Like many people this year, the global COVID-19 pandemic may have got you thinking about how you can improve your employability, job stability, and financial security in order to weather difficult economic times. There are lots of ways that you can do this – whether you want to retrain in a new career or level up in your current one – however, one of the most popular and prestigious options is to take an MBA.
How do you know if this qualification is the right choice for you, though? It’s a big investment in terms of both money and effort, so you want to be sure before making a commitment. Therefore, this post will give you an idea of whether taking an MBA is right for you.
Do you want to learn about all aspects of the business industry?
An MBA (Master’s in Business Administration) will instruct you in a wide range of topics in the business industry, so it is great way to gain an understanding of all business aspects to help you with your career aspirations. These include modules such as business strategy, critical leadership decisions, finance, leading complex organizations, and marketing. Many MBA courses will also cover the global economic environment, global sustainable business, leading global teams, strategic problem solving, and perspectives in business ethics.
As you can see, the scope of what you can learn on an MBA is very broad, which means that the skills and knowledge you gain will be useful in almost any job role and industry. On the other hand, if you know exactly which area of business you would like to focus on – for example, business analytics, digital marketing, accounting, wealth management, or financial technology – then a more targeted degree might be a better option. There are a huge number of degrees that do a deep dive into niche aspects of business and will allow you to truly hone in on the topic that is of most interest to you.
How do you like to study?
Deciding whether an MBA is right for you involves more than simply looking at a module list – you also need to think about the way the program is taught and whether that style suits you. An MBA puts a lot of emphasis on group projects, and you’ll also have to do a lot of presentations. This is great for building your confidence, as well as skills such as negotiation and teamwork. In addition, there will be plenty of reading to do, assignments to write, and seminars to attend. Most courses allow you the opportunity to participate in consulting projects with real companies to gain valuable experience working on genuine problems that real businesses are facing.
Whatever type of degree you go for, you can choose to study either virtually or in person. Online MBA courses are particularly well suited if you are intending to work while studying or if you want to enroll at an institution in a different city or even a different country to where you live. Either way, the program will be intensive and challenging, but if you put the effort in, it can also be very rewarding.
What kind of person will do well on an MBA?
The short answer is ‘whoever puts in the effort’! In many ways, this is a tricky question to answer because there isn’t only one type of person who is suitable for an MBA program. Having said that, they tend to be aimed at people who already have a few years of experience working in the corporate world, so if you’re a fresh graduate, you might want to get some real-world experience first. Similarly, for more senior people in executive or managerial roles, the Executive MBA is a more appropriate choice.
The main thing is that you need to be passionate about what the MBA involves to make sure you get the most out of it!
Do you have the time and money?
It’s a good idea to have a clear goal in mind when it comes to what you want to get out of your MBA. It’s a big financial investment, not to mention it will take at least one year to finish, so knowing why you are doing it is key. Think about where you want your career to go and whether an MBA is the program that will get you there.
Do you like the idea of practicals and group work?
An MBA is quite a practical course with lots of group project work. It’s great for people who want to put their knowledge and skills into practice in the real world and spend a lot of time networking with other like-minded professionals. If your interests are more academic, therefore, it could be that another type of degree would be better suited to you. For example, there are plenty of degrees that focus much more specifically on one area of business and are great for those who have a particular niche they would like to work in.
What are your career goals?
The potential benefits an MBA can bring you are huge, whatever your career goals might be. Firstly, having such a prestigious qualification shows employers that you are dedicated to your career and passionate. It greatly boosts your employability and job prospects, which in turn can bring you a higher salary and the financial security that comes with that.
Having said that, it’s a good idea to have a think about the specific type of career you’re hoping to move into and see if the MBA fits. For example, what are the recommended qualifications? What qualifications do people who already work in the job you want have? If there is a niche, technical or specialist qualification that’s more relevant, it might be a good idea to opt for that instead.
For many students, the biggest advantage that they get from their MBA is the networking opportunities it provides. You’ll be working alongside an impressive and diverse cohort of fellow students, as well as learning from educators who are among the best in their field. Plus, you may get the chance to network with businesspeople at a wide range of events or work with them directly on consulting projects. Successfully completing an MBA will give your business knowledge a huge boost, as well as help you to further develop your soft skills such as communication, leadership, problem-solving, and decision making. These will be of help to you, whatever your future plans are!