Interested in pursuing an MBA, but worried that your age could get in the way? Here’s some great news: there’s no age limit for earning your MBA degree.

Even the world’s best MBA programs are open to students of all ages. Some universities even offer programs specifically designed for older students, placing a special priority on students who aren’t in their 20s or straight out of undergrad.

Though the average age of MBA students may be on the younger side, there’s no reason for students over age 30 and well into their lives can’t earn an advanced degree. In fact, there are plenty of reasons older students should consider getting an MBA.

Work Experience Is More Important Than Age

There’s one quality universities value significantly when considering applicants for their MBA programs: work experience.

Nearly every MBA program in existence requires you to have work experience in order to apply. Instead of judging students on their age or their undergraduate study, universities look at their resumes. Many programs require at least three years of work experience in order to even apply – and, on average, most applicants bring even more years on their resumes.

If your reason for earning an MBA is to become an executive, you’ll need plenty of experience in order to be accepted into a competitive MBA program. Admissions representatives want students with an understanding of the professional world and business fundamentals, so they can shape you into leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs.

According to data collected by MBA Crystal Ball, there are plenty of universities that welcome more work experience. In fact, the University of Pennsylvania, home to the prestigious Wharton School, asks for more than five years of work experience. Plus, the prestigious MBA programs at the University of California-Berkeley, Rice University, Purdue University, and Arizona State University all accept students with an average of over five years of experience. Duke University, in particular, looks for students with six years or more on their resumes.

So, the more years of work experience you have, the more attractive you will be to some of the top MBA programs. They won’t worry at all about your age, but they’ll certainly pay attention to what’s on your resume.

Older Students Have More All-Around Experience

Since MBA programs and universities prefer students with lengthy work experience in the professional world, students who are age 30 and older are a perfect fit. In addition to work experience, the MBA programs you’re interested in will be interested in learning about your overall experience, performance, and lessons learned.

According to Forbes, older students who apply to MBA programs can stand out in a number of ways during the application process:

  1. You’ll have more jobs and more achievements in the workplace.
  2. You’ll have proof of success in different areas of business, like overseeing projects, training co-workers, and leading teams.
  3. You’ll have extracurricular activities well beyond the average undergraduate applicant.
  4. You’ll have a wealth of stories you can include in the written and interview portions, which will show off your accomplishments and business skills.

Ultimately, being able to explain, highlight, and demonstrate just how much you’ve learned over the course of your career up until now will be a huge asset for those who are older. You’ll be able to pinpoint your strengths and explain just how an MBA will add to your skillset and enhance your career in entirely new ways.

Universities Want Applicants Over Age 30

Lastly, it’s important to remember that no student is too old to earn an MBA at any university. In addition to non-discrimination policies that ensure schools don’t discriminate against older applicants, many universities seek out nontraditional students.

Choosing to enter an MBA program while you’ve been out in the workforce and building your life is a big decision, so universities welcome older students who can bring unique perspectives and their very own business experiences into an MBA program. After all, the goal is to work with your peers and faculty, gain new skills together, and connect with others in the field, all of which will help you progress in the business world once you’ve earned your advanced degree.

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