When it comes to graduate degrees that offer opportunities for professional advancement and increased earning potential, the Master of Business Administration has always stood at the forefront of the corporate world. Sometimes even standing as a requirement of business leadership positions, earning an MBA provides business grads with an opportunity to complete specialized management coursework that prepares them for a prosperous, expanding career.

While some currently question the worth of earning an MBA, many established business leaders insist that the credential remains highly worthwhile in many corporate settings. However, business experts are largely united in their assertion that the success of an MBA graduate depends on the individual, not the prestige of the credential. With many startups growing into massive corporations and proving their culture to be anything but business-as-usual, the MBA isn’t the guaranteed ticket to success in the business world that it once was. That said, there’s no doubt that the tools a strong program can add to the professional’s arsenal can help them go from strong candidate to definite leader.

A program with a consistently impressive ROI among its graduates from a financial perspective is certainly an important consideration, but there are other intangible functions of earning an MBA that shouldn’t be disregarded. In fact, some of the other benefits of graduating from an MBA program could potentially contribute to new opportunities and higher earning potential, further outweighing the cost of graduate coursework.

MBA Return on Investment: The Other Metrics

Prepares students for leadership

In the pursuit of executive and other business leadership opportunities, businessmen and women might find themselves stifled by having not earned their MBA. A fundamental part of MBA programs is a focus on management techniques and essential leadership skills, which some organizations see as necessary training. Additionally, more specialized coursework in numerous business disciplines can help students become more comprehensive leaders, able to coordinate effectively across teams that span several different departments. Whether in a startup or a Fortune 500 company, the ability to think in terms of the broader impact of one’s leadership choices can prove invaluable.

Provides opportunities for networking

Often seen as one of the central benefits of earning an MBA, the chance to meet like-minded, similarly driven business professionals – whether in your industry or another – can open completely unexpected doors in anyone’s career. MBA’s offer this opportunity in spades, with students working closely together throughout the program and making connections that can carry well into their corporate life. Whether you’re completing your MBA in person or online, discussion groups make for an excellent foundational space to build your professional network.

Covers essential, relevant business skills

The business world is constantly evolving. Keeping up with that ever-shifting landscape demands ongoing focus and training. The advanced knowledge of project management, IT, economics, accounting, and operations (among other areas) associated with an MBA graduate can still turn the heads of employers. High-quality MBA programs help their students develop these competencies and more, which can prove essential in addressing any challenges that arise on the job, and give you a competitive edge in the job market.

To discover a program that offers these returns and more, explore Lawrence Technological University’s practical, comprehensive online MBA.