I got my MBA at age 45, and I would not suggest doing it unless you are very clear on exactly what you intend to get out of it. For me, I was making a transition from being an artist to being in marketing, and I needed the degree to signal that I was serious about business. I also wanted to build a network of people here in CT because I’d just gotten laid off—very hard to job search when all your contacts are job searching too. I chose a part-time program over an online one so that I could meet people in person.
Some goals that I think an MBA is good for:
*Gaining basic understanding of different facets of running a business
*Checking off a box for a current role
Depending on your program, it can also be excellent for introducing you to people from all different fields, both among your fellow students and with guest lecturers. (I’m a little biased to in-person programs, as the people I know who’ve gone the online route don’t seem to forge strong connections with their classmates, but ymmv)
I don’t find MBA’s particularly useful if you have a lot of experiential knowledge, or if you generally expect it to “open doors” without really knowing what doors or how it will open them for you. And it’s a LOT of work! If you’re 30+ years out of school, you’ve likely forgotten how annoying it is to have assignments due!
Finally, MBA’s can also be useful in developing strategic “big picture” thinking skills, but I found that it wasn’t through a specific class—rather it was through the depth of understanding I gained across all of my classes and from socializing quite a bit with professors and students. This is where I really would caution you about researching online programs. As you might notice from here, message boards rely heavily on the caliber of posts to be useful. If the teachers don’t heavily push for dialogues, it can be very difficult to develop the higher level thinking across courses.
As a side note, the quality of the program also can affect how the degree is perceived afterwards. I don’t think it’s limited to just a handful of “worthy” schools unless you were looking to get into highly competitive fields. But in our area, I can think of about 4-6 online programs that are respected, and then the rest are viewed as little more than degree mills. You don’t want to put in all that work just to have a degree that doesn’t add anything to your resume.
Hope that helps—good luck!