As the calendar flips into the New Year, many people begin to contemplate making changes.

New Year’s resolutions still remain quite popular because any people prefer a clear starting line to begin altering their lives and listing goals to achieve.

In the world of academics, New Year’s resolution goals may include getting a master’s degree. And for those in business, that often means earning a Master in Business Administration (MBA).

The big question: Is earning an MBA really worth it?

Or, in this case, is earning an MBA worthy of making your New Year’s resolutions list?

Assessing Your Goals for Your New Year’s Resolution

Each person considering earning an MBA degree faces a different set of circumstances. So, in deciding if earning an MBA could be a smart move for you, you should first  carefully assess the point you have reached in your career.

Also, just as importantly (maybe even more importantly), what do you want out of your career?

The typical MBA earner is someone who is looking for a job in a leadership position within an organization or an entrepreneur seeking the skills needed to manage and lead a business.  Do you fit one of these categories?

Assessing the Costs

The other two main factors involve the costs of earning an MBA. Not just financial costs, but also the cost of time.

Earning an MBA typically takes about two years, although accelerated courses from schools such as Concordia University – Portland offer you the chance to finish faster. However, whether you take classes in a traditional setting or online, you must account for the time spent with your studies and how it will impact your current job as well as family and friends or other responsibilities.

The financial cost depends greatly on your financial situation. There are many college tuition grants available, if you qualify, as well as fixed-interest student loans from government agencies.

You also want to check with your workplace and see if they have a program in place to help pay some or even all the costs for employees who wish to further their education.

The Advantages of an MBA

If you decide to move forward and earn a master’s degree, it can open up a wealth of opportunity for you in your business career. Consider the following:

Less unemployment

Those with a master’s degree face less risk of losing a job. According to numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those with a master’s degree had an unemployment rate of 2.4 percent in 2014.

Transferable skills

Rather than job-specific training you get at work, earning an MBA offers you the chance to learn a set of skills that are transferable from job to job. In other words, the skills you learn are yours to take with you wherever you go.

Better salary

Those same numbers from the BLS indicate that master’s degree holders made $1,341 a week, while those with a bachelor’s degree made $1,137.

Specialization.

Most MBA programs offer the option to specialize in certain areas. For example, the MBA program from Concordia University – Portland allows you to specialize in general business, healthcare administration, project management, finance or leadership.

These represent just some of the advantages of earning an MBA. Consider the positives, be honest with yourself about your position and then make a decision that best fits your future plans. And remember – resolutions only work if you stick with them.