The Real Cost of an MBA and Postgraduate Education


Are you considering enrolling in an MBA or equivalent post graduate courses? The benefits that an MBA brings with itself in terms of career advancement and seamless transition to senior positions are aplenty. However, qualifying for specialized higher education programs requires rigorous preparation. In due process, you are likely to ignore the investment you need to make versus the returns you would get.

Of course, it’s not just the course that has students spending their hard-earned money, there are other expenses that accompany it. Thus, it’s critical to examine the ‘actual cost’ that these courses demand along with other factors like the overall return on investment, tuition fees, preparation cost, choice of a future career, badge value, and alumni network. After all, the influence of the decision to pursue an MBA on your personal finance can be a long-lasting one. To help, we have compiled a list so you can identify the value, cost, and logistics behind financing your MBA program.

A Breakdown of the ‘Real Cost’: Here’s What It Encompasses

1. Pre-Program Cost: Preparation and Application Expense

Keeping in mind that most candidates preparing for the entrance exam show a preference for coaching classes, training fees make up a huge part of the pre-preparation cost. Another major expense that adds to the total pre-program expense is the entrance exam application cost. Moreover, if you want to apply for different institutes at the same time, you will have to bear the application cost of each of them individually.

2. Program Cost: Tuition Fee and Accommodation

This is the most significant cost that drives up the total expense of an MBA or any other post graduate course. If you are targeting top-ranking business institutes in India for a residential post graduate program, the tuition fees on average would be Rs. 12 to 15 lakhs. This cost can go up if you choose to specialize in a highly sought-after subject from a specific institute. Other than this, what makes an MBA or equivalent program an expensive affair is the additional cost of living coupled with funds needed for business trips, career fairs, coaching, workshops, and real-world consulting projects.

3. Opportunity Cost

One of the main reasons for an MBA to gain high demand in the last five years is its efficacy in fast-tracking career growth or kick-starting professional life, making it rewarding both in terms of position and pay. Of late, a lot of working professionals consider taking a break from work and pursuing such value-add courses to accelerate their careers. In fact, many organizations are funding their employees for a full-time MBA with a realization that it’s the best investment plan with high returns. However, in due course, many aspirants disregard the consequential opportunity cost; like the foregone salary, an appraisal, or a promotion. So, other than having your skill set upgraded, if the cumulative appreciation in your position and pay is not going to be more than what you are losing in respect of the opportunity cost; then it might not prove to be the best investment option.

Ways to Fund Your Post graduate Education

No matter which program you choose, there are various measures you can take to manage expenses around your program. Firstly, thoroughly research the criteria and availability of scholarships that could potentially cover the expense of your education. Alternatively, if you are hesitant to make a huge investment in one go, opt for an education loan. The interest rate typically tends to be in the range of 10.5 to 12 percent, which might slightly vary depending on market conditions.

If time sensitivity is another factor along with finances, you can consider pursuing a one-year post graduate program instead of investing two years or going for an institute that facilitates a short-term online course covering a similar syllabus. Likewise, you can also enroll in an executive MBA program, as this will enable you to study and work simultaneously. This will reduce your overall education expense and less time will be spent out of the workplace.

The Takeaway

When the ‘real cost’ of doing a post graduate course is taken into consideration, know that it would have a significant impact on your personal finances, both in the short-term, as well as in the long run. So, before joining the bandwagon, it’s important to assess the option and ascertain that the money, time, and effort invested in pursuing the course compensates fairly in return.

By being mindful, planning ahead of time, and investing in the right financial instruments, you can safeguard your future and brace up for quality higher education. Dezerv can help you identify the best money investment plans that would fetch high returns.