actual experience? Paola’s answer touches on another highlight of an MBA program, where the academic environment plays a role in two areas:
    The Big Issues in Business: Discussing important topics that relate to your career is extremely valuable. An MBA gives you the opportunity to examine the latest research in leadership and management, marketing, law and other areas. Looking at these topics with others after you’ve gained work experience is an opportunity to hone your skills and knowledge.
    Networking: The people you meet in your courses can become lifelong friends. You’ll have the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with others you come into contact with, who can become sounding boards down the road and serve as potential contacts for future opportunities. The same thing can be said for your professors.

  4. Personal growth

    Paola sees her MBA as more than just an academic credential. Earning a graduate degree is an accomplishment in itself, and the skills she learned will carry over to her personal life.
    Personal growth is one of the less-than-obvious reasons to get an MBA, but it’s one that becomes central to every MBA student once he or she begins the program. The hard work and dedication it takes breeds excellence across one’s career and personal life.
    “We must assume our MBA as a personal challenge,” Paola said.

  5. Sharing with people from other disciplines

    Paola’s final reason underlines the value of speaking to people from other areas of business. Or, in Paola’s case, other regions of the world.
    Either way, meeting people who have other backgrounds and experiences can help you meet your goals. You’ll expand your knowledge, obtain contacts and learn from others’ viewpoints on business topics.

Getting Started

There are many reasons why pursuing an MBA could make sense for you, ranging from improving your job prospects to challenging yourself intellectually. At Southeastern University, the online MBA program combines the fundamental business knowledge needed for success with a flexible, convenient format that allows students to study when and where they want. Learn more about the program here.