Is the MBA Still the Holy Grail of Business Degrees?
The MBA degree has long been regarded as an essential qualification for managers who want to lead the biggest and best businesses. But is this still the case?
There are multiple benefits associated with studying for an MBA degree which confirm the qualification is less a relic to a bygone era than an essential entry qualification for senior management positions.
Expand Your Perceptions of the Business World
Over the course of studying for a master's in business administration, you will not only learn a lot about the practicalities of running a business, but you will also learn about the business landscape more broadly. Much of what you learn will be specific to the MBA; there is no other degree that prepares students so well for the challenges of overseeing an entire business. However, you will also learn many lessons that are applicable to businesses at all levels, not just from the vantage point of a manager.
There is a striking difference between managers who have completed their master’s in business administration and those that have risen through the ranks without the benefit of an MBA. We're not saying that one is necessarily better than the other; however, it is fair to say that while there are some lessons that come from experience, the guided experience of an MBA degree will enable you to learn in a more structured manner and absorb these lessons sooner than you otherwise would.
Broaden Your Horizons and Open New Doors
Historically, one of the biggest draws to the MBA degree for aspiring entrepreneurs is the doors it will open for them. You might be surprised just how much of a difference those three letters next to your name can make when you are applying for work. It doesn't matter what kind of business you are considering working in, having a master's of business administration on your resume will mark you out as a competent and reliable manager.
The skills that are taught over the course of an MBA are universal throughout the world of business. Most MBA courses will require students to be working in a managerial position at the same time as studying, which gives students the perfect opportunity to apply what they learn to a real-world scenario. Upon completing your MBA, you will be in the perfect position to either apply for a more senior role within the business that you currently work for, or for a managerial position in another company.
Of course, if you have had enough of working for other people and relish the thought of taking control of your professional life and becoming your own boss, the MBA will give you the knowledge and experience that you need to launch your own business venture. You don't need to have an MBA in order to work as a manager or to start your own business. However, the lessons that the MBA provides you with are invaluable and will ensure that you are doing so from the best position possible.
Improve Your Earning Potential
The broad range of opportunities open to MBA graduates reflects their increased value after earning their degree. All other things being equal, an applicant with an MBA on their resume will be able to command a higher salary than an applicant without any formal qualifications. This holds true even in cases where both of the applicants have significant real-world experience working as managers. If you want to significantly enhance your earnings potential, the MBA is one of the most effective ways of doing so.
Sure, it will take a couple of years to complete your course. Once you have earned your qualification you will immediately be able to start applying for those more lucrative positions. Not only this, but the time that it takes to complete an MBA course is nothing compared to the time it takes most people to work their way from the bottom to the top of most businesses. When you look at it this way, the MBA might even be the fastest route there is to a managerial role.
Studying for any university degree is going to be a challenge. However, it will also be an enriching experience. Beyond the business skills and knowledge that you will encounter throughout your course, you will also develop a variety of skills that are applicable beyond the world of business.
The simple act of taking this challenge provides you with a unique opportunity for self-improvement. If you have already pleasantly surprised yourself by successfully ascending to the rank of manager, look at the MBA as the next step for you to take. Having conquered one seemingly insurmountable challenge cover, you might be able to surprise yourself twice and conquer the challenge of completing an MBA.
Go Beyond "Business"
Despite having the word business in the name, the MBA degree is a fantastic launchpad for a number of future endeavors. For example, many MBA graduates will go on to lead non-profit organizations and charities. This is indicative of the significant overlap that exists in the skills required to successfully lead any large organization, whether it be a business or a charity.
If you have a burning passion for a particular cause, then studying an MBA could be the first step that you take towards getting involved in a meaningful way. If you already have experience leading businesses and other organizations, adding a formal qualification like the MBA on top will make you irresistible to hirers whether they are hired for a charity, a business or any other organization that requires solid leadership.
Students who want to embark on an MBA course have more options than ever before for where and how they study. Students are no longer restricted to traditional campus courses; there are now distance learning options for those who prefer to study from home. Wherever you want to study, work, or live, there are a plethora of options open to you.
Find Out More
If you think that the MBA might help you to achieve your professional goals, it is worth spending some time researching exactly what is involved. We don’t just mean the course itself; you should also try to find out what kind of roles MBA graduates can expect to land once they have finished their studies.
A great place to start is The MBA Tour. They are an organization that tours the globe, speaking to students at various educational institutions and closing the connectivity gap that has traditionally kept many students from pursuing the MBA. If you are considering an MBA, there is more information here about MBAs on The MBA Tour website. You can also find information about any upcoming webinars and events they are hosting when you sign up for their newsletter. If there is an event in your local area, it is worth attending. As the tour is worldwide, chances are that they will be headed your way at some point. If they are in town, they’re a fantastic source of MBA-related information.
The MBA degree remains one of the best degrees out there for managers who want to touch the very top of their field. It marks graduates out as the best of the best when it comes to business management, and there are few degrees that can expand your earning potential so dramatically.