CLEVELAND — Six months into the pandemic, some people are adjusting to the economic times by jumping back into education honing their skills, or picking up new ones. But is it worth it? Business experts weigh in and we break down the local costs and time it will take.
“I have been out of the workforce and out of education for 20 years,” said Michelle Shene, 45, from Solon. She is used to running her five kids to various activities, but now she’s going to run on a new path. She’s getting her master's degree in diversity inclusion in the middle of a pandemic.
“It just hit me…like maybe now is the time with kind of the world slowing down a little bit,” said Shene.
“A lot of us are forced to reassess our lives and careers because of recessions and slow-downs,” said Dr. Elad Granot, who is the Business School Dean at Ashland University. He told us various economic crises of the past like the housing collapse of 2008-2009 and the dot-com bust in the early 2000s made higher education very popular during those times, “And what we saw was a huge surge in applications for business schools both undergrad but primarily MBA,” said Granot.
But this crisis has been called different and not the norm. The Wall Street Journal even reporting that people with Masters of Business Administration aren’t seeing the jobs they used to.
Dr. Granot said once we’re past the pandemic, businesses will need people ready for a new landscape.
“What you learn in an MBA program, is to prepare for crises, to constantly understand that change is occurring, in fact, to be a driver of change,” he said.
So, what’s it going to cost you? US News and World Report recently ranked part-time MBA programs for this school year. In Ohio, two schools fall in the top 20; Ohio State and Case Western Reserve University. Case has a price tag of nearly $70,000.
However, several others in our area are much less expensive and have accredited programs. Cleveland State University costs nearly $37,000. Ashland University’s program has a nearly $34,000 price tag. Kent State offers a program for $30,000. And the University of Akron will charge in-state MBA students $20,000.
It all depends on what you can afford and fit into your schedule. Programs are anywhere from 12 months to two years or more. “This is the mid-west. This isn't Silicon Valley,” said Dr. Granot. “We need to work. We need to feed our families. We have things to do.”
Shene has things to do including her certificate course then in January she starts her 15-month master's program. “Knowledge is never a bad thing,” said Shene. “Going back to school and gaining more knowledge is never a bad thing.”