How to earn back what you spent on your Online MBA course and more
Today I am writing about something which might sound strange to many of my regular readers, being an academic I normally write about academic things, but this time it’s about money because I see many people taking the plunge without considering this aspect of education. Education itself is a money making industry. This process is similar to a business plan with a successful exit strategy !
This article should be useful to you if you are either
1. thinking of studying for a qualification (undergraduate, BA, BSC etc or postgraduate MS, MSc, Ph.D etc )
2. or you have completed a course and now looking for a job, not to worry it’s never too late
Why am I qualified to write a guide on earning back money you have spent on a study program ?
Simply because I’ve been there and done that !
Well I have been in the university environment for too long !, initially as a student and then as a lecturer. I’ve planned, designed and delivered a number of postgraduate courses at various UK universities during the past 10 years and still continue to do so. You could say that I have been a professional student for quite a long time and still continue to do so with another Ph.D, in the pipe lines.
How would I go about looking for an online MBA and selecting the best one
This is a very important question and there are many ways to start, for example if you are interested in some thing specific like computer network security, then you just start looking for courses which are recommended by past students. Please have a look at the detailed articles on this site which will help you to select the best course for you. How Do I Find The Top Online MBA Programs?
So how can you earn the money back which you spent on an online MBA (or any other course)
Why am I talking about money even before you select a course ? because money is very important, for example I managed to do my MSc at a good university not because I was academically gifted but because my father retired and was given a lump sum of money by his work place. This allowed him to finance my studies. Mind you up to that point I had spent quite a bit of my parents money on my studies. However the best part is that I not only broke even but made all the money back, now I am in a position to look after my parents, family and perhaps repay them for the sacrifices they have made. This I do purely as a pleasure and they still keep bugging me to NOT to spend on them.
It is very important to make sure that you can earn the money you spent on the MBA or any course back. after all education is the best investment in your life, and it is exactly that, an investment.
There are many ways to break even and earn at least the course fee, but in reality you have to spend a lot more than just the course fee. Technically it’s known as the opportunity cost, and for a course it can be calculated as
Opportunity Cost = Total Course Fee + Living expenses + the income you are missing out because of your studies
Total course fees should include the fees for taught modules as well as any extra fees for dissertations, laboratory usage, writeup fees etc
Living expenses would include your student accommodation, meals, going out and eating out expenses, these tend to be fairly expensive in my experience and sometimes can be a lot more than the course fee. However if you opt for online study, this would be significantly cheaper.
The income you are missing out on because of your studies is that because if not for studies you will be employed either part time or full time , this is true even if you are studying part time or online. Even if you manage to study while working still time must be committed to your course, and this time could have been spent on extra income generation, so no matter what there is an opportunity cost.
so how do you earn your money back ? if you think it’s too early to think about earning the money back even before you enroll on a course, the answer is a big NO, it’s never too early, remember if you fail to plan you plan to fail !. In the present economic environment and most probably even in the future it will be very important to have a plan of recovering your money back, at least to break even. There are many sources on the Internet with information to help you earn money, my advice here is based purely on my experience, most of the things I have done and the others I have observed within universities and students.
1. Join the work force
One of the most important things to check is that your university department and especially the course you are planning to study has a high employability rate, this is simply the percentage of students who complete that specific course who are gainfully employed, upon graduation. Working for minimum wage flipping burgers at a multinational burger company (unless you happen to be the owner of the company) does not constitute to gainful employment. If your course has a high employability rate then you are already ahead of the game and life becomes easier when it comes to earning money back. I never understood the mentality of some of the students who having spent 1000s of ££££ or $$$$ and still select to flip burgers. It simply does not make sense, and would take absolutely ages and extreme hard work to earn very little.
2. Setup your own business
I have come across many entrepreneurial students who went on to setup successful businesses. These day most people tend to setup online businesses due to the low startup cost and low risk. Please read the next section on this
3. Online income generation
This is becoming very popular these days. There are many ways to earn money online, some are really very simple like completing surveys, but other like setting up a web site or a blog takes a bit of effort and know how, especially when it comes to marketing your site. Any online income generation must be considered as a long term project and not a quick money making scheme. For a beginner Adsense is a great starting point simply because it is a gentle and a profitable introduction to online income generation.
4. Networking with students and staff
Networking opportunities within the classroom environment is one of the most important aspects of studying. This was simply very difficult to achieve within an online course, but with current technology there have been great improvements made to facilitate networking with audio, video conferencing and chat facilities. On many occasions I’ve noticed students who are sometimes multi million pound business owners offering jobs to their class mates, due to this informal communications. Others strike up business partnerships and go on to be very successful and wealthy.
Another important aspect is how you interact with your lecturers and other academic staff, on many occasions I’ve seen students getting on well with staff and continuing to work in the academia as research assistants and lecturers. Part time lecturing is also a very good income generation technique for anyone studying, this had a very positive impact on my own studies because I could lecture in the same subject that I was studying I didn’t have to do manual hard work as most of the other students.
There are many ways to earn money even while studying, provided you are able to strike a balance between studies and work. One thing you must not do is spend all your time working for minimum wage when you should be concentrating on your studies.
It is very important to spend a lot of time planning carefully about how you are going to earn your money back once you graduate.
Even if you are not looking to study then please bookmark this page for future reference, it could help you to you a better plan and be well prepared when you are going ready to enroll on a course.
Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions or if you would like to add to the conversation.
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