Graduating from college with an undergratudate degree was a huge accomplishment. Years of hard work led to a major step in your career trajectory, and if you are finding fulfillment in your current job, you recognize the effort had been worth it.

Even so, you might be considering a return to school as necessary for career advancement or change; and if you are not happy with your job stature, you may really need to make this move.

For women who want to advance in a current career, or are looking for a new business focus, going for an MBA can be a masterful move toward an exciting future.

Here are five goals and motivations that an MBA program would support, and therefore reasons it could be exactly what you need to jump-start the next phase of your career.

1. You would like to increase your salary.

The greater your level of education, the higher your career pay, all else being equal. It’s one of the more obvious reasons to pursue a graduate degree, and a very clear path to doing so.

According to the Forté Foundation, a non-profit alliance dedicated to advancing women’s business opportunities, “Women with their MBA see pay gains of 55-65% of their pre-MBA salary within five years of graduation.” Further, if you pursue a specialized MBA, such as accounting or finance, you may command an even greater salary increase.

2. You want to become an entrepreneur.

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One of those specialized areas of focus involves the many facets of running a business. Perhaps you are excited about a disruptive idea you would like to move to market. It is one thing to settle into a position working for a business that allows you some flexibility to learn and grow over time. It is another to start your own company, an undertaking where the line between success and failure is razor-thin.

A program that focuses on entrepreneurship will give you a strong foundation in so many important areas: accounting, budgeting, e-sales, employee management, procurement, regulations, taxes, and a host of other commerce nuances and guidelines.

3. You love a challenge and are comfortable with a busy lifestyle.

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Unfortunately, there is no getting around the reality that you will have to deal with a schedule that could run you ragged. You will be hit early with the realization you need to create a total work/school/life balance plan even as you start investigating schools; this is a great challenge that you likely will relish.

Fortunately, because a wealth of online MBA programs beckon, schooling from home can make your task more manageable; avoid the commute, and skip the stress of continually seeking out on-campus food trucks for dinner. Also, you can research and use any number of organization and time-management plans, tools, and resources. Just make certain to work with a solution that fits your style and circumstances.

4. You want to build your network.

men and women sitting and standing while staring at laptop

Even if you choose an online program over an on-campus offering, you should build relationships with other women in your classes. Also, devote efforts toward interacting with instructors as much as possible so that they get to know you.

Additionally, since any good program will bring in experts and speakers to enhance lectures and lessons, take note of them and find ways to pick their brains. Because a range of national and international members will comprise your new community, the connections you make will be invaluable.

5. You seek to contribute to a larger goal of building the number of women in leadership positions in this world.

woman sitting in front of the laptop

Leading schools have made major efforts to recruit and admit women over the past decades, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council. As a recent GMAC survey notes, 58% of respondents made specific outreach and recruitment efforts for women as part of strategic planning initiatives. Additionally, you can find numerous invaluable women’s organizations that offer mentoring opportunities, connecting events, and guiding strategies.

These reasons listed are just some to encourage you. Wherever you are in your post-graduate business career, you probably don’t want to feel as if you are standing still.

When you are ready to challenge yourself further, you can easily find a number of great reasons to return to school for an MBA.

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