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The question of the right time for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is difficult to answer. Basically, however, it is never too late to move forward. In this article, we highlight various factors to consider when asking “when” to pursue an MBA.

Work experience is required

In the context of ambitious career planning, it is advisable to complete the MBA relatively quickly after the first degree. A degree and two years of professional experience for an MBA or five years for an Executive MBA are usually part of the “hard” requirements for admission to such a program. The practical experience is especially relevant for the exchange with fellow students in order to learn not only from the lecturers but also from each other. The different professional backgrounds offer attractive added value for all involved – after all, one of the greatest benefits of the MBA program is the creation of a lifelong network.

Leadership responsibility and personal development

For an Executive MBA, initial management responsibility is also a prerequisite. This is important in order to be able to directly implement the leadership impulses conveyed in this part-time course of study. In principle, MBA programs are always a good choice if you want to acquire the right management skills for the next step in your career, i.e. to deepen or build up your knowledge. A reorientation of the career is also conceivable, for example via a topic-specific MBA in the area of finance or production. As with any degree program, the focus is on personal development, regardless of which stage of your career you are currently on.

Full-time or part-time?

Leaving your job and focusing completely on your studies, or studying nesxt to the job? The further you have advanced in your career, the more likely it is that you will study part-time, even if this is usually over a longer period of time. For example, the students of our full-time MBA are younger than the participants of our Executive MBA, with an average age of 29. Here, the average age is 36.

Time effort & financing - analyze your personal situation

In addition to your profession and your own career goals, it is important to analyze your personal situation: Who else is affected by my decision? How much time can I invest alongside my job and partnership or family? Is my motivation great enough to dedicate myself once again to a course of study – especially in the part-time variant? The question of how to finance the studies is also an important factor. Various scholarships can offer financial relief here. A return on investment of an MBA study can be quickly achieved with a career advancement and a salary increase after graduation.

Offers of RWTH Business School

At RWTH Business School, there is a suitable MBA program for different career stages. Young professionals can choose the Full-Time MBA Digitalization & Industrial Change, while experienced professionals and managers can meet like-minded people in the Executive MBA Technology Management. In addition to excellent teaching, our programs are distinguished by their focus on technology and innovation management. Based at one of Europe’s largest technical universities, RWTH Aachen University, you will benefit from targeted knowledge development at the interface of management and technology in both MBAs.

It's never too late for education

Let´s summarize: It’s never too late to invest in your continuing education. Based on our statistics, there may be a prototypical time for a full-time MBA (30 years and six years of work experience) or an executive MBA (36 years and ten years of work experience), but not the one right time. The most important thing is to analyze your own situation well: What experience do I bring to the table, where do I want to go and why? How much time and money can I invest, what is my return on investment? Once you have answered these questions, there is nothing standing in the way of an MBA.

The right time to apply

Once you have decided on a course of study, it is important to observe the respective application deadlines. These may vary depending on the university. At RWTH Business School, you can still apply for our MBA programs via our online portal until August 31. The program then starts for the winter semester on October 1.

More Information

Are you interested in one of our study programs? Take a look at our event overview. At regular intervals, we offer free and info sessions in which we present the study programs and give you the opportunity to ask your questions live.