Is It Worth Getting An MBA From A Lower Tier Business School?

MBA From A Lower Tier Business School

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration and it is a very popular graduate degree that mostly focuses on business administration and investment management. It is an internationally recognized degree that is specially designed for people who want to build their careers in business and management. If you have completed your graduation or working as a full-time professional then enrolling for an MBA degree will be a big decision. Moreover, MBA from a top business school will cost you around $100,000 which might be a substantial expense for recent graduates or early-career professionals. So, the question becomes, is earning an MBA from a lower-tier business school worth it?

It is true that getting an MBA from a top-tier business school is better than a lower-tier business school. However, if you have a limited budget then it is better to get the MBA from a lower tire school than not getting the MBA degree. Regardless of the rank of the business school, getting an MBA degree will increase your knowledge and skills; you will get better job offers, higher salaries, and other benefits. The only downside of getting an MBA from a lower-tier business school is, most of the time employers choose an average graduate from a top-tier MBA program over even the top-ranking students from a lower-tier business school.

What Is An MBA?

What Is An MBA

An MBA is a Master of Business Administration degree in Business. An MBA degree has the potential to elevate your career to a higher level. It is a professional degree and having this degree shows companies that you have taken a scientific approach to management. This degree will teach you how to be successful, effective, and efficient in business. This is what Elissa Sangster, CEO of the Forté Foundation said about attending an MBA program – 

“There’s nothing about getting an MBA that doesn’t require initiative from that point all the way through your career, when you think about business school, there are so many great choices that are going to require you to pack up your apartment or your home and move across the country”

What Is The Purpose Of An MBA?

Getting an MBA degree will benefit you in many ways. The main purpose of an MBA degree is to prepare you for a role in management by providing you knowledge on various topics about business. Usually, an MBA program covers these topics – 

1. Accounting

2. Business Communication

3. Business Ethics

4. Business Strategy

5. Data Analytics

6. Economics

7. Finance

8. Leadership

9. Marketing

10. Operations

11. Business Law

The above courses are important for people who want to build their career in the management field. Having an MBA degree will help you get top-level jobs with higher salaries. Moreover, you will be reasonable for addressing various business-related issues. Moreover, you will be responsible for the overall report, forming marketing strategies, etc. So, an MBA degree will prepare you for a variety of roles that includes – 

1. Finance Manager

2. Financial Advisor

3. HR Manager

4. Investment Banker

5. IT Manager

6. Management Analyst

7. Management Consultant

8. Marketing Manager

9. Operations Manager

Does It Matter Where You Get Your MBA?

Does It Matter Where You Get Your MBA

Over the years, advanced education has become more of a necessity, rather than a luxury. Moreover, the modern job market has a high demand for postgraduate students but there are shortages of post-graduate candidates in the job market. Therefore, it’s not a big factor whether you get your MBA degree from a top-tier school or lower-tier school. However, there are some disadvantages to getting an MBA degree from a lower-tier school. Lower-tier business schools might not have the brand recognition, popularity, or rankings that tier one or b-class schools may have. So, it might have a potential negative impact on your future career opportunities.

On the other hand, top-tier schools have strong alumni networks and employment pipelines, so getting an MBA from top-tier business schools will give you more access to coveted employers who often recruit directly from what is commonly known as feeder schools, or “core schools.” This is what Dee Clarke (independent talent acquisition consultant) said about choosing which MBA program to attend – 

“There is great talent everywhere, but the challenge is where the most ROI is for companies that recruit directly from MBA programs. That is not to say that by going to a less prestigious school, you will not be able to be recruited by a top-tier company. It just means you will have less access.”

Types Of MBA Programs

MBA ProgramStudentsDurationFormats
Full-time MBAFull-time Students1 – 2 yearsOne year, two years
Part-time MBAWorking Professionals2+ yearsEvening weekend, blended 
Executive MBAWorking Executive Professionals1 – 2 yearsPart-time blended
Online MBAWorking Professionals2+ years100% online

Top Business Schools For MBA Programs

Top Business Schools For MBA Programs

There are lots of top-tier business schools available for MBA programs. We have categorized the business schools in the following categories – 

1. Top-tier Business Schools for Full-time MBA Programs

2. Top-tier Business Schools for Part-time MBA Programs

3. Top-tier Business Schools for Executive MBA Programs

4. Top-tier Business Schools for Online MBA Programs

Top-tier Business Schools For Full-Time MBA Programs

Business School NameTuition FeesEnrolment
Stanford University$74,706 per year (full-time)844
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)$80,432 per year (full-time)N/A
University of Chicago$73,440 per year (full-time)1229
Northwestern University (Kellogg)$74,871 per year (full-time)1378
Harvard University$73,440 per year (full-time)1538
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) $77,168 per year (full-time)N/A
Columbia University$77,376 per year (full-time)1310
University of California–Berkeley (Haas)$64,246 per year (in-state, full-time)
$68,444 per year (out-of-state, full-time)
Yale University$72,350 per year (full-time)692
Dartmouth College (Tuck)$77,520 per year (full-time)569

Top-tier Business Schools For Part-time MBA Programs

Business School NameTuition FeesEnrolment
University of Chicago (Booth)$7,344 per credit (part-time)1267
University of California–Berkeley (Haas)$3,464 per credit (in-state, part-time)
$3,464 per credit (out-of-state, part-time)
Northwestern University (Kellogg)$7,273 per credit (part-time)1098
New York University (Stern)$2,375 per credit (part-time)1251
University of California–Los Angeles (Anderson)$1,607 per credit (in-state, part-time)
$1,607 per credit (out-of-state, part-time)
University of Michigan–Ann Arbor (Ross)$64,109 per year (in-state, part-time)
$69,015 per year (out-of-state, part-time)
Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)$52,500 per year (part-time)80
University of Texas–Austin (McCombs)$117,000 total program (in-state, part-time)453
University of Southern California (Marshall)$2,050 per credit (part-time)638
Indiana University (Kelley)$23,085 per year (in-state, part-time)
$39,339 per year (out-of-state, part-time)

Top-tier Business Schools For Executive MBA Programs

Business School NameTuition FeesEnrolment
University of Chicago (Booth)$194,000 total program (executive)167
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)N/AN/A
Northwestern University (Kellogg)$108,918 per year (executive)527
Columbia UniversityN/AN/A
University of Michigan–Ann Arbor (Ross)$168,500 total program (in-state, executive)
$173,500 total program (out-of-state, executive)
New York University (Stern)$204,000 total program (executive)244
Duke University (Fuqua)$149,500 total program (executive)179
University of California–Berkeley (Haas)$194,000 total program (in-state, executive)
$194,000 total program (out-of-state, executive)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) N/AN/A
University of California–Los Angeles (Anderson)$83,996 per year (in-state, executive)
$83,996 per year (out-of-state, executive)

Top-tier Business Schools For Online MBA Programs

Business School NameTuition Fees (Per Credit)Enrolment
Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)$2,187122
University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)$2,025717
Indiana University–Bloomington (Kelley)$1,3801152
University of Southern California (Marshall)$2,050219
University of Florida (Warrington)$1,208 502
Arizona State University (Carey)$1,247450
Pennsylvania State University–World Campus$1,236673
University of Texas–Dallas$1,617299
Rice University (Jones)$2,036151
Lehigh University$1,145199

FAQs About Is It Worth Getting An MBA From A Lower Tier Business School

What Is Considered A Top-tier MBA?

A business school will be considered top tier if the world’s most elite companies like Goldman, McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc. recruit from that school. Some of the top-tire business schools for MBA are Stanford University, University of Chicago, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College, etc.

Which MBA Is Most Valuable?

Some of the most valuable and demandable MBA programs are – 

1. General Management

2. International Management

3. Strategy

4. Consulting

5. Finance Leadership

6. Entrepreneurship

7. Marketing

8. Operations Management

9. IT or Technology Management

How Much Does An MBA Increase Your Salary?

One of the main reasons people enroll in an MBA program is to apply for higher-ranked jobs to increase their salaries. According to, a new job with an MBA degree can earn as much as $115,000 compare to a new job with an undergraduate degree at $65,000. Though, your salary range with an MBA degree depends on the below factors – 

1. The rank of your business school

2. The chosen field 

3. Your position

4. Your past experience, etc. 

How Many Years Does It Take To Get An MBA Degree?

If you enroll in a full-time MBA program then it will take two years to complete the course. However, some business schools offer accelerated programs for individuals who want to complete the program quickly and get an MBA degree. On the other hand, a part-time MBA program might take as long as three to four years depending on how much time you take to complete the total program.

Is An MBA A Master’s Degree?

Yes, an MBA is a master’s degree. MBA stands for Master of Business Administration and it is a degree that a student can receive after completing their undergraduate degree.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2022 by Ana S. Sutterfield

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