In today's world of fast-paced business, side hustles, and slash careers, there's quite a bit of emphasis placed on real-world experiences and embracing new opportunities. That's largely a result of the digitally interconnected world we now inhabit, where borders are nonexistent and barriers fall like dominoes. At the same time, there's still something to be said for embracing the well-trodden path to success that so many people have used for generations to build solid and stable business careers throughout the world.
It's a path that involves careful academic advancement, corporate ladder-climbing, and personal development. The reason that option still exists is simple: it just works. It's still possible to earn a degree and use it to fuel a thriving career – if you choose the right one, that is.
Today, most people look to things like engineering and sciences when it comes time to choose a degree program to pave the way to career and financial success. I'm here to tell you, though, that there's another, much more valuable degree that still offers the best career prospects of the bunch.
Still haven't guessed what I'm talking about? It's an MBA degree. It's a single degree that unlocks a multitude of high-ceiling career options – and the surest way that you can become the person that all of the engineers and scientists report to, with a salary to match.
Not convinced? I can fix that for you. Here are four reasons you should consider an MBA as your ticket to wealth and success.
It's the One Degree That's Relevant in Every Industry
Despite the fact that many pundits and so-called industry experts now tend to claim that earning an MBA isn't worth the time and expense, it is still the one single degree that can help you land a job in the upper echelons of the industry of your choice. With it, you can be the master of your own destiny, working for the biggest names in accounting, global operations management, marketing, or almost any other field you can think of. Even the tech industry, where the prevailing wisdom holds that anyone with a good idea, great execution and good timing can be the world's next billionaire is still clamouring for the services of MBA degree holders for a very important reason. After all, just because you can dream up the next big thing in tech doesn't mean you can run a business long enough to fill your coffers with cash.
The Check Will Be In the Mail
Another great reason to consider earning an MBA is that it will help you to secure a higher salary compared to your peers. How high, you ask? The data indicates that on average, people who go through the effort required to earn an MBA will be rewarded with a salary that's double what they were earning beforehand. Here in Australia, MBA holders can expect an average salary of $100,000 USD right out of school, which is astounding, given that the degree itself costs less than half of that figure (in most cases). That means you can spend your first year after earning an MBA getting by on your previous salary, and spend the rest on paying off your degree. After that, it's all yours for the duration of your career.
You'll Get To Know Those In the Know
One of the biggest and most underappreciated benefits of earning an MBA has nothing whatsoever to do with the skills and knowledge you'll attain through your studies. Instead, it's the fact that you'll gain access to an unrivalled business network of other MBA holders, many of whom hold positions of power throughout the business world. Although I hesitate to trot out the old line that it isn't what you know, but who you know, for MBA holders it's an everyday fact of life. There are a variety of MBA alumni and professional organizations that will provide you with the kind of contacts your peers could only dream about – and it's one of the major reasons why you'll rarely find an MBA holder who's out of work for more than a hot minute.
You'll Have International Appeal
Here in Australia, people from overseas are flocking to MBA programs here for one very important reason. To sum it up, it's location, location, location. Australian business schools have deep and useful connections to the up-and-coming Asian economies. Earning an MBA here will open international doors that would otherwise remain closed to you. With your degree in hand, you can get in on the ground floor of booming industries overseas that are more than happy to pay handsomely for your skills. It allows you to go where the action is, to stake your claim and make your fortune in places where you'll have ample room to grow and carry yourself to the top of your chosen industry.
Become a Business All-Star
The bottom line here is that earning an MBA is still the surest way to career and financial success. Sure, you can keep plugging away at your side-hustle if you want to, but odds are you'll end up experience-rich and cash poor. Even if you harbour dreams of turning that side hustle into a thriving business of your own, don't sleep on an MBA just yet.
Remember that MBA business network I mentioned? Well, plenty of their members hail from venture capital firms and startup incubators, and you'll have a much easier time securing funding for your would-be venture if you had access to them. Of course, you can still make it on your own too – but why take chances? Consider earning an MBA today, and you'll secure your tomorrow.
Graduating students walk to their seats during USC’s Commencement Ceremony at University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California May 15, 2015.
(Credit: MARIO ANZUONI/REUTERS)