Business school applications are down across the board thanks to the strong economy. What is the real cost of stopping out to go back to business school?
There’s lots of debate in the world today, but one thing that’s been difficult to argue is the thriving economy. With expansion now in its 125th month, we’re continuing to enjoy what has literally been the longest running bull market in history. While we’re statistically due for a correction, even another recession, the numbers are so good, that it would likely take a while to slow things down considerably.
When times are good, Newton’s first law takes over: objects in motion tend to stay in motion.
The result? MBA applicants have to decide whether or not it’s worth it to step off the economic train and forego two years of good income to hunker down in business school. But opportunity cost isn’t just about foregone income. With a historically low unemployment rate, workers are in short supply. This means that promotions are ample. Staying on the job often means access to higher level responsibilities and more rapid acceleration up the corporate ladder than you might experience in a slower economy. Employers can’t afford to lose good employees and are willing to reward them to stay put.
In addition to Newton’s Law, there’s a more modern concept that also looms large: FOMO.
No matter how great an MBA can be for your career, voluntarily riding the sidelines while the rest of the world charges forward can be daunting. Might you be better off to remain employed, get a promotion and a raise, then go back to business school later? Before you decide to remain indefinitely gorging yourself at the good-times buffet, you need to remember one important thing:
Right now, your odds of admissions success has never been better.
The better the economy, the easier it is to get into business school, plain and simple. While you might be giving up a bonus, a promotion or a raise, the truth is, waiting to go back may be costing you far more than that. Even if you can quantify exactly how much you are gaining by staying put, is it worth that same amount to not get into your dream school? It’s nearly impossible to say whether or not you “would have gotten in” if you don’t try, so it may be a good idea to go ahead and at least put in some applications. You can always try to defer an admission or even decline if you decide to keep on trucking.
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