Whether you’re starting your own business, advancing within your current company, or changing industry or job, an MBA could be worth the investment for the long-term career benefits. In fact, many MBA graduates report having made several career changes five, 10, and even 15 years post-MBA thanks to the skills and networks they gain during their programs.

But before embarking on an MBA program, it’s important to be clear about what you want to accomplish and how an MBA will help you get there. This will serve as a north star in helping you decide whether the degree is worth the time, money, and effort—and will give you the best chance of succeeding in the field.

Some MBA programs have strict work experience requirements, which is why they’re most popular among young professionals who just graduated with their bachelor’s degrees and are ready to start their careers. Others offer combined Bachelor’s and MBA programs for people who are already in the workforce and want to accelerate their careers.

It’s also important to note that an MBA doesn’t guarantee a certain career path or industry, even if you choose to focus on a specific area of management. However, an MBA can provide valuable exposure to new industries and roles through a wide range of class projects and case studies with diverse groups of students from all over the world. The exposure to different perspectives and experiences can help you develop empathy and a more global mindset, which is a critical skill for leadership. mba