Should I work before going to business school?

I'm trying to figure out my options - any opinions would be great!

Asked by Jim

2 Answers


Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion. You should collect a bunch of other people's personal opinions, then FORM YOUR OWN! Many different people can answer this differently for themselves and still be correct, so don't feel pressured to do whatever one person tells you to do, unless of course it makes sense to you from first principles.

Now with that out of the way, I'd say you should go work. Undoubtedly you'll enter the workforce and learn much more about yourself and the role you play in the world. You'll learn all about what you like and don't like about different roles, productivity styles, industries, managerial styles, business models, geographies, softwares and soooo much more. You can only read about these types of things in school, but in an actual work environment you'll feel the pains and gains associated with each one these things.

Now, I should also note that a lot of the reason why people go to business school is to establish connections and that is a very legitimate reason. I will also say that although it will be more difficult, you can definitely establish your own network outside of a business school if you commit to it with the same level of rigor.

Again, it all comes down to you, so go talk to some people who went through business school and some people who decided to skip it. See how both of their decisions aligns with your personal goals, and make a decision from there! Hope this helps!

Answered by OmarThe University of Texas at Austin

Pamela Sorry about this Omar! Didn't realize I was responding to your message. 🤦🏾‍♀️

Hi Jim! As someone who is currently getting my MBA right after I completed undergrad, I would suggest asking yourself WHY you want to do business school in the first place. If it's because of thinking you'll make much more $$$ after graduating, I would rethink that quite honestly. This is because if you don't have x amount of years of experience, you won't be paid as much even with a business degree. Coming out of school you would most likely be in entry-level roles. That's pretty much what I am finding out after searching for roles. Also like Omar said, you can read about things in school but if you don't really understand how it can apply practically then it might not be of much use. Therefore, I would suggest working at least 2 years before getting into business school because by then you'd have enough experience to be able to know how to apply and actually visualize what you're being taught. Hope this helps!

Answered by PamelaThe University of Texas at Austin