Q: I am 33 and about to complete a B.S. degree in management information systems. I had hoped to pursue a J.D./M.B.A. degree, but after reading the March 2003 issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE, I’m not all that sure. I would like to find a better job, but I’ve grown comfortable. How should I go about making these life-changing career moves?
–J. Kaintuck, Via the Internet
A: Our article, “What’s Your M.B.A. Worth?” was not meant to deter your graduate school pursuits. It was meant to encourage prospective candidates to carefully assess the type of advanced degree required for career advancement. If you do plan to attend graduate school, make sure you thoroughly investigate school choices. Visit schools and talk to deans, alumni, and students. Realize that as the job market is becoming more competitive, so too are M.B.A. programs. The more progressive ones allow students to practice theory in corporate settings through internships and business-related projects. Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, offers an integrated curriculum that actually follows a business cycle. The program also provides mentoring.
The only thing you can hope to feel secure about are your choices. Security can be fleeting, particularly in employment. So, even if you do decide to keep your current job, no matter how comfortable you are, there’s no guarantee they’ll keep you. To gain a better understanding of what’s out there, contact a business executive in your industry and ask if you can conduct an informational interview. Because you’re not asking for a job, it’s an easy way to get information from someone who’s actually in the trenches.
Mail your career development questions to: Since You Asked, BLACK ENTERPRISE, 130 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.