Matt Shady, dean of the School of Health Sciences at Ivy Tech Community College –Fort Wayne, earned his MBA with WGU Indiana in 2017. For individuals, like Shady, who are working full time, returning to college to pursue a degree requires perseverance and a flexible class schedule. When researching MBA programs, Shady knew he needed a program that would work with his busy schedule as a full-time Ivy Tech employee and a part-time paramedic. WGU Indiana’s exclusively online program was appealing because it offered a flexible, yet structured, approach that didn’t require in-person coursework at set times. “I could attend class on my own schedule,” he said.
As the number of online degree programs increases, more students are taking advantage of the increased flexibility across the country. The Babson Survey Research Group released findings in January 2018 stating that the number of students taking online courses nationwide increased by 337,016 from 2015 to 2016.
Returning to college can seem daunting, even if it is in an academic field about which you have a particular passion. At WGU Indiana, Shady said he valued the regular contact he maintained with course instructors and his program mentor, who helped keep him on track and stay motivated throughout the process.
Shady shared some of the benefits he experienced in earning his degree, including the direct impact it has had on his career.
When Shady set a goal to become dean of the School of Health Sciences, he knew that he would need a master’s degree. Within three months of starting his MBA program with WGU Indiana, Shady was promoted to interim health division dean. He finished his degree in just under two years and took on the official title of dean..
Shady is not alone in achieving career advancement as a result of obtaining his MBA. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) conducted a 2018 survey of business school alumni to learn how an MBA has impacted their employment experiences. Overall, 87 percent of business school graduates said the skills they developed in their degree program advanced their careers. Specifically, 79 percent of employed alumni of self-paced MBA programs felt their degree moved them further along in their careers.
Affordability was a big factor for Shady, as he considered enrolling in WGU Indiana’s MBA program. Data from the Federal Reserve shows that student loan debt is at an all-time high of $1,490,800,000,000 nationally and likely to continue rising. The potential career gains that come with an advanced degree can make an MBA an investment that could pay dividends. According to a 2016 Gallup survey of WGU graduates, 91 percent felt that their education was worth the cost. Furthermore, the average increase in salary for WGU graduates is $19,100 within four years of degree completion.
The WGU Community College Partner Scholarship, valued up to $2,000, is available for partner community college graduates and staff, including those from Ivy Tech, looking to earn a WGU bachelor’s or master’s degree in information technology, business, teacher education, or healthcare. Further explore your opportunity for professional career advancement and apply today at www.wgu.edu/indiana.html.