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Which Green MBA Program is Right for Me?

The economy is looking for new practices to sustain long-term growth. Environmentalists are looking for new practices to preserve our environment. Everyone is looking for business accountability to society.  This is where the green MBA comes in.  If you are reading this article, you have probably already begun to do some research on the subject.  Green or Sustainable MBA's instruct business professionals in how to manage succesful businesses in terms of profit, the planet, and people.  Here are some things to keep in mind when picking a program:

What are my career goals? Does this match the focus of the green MBA program?

It is essential to do some self-examination prior to choosing a sustainable MBA program.  Do you want to do public, private, or non-profit work?  What area of green economics/ sustainability interest you most?  Do you vision yourself behind a desk or in the trenches?

Green technology is growing rapidly, and as it does, the domains of work are becoming more defined. For example, you may be interested in energy. You may find one program focuses on energy efficiency and another focuses renewable energy technology.  Or you may be interested in green development - but are you interested in urban planning or agricultural development?  As you narrow down your choices, compare course lists side-by-side to get a clear understanding of the details.

Also consider where you are in your career.  Some MBA programs are full-time programs geared toward individuals starting a new career path.  Others are part-time, accelerated, or online programs designed with mid-career professionals in mind.  Determine what the target audience is of the program and if it makes sense for you.

How do I learn best?

Each of us has an individual learning style that works best for us.  I need to see it, feel it, and touch it in order to get it.  Other people prefer lecture and discussion. Are you someone who can sit at a computer and keep disciplined to a schedule? An online program might be for you.  Are you a social extrovert who needs structure? A face-to-face program might be best.  Each MBA program differs in the amount of lecture time, group project time, and hands-on in the "real world" time.   Think back on your educational and work experience to determine what is best for you.  Most often a program which incorporates equal amounts of time to lecture/book study, group projects, and hands-on experience will best prepare you for your career.

What is the cost?

Graduate school is expensive. But that doesn't mean it's not the right choice for you. It is important to weigh the costs and benefits of entering a program prior to making your final decision.  Your value will greatly increase a s a result of having a green MBA, which is highly specialized to today's economic needs. You should examine how much you can pay in cash versus how much you would need in loans.  Will you be working/bringing in income during your studies? Do you qualify for financial aid or grants? 

Does the program fit my lifestyle?

I am a full-time mom and a part-time worker.  A Monday-Friday in-face program just will not work for me at this time.  While online programs are not for me, there are many evening and weekend programs that can fit my needs.  In contrast, you may be fresh out of undergrad or starting a new career.  You want to dive into your studies deeply and daily.  A traditional structure might make more sense for you.

What is the program's rating and reputation?

Determining the reputation and ratings of a green MBA is more difficult than that of a traditional progam. A school that has an excellent reputation for general MBA, may have a Sustainable Concentration that is not very in-depth. In contrast, a university that may be smaller and less known, may provide a  program specific to your goals or more access to professors and community resources.