MBA at 40?


MBAat40

What are the chance of getting admitted to an MBA program when you're older than the average age?

I just turned 40, and have had a stroke of bad luck - I was laid off from my long-term job as a network technician.

I was considering doing an MBA to beef-up my profile, but from looking at some business schools' websites, it seems that I'm a good 15 years older than most students.

Any advice on which MBA programs are generally more accommodating of older students - or should I just not even try?

What are the chance of getting admitted to an MBA program when you're older than the average age?

I just turned 40, and have had a stroke of bad luck - I was laid off from my long-term job as a network technician.

I was considering doing an MBA to beef-up my profile, but from looking at some business schools' websites, it seems that I'm a good 15 years older than most students.

Any advice on which MBA programs are generally more accommodating of older students - or should I just not even try?
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Duncan

I think this depends on a lot of things: on you, on your goals and on the school.

You need to be realistic about what an MBA can and cannot do.

If you want to have a classic MBA role (strategy consulting or finance) then it will be hard for that to work. The big employers look for younger and more easily remolded candidates.

Some schools have younger candidates (especially in the US) and others have older (like in Europe). A few schools will rule you out, even some of the European programmes like INSEAD.

I suggest you look at Cass, Cambridge or Warwick in Europe; KAIST, AGSM or CEIBS in Asia-Pacific; or Penn, Western Ontario or Duke in the Americas.

I think this depends on a lot of things: on you, on your goals and on the school.

You need to be realistic about what an MBA can and cannot do.

If you want to have a classic MBA role (strategy consulting or finance) then it will be hard for that to work. The big employers look for younger and more easily remolded candidates.

Some schools have younger candidates (especially in the US) and others have older (like in Europe). A few schools will rule you out, even some of the European programmes like INSEAD.

I suggest you look at Cass, Cambridge or Warwick in Europe; KAIST, AGSM or CEIBS in Asia-Pacific; or Penn, Western Ontario or Duke in the Americas.
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JennyH

Not sure if that helps, but a friend of mine who decided to do an MBA when he had already worked for 20 years found an online degree programme

He said he preferred an online degree programme over sitting at a university with students who were a lot younger.

Not sure if that helps, but a friend of mine who decided to do an MBA when he had already worked for 20 years found an online degree programme

He said he preferred an online degree programme over sitting at a university with students who were a lot younger.
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MBAat40

Thank you both for the advice.

Yes, I understand the challenges of doing an MBA and then getting a job after graduation. I have no ambition of going into finance or investment banking like many of the younger students do.

Rather, I'd like to build on my experience as a network technician, and then either become something like a team or project manager in a firm, or start my own firm doing small-scale work along the same lines.

Penn and Duke are really interesting - thanks for suggesting these!

He said he preferred an online degree programme over sitting at a university with students who were a lot younger.

Yes, I've been reading about online MBAs. But if I understand correctly they're more for people who are employed and want to work around busy work schedules. Fortunately or not I won't have this problem.

Thank you both for the advice.

Yes, I understand the challenges of doing an MBA and then getting a job after graduation. I have no ambition of going into finance or investment banking like many of the younger students do.

Rather, I'd like to build on my experience as a network technician, and then either become something like a team or project manager in a firm, or start my own firm doing small-scale work along the same lines.

Penn and Duke are really interesting - thanks for suggesting these!

<blockquote>He said he preferred an online degree programme over sitting at a university with students who were a lot younger.</blockquote>
Yes, I've been reading about online MBAs. But if I understand correctly they're more for people who are employed and want to work around busy work schedules. Fortunately or not I won't have this problem.
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mba hipste...

Maybe you should consider schools where the curriculum and career prospects look interesting to you, and then email the admissions departments to see if they would consider somebody of your age.

Every year, even schools like MIT Sloan and Harvard admit people who are over 40. Not many, mind you, but a few - but in some ways this represents the demand for programs like this - the audiences tend to be people with 5 or so years of work experience - so late 20's.

Your challenge, of course, will be convincing the adcomms that you will add something substantial to these younger cohorts, and that you have concrete goals that can be met with the school's MBA (and I'll guarantee you that saying "I got laid off and I need an MBA to get back into the workforce" will probably not work.)

Maybe you should consider schools where the curriculum and career prospects look interesting to you, and then email the admissions departments to see if they would consider somebody of your age.

Every year, even schools like MIT Sloan and Harvard admit people who are over 40. Not many, mind you, but a few - but in some ways this represents the demand for programs like this - the audiences tend to be people with 5 or so years of work experience - so late 20's.

Your challenge, of course, will be convincing the adcomms that you will add something substantial to these younger cohorts, and that you have concrete goals that can be met with the school's MBA (and I'll guarantee you that saying "I got laid off and I need an MBA to get back into the workforce" will probably not work.)
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As per my experience age has nothing to do with studies even while doing MBA. Just make sure that it does'nt become?s too late before you make up a mind about it. Being an MBA myself I have seen lot of people who were above the age of 40 & persuading MBA. So just be confident about it and rest all matters is your hard work

As per my experience age has nothing to do with studies even while doing MBA. Just make sure that it does'nt become?s too late before you make up a mind about it. Being an MBA myself I have seen lot of people who were above the age of 40 & persuading MBA. So just be confident about it and rest all matters is your hard work
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mba hipste...

I generally agree, but MBA applicants should note that there are some careers that are hard to break into if they're over 40. For instance, I've never heard of anybody starting an i-bank job that late. Not to say it doesn't happen, it's just rare.

I generally agree, but MBA applicants should note that there are some careers that are hard to break into if they're over 40. For instance, I've never heard of anybody starting an i-bank job that late. Not to say it doesn't happen, it's just rare.
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Old Larry

What about somebody who doesn't want to work in any kind of i-banking or finance jobs at all?

I am a 40-something stalled in a pointless customer service job. I would like to do something that really makes a difference, working in an NGO for instance.

I was looking at Yale, because it seems ideal for this kind of career change - but I'm not sure how they would look at somebody with my above-average age.

What about somebody who doesn't want to work in any kind of i-banking or finance jobs at all?

I am a 40-something stalled in a pointless customer service job. I would like to do something that really makes a difference, working in an NGO for instance.

I was looking at Yale, because it seems ideal for this kind of career change - but I'm not sure how they would look at somebody with my above-average age.
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mba hipste...

I would think that Yale would be a good program for an older candidate - the upper end of the middle 80% of their work experience distribution is 8 years - meaning that a health chunk of the cohorts tend to be in their 30s.

However, you would have to convince the school that you really need an MBA at your age, and they'll probably want you to lay out clear goals to as what you would do with the degree.

Keep in mind that these business schools get relatively few applicants in your age range - and they don't exactly recruit them in droves. It tends to be a degree for those in their mid- to late-20s.

I would think that Yale would be a good program for an older candidate - the upper end of the middle 80% of their work experience distribution is 8 years - meaning that a health chunk of the cohorts tend to be in their 30s.

However, you would have to convince the school that you really need an MBA at your age, and they'll probably want you to lay out clear goals to as what you would do with the degree.

Keep in mind that these business schools get relatively few applicants in your age range - and they don't exactly recruit them in droves. It tends to be a degree for those in their mid- to late-20s.
quote
Old Larry

Thank you for your input.

Do you have other suggestions for somebody with my profile? I'm really only looking at MBA programs in the US, but Europe is a possibility. Are there other business schools that have a focus on non-profits?

Thank you for your input.

Do you have other suggestions for somebody with my profile? I'm really only looking at MBA programs in the US, but Europe is a possibility. Are there other business schools that have a focus on non-profits?
quote
Duncan

Notre Dame comes to mind, since it has an MVA aimed at voluntary organisations. I'd also look at the Foster, Kellogg, BostonU and Fisher MBAs, which all have non-profit concentrations and slightly older average ages.

Notre Dame comes to mind, since it has an MVA aimed at voluntary organisations. I'd also look at the Foster, Kellogg, BostonU and Fisher MBAs, which all have non-profit concentrations and slightly older average ages.
quote

I think Penn and Yale are decent options, but I would also checkout Babson College in Boston. They are specialized in entrepreneurial education, which may aid or interest you in regards to wanting to start your own business. Hope this helps!

I think Penn and Yale are decent options, but I would also checkout Babson College in Boston. They are specialized in entrepreneurial education, which may aid or interest you in regards to wanting to start your own business. Hope this helps!
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Old Larry

Thanks - I looked at Notre Dame and that seems like a really good option. And I was just talking to a Boston University graduate who did the program in his late-30s, and he said that BU was a decent option for older students.

But I'm not sure about Babson... I don't really have any ambition to start my own business, and I couldn't find any non-profit curriculum on the program website. Plus the average GMAT scores and work experience there seem lower than at Yale and Notre Dame and the other programs I'm considering... So I think I will take a pass on that.

Thanks - I looked at Notre Dame and that seems like a really good option. And I was just talking to a Boston University graduate who did the program in his late-30s, and he said that BU was a decent option for older students.

But I'm not sure about Babson... I don't really have any ambition to start my own business, and I couldn't find any non-profit curriculum on the program website. Plus the average GMAT scores and work experience there seem lower than at Yale and Notre Dame and the other programs I'm considering... So I think I will take a pass on that.
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Duncan

Kevin recommends Babson to everyone. Don't take it personally.

Kevin recommends Babson to everyone. Don't take it personally.
quote
neerav

Hi Duncan,

I was reading the post and it explains a lot abt my situation.

I am 37 now and wish to pursue MBA in Canada .

My question is that will my wife and kid ( 2yrs now) will be allowed to travel and stay with me during the course of my study?

Is the visa process too hard. ( I am from India)

Hi Duncan,

I was reading the post and it explains a lot abt my situation.

I am 37 now and wish to pursue MBA in Canada .

My question is that will my wife and kid ( 2yrs now) will be allowed to travel and stay with me during the course of my study?

Is the visa process too hard. ( I am from India)


quote
Duncan

The answer to this is so easily found on Google. Why are you asking me? https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=canada+student+visa+for+partners&oq=canada+student+visa+for+partners&aqs=chrome..69i57.9633j0j8&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=91&ie=UTF-8

It's straight-forward.
http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/united_kingdom-royaume_uni/visas/spouses-conjoints.aspx
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/work-spouse.asp

The answer to this is so easily found on Google. Why are you asking me? https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=canada+student+visa+for+partners&oq=canada+student+visa+for+partners&aqs=chrome..69i57.9633j0j8&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=91&ie=UTF-8

It's straight-forward.
http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/united_kingdom-royaume_uni/visas/spouses-conjoints.aspx
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/work-spouse.asp
quote

Hello MBAat40, Old Larry,

I would like to know if you have any updates on which programs you chose. I am in a similar position with regards to age, and would like to do an MBA program but don't want to waste time applying for schools that won't take me. So any guidance from people who have gone through this process would be much appreciated!

Thanks.

Hello MBAat40, Old Larry,

I would like to know if you have any updates on which programs you chose. I am in a similar position with regards to age, and would like to do an MBA program but don't want to waste time applying for schools that won't take me. So any guidance from people who have gone through this process would be much appreciated!

Thanks.
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Old Larry

Hi,

I just finished applying for Notre Dame's round 3. Fingers crossed! I figure if this doesn't work out I'll just go for a local PT MBA program.

Hi,

I just finished applying for Notre Dame's round 3. Fingers crossed! I figure if this doesn't work out I'll just go for a local PT MBA program.
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Ok, thanks, good luck!

Ok, thanks, good luck!
quote

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