How will studying for an MBA benefit you?
Accredited MBA courses and business schools seek to prepare students for senior management roles in business. They do this by exposing you to all areas of business including accounting, finance, marketing, and human resources. Unlike other Masters programmes which provide further specialization in a specific field, an MBA is interdisciplinary drawing from the fields of psychology, sociology, economics, accounting and finance.
With fees ranging from £16,000 to a whopping £73,000, it can be hard to justify leaving your well-paid career in pursuit of the notoriously difficult MBA. Companies which have traditionally sponsored their employees’ MBA study may also be put off. Even if you study for a part-time executive MBA, fees are expensive and an extraordinary degree of self-discipline is required, not to mention a sympathetic family to boot.
The simple question is how will an MBA benefit your career and your life?
MBA and its impact on your Salary
Whether you agree or not, many people equate success and even happiness to their pay packet. Well it’s good news for those with an MBA.
- MBA graduates earn over £80,000. According to the Association of MBAs (AMBA).
- Immediately after graduation from London Business School, you’re likely to land a job with a wage packet of over £70,000.
So if it’s money you’re after, an MBA may well be worth striving for.
The MBA and your Career
An MBA can open up new avenues and provide you with new skills in the workplace.
MBAs are primarily for those seeking to switch careers (typically into finance or consulting roles) or for progression within an already established career. Despite the fact that only 74% of Stanford University graduates have jobs lined up by the time they pass out, as opposed to 95% just eight years ago, a convincing case can be made as to the career benefits of an MBA.
42 CEOs of the Fortune top 100 companies hold an MBA.
The MBA curriculum seeks to provide corporations with candidates of the required managerial skill needed to run them. Concerns have been raised regarding the stagnant nature of the MBA course but the fact remains that of 42 CEOs of the Fortune top 100 companies hold an MBA.
If you don’t fancy a career in finance or consulting (the choice of the majority of MBA students), the skills you will acquire are certainly transferable to other roles, as evidenced by the MBA’s strong representation in other sectors:
- 10% of MBA graduates enjoy successful careers within industry.
- 9% in healthcare.
- 9% in public service.
- 5% in energy.
- 5% in the consumer goods sector.
Opportunities for networking
You’ll be receiving tuition from some great business minds. Some will be part of your faculty and others specially invited to share their wealth of experience and knowledge with you. Your tutors and guest speakers are likely to be key personalities in their field and will bring with them a network of contacts for you to utilise. If you use this opportunity it’s likely that you’ll gain some sort of step up within your chosen field.
Fellow students will greatly extend your professional network; some of the students on your MBA course will be successful later in life, and the field of work that their success lies in will vary from person to person. Forming professional and personal bonds with these people may prove invaluable in your future.
As one graduate explained in Business Insight magazine, “after what you go through together, the partnerships you forge during your MBA are for life – you can find a business partner, a mentor, a friend, and endless career opportunities.”
The current economic climate has resulted in employers hiring less, so it’s no surprise that this has affected the employability of MBA graduates. But work hard and apply yourself and an MBA may prove invaluable in progressing your career.
There are personal benefits to studying for an MBA
If the salary and overall career improvement potential of the MBA aren’t enough to convince you to enrol, perhaps the reported personal development that the course provides will be.
- Employers report that Masters of Business Administration are people with a high level of credibility, they are extremely confident and able to influence other workers.
- The MBA has a high level of focus on producing future managers. The activities you’ll be involved in force you to interact with people and, in turn, grow as a person.
You’ll share your year with a student body pooled from a variety of cultural and educational backgrounds. MBA providers specifically seek to recruit graduates with a variety of degrees and working backgrounds.
- Emphasis within the course is placed on interaction, e.g. team working and role-playing exercises. These help to build your rapport with people and can make you a more rounded person. Mixing with all sorts of different people will challenge your pre-established perceptions of the world.
So will I benefit?
Whether or not for good reason, MBAs have come under some fire recently. Robert Lutz, a well-known American motor industry businessman and notable MBA alumnus, has been quoted as saying, ‘fire all the MBAs’. The main argument against the MBA seems to be that the institutions that provide them are unable to evolve fast enough in response to the dynamic business world.
- It’s true that consumer behaviour is changing beyond recognition but studying for an MBA will give you a chance to experiment with your approach to problem solving and develop your management and interpersonal skills; all timeless abilities.
- An MBA can’t guarantee success in your career, nothing can in the wake of recession – but with the right hard-working and can-do attitude, an MBA may serve to provide the enhancements in life and work that you are searching for.
Next page: The MBA Application Process