Education is not one size fits all – the timeline of getting an education after high school is painted with a broad brush.
Traditionally, those who desire a higher level of education do go straight from high school to undergrad, but what about the group of people who want to take it even further than that?
If an MBA is in your sights, the earlier you can plan for this the better, the benefits of constructing a plan for yourself certainly outweigh the cons.
Going straight through is generally only ideal for those individuals with clear and concise career goals.
If you are not already set and committed to a specific industry then consider joining the workforce after undergrad to get some hands-on experience in your field before you commit yourself to an MBA program geared towards an industry you could end up finding undesirable.
Two of the main considerations are funding, and timeline, how are you going to pay for your education and are you going to want any breaks to begin a career in between degrees?
Consider Your Funding
Planning to carry your education straight through from undergrad through MBA is going to be a substantial cost to you.
If you need to pay for most or all your education with borrowed money this is something to consider. If you need to take out student loans with a private lender, you might not even qualify for the amount needed to cover all this schooling in one lump sum.
Interest rates and loan terms should be shopped around regardless so that you will know what you are facing upon graduation.
If you decide to break up the timeline of your degrees until after you have entered the workforce for a few years, it’s likely that your credit score will be improved enough to qualify you for better interest rates and loan terms than you would have been straight out of high school.
This will also give you an opportunity to earn some money to set a budget for yourself based on your salary and settle into your life in phases instead of all at once.
Weigh Out the Lifestyle Differences
Although you should not let your peers and tradition dictate your own educational journey, using that data to form your own decision is smart.
How discipled are you? Are you going to be able to carry the amount of momentum necessary to go to school for that long with no breaks?
There are no right or wrong answers if you are straightforward with yourself.
Consider the possibility also that you may not be accepted to your MBA program as immediately as you plan.
Use free resources like blogs, and even advisors at your local college to flesh out a realistic plan for both options.
If you feel any hesitation, give yourself permission to revamp your plan as needed.
Many students think they know what career path they want to follow with their studies but as they learn about themselves as it relates to their career of choice, they discover that a different path is what is best for them.