A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a costly degree and requires a considerable investment of effort and time. Prospective students need to weigh these factors against the benefits an MBA provides. We look at the reasons why obtaining an MBA is a good idea.
What Is An MBA?
The altering face of business ushered in by the 4th Industrial Revolution that began in the mid-2010s is being experienced acutely. With it comes a requirement for different skills if we are to succeed in the new economic era. These competencies include the ability to solve problems creatively and more complex critical thinking. An MBA fosters these soft skills and the ability to adapt to the changing environment.
Thus, an MBA is far more than just a business degree. It promotes leadership capabilities and imparts a solid grounding in business principles. At the same time, it cultivates strategic thinking and a focus on being a leader who is aware of all the threads of organisational behaviour. Professional and personal development is naturally advanced.
An MBA introduces graduate students to a wide professional network. It paves the way for higher earnings (twice that which an ordinary degree makes possible) and more challenging job opportunities. The average salary after completing an MBA is around £55,000. Most MBA students have at least two years of experience at a professional level. That said, older senior managers also take up the challenge.
Although the details of curricula may vary between institutions, some common competencies and learnings are apparent. Management and leadership skills are more adaptable and highly developed after completing an MBA degree. There is a focus on the factors that ensure the financial success of the company. More workable partnerships are created, and networking is extensive.
The ability to handle negative events such as financial scandals competently and sustain a positive public image is instilled. The student has an industry-wide focus based on verifiable data that is accurately interpreted and reported. Tough choices are handled with equanimity. An MBA produces graduates who can retain top employees and find new staff with desirable portfolios. The optimal organisational structure is formed.
MBA students learn the latest management techniques and tools and how to utilise them effectively. They are able to adapt quickly to changes in their work environment and take on new challenges when other doors close. This makes them more adept at dealing with competition in their industries.
MBA programmes around the world and between institutions differ in the emphasis they place on aspects of business. The most common form an MBA takes is an all-around general management programme. Some universities focus on international business, which is necessary in the global world in which many companies do business. Another popular choice highlights strategic management. The finance option suits professionals in the banking industry and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) of many businesses. It spends more time on accounting, data analysis, and statistics. Operations management is suitable for the general manager of operations who needs to prioritise production processes. Professionals working extensively with technology and product development favour IT management.
If you want to start your own company then an MBA slanted towards entrepreneurship is best, while marketing is preferable for those in the marketing field and human resources for HR management. Consulting prepares graduates to work across different business sectors and attracts job opportunities with high remuneration.
Although a competitive salary is the norm for MBA graduates, the industry you specialise in may add an edge to the actual remuneration. As per the U.S. News, the top earning industries for MBA students are technology, consulting, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, and financial services (in no particular order). Bear in mind, however, that many factors are involved in deciding how much to pay an employee. Some people are more skilled at negotiating an advantageous package than others. Work experience will also play a role as well as the parameters of a particular company or industry.
Although networking benefits have been mentioned, they require a more detailed explanation. Studying an MBA exposes the graduate student to the alumni who have been through a particular MBA programme. This leads to extensive, in-depth discussions on world events and global affairs as well as more localised aspects with a game-changing effect. It deepens the way graduates think about crucial matters, their impacts, and their interactions.
Students forge professional relationships with each other and their professors that extend into the business arena. Job opportunities may be shared. There is always someone to turn to when a graduate is looking for additional insight into problems at work, or in need of a sounding board to test ideas.
Recouping the Costs of Studying an MBA
Although the initial investment in an MBA degree may be steep, the high salaries paid to MBA graduates allow them to recover these costs within two to three years. Additionally, an MBA leads to job opportunities that have great job security. Graduates may bring in an income that is double what a person who completed another master’s programme.
A comparison of the costs of MBAs studied in different countries was based on converting all figures to euros per annum. While there are cheaper and more expensive options in any country, the study focussed on top institutions. The highest tuition fees were found in the United States and Singapore at 35,000 EUR. Canada was next at 25,000 EUR, followed by the United Kingdom and Spain at 20,000 EUR. Australia was the lowest at 17,000 EUR. Despite the US being somewhat more expensive than most, they were deemed to have the best business models, tuition, and world economies. Having an MBA qualification from an American institution can make a graduate more competitive when seeking a job.
Online MBA degree programmes may be a cost-effective alternative to studying full-time. These are accredited programmes. It also permits the individual to earn an income from working and to gain more work-relevant experience to round out their studies. An online MBA from Aston University is the starting point for many key management positions. Online studies have the flexibility to let you set your own pace. You can also select the country you want to study through without having to relocate to complete your MBA.
MBA graduates do not merely survive; they thrive in the business environment.