Every organisation is looking for dynamic professionals with specialised skill sets. A bachelor’s degree is no longer enough to guarantee job security; recruiters are looking for candidates with recognised professional degrees.
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is considered one of the most sought-after business management degrees – particularly if it is from a school that provides global exposure to the business world, because it is expected to equip students with the skills to solve real-time business situations.
Many business schools globally offer programmes that can be studied full-time, part-time, and online, as well as specialised executive MBA programmes.
THIS ARTICLE COVERS:
- What is an MBA?
- Why do an MBA?
- Types of MBA programmes
- How to succeed in your MBA degree
Master of Business Administration programmes are usually designed to develop the leadership and functional skills required to run an organisation, be it a business, a governmental department or organ of state, a nonprofit, or your own start-up. While these qualifications are generalist by nature, giving candidates a broad understanding of all major aspects of business, you will be able to specialise in areas of particular interest – mergers and acquisitions, for example, or human resources or logistics.
The best business schools require prospective candidates to have a certain amount of managerial experience in order to qualify for admission. This is important for several reasons – to ensure that you have a basis on which to scaffold your learning, so that you can contribute to class discussions on an equal footing, and to become a contributing member of the peer networks formed in business school.
Besides helping you get to grips with how to solve wicked business issues, your MBA will connect you to a diverse group of professionals that will in time evolve into a global network of alumni.
The most common reasons people opt for an MBA degree include:
- Improved career prospects and earning potential;
- Enhanced finance skills;
- International exposure;
- Improved awareness of global market opportunities;
- Understanding additional functional areas and industries;
- Superior managerial and interpersonal skills;
- To climb the corporate ladder.
Better time management and communication skills are additional benefits that frequently flow from this qualification.
The MBA programmes offered by various institutions run over different periods, award different credits, and present a variety of subjects, so you should be able to find one that works for your schedule, interests, and time commitments. Here’s what you might expect:
The one-year MBA
- Is designed for candidates with clear career goals;
- Intensive, fast-paced;
- Equips students with general business skills;
- Sacrifices depth of content to speed; and
- Helps accelerate a current career path.
According to the Graduate Management Admission Council 2020 Application Trends Survey, nearly 70% of US MBA applicants enrolled for full-time one-year MBA programmes.
The two-year MBA
These programmes are:
- Designed to build the strategic management and leadership capacity of mid-level to senior business professionals;
- Equip students with general business skills;
- Permit students to specialise through electives;
- Though intense and fast-paced, allow greater exploration of each topic;
- Generally offer classes after hours and on weekends, so can fit in with your work schedule;
- Require students to investigate and solve a business problem in order to earn their degree; and
- The transformational nature of this programme can provide you with new career opportunities.
This is the most common type of MBA programme offered. It can be completed by studying full time, part time or online.
Whichever way you plan to study for your MBA, there are things to consider. These tips will help you get the best out of your programme.
Set your goals and make them happen
During the MBA programme you will learn new concepts and theories. This new knowledge should help you identify potential risks and opportunities you are likely to face throughout your career. Make a note of your goals and go through them daily to focus better. Conscious, daily work on your goals daily will help you reach your full potential.
Never compare your goals with your peers’
A significant criterion of the MBA is that it is designed as a melting pot for students from different disciplines and aspirations. Exposure to these differences and a willingness to learn from them will contribute to your success … but it also means that success and growth will look different and mean different things for every student. Always measure your success by your standards, not by benchmarking them against those of your peers.
Prepare a long-term career plan
You are likely to come across exciting job opportunities during your MBA studies. Invest time in identifying your career aspirations. This will help you focus on what you need to achieve to get there, as well as to assess the opportunities on offer.
Always be ready to take risks
Never be afraid to step outside your comfort zone during your business studies. Your classroom offers a safe space for experimentation, so push yourself to make the most out of your MBA experience. Join different clubs and participate to get to know more students. This will expose you to new ideas and ways of thinking.
Learn to manage your time
The only way to survive the bombardment of business school stimuli is learning to manage your time. It’s also a crucial life skill.
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