Is an MBA Worth Doing in 2023, South Africa | Regenesys

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If you had to ask my personal opinion based on my experience, and given the fact that my siblings and I are all MBA graduates and I have noticed the personal and professional transformation we all have gone through, the answer would definitely be a YES. But at the same time, if you ask a person who hasn’t done an MBA and yet started a business or accomplished something in their professional life, the answer might be a no. So, let’s not go by personal opinions, as it will vary based on the person giving you the advice and also motive, if any, behind giving that advice.

In light of the above, I would like to present 3 logical reasons as to why you should pursue an MBA and 2 on why/when you shouldn’t and I am sure you will be able to decide for yourself in a very rational way by the end of this short article, to do or not to do an MBA in 2022.

MBA program

So, here are the 3 reasons on why you should pursue an MBA:

1. Personal Transformation & Skill Development:

“I am not from an accounting background and I might not be able to cope,” is what most of the candidates fear, but let me tell you an MBA is much more than accounting, it is a multidisciplinary course which touches upon an array of modules from Human Resource Management, Change Management, Marketing to Finance & Accounting, to name a few. Amd this is just the tip of the iceberg – once you start exploring the modules which are covered in an MBA curriculum you will see that it gives you a complete picture of the business world, which you might not be able to capture even after being in that world for many years. The Regenesys MBA includes revolutionary topics such as emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence, which not only transform you at a professional level but has a strong impact on you at a personal level. Apart from teaching you different modules, a good MBA programme also works on building/honing your skills ranging from critical thinking, thinking out of the box to having a glocal(global+local) outlook by adopting a hands-on and more participative teaching methodology.

2. Job opportunities & Career advancement.

Another factor – which is a no-brainer – is that if undertaken at a credible institution, an accredited MBA degree gives you an edge over those who don’t have one.  As per a detailed survey by Harvard Business Review[1] in 2019,  39 out of  the 100 “best performing CEOs in the world” have an MBA degree, while this number was 25 out of 100 in a similar Harvard Business Review survey[2] in 2014. Not only as CEOs, but across all managerial levels a candidate with a credible degree coupled with skills/expertise is preferred over a skilled candidate with no such degree. In fact in a report[3] by Harvard Business School titled “Dismissed by Degrees” it is stated that in their analysis of over twenty six million job postings, it was discovered that the degree gap which denotes the “disparity which exists between the demand for a college degree in job postings and the employees who are currently in that job who have a college degree” is significant. Hence, an MBA degree from a good institution can contribute to providing a launchpad to freshers who are job aspirants and also helps in furthering the career advancement of those seeking promotions/switching to higher levels of management/switching to managerial roles.

3. Personal Branding

 A good MBA programme is meant not only to be an academic activity focussed on writing exams and passing them, but a transformational one, where along with an increase in knowledge, you work on acquiring professional competencies, ranging from a holistic thought process, decision-making skills to problem solving skills. By acquiring an MBA from a credible institution it is assumed that you have gone through a transformational process, and you have learned certain professional competencies. This credibility that comes with a good MBA degree helps you project your personal brand – you as a product of a challenging and intensive transformational learning process. You can use this personal branding to your advantage in a number of ways other than the aforementioned points of getting a job or promotion. It can also help you if you want to start a new venture or go into the field of consulting.

After you have got a flavour of what comes with an MBA degree and why you should pursue it,  let’s look at the 2 reasons which might advocate against getting one.

1. Cost vs. Benefit of doing an MBA

As per Graduate Management Admission Council’s Corporate Recruiters Survey 2021[4], “At $115,000, the median salary of MBA graduates is 77 percent more than those with a bachelor’s degree ($65,000) and 53 percent higher as compared to those hired directly from industry ($75,000)”. The trend seems to be increasing, but so are the costs of acquiring a decent MBA degree. While educational loans seem to be a good option , it comes with liabilities i.e. your time, attention and interest you pay on it, there are some other options such as the EdForAll initiative by Regenesys Business School, which address such concerns well and can be explored, but if you feel that it is easy for you to enter and climb up the corporate ladder and get a pay equal or more than such degree holders, then getting an MBA just for the reason of ascertaining financial gains won’t be advisable. But if you want to fastrack that process, then an MBA is a good option.

2. The Course itself

With a large number of institutions offering an MBA degree on campus and online , it is hard to choose, but it will be wise to remember that choosing an MBA programme from an institution which does not believe in and deliver a holistic development of its students , is not worth investing in.

In this digital era, information is easily available free of cost at one click, so instead of focussing on just the information you need to absorb during your MBA programme, also focus on what more the institution has to offer which will make the process truly transformational. Is there a focus on skills development, hands-on learning in addition to expert faculty and an up to date curriculum? If not again the institution and the degree won’t be worth investing into. Another important aspect is whether the curriculum is very generalistic and old-age or does it captures niche and current topics related to the complex business world we are in, such as modules which are an amalgamation of IT and management, Innovation, Spiritual intelligence and ethics, and change management to name a few. If you find such a course, which takes care of technological literacy within the ambit of management, a holistic approach to management and aims to prepare you for the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguos(VUCA) world we operate in, then and only then , it is worth an investment. So carefully study their offerings if you wish to pursue an MBA.

I am sure an honest evaluation of these points will help you not only make a decision as to whether to pursue an MBA Degree or not but , if the answer is yes, will also help you in choosing the right one. Whatever your decision is, always believe and invest in continuous learning and development, because that’s what pays off in the long run.

Wishing you a great career and lots of success !

Happy Learning.

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PhD, MBA Senior Lecturer | Regenesys Business School Dr Shaista, who holds a PhD in Management from Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology in Allahabad, teaches creative thinking, innovation and design thinking at Regenesys. Her doctoral research examined the variables of creativity, emotional intelligence and organisational culture. She believes both in holistic development of students and continuous learning, and has had several research papers published.

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