The result of a master of business administration (MBA) is often to have greater skills, capabilities, and professional competency that will lead to a more successful career.
MBAs prepare you for senior management or entrepreneurial roles by equipping you with knowledge of key business processes – including accounting, finances, marketing, and human resources.
MBA courses are designed for students who already have appreciable management-level experience gained in the workplace, but wish to develop their leadership skills further.
There are many reasons to study an MBA. From higher salary potential to developing entrepreneurship skills and expanding your career opportunities. The MBA is highly recognized by employers worldwide and, according to the University of Essex, is currently the most popular professional degree program in the world.
If you are a highly ambitious graduate with strong career goals, an MBA could be right for you.
What is a Master of Business Administration(MBA)
The Master of Business Administration(MBA) is an internationally-recognized graduate degree program that provides the required skills for careers in Business and Management.
The MBA is a prestigious degree, that is well-appreciated by employers worldwide. Specifically designed to help graduates gain a better understanding of general business management, an MBA degree is usually undertaken by candidates with at least a few years of professional experience who seek to accelerate their careers or switch roles into a new function, industry, or geography.
Is an MBA better than a degree?
MBA is a higher-level qualification compared to a degree. MBAs award students with the equivalent qualification as a master’s degree. Graduates with having MBA are more likely to receive promotions at work and earn higher salaries compared to ordinary degree holders.
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Types of MBA Programs
MBA degree varies between disciplines, specialties, and schools. Listed below are different kinds of MBA programs.
Being the most popular type of MBA degree program, The two-year-full-time program offers candidates a two-year commitment in which they attend school on a full-time basis. MBA candidates are exposed to fundamental business skills like communication and strategy in the first year, while the second year is basically about learning core business skills.
The Two-year-full-time MBA degree requires large chunks of time, it affords candidates the opportunity to pursue an internship between the years. And it also helps candidates build a strong relationships with their classmates.
The One-year-full time MBA degree program is suitable for candidates that don’t want to spend too much time away from work, it is more intensive, faster-paced, and often requires a great level of sacrifice.
Candidates may still learn general business skills while selecting specialized electives during a one-year-full-time MBA program. However, less time may be devoted to group work.
This is suitable for candidates who are willing to study at their own pace and are not willing to leave work. Part-time MBA degree program has greater flexibility on how many courses can be taken at once and how quickly a student must move through the MBA program
Distance Learning (Online)
An Online MBA degree program allows students to attend school remotely. This offers students more flexibility around when they take classes and how they attend school.
This is ideal for those who work full-time, or have other commitments that studying could fit around.
Some MBA programs focus on global operations. Candidates interested in a wider focus and wanting to branch out from just domestic companies or segments of a company can help candidates build an international network and foster opportunities around the world. International MBA candidates may be more diverse than traditional or domestic MBAs, especially if the international MBA offers online classes.
Executive MBA degree programs are suitable for people who are already in management positions but want to progress their careers further. This course of study usually entails the scheduling of night classes and weekend classes. and is mainly premised on advanced topics such as leadership development.
While MBA candidates can focus on one of the core disciplines of the degree, such as management or finance, many MBA programs allow students to develop concentrations in specific industries. For example, an MBA student might specialize in sports management, entrepreneurship, the entertainment business, or healthcare management.
What are the entry requirements for an MBA?
Relevant work experience is a prerequisite for any standard MBA program. In the case of a regular MBA, business schools typically require a minimum of three years of work experience. An executive MBA – primarily designed for working business leaders – may require a minimum of five to ten years of professional experience.
Candidates also typically require an undergraduate degree at a 2:1 level. In some cases, the university may accept MBA candidates with a 2:2 level undergraduate degree, particularly with a good level of work experience.
You may be required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) as part of the MBA application process. The GMAT provides candidates with an opportunity to showcase their business skills and demonstrate their academic ability.
MBA courses and curriculum
The MBA curriculum is typically divided into two parts:
Core MBA courses cover the foundations of general management. Core courses typical of MBA programs include:
Finances and accounting
Human resources management
Elective MBA courses give you the opportunity to select courses that best match your individual career goals. You usually study the core MBA syllabus before choosing electives in the second half of the program.
There are a wide variety of elective courses covering anything from HR management, nonprofit management, entrepreneurship, sustainability, and CSR, to cutting-edge topics like artificial intelligence and blockchain.
Most MBA courses are taught using the case study method, made famous by Harvard Business School, which sees students analyze case studies of business successes or failures before discussing them in class.
How to make your MBA a success
With relatively high tuition fees, it is vital that every student make the most of their MBA experience. Although an MBA from a top-tier program does open up a lot of doors, getting a solid ROI on your MBA degree requires a bit more than mere admittance to a top school.
Some ways to get the most out of your MBA degree are:
1. Network, network, network!
An MBA offers you more than just knowledge of the business. It also provides you with a wealth of networking opportunities. By virtue of being a student at the same business school, you will get access to a vast alumni network of successful entrepreneurs, executives, and investors. Through networking with seniors, alumni, and professors, you will gain access to jobs, investments, and mentorships that may not otherwise be available to you.
2. Interact with others
The obvious question following point #1 above is: just how do you network? Fortunately, MBA programs offer plenty of networking opportunities for even the most introverted of students. Most campuses will have dozens of clubs catering to different interest groups, societies where you can interact with fellow students, and other events where you can mix with alumni and professors. In addition, you also have access to digital networking opportunities through social networks,
3. Build up skills outside the classroom
You’ll learn a lot in the classroom, but there are some crucial skills you’ll have to work on your own as well. This includes technical as well as interpersonal skills. An MBA is also a great opportunity to work on your communication skills such as public speaking and listening skills. Essentially, you must consider an MBA as an opportunity to learn and grow as a person. This means pushing for that extra bit once the class is over and the lights go out.
4. Take an internship
An MBA is a practical degree that provides practical knowledge that you can apply to real-world business scenarios. Therefore doing as many internships as possible is crucial to getting the most out of the MBA experience. Try to intern at the places you’d like to ideally work at after your MBA. While you’re at it, try to apply lessons from your classroom to the business. This will give you much-needed insight into how an actual business is run – and how your MBA could help run it better.
5. Be proactive
Lastly, getting the most out of your MBA means being proactive. Whether it is networking with alumni or interacting with classmates, being proactive will open up new opportunities and make you a much better candidate when it comes to job hunting.
FAQ on MBA
A top MBA is a substantial investment, with the cost easily running into six figures at the most selective institutions. For those on full-time courses, there’s also the lost earnings from one or two years out of the workforce to factor into the decision to return to school. But many graduates report a strong return on their investment in the MBA. For most participants, the main aim is to increase their salary but personal development, interpersonal skills, and ethics also matter to them.
What is the GMAT?
GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test. The GMAT is a standardized test that has traditionally been required to apply for many MBA courses and other graduate master’s programs around the world, though many business schools have made the exam optional for admission to MBAs.