Let's make a few assumptions here:
- You're probably not going to a full-time program. The lost income alone would be tremendous.
- You're thinking about part-time programs, online/distance learning programs, and executive MBA programs.
- You want to get an MBA from an AACSB-accredited business school.
- In general, an executive MBA is the most expensive way to get an MBA. An executive MBA could cost well over $100,000. Here's an example:
- The Wharton executive MBA (San Francisco) is $165,900 while the Wharton executive MBA (Philadelphia) is $156,600.
- An online MBA from an AACSB-accredited business school can be very affordable.
- If you pursue an MBA and you qualify for in-state tuition, then you can get an MBA for under $10,000.
- Don't qualify for in-state tuition? Then you can still find some AACSB-accredited business schools that offer online MBAs for less than $15,000, but the average is closer to $20-25,000 for an online MBA.
- Part-time MBA programs may be just as affordable as online MBA programs.
- You're primarily going to be limited by your geography, but that could work in your favor if you qualify for in-state tuition.
If you're "tight" on finances and you want to get an MBA to help you transition into a non-clinical career, then you may want to pursue a cost-effective alternative. Some may argue that you should get additional school loans to get the best possible education, but there are pros/cons to this type of approach. If you have a family and you can't afford to strain the family finances, then it can be difficult to justify spending over $100,000 when you could be spending $10,000 to get an MBA. I'm not trying to give advice - I'm simply stating the obvious: we're all in different financial situations and so decisions regarding MBA programs must be personalized for each individual.
I've been wrestling with this whole MBA question for several years. I still don't have an answer for myself, but maybe I'll eventually make a decision.