The MBA degree, which stands for a master’s in business administration, is a great degree for individuals looking to get into a senior position within business, or for entrepreneurs who have ambitions of starting their own business. The degree is one of the highest qualifications an individual can obtain in the field of business, making it a very sought-after degree for employers, however this does make it a tough degree to get into.
The degree aims to give students a robust understanding of all the different aspects there are within a business, in an attempt to make graduates well rounded business people who can excel in a wide array of environments.
The first thing for potential MBA students to understand is that the MBA is a master’s degree, which means that individuals who desire to get into the course need to have first obtained a bachelor’s degree from a quality American institution or from one of the top Universities overseas. You don’t need to have a bachelor’s in a particular area of study to apply, however, it will be beneficial for the applicant to have a degree in business, marketing, English or other humanities due to the number of transferable skills within these degrees. This need for a bachelor’s can make getting onto a MBA pretty hard, as most bachelors take four years to complete, meaning you need to be incredibly determined.
As well as the desired qualifications, there are a few other things you’ll need to do in order to get into an MBA. The first is that your application is accompanied by a well written personal statement and you’ll have to include a good, professional looking and informative resume. The best resumes will be ones that are filled with relevant experience, so it’s a good idea to get work experience within a business as early as you can in your academic life to boost your application.
You will also need to prove that you’re proficient in English. To do this, most aspiring students get a TOEFL qualification, with the minimal scores required to get in ranging from 550-600 for paper-based tests, and 213-250 for computer-based ones. Students also need an exceptional GPA to even be considered for the course, as this proves that you have the academic know-how to excel and do well.
You also need a couple of letters of recommendation to go alongside your application. This can be from teachers, bosses or other people from your life that have had leadership roles over you.
Qualifications aren’t all you need though, as an applicant will need a suitable amount of experience within a business position when applying for an mba. The amount of experiencerequired for most degrees is at least three years if you were in an entry level role, however the time can be cut down depending on the seniority of your position.
Once you graduate from the degree, you’ll be looking for leadership positions, so it’s good to have an understanding of at least lower-level business before making the transition.
What The MBA is Like
In terms of workload, studying an MBA is not dissimilar to learning any other form of higher education, click here for more information. It’s as demanding and as full on as any other master’s you will be enrolled in. However, the MBA also requires great focus, determination and commitment to out of lecture learning, as there is a lot to get through in a relatively short amount of time. Despite this need for commitment, the MBA is an extremely rewarding degree and is great for students to do, due to how it can help prepare individuals for a business role.
There are two different ways an MBA can be studied. You can either learn the degree on a campus, meaning that you will attend lectures and will have access to the resources on site, or you can do what a lot more people are doing and learn an MBA online. This can be an attractive way to learn the degree for many because learning the degree online means that you’re not required to move locations and can allow more flexibility for you to study around other commitments, such as a family or work. This is great because most people on an MBA will usually already have worked in business and could still have a lucrative and beneficial job, so being able to continue with that is a wonderful advantage.
The online version of the MBA can be a little bit isolating, as you will be separate from your peers and may miss out on networking events, but the accessibility it provides does make it worth it.
However, an online version of the course isn’t the only alteration you make to an MBA. While the general course gives you a wide overview of business management, you can also choose to take a specialization which teaches more specific courses on a particular area. This is great for students who are already aware of what aspect of business they want to go into and doing this can help them become an expert in that single field.
There are a lot of great specializations to get into, but here are some of the most common and popular.
- General Management
This specialization is by far the most popular version of the course, because it allows students to learn a vast array of essential management skills that can be applied to many roles within business and outside of it too. It makes students well equipped for a role in marketing, systems management and even in human resources.
- Financial Leadership
Financial leadership is a great specialization for MBA students to choose because it equips students to better manage a business’s finances. This course will teach the student all they need to know in analytics, statistics, accounting and a lot more, which can lead the student into roles in banking and high-level financial management.
With marketing becoming a massive aspect of business, the marketing specialization is a great choice for students as it will make them well skilled in helping a business progress and grow. In this degree, students will learn how to design market campaigns, and promote services and products, as well as many other factors. These skills will best suit candidates who are going into roles in either B2B or B2C companies.
Studying an MBA can help students and business people obtain some critical skills that can benefit their careers in business – which will make them better equipped for demanding management positions and leadership roles. The skills learnt are also transferable to many other professions and roles in a wide array of sectors, meaning that studying this course can also help improve your job prospects in other positions as well.
- Risk management
Risk taking is essential for businesses to grow and take the next step, however it’s vital for business owners to know and learn how to determine what risks are worth taking and which ones are too dangerous. An MBA can help teach these vital skills in managing risk and evaluating them, so that they can make better informed decisions in terms of how to best lead and direct a company.
A lot of MBA courses will try to simulate a work environment so that students can get used to this critical aspect of business management and to fine tune their ability to manage change.
- Ethical decision-making
Due to the change in public perception and attitude, businesses are trying even harder to be more ethical and operate in a more responsible manner in order to appease these changes in customer attitudes. In fact, the whole concept of being more socially responsible as a corporation is said to be worth around $76billion, meaning that making more ethical changes and being more responsible for the environment and suppliers can be a very lucrative thing for businesses to get involved with.
One of the main thing’s students are taught within an MBA is how to make good ethical decisions and how to guide a business so that it’s operating as a better entity. Making changes such as using responsibly sourced suppliers, trying to attain a carbon neutral business as well as many other factors will be useful in boosting brand awareness, giving the business a competitive edge over competitors and help the business save money, as they will avoid extra taxes and fines.
By exploring different business cultures, responsible leadership strategies, your own personal and professional values and those of others as part of an MBA, you gain the knowledge and confidence to follow a moral bearing when making commercial decisions and leading others.
- Interpersonal and people management skills
As a business leader, it’s important that you obtain the skills needed to effectively manage peopleand teams well. Having a good team that responds well to a leader will lead to greater productivity and improve moral – always good for business. An MBA will teach students how to communicate with their staff, evaluate their strengths and weakness as well as motivate their staff to get the best out of them. All this will be extremely useful in making you a better and well-respected manager.