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You want to be a high-powered executive, but there are plenty of hoops to jump through before you’ll be welcomed in the top levels of business leadership. To start, it helps to have a degree in business — but for many, business school is a daunting prospect. Likely, you’ve heard many anxiety-inducing rumors about the rigors of business school, which might have convinced you that earning a bachelor’s in business administration is all but impossible.
Fortunately, most rumors circulating about business school are merely myths. Here are the worst and most popular myths you might have heard, and the truths you should remember instead.
Myth: Application Acceptance is Rare
Many would-be business school applicants never bother to apply because they believe that few students are accepted into business programs every year. According to this myth, business schools receive such an overwhelming number of applications that those interested in enrolling must jump through dozens of hoops and hack the system to even be considered. You might have heard that it’s only worth applying if you can send your application in early or if you know someone at the school who can vouch for you.
Truth: Some prestigious business schools do accept only a meager percentage of their applications, but most business schools have the time to consider every applicant. Applications typically occur in three rounds: fall, winter and spring. It’s much more important that you submit a complete and accurate application than that you rush to get your application in early.
Myth: Employment Gaps Cause Rejections
Business school applications often involve a resume or CV, on which applicants are expected to list their education and employment. This request sends some applicants spiraling, believing mistakenly that any imperfections in their job history will be just cause for rejection. You might have taken a gap year between high school and college to explore the world, or you might have lost your job during the pandemic, and now you doubt your ability to enter business school successfully.
Truth: Business schools like to admit candidates with some sort of business experience, which will give students a foundation of experience on which to build greater knowledge and skill. However, business schools also recognize that gaps occur in employment history for all sorts of reasons. As long as you can explain the gap reasonably during your interviews or in your application essays, you shouldn’t sweat this small issue.
Myth: Your Earning Potential Will Not Increase
Business school is not cheap. Whether you’re enrolling in an undergraduate program or seeking your MBA, you should expect to pay thousands of dollars in tuition, books, classroom fees, and more. Though you can reduce some of these expenses by enrolling in online courses, you might very well complete your program and earn your degree with some student debt. Plenty of students fear that their degree will never pay for itself and that the time and effort they expended in their business school program earned them only a punishing amount of student loans.
Truth: Education always increases your earning potential. Studies have found that each additional level of education attained dramatically improves a person’s employment prospects, increasing their salary and reducing their likelihood of falling into poverty. The biggest jump in lifestyle is between high school dropouts and those with diplomas, followed closely by high school and college grads. In addition to increasing your income, your business school degree will make you more valuable to your employers, meaning you’re less likely to lose your job during economic downturns.
Myth: Business School Only Teaches Business Skills
You’re applying to business school because you want to gain knowledge and skills in specific business fields, like accounting or marketing. However, you don’t want to be stuck on a particular career ladder. Almost one-third of college graduates change their career fields at least once, and some pivot onto new career paths several times during their working lives. Should you bother devoting so much time to business school if you’re not certain that you’ll need such specialized knowledge and skills?
Truth: Business school provides so much more than a business education. In your courses, you’ll gain all kinds of valuable soft skills, like written and verbal communication skills, critical thinking skills, leadership and teamwork skills, and more. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to build connections with peers and professors, which can help you build a lucrative professional network. Business school is an excellent starting point for any career, even one not remotely related to business.
To become an executive tomorrow, you need to commit to learning the ins and outs of business today. Applying to business school might seem daunting, but once you learn the truth of all the advantages of being a business school grad, you’ll have less hesitation in enrolling in an online business school program as soon as possible.