Businessweek released its annual ranking of American business schools, and Stanford once again sits at No. 1 among the 94 programs ranked.
Not everyone who applies to the prestigious Stanford business program will be accepted — more applicants will be declined than accepted, in fact — but there are plenty of business-school options for those considering furthering their education. There are some attractive options for those who already have entered into the full-time working world, including online programs. Penn State, for example, has recently expanded its World Campus program, and the university's business schools ranks No. 33 nationally.
Making the decision to pursue an MBA is one with high potential reward: Payscale estimates the average annual salary of an MBA recipient is $87,000. However, the average student-loan debt for an MBA graduate approaches $70,000. Prospective MBA students have this consideration, among others, to weigh.
Taking a partial course load means more time spent in the program, and the possibility of more debt incurred. But taking on a full-time course workload while working, particularly a full-time job, is an especially difficult juggling act.
Research whether you have the time to balance work with an MBA program first and foremost. Taking on debt only to not finish a program is one of the worst possible outcomes — second only to not finishing a program and burning out in the workplace.
However, including your employer in the process can set a course for ultimate success. Some employers will assist with paying for a postgraduate program. After researching MBA programs and deciding it's the right path for you, consider putting together a proposal to bring your employer in.
Your education can have a directly positive impact on your workplace. Demonstrating how can help you in the process, both financially and in having support. Your employer may work with you to tailor a schedule that fits your educational journey.