In today’s crowded job market, young professionals are presented with the difficult decision of whether to remain in their current careers or pursue additional education. An MBA can certainly be a useful addition for those working in finance; however, it is not necessarily the right choice for everyone.

In 2012, Forbes reported that a startup school may be better for aspiring business professionals than an MBA. This has revolutionized the way we think about post-graduate education, moving away from traditional methods to more innovative approaches.

Over the past two years, forgo those costly MBA programs and attend a startup school! These institutions have been sprouting up nationwide with classes in sales & business development, marketing & analytics, product & design, and web development. Get trained by startup professionals without having to break the bank– these schools are perfect for any aspiring entrepreneur looking to work at a modern-day company.

Wondering if these programs are the right fit for you and what they can offer? Here are a few things to take into account:

Who should enroll in an MBA alternative program?

MBA alternative programs are perfect for anyone looking to get a leg up in the workplace, whether they’re interested in working at a startup or launching their own business.

Where are programs located?

If you’re looking for an in-person MBA alternative program, then look no further than the various locations of Startup Institute, General Assembly, and Dev Bootcamp. These are available all over New York City, Boston, Denver Austin Chicago San Francisco London, and other major cities around the world. Additionally, there are also lots of great online options such as Coursera Code Academy or Women’s Coding Collective which provide comprehensive courses suitable for anyone with an ambition to build a successful career!

What do the programs offer?

If you’re searching for MBA alternatives that are tailored to a specific need, then there is an array of programs out there. For those currently working and looking for refreshers or additional skill sets, part-time classes might be the best option as they often prioritize instruction over other factors. If it’s only the hard skills you seek, this would be ideal.

For those fresh from school, or searching for career transformation, a full-time program could be the ideal option. It consists of engaging classroom instruction with an emphasis on individual objectives and networking opportunities. If you have yet to explore the startup world as well, then this type of program is certainly your best bet!

How much does it cost?

Although full-time programs may be costlier than their part-time counterparts, ranging from $1k to nearly $12k, this is still more affordable compared to a traditional MBA that can often exceed the hefty sum of $140k.

Even if a financial award is not advertised, don’t rule out an MBA alternative for the cost! A variety of educational institutions providing development boot camps offer scholarships to qualified women. Inquire with the program director about any available opportunities and remember that many programs also supply financing options.

What will you get out of the program?

If you want to get the most out of an MBA alternative program, then it’s important to invest in yourself. Not only will this valuable experience be on your resume for potential employers to appreciate, but there is no degree given at the end – so make sure you challenge and push yourself with each lesson!

Are jobs guaranteed?

Life offers no guarantees, so it is wise to approach job promises with caution. That being said, many of the MBA alternative programs have hiring partners who aim to recruit from their graduating class. This doesn’t guarantee a job upon completion of the program; however, establishing connections in the startup scene will undoubtedly amplify your chances of finding employment after graduation!

How big is the alumni network?

Completing a startup school is similar to finishing an MBA program; the alumni network will end up being your greatest asset. Your fellow graduates are the people who can make powerful connections for you and assist with job hunting after graduation–but don’t forget that some of these programs have smaller communities than more traditional institutions, so it’s essential to take time in selecting which one fits best for you.

Before enrolling in any program, make sure you thoroughly investigate the alternative MBA programs available and talk with previous participants. This way, you can be certain that this is the right step for your career progress. With all of these options at your disposal, an alternative MBA could prove to be a perfect fit!

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