Interviewed for Guy Kawasaki’s blog, Brazen Careerist Penelope Trunk says time off for an MBA makes sense ony if you’re at the beginning of your career (which I would translate to 3 years or less) and if you’re attending a top program.
Ninety percent of the time, I would say, “She’s right.”
But if you can comfortably afford a full-time or executive program, the MBA can make sense for midlife career changers. If you choose the right program, you can make contacts fast. If you’ve been a stay at home mom, a full-time artist or generally undirected, you may be able to shift your image and get hired by companies who wouldn’t look at you otherwise.
I would not recommend going into debt for a mid-career MBA. If you’re totally stalled without the degree, you might be better served by changing fields. I met a banker who can’t rise above branch manager without the piece of paper. Will the extra money he earns post-MBA recoup the investment? Or can he find a bank who will pay for the degree?