94% students got international jobs after graduating from this program.

MBA after 30: Am I too old for a full-time bschool degree?

MBA applicants who are older than 30 years (or closer to 40) often ask these questions:
– ‘Is it too late for a full-time MBA program?’
– ‘How do bschools look at MBA applicants over 30?’
– ‘After I cross 30 years, should I even try for full-time MBA programs?’
– ‘Will my age force me to choose between an Executive MBA or Part-time MBA?’
– ‘Should I go for MBA or MS?
– ‘ Am I too old for an MBA?

Most of these ‘senior’ applicants are considering conventional American 2-year full-time programs. There are several 1-year programs where the average age is closer to thirty (in fact, higher than 30 for a few bschools). But when it comes to the regular 2 year full-time MBA, there’s a statistical and psychological bias that comes into play the minute you move to the wrong side of thirty.

Why do those over 30 consider a 2-year full-time MBA?

For pretty much the same reasons as their 20-something competitors would – a full-blown immersive MBA experience, expanded career opportunities (including a change of geography, industry, role or all 3) and a chance to be part of the elite alumni network and yeah, big bucks!

In fact, after crossing 30, the need to give their careers a fresh lease of life is even more that it might’ve ever been in their twenties. An executive MBA or a part-time MBA can’t deliver the same bang for their buck. So those are kept as backup options.

It’s also tougher to leave a stable job after reaching a mid-level management position with a handsome salary for a full-time MBA degree. But even if the MBA applicant is willing to take the risk, bschool admission teams don’t seem to be as enthusiastic about the decision. Why?

Why full-time MBA class profiles have very few students over 30?

The psychological bias that we referred to earlier results from the following assumptions.

1. MBA students over 30 will find it more difficult to get jobs. So the placements statistics for the bschool (an important parameter for MBA rankings) will be adversely impacted

2. The salary jump (if at all there is any) for 30 to 40-year-old MBA graduates will be lesser than it would be for the 20-something graduate. This is another crucial parameter for MBA rankings.

3. Then there are the other perceived belief that older MBA students will not fit into a class that has a lower average age.

Read Average age and work experience at top MBA programs around the world

If you are over 30, how can you improve the MBA admit chances?

Now that you know the reasons for the bias, the plan-of-action might seem intuitive. See how many of the admission officer’s concerns listed above can you address in your MBA application during the admissions process.

Your story-line needs to be stronger than the others – specifically the post MBA career goals. What jobs are you aiming for? How will an MBA help you get there?

Typical questions you might think, but the answers need to be bullet-proof and the application executive strategy needs to be extra solid. A mature MBA applicant with an immature, or half-baked storyline is the best way to strengthen the bschool’s bias against folks like you. Don’t give them more ammunition to use against you.

Help them understand how the grey streaks of hair and the slight paunch that is showing are signs of wisdom and prosperity which you have gained in abundance in the extra years you’ve put into the corporate world. Modestly, show them how you can teach those kids in the class a lesson or two of your own.
At MBA Crystal Ball, we’ve helped those who are over 30 (one was 40) get into some of the best bschools across the world. So if you fall in the 30+ club and need some help in overcoming the bias during MBA admissions, get in touch: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com.

Hope these views help you better answer the question ‘Am I Too Old for an MBA?’ next time it pops up in your mind.

Do you know of any applicants who got into the top bschools after 30? What were their profiles and what schools did they get into?

Here are some success stories of MBA applicants over 30:
MBA in USA with scholarship after 9 years experience
How I got into an Ivy League university at 32
How I got into Stanford at 35
Second MBA from Switzerland for HR consultant after 30
MBA after 35 in Canada with Scholarship despite low GMAT score
Second MBA degree abroad (USA) with scholarship after 30 from Sloan Fellows
IIM Lucknow (IIML) IPMX one year MBA after 10 years experience
MBA after 40 from ISB
Sloan Fellows Program Review: MIT vs LBS vs Stanford – MBA after 30
MS at Michigan Ross with scholarship for an older candidate with an over-represented profile
MBA after 8 years experience: Student life in UK
– And placement success story here in this article for ISB placements for senior executives

And a special one to end the list:
Granny gets an MBA: Oldest MBA student in the world?

MBA Song | Start here | Success stories | Reality check | Knowledgebase | Scholarships | Services

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

66 thoughts on “MBA after 30: Am I too old for a full-time bschool degree?”

  1. Hi

    I am a Chartered Accountant from India, with 16 years of workex. I am also a CPA from US. I also have 2 additional professional qualifications.

    I took the GMAT once and got 650. The 2nd time got me 640. I am 38. I want to apply for a 1-year MBA. Tell me what are my chances of getting admitted to a top school (IMD, Insead etc).



    • In the U.S. there are laws protecting students against age discrimination, and while there are ways schools might extrapolate the respective ages of their candidates – years of full-time, post-undergraduate work experience and graduation year being two of them – schools run the risk of class action lawsuits if they systematically deny older, qualified students due to their ages. Furthermore, in this economy, applications are down; schools are far more likely to look to older students to fill their schools and create even more diverse classes. It’s swim-win for non-traditional students and the programs to which they apply.

  2. Sudarshan: It’s impossible for anyone to tell you about your chances based on what you’ve shared. So I’ll give you general pointers instead.

    Your GMAT Score doesn’t help here as others (specially from India) are going to apply with substantially higher scores.

    Schools like INSEAD and IMD are very (VERY) competitive. There’s a lot of emphasis on ‘Fit’. And also on your accomplishments, goals and how you plan to use your MBA to get there. Start thinking about those answers.

    It’ll also be good if you can include other schools that may be more aligned to your experience levels and aspirations…and of course, more practical.

  3. Hi Sameer,

    Thanks a lot for sharing great knowledge. I want your practical advice for my “mid-life” career situation

    Age : 38

    Experience : 14 years of progressive experience in implementing and managing Oracle ERP projects with Big 4 Tech Consulting Company

    Location : Career started in India, early part of career – Middle East – 3 years and later part in US – 8 years

    Situation : I was always interested in quality business education.But never gave it a serious thought and effort as I was busy building my career in the current line of work
    But, for past few years I am realizing that my career is going down the narrower lanes into ERP implemetation and project management roles aka technical solution delivery and a little bit of project management

    Future Outlook : With MBA, I am aiming at Principal / Director – Sales & Delivery in Enterprise Applications

    Debate : Please suggest Which MBA – Executive (PT) MBA in US / 1 year (FT) MBA in India

    When I checked student profiles in EMBA (US) – General theme is Functional heads (like Director in Marketing, Sr. Manager in Engineering) who are looking for general management education. I did not see many IT technical (non managerial) profiles in the cohorts. Hence not sure how much I gain in these programs


  4. @Vijay: If you are targetting EMBA programs, your choice is pretty much limited to the geography you are working in (unless you are willing to commute extensively).

    Here’s a list of the Best Executive MBA in USA to help you start the research work.

    In India, the good full-time and EMBA options are even more limited for folks with significant experience. Check out IIMA PGPX.

  5. Hi Sameer,
    Many thanks for such extremely helpful blog.
    I have completed my 3 year full time diploma(MSBTE) in electronics and telecom in 1998. I then started working as a software Engineer. Now I am a project manager in one of the reputed I.T MNC.
    Back then, I could not complete my full time degree due to very poor financial background and lack of knowledge on available options such as financial aid. One of my family member had financed my diploma engineering and I could not ask for more.
    When I joined I.T industry, I was sent onsite several times to different countries.As a single bread winner in my family my first priority was to earn money and be financially stable. Hence during all these years I could not spend time and money on education.
    In 2007, I joined distance BBA course from Sikkim Manipal university and completed it in 3 years since I was in India that time.
    With 3 years diploma in engineering, distance BBA and 15 years of experience, should I go for an MBA (any MBA) now and will that help my career in future? If yes, then which school and which program would help? I wish to do further education in Finance/IT. Thanks.

  6. Hi Sameer,

    Liked your post as not many try to address this issue.

    I am 34, have close to 10 years of experience handling sales in the IT/Telecom domain with reasonable growth. Have handled a team in the past though don’t have one now. I have had international exposure handling clients outside India but no significant length of stay abroad.

    I also have a prior MBA from a tier 2 institute (though that was not AICTE approved, so not sure of its validity abroad), which now seems to have run its course. I am looking to take up a One Year full time course from a well respected institue in Europe or Asia.

    I have a GMAT score of 700.

    Could you advise on what kind of colleges I should be looking at and how I can go about it.


  7. @Anil: Reach out to a few bschools and explain your story. Many of them would be more than willing to let you know if they would consider your application. No point in making assumptions and realising later that certain admission policies would’ve been tough to jump over.

    @Tejpal: Almost all programs in Europe and Asia are of a shorter duration. For your work experience, sticking to that geography would help. BSchools like INSEAD accept second MBA applicants, so that shouldn’t be a major issue.
    Start off with any reputed business school ranking and start researching schools in the UK, Spain, France, Singapore, Hong Kong and India.

  8. Hi Sameer,

    I am 31, having experience of 5 years in tier-1 MNCs. I have BE and MS degree from India. My experience is mostly in Technical Project Management and Marketing. Due to a personal reason I resigned from my previous job and looking for a new job. It is around 6 month now and still not able to get a job of same profile because I have technical background (BE+MS) and most of the employers need BE+MBA candidate. Therefore I am thinking for MBA (from India). Could you please help advise me whether should I go for 2 year MBA or 1 year MBA ? Will top B-schools consider me for 2 year MBA (I am afraid because I am 31) ? What are the chances of getting a placement after doing 1 year MBA from India? Also What are the chances of getting a placement after doing 2 year MBA from India?

    My profile :

    10th: 84%
    12th: 75%
    BE: 71%
    MS: (from India) : 9 (out of 10) CGPA

    Thanks & Regards,

  9. Hi Sameer,

    I am 30 years of age working in an MNC for the past 9 years, done B Tech in the field of electronics . I am earning a descent package but would like to grow fast now. I am also married with 2 kids. My plan is to do a full time 2 year regular MBA only from top class B MBA colleges like IIM’s. My motivation and dedication towards MBA is clear now and I know that if I work hard , I will clear CAT may be in a year or two. Please guide me if preparing for CAT and then getting admission to one of the IIM’s is a good idea. And also let me know , can I expect a very good salary package at the time of Campus Interviews.
    My profile is :

    10th : 89%
    Btech: 59%

    Please guide me .



  10. @Prakash: Your best bet would be to continue looking for a job. A 2-year MBA will set you back by at least 3 years (assuming a 1 year application phase). You’ll be 33 by the time you graduate. It’ll become tougher to get a job with a long break.

    @Vineet: Why CAT? Why not GMAT MBA @ IIMs? The big shocker would be the fact that neither will ‘assure’ a good salary. A lot would depend on your pre-MBA experience and goals.

  11. Hi Sameer,

    I am 32 years of age and my GMAT score is 720. I had 10 years of work experience in IT industry. My 10th is 82%, 12th is 72%, B.Tech [ I.T ] is 68%. I am looking for an MBA program to change my career to finance or sales. Please advise what chance I stand in any good MBA colleges.


  12. Hi,
    I am a 26 yr old IT professional.I am planning to appear for MBA entrance next year.So I will be 27 by the time I get into an MBA college.But I am in a fix due to m age.IIMs have an average age of 24.Should I take the plunge or look out for something else?Will MBA colleges in India atall consider me?What are the chances of getting placed after an MBA?Please help

  13. Ah, there was more to come. And the 27 has come down to 26. Being on our website seems to have worked its magic!

    Alright, let’s get serious. For Indian MBA programs, it’ll be late. But for GMAT programs (ISB, 1 year programs at IIMs etc) you’d be in the right age bracket.

    Placements work differently in the GMAT MBA world. You’d be responsible for getting yourself placed.

    • I am re-asking the same question,is it really late to take the cat exams at the age of 26 hoping i could convert either IIM A/B for my full time MBA option.Currently im in a IT Company with 5 years of experience

  14. Hi,
    I’m 42, a CPA and currently a senior auditor at a Fortune 200 company. I have 15+ yrs of prof experience, 10 of which in the US. I feel I have the right skills and experience, but feel like I need an MBA to boost my career and move up the next level. I got my undergrad degree from a top university in the Philippines. I want to apply in the top 10 US MBA schools. I know that my age bracket would generally fall under the EMBA, but I also know that the candidates’ profile in EMBA are mostly senior mgrs./executives. I am also looking at part-time MBA, but I am too old (based on current MBA candidates’ age profile). Am I a long shot to get accepted in the B schools. Please advice what program would be the best for me. Thanks so much!

  15. @Tiffany: Part-time MBA programs tend to be a little more relaxed about age. They know that you already have a job, so there are no placement challenges.

    What you need to think about is, whether a part-time degree will really help you achieve your goals. Articulate them well in your application to eliminate any concern that the Adcom might have.

  16. I am a 34 year old engineer who works in the Canadian nuclear industry as a “probabilistic risk analyst”. Since graduating with a Bachelors in EE, 10 years ago I’ve worked as a control system developer and now as a nuclear safety analyst. I make decent money (100k+) but I am bored and worried about the long term prospects of my career. I want to move ahead in the corporate world, but I don’t see a way to do that from my current level. Should I consider an MBA?

  17. Hi Sameer,
    I will be 37 years this May and intend to pursue a 1 year MBA from a school like ISB Hyderabad or a good B school in Europe (1-1.5 Yrs Program). I am due to give my GMAT in October this year and embark on the MBA in early 2015.
    My grades so far, 10th Std 63%, 12th Std 78%, B Com 50%, PG Diploma in Accounting GPA 2.091 and CPA with CPA Australia with Credit grade in 5 out of the 6 subjects.
    I am a financial controller and have been so for the past 10 years in the investment management industry. With a MBA in Finance, I ideally want to make a transition to a CFO career path in investment management and also extend my hands into managing third party money in the private equity space.
    Could you please let me know whether:
    1. I will manage getting admission into a good B school based on my grades so far and will a good GMAT
    score(how much?) help?
    2. Is this a good time to pursue a 1 to 1.5 year MBA?

  18. Hello Sameer,

    Greetings !!!!

    I have completed my post graduation diploma in HR from Symbiosis and want to pursue a better course in HR. I am working currently. Request if you could suggest a program and the process to be followed for the same.

    Thank you in anticipation.

  19. @Bobby: You could consider an MBA, but most bschools would will nudge you towards their Executive MBA or Evening / Part-time MBA programs. Have a good answer ready for them.

    @Geetesh: Your grades and GMAT are important. But in your case the timing and rationale for Why MBA, Why now is more important. One year MBA will be a better option.

    @Bhavna: Sorry, but I’m not in favour of moving from one degree to another without having gained 2-3 years experience.

  20. sir,i’ve completed my 10+2 in the year 2008..bt due to some inconvinience i could’nt complete my grad..but now i’m able to do so..and i want to do an mba for better future..but that time i’ll be 26 of age..totally confused..plz hlp me out.

  21. Hello Sameer,

    I am an IT professional in India’s top IT company since last 9.5 years. Not very happy with my current job profile and role. So am planning to take GMAT so that I can pursue GMAT based MBA from a reputed institute. The one I am aiming for is the 1 year MBA from IIM Lucknow – Noida campus, because of 2 reasons : 1) the brand name IIM 2) I stay in Noida.
    I am 31 years old and right now preparing for GMAT. I plan to take the test in 4 months which gives me a month’s time to prepare my applications and am targeting a very good scrore in GMAT.
    What I want to know is that how good this MBA would be for me? I would love to get an industry change or if not that then, a better role & profile change in the same industry would also work. Needless to mention, I would be better equipped to handle the managerial roles with the knowledge that I would acquire during my MBA.
    I have read some forums especially about the last few batches of this 1 year course from IIM – L stating that the avg. work experience of the candidates in the last batch was around 9.5 years. This made me quite optimistic and pushed me to start preparing for GMAT. Before that I too used to thing that I have taken too long to decide and not its too late to do MBA. But your post has made me doubtful again 🙁
    Thats why I request if you can shed some light on how this would affect my case in particular.
    My academic grades are fine, not great and not bad : 10th – 83%, 12th – 75% B.E Computers : 72%
    Also, I have had a good profile in terms of showcasing : as I worked in california for around 4 years in last 10 years – at my client’s location in one of the best companies in silicon valley.
    Waiting for your response.

  22. Iam 41 years old BE and an mba from a tier 2 institute.
    I work on a mid management role in the IT Sector . Paid fairly well!!
    my experience is largely in to program management.
    i have however had experience in various employee initiatives, corporate sustainability social responsibility etc
    i tend to believe i still have it in me to make it to the isb.
    Im not sure if i can crack a 700 plus score now. Though i might end up close.
    acads havent been great. Howver im banking on a different experience and percieved ability to crack the
    Interview and do well on essaya etx.
    considering age and other factors positve and not ao positive
    do you think i could realistically consider a 1 yr mba from isb.
    meanwhile i have got admission in to phd management from a tier 1
    business school. Unfortunately unsure abt how even that would
    help me in a corporate career with around 4 years of toil
    looking fwd to hear from you.

  23. Hi Sameer,

    I am 29 Years old.
    I hold a B.E. in Electronics and a Master’s in Finance (from EU).
    I have 2.2 yrs work experience in Software Engineering and 4 yrs experience in the Financial Sector.

    Please advise if it is a good idea to pursue a 2 Yr Full Time MBA in Finance from the United States starting Fall’15. (targeting NYU, Columbia, Harvard, Booths,Yale)

    My main concerns are:
    1. My age (since I will be 30 when I start)
    2. the quality of my work experience. S,ince I am not working for a very big brand at the moment (although my work profile is pretty good).

    Also, does a CFA and FRM charter aid in the applications ?


  24. @Priyankar: 26 is not too old for a GMAT MBA. Focus on completing your graduation first.

    @Aps: Be aware that all IIMs aren’t created equal. The more selective the program, the better the market value. You’d also have to carry the task of job-hunting on your own shoulders.

    @Vinu: To be blunt, you’d be swimming against the current, buddy. Tread with care.

    @Mr X: You’d be a little higher than the average age, but not too far off. Your certifications will be counted.

  25. Thanks for your response Sameer. But I am sorry, I dint quite understand what you are trying to convey. Are you insinuating that IIM Lucknow’s 1 year MBA program is not a good one to opt for as far as the placements are concerned? What about my other concerns?

  26. The general impression I’m getting reading this as a 40year old is quite pessimistic. At some point you say 26 is not too old for MBA. So, what is? And are u also implying that post a certain age, MBA or not, makes no difference.


  27. Hi Sameer,

    MCB is a great forum for MBA aspirants.

    I am a 29 year-old Chartered Accountant (Nov 2008 batch). I have also cleared Company Secretary course [All India 19th Rank in Final] and CFA (USA) Level III. My undergrad academics are also well above average. I am eligible for CFA Charter in July 2014. I also scored 99.71 percentile in CAT 2005 and had got interview calls from IIM-A, B and K, which I unfortunately could not convert.

    For the past 4 years, I have been working with with a premier Asset Management Company as a Research Analyst (Debt), where I am responsible for a portfolio of USD 2 billion in regard to credit analysis, portfolio risk analysis, macro-economic research and related areas.

    I have very good extra currics eg: professionally trained in Classical Music / Event management experience in organising concerts etc (if this at all helps bolster my profile)

    I seek your advice on my prospects of getting into an Ivy League School (or in the Top 15 B-Schools in the US/Europe) in 2015, and the way ahead.

    Thanks a ton.

  28. Hi Sameer,
    I have completed my BSc with Maths(Major), Statistics and Computer and then Masters of Computer Application (MCA), both from one of the top university in India. Since 2005 I am working in one of the top IT service company in India. I am now 34 years old with around 9 years of IT exp (1 year in US and 5 years in Switzerland) working directly with the customer (a major Pharma company). I have also worked in various management positions – Project management, account management, business development, etc. Somehow I have a feeling that I am getting a stagnation in my career and want to give it a jump. I am interested in full time 1 year MBA courses from Indian institutes and I am ready to join from 2015. Can you suggest something. I have an inclination for IIM’s but I would trust your advice.

    Thanks a ton for your response.

  29. Hi Sameer
    I am Homeopathic Doctor….now i am 30…n very confused about to get admission in MBA next year or not…..actually i want to change my ground for work…
    should I take risk or not…..only top College is best at this age or any average age .
    Please, help me.

  30. Hi Sameer,
    Dear Sir, thanks for the post. Very helpful!
    I am 32. I have an MBA from MDI Gurgaon and 9 yrs work ex (1 yr in India, 1 yr in UK, 7 yrs in UAE – global real estate investing and strategy). I want to apply for J-term at Columbia Business School because of their Value Investing classes – I am very focused on this discipline and have a good track record of investing in Indian equities (following this discipline) and this is what I want to do post-MBA, but for US/Global market and hence the interest in MBA from CBS. Is this a convincing/compelling story? Do you think I have a chance? Any other advice will be appreciated!

  31. @Aps: I’m saying that programs like IIMA PGPX are more selective than IIML IPMX. Your individual profile, aspirations and what you’ve done pre-MBA will influence your job prospects, much more than the bschool brand.

    @Anuj: You’ll find bschools talking about a class that has folks who are 40+ yrs. However, that’s a minority. Think about it from the employers perspective as well. If you can convince them that you are better than the 30 somethings after an MBA, then a degree might help. Keep in mind that several niche industries (strategy consulting, Ibanking etc) would be outside reach. The only 40 yr old we’ve helped was an entrepreneur, and he’s done well for himself after the degree.

    @RDU: We have a separate thread on our forum for free MBA profile evaluations.

    @RC: Apart from IIMs, you can look at IMD too. You are already familiar and comfortable with Switzerland. And it’s a fantastic bschool too.

    @Keina: What do you want to do after the MBA? You’ll have to think about that before heading off to bschool. They will not be able to help you plan your career.

    @R: It sure is a valid reason to target Columbia. But as an Adcom I’d have many questions that pop up in my mind when you say that. So, whether you are competitive or not is a story that would require a deeper discussion.

    NOTE: We will not be responding to further comments on this blog post. Please post your queries on our MBA forum.

  32. Hi Sameer ,
    I am 31 years old with 8+ years’ of Technical experience in Product based companies.
    I have about a years’ international experience in total at USA & Germany.

    I am targetting 1 year Accelerated MBAs in the USA or at IIM B . My Main motive behind getting an MBA is two pronged : I want to move to business oriented functions – Sales , Business development etc. & I would like to work abroad for the next few years.

    Though i have led technical teams , I have no managerial experience whatsoever.
    I am targeting – Emory – Goizuetta , USC Marshall , Cornell , IIM B for courses starting 2015

    My queries are as follows:
    1) Do B-Schools abroad have “campus recruitment?” . How do placements happen
    2) How is the accelerated MBA in USA different from the EPGP offered by IIM
    3) Which option would be a better ROI and minimum Risk option ( IIMs or Universities abroad)?


  33. Hello samir,
    Great site and very informative post.
    I am 31 years of age, presently working as a manager in a regional rural bank(Gramin bank)
    I have a total of 4.9 years of experience (icici bank – 2 years, gramin bank 2.9 years)
    edu. qualification :
    10th : 83%
    12th: 75%(bio-maths)
    graduation: 50% bsc- bio.
    I had taken a break of 2 years after my 12th(pmt preparation)
    also there is a gap of 1 year between my jobs.
    kindly suggest if i should try for CAT 2014 and and go for a regular 2 year MBA or can you suggest something else?


  34. Hi Sameer,

    I completed my Engineering in 2009 and am currently working as a consultant with Ernst & Young India in IT Risk advisory practice (5 years experience). I will be 28 this August and have been planning for an MBA from US/UK/Singapore (primary aim is to move into management/strategy consulting). Now I have an opportunity to get a transfer to my company’s US office @85-95k USD per annum (same profile) for which I will have to hold off GMAT preparation for at least 1-2 years (which means I will be able to enter MBA at the age of 30-31 with 7-8 years of experience).
    I was finding it difficult to find what will be a good decision for me:
    – Forget the transfer and prepare for GMAT to get admission in 2015
    – Get transferred to US, get better exposure/money/profile and start MBA in 2-3 years while in US
    Factors that are confusing me in order to make a decision:
    – As an Indian candidate, I believe the salary post MBA would be around 100k USD per annum which I am already getting (approx) with this offer (but in the same profile though)
    – I think if I work in US for couple of years on US payroll, my chances into a good B School and getting a higher salary after MBA will significantly rise.
    – Will it be difficult or counter productive for me to switch profile post MBA after 7-8 years of work ex
    – Can we switch work profiles in US easily even without an MBA?

    What would you suggest is the best path for me? Please suggest


  35. Hello Samir,

    You are really doing a great job for MBA aspirants. Thanks a lot for the effort.

    Samir, I am 34 yr. old engineer, working in a leading public sector for the last 10 years in Contracts Management and Procurement. I have received all the due promotions so far. However, looking at the organization structure, I foresee stagnation ahead and want to switch the job, with proper ammunition to handle the fierce world of private sector.

    I appeared for GMAT 7 yrs. back and scored 650, but I was not ready to settle for a college which was not in world top 50. Then due to certain other obligations I could not persue in this direction. However, looking at the stagnation ahead, I wish to enroll in 2 yr. full time MBA. What do you suggest?

    My credentials:
    X: 84%
    XII: 71%
    B. Tech. (Mechanical) : 72%
    GATE 2003: 97.55 percentile . Since I got job at the same time, I didn’t go ahead in M. Tech. IITD.

    The positive point is that I can avail two year study leave for my education. However, after spending 70-80 lacs, there is no coming back!!!!!

    Please guide. I am getting demotivated every now & then, due to this age factor 🙁

    • Hi Manish did you go ahead with the decision for MBA as I have the same situation only that I’m in a public sector bank

  36. Hi Sameer,

    Thank you so much for this site. I understand you might have answered this sort of a question a million times, but please help out.

    I am 27 now. (Dec ’86 born).


    10th – 73.8 %
    12th – 55.8 %
    Bachelor’s (BBM) – 57 %
    PG (Mass Comm) – 57.65 %

    Experience: 3 years
    Field: Technical Writing

    I do hope i get into a good college with this year’s CAT. Then i will be 28 when i join MBA. If not, i plan to write again next year. (which of course will make me 29 years while starting). What do you think my chances are?

    (I desperately want to switch to a different field – Consulting/Marketing. Would you suggest any alternatives? Pretty low on confidence at the moment as well.)
    Do average colleges (say Symbiosis etc) not prefer people of my age/profile at all?

    Please help!

  37. Hi Sameer,
    I had done my graduation in science in 2005.
    Diploma in clinical research in 2008.
    had an exp. of 2 years in clinical research from 2008-2010.
    but now I had a gap of 4 years.I want to do Mba (CAT).should am I eligible for the same.? I am 32 yrs old.Is it beneficial to do MBA at this age.
    please guide me

  38. Hello Sir,

    I am Praveen Sharma, PG Diploma holder in Business Administration with spec in Media mgmt & Event Mgmt through DLE mode. I am a SAS Certified BI Content Developer for SAS 9. I am also a SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9. I have worked for about 3 to 4 months in a BPO and also for about 6 month in Animation Industry. I have just completed my 30 yrs age in August 2014. I am a fresher. I am not getting any job interview call regarding SAS jobs. The reason might be my non-engineering background. I am totally frustrated now. What should I do now ? Should I go for a full – time MBA course or should I go for short term courses like tally or autocad or even courses related to film / tv direction ……….. Pls help me ……………… I really need a career counselling …………… You can mail me your suggestions at praveentheanimator@gmail.com …… I will be waiting for your positive reply ……….

    Thanks & Regards
    Praveen Sharma

  39. Dear Sameer,

    Thank you for this informative blog. I am a 32 year old MBA Graduate with 8 years experience in HRM. I have 5 years experience in Public Sector (Nava Ratna Company). I have a stable job and a decent pay. I have been involved in teams that have implemented new ideas in my establishment. However I feel outdated in this age of next gen management practices. I do have a strong desire to pursue a masters from either Cornell or LSE to update myself. Would my age factor (32 years) play spoilsport in securing an admission in these institutions (I have a GMAT Score of 720)

    Thanks & Regards

  40. Hi !!
    Thanks for helping many MBA aspirants here.
    I am 30 year old and having a work experience of 8 years in Public Sector Bank ( presently working ). I am planning to settle abroad preferably in Australia but I am not having any professional MBA degree. So I am planning to crack GMAT and do MBA ( ISB or even from a foreign univ.).
    Would that be a right decision to leave job and take a loan liability to do MBA now ?
    Would I be able to get better job with increase in salary package?
    Please guide.

  41. Hi Sameer,
    That was a awesome article – providing facts and let the “uncles” (kidding) choose what’s best for them. Also wanted your thoughts and advice on my situation. I’m also into IT/software and currently in ITIL project (Software Release management) and in between career, family, onsite could not focus on full time MBA. But I’m very much interested in domain knowledge and business analysis. My friends suggested going for a couse in BA might not help and suggested MBA instead to restart my career in BA..what do you think? Your response is highly appreciated.
    Btw I’m 32 year old!!

  42. So hey, I graduated from INSEAD and I’m 33. Here are some pointers (and disclaimers) for my fellow walking-stick bearers (aka 30+ but still kickin’ it):
    1. You will be amongst the oldest in your class. Although the average age at INSEAD is officially 29, it felt like there were a lot of 26 year olds bouncing around with boundless energy.
    2. European b-schools generally have a higher class average in terms of age. IMD’s average age is 33 and Cambridge’s is 30. Amongst the US Schools, Kellogg and Wharton are at an average of 30 (I think).
    3. People WILL look at you strange coz ‘you so old..’. if you party with the kids, they’ll still look at you strange coz ‘you so old…’ Besides, you’ll feel kind of old too coz you’ll start wondering if you behaved that way too at that age.
    4. I’ve accepted that my mind slowed down after a certain age. That may be the case for some of you as well, so be prepared to be left behind some when the said 26 year olds breeze past you in class.
    5. It’s true that it is tougher for us geezers over 30 to find a job – switching careers is much tougher as you get older, MBA or not. Many recruiters do not want to take a chance with older folk unless you have specialized experience, and you must prepare for a few ‘ageist’ rejections. If you want to switch to a different industry/country or intend to start your own business, you’re good. However, it’s tougher if you’re still soul-searching or are clueless about what you’d want to do with with your life.

    That said, being older doesn’t take away from the experience at all. I don’t care much for age, and so being older than the majority didn’t bother me. As long as you know why you’re studying for an MBA and what’s important to you, go in with guns blazing.

  43. Hi Sameer.

    Its a perfect blog for those who want to enhance their career in the Business Management. I am also in the same situation as many of others here on the look out of the career enhancement to the next level. I am 34 years old currently working as a finance manager in a medium sized industry in the middle east. I am also going to complete my ACCA qualification from UK next year along with my work ,Now i am seriously thinking of acquiring a reputable MBA from UK taking a break from my current job. Can you advise how prudent is the decision and considering UK as my next career destination at this age after completing my MBA. Willl there be any job prospers in UK since I have more than 10 years of working experience in the Accounts and Finance. How flexible the academics and employers in UK will be towards a student of over 30 compared to the other candidates.?

  44. Hi Sameer,

    I am Prakhar Patni. I am a CFA and an FRM with a B Tech from NIT Calicut and have around 8 years of experience in Financial Analytics.I am 31 years of age and have recently written my GMAT. I got a score of 760. Now since most of the deadlines of colleges applications are over, I have left the hope of joining a MBA college this year. Can you please suggest me whether I should go for a regular MBA, EMBA or drop the idea of B School all together. How much would an MBA from India (specifically IIM A) would add value. I am really confused and tensed about this. I will appreciate your help.


  45. Hi Sameer

    I am Manuj Sardana. I have 8.5 years of experience in IT industry. During my 8.5 years f experience I have worked for 4 different companies in different domains (Telecom, Healthcare, gaming and Finance). I am planning to do an MBA but I am confused whether I should go for 2 year or 1 year MBA? Also If I go for 1 year MBA, what are the chances of getting into a good b School with a not so good profile?

  46. Hi Sameer,

    You are doing a great job by decoding the myths bout MBA for audience of all ages.
    My scenario:
    I am 30 now. I have gap in my studies 10th std(2000) – 58% , 12th std (2003) – 48% science, Bachelors in mass media (2012) – 75% , executive program for young managers – IIM Calcutta(2014-2015 completion).
    4 years BPO experience. 3 years social media & digital marketing experience, Google analytic certified professional. I am looking forward for a 1 year MBA in international business from HULT or 2 year full time MBA from any other university. I look forward to pursue a carrier digital marketing/ research or a consultant role. I am currently on a mid level position working with a social media agency. Do you think MBA at this stage would be advisable. Does a change in industry with a decent package would be possible in US. I would appreciate your reply. Thanks in advance.

  47. I am 35 year old having 5.2 yr of experience in IT career.Can i go for 1 yr full time MBA program to change career path like except IT.
    For 1 yr full time MBA program GMAT or CAT preparation require.
    Or can go for direct interview by filling the form like top institute in India or aboard.

    I already left my job.So it is possible for me to go for MBA or i have to get into new organization,after that i can go for MBA course.

    • @rahul

      I believe, it will be a good start if you can explain why you want to change a career to something EXCEPT IT. You have left your IT job without a plan ahead, other than the fact that you want to leave IT. Can you justify this step to yourself?

      I request you to take some time out and write about why you don’t see a career in IT? And what is the kind of career you are seeking?

      At age 35, without answering these BASIC questions, an MBA is probably a waste of time. And I don’t think anyone will be in a position to advise you anything without knowing answers to these questions.

      I look forward to your response.

  48. Hi,
    I have 4.5 years of work exp in banking sector . I have At present i am 29 and would be turning 30 in june 15.I am looking forward for executive mba in india

  49. Dear Sameer,

    Good info on the site, I am BE and PMP certified professional with 20+ yrs exp in IT and have been a faculty as well for project management (@ PMI chapter). I know of many universities who have liked my teaching style and want me to be part of their regular team but I dont have a MBA and it is a pre req for universities. My question is: Is a executive MBA (1 yr) online be sufficient, or do I need to do a 2 yr online course. It is more of a statuatory req than knowledge for me, pl. help. I also intent to take UGC NET exam later…

  50. Hi Sameer,
    My age is 36 and I have work ex of 12 years (8 years in banking and financial services(front and mid level, majorly sales), and the last 4 years I have been managing my own business). However I feel the need to get back to the corporate world as things arent working out in the entrepreneurial venture. I hold a Masters in Management(2002) from a tier2/3 management institute, which was completed immediately after graduation. Do you think a one year EMBA or a two year MBA can help me get back into the job market.
    My interests are: Investment banking/Management Consulting.
    As a second option I contemplate a career in academics/research, is this a viable option considering my current age ?

    Thanking you in Advance.

  51. Hi Sameer,
    I’m 37 years old I have 14 years of IT experience in both USA /India and settled abroad. I’m a very aaverage student and passed 10,12th,engg with Avg marks, all my employer they love my profile because it pretty consistent 50 to 55% no high o, no low spike’s.
    So i know my limits and trait i did searched for any TOP league’s . I’m practical and I do not run for fast or fat growth either.

    During my visit to India, I happened to meet one of my Engg classmate and he is enjoying successful career , we were just sharing our thoughts and old memories . I was asking his success mantra and advises , I liked his attitude and Quote – Mama 40 yrs May full time MBA karkay kaya hukaday gaa.

    He said world is going online, MBA is Particle not a principle unlike science. That inspired me lot.
    I found WESchool and took admission in 2014 batch . every day what ever I learn , I apply and I see the result.

    Moral of the story is do not waste energy , there is lot of other things in this world ..enjoy the world and life is very short and do not run for fast growth, you might miss few nice scenic .

  52. dear sir,
    I am 35 years old engineer working with PSU. I want to do full time mba from b school. Is this a good step for me.???

  53. Dear Sameer,
    I am 39 years old and is working has as a faculty member (Biology dept) in a college for six years. Do I have any chances for shifting to marketing once i complete a full time MBA? Also, which are the places where I have better chances of getting selected.


  54. Sir,
    Iam 48 years of age and I am working as Account Manager in Automotive section.My qualification is B.Com and 14 years of exeperience in Accounting. I wwould like to do MBA Finance to improve my Career and better Job in India and Abroad. Please suggest us.

  55. hi
    i am 33 years old ,b.tech in electronics.8+ years of experience in public sector bank.i have been offered admission in IIM Calcutta.Is it awkward at this age to join mba.confused.
    plz help.


  56. I shashikant vishwakarma and wanna known that my dad can continue his studies ??? He is 47 year old. And he wants to continue his study after 12 standard.

  57. Hi sameer, i am 31 now and graduate in humanities with journalism skills. i am working as education cum health journalist in leading English daily newspaper for last 7 years and now i want to do 2 year full MBA program in IIMs. i this decision is good or not? please help me

  58. Sir;

    I am 40 years old & doing a certificate program called “senior management program” from India’s top rated B school. This program is for people with 10 years of working experience & carries the same subjects as of MBA
    After completion of this I plan to do 2 years executive MBA which is a part time MBA from another B School.
    I plan to do this in order to get a good jump in my carrier from the existing co. to another company. Kindly suggest

  59. Hello Sameer,

    ..scary no posts since 2016, seems all in 30+ are set for life but me :))

    I am 34 at the moment, nowadays I’m agonising by MBA fever, and my age puts a caveat on desicion. Why now you would ask, I will give you my reasons:
    -non-traditional career track – I was a lecture and persuing Phd in my home country (6 years), at 30 I started working in an international company – so only 4 years of ‘relevant’ experience and this is when my vision started to broaden
    -at the moment I am finishing an international assignment in the UK as BI Analyst (1 year) and will have to go back, but there are no perspectives in my home country office (all areas in country in general are spinnng around oil industry)
    -I stuck under glass ceiling (possibly not only because of gender) but certainly because of education – all my kudos are not recognized abroad
    -I learned a lot so far and want to bring some systematisation into my knowledge, experience, skills and glue them together with MBA and develop my leadership skills and open doors to vertical career mobility (possibly in same company in the UK)
    -I’m not in managerial position, neither I earn a lot (no fear of opportunity cost really)
    -I dont have family commintments
    -I aim max 1 year full time MBA (either INSEAD or Judge)
    -EMBA sounds too grandious to me as I said i am not in leadership position (maybe stereotype takes over in here)

    I would appreciate any piece of advise really


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