MBA degrees are expensive. What’s a girl to do if she can’t afford the S$30,000-S$100,00 tuition fee?

Well, she can hack her way through, that’s what. If you find yourself in a position where you need to upgrade your business skills, here’s how to get them without actually paying the full price.

How To Get An MBA Degree Without The Price Tag

Please note that none of the below will result in an actual MBA degree certificate. If your career actually demands one, then this ‘hack’ won’t work for you. However, if you are constantly on the prowl for great learning tips and materials, you have come to the right place!

MBA Degree Without The Price Tag: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Did you know you can enrol in MOOCs from great universities such as Stanford, Duke, and Yale on topics such as Technology Entrepreneurship, Java Programming, and The Global Financial Crisis?

These are but only a few of the great universities and courses offered on platforms such as Coursera and edX. And guess what? Most of them are free to take (but require a small sum for credentials or certificates).

Here is a massive list of free certificate courses from MOOCs. Sorted by most recent intakes, we can see MBA-degree-type courses such as accounting, economics, leadership, information design, graph analytics, statistics, corporate finance, marketing, and many more.

Cost: Free (or a small sum for the credentials so you can put it on your CV)

MBA Degree Without The Price Tag: Go on a Reading Challenge

If you read a lot of advice from successful people, many of them will say ‘read a lot, especially non-fiction books’.

We agree. Reading books are one of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of a particular subject matter, or great mind. No article can fully explain the intrinsic mindset of a charismatic leader. No blog post can fully explain the nuances of the world economics. No Facebook post can fully explain the history and applicability of business practices.

How To Get An MBA Degree Without The Price Tag

Many people go on yearly reading challenges – here is one such website where users can post books they plan to read throughout the year. At last count, there are more than 1 million participants in the 2016 Reading Challenge, and it’s not too late for you to join in! You can set the number of books to read (a lot if you’re ambitious, a few if you’re busy) and track your progress.

If you don’t know what to read, just head over to your library or your local bookstore for suggestions. We bet something will catch your eye.  Or you can also start with these 6 personal finance books women must read.

Cost: From free (libraries) to a few hundred dollars

MBA Degree Without The Price Tag: Keep up with World Happenings through Wikipedia

Did you know that Wikipedia has a ‘Current Events’ page?

This hack allows you to quickly scan the most pressing issues and news in the world, some of which may be relevant to your work. The headings are armed conflict and attacks (unfortunately, this list is almost always long), arts and culture, business and economy, disasters and accidents, health, law and crime,  international relations, politics and elections, science and technology and sports.

Imagine being known as the most up-to-date person in the office!

Cost: free

Tips For Success: How To Make Your First Million Dollar

MBA Degree Without The Price Tag: Network your way to success!

Arguably, one of the best aspects of attending a business school is for the opportunity to network with the best, most ambitious minds in the business.

Thankfully, there are a lot of networking options in Singapore – you just have to know where to look. You can join the Singapore Business Meetup Group or other various networking events.

Looking for a female space? You can check out these networking communities for female entrepreneurs in Singapore, for the company of like-minded success-driven individuals like yourself.

Cost: Possible entry fees/ food & drinks

MBA Degree Education Without The Price Tag: Improve your Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

Seeking to improve your public speaking and presentation skills? Look no further than Toastmasters – they have been around for ages! Not your cup of tea? Perhaps the British Council’s Interpersonal Communication workshop can help?

Cost: minimal fee for Toastmasters, around S$1000 for a course in British Council

How To Get An MBA Degree Without The Price Tag

MBA Degree Education Without The Price Tag: Get Actual Career and Work Tips from netizens

We were surprised over the wealth of information shared by netizens in the Reddit forum r/LifeProTips, especially under ‘Career and Work’ subsection. Here, many people request and share suggestions to improve themselves for their professional lives.

The great thing about this forum is that you can always find micro-actions that you can immediately implement in your professional life.

MBA Degree Without The Price Tag: Install learning apps on your phone

Isn’t instant information on the palm of your hands a beautiful thing? We think so too. You can get apps in practically anything related to business. You can increase your productivity, organise your networking contacts, get the latest business news, subscribe to e-magazines, create to-do lists, keep track of business expenses, work on documents on the go, and many more.

A valuable employee is an indispensable employee. With the usage of technology, you can use these apps to make yourself more relevant in the workplace.

All companies want to stay competitive in this day and age. Establish yourself as the office tech guru can benefit you, especially when you show initiative to help your colleagues. This is especially true if you work with older, less technologically savvy colleagues.

Bonus: Are you also an investor? Here are 6 apps to help you learn on the go.

Cost: Price of the apps

Can all these replace an actual MBA degree?

Quick answer: no. The unique experience of going back to business school is just that – unique. There’s no way to imitate debates about current business practices in a classroom setting, with input from an experienced professor.

However, in terms of learning experience, all of these can help you advance your career. You just have to keep learning and apply those lessons strategically throughout your career.

Fortunately, the desire to learn itself is free. The determination to succeed is free. Don’t let cost or lack of opportunities prevent you from reaching your full potential!

Can’t pursue that MBA? 4 Alternative Career-Advancing Choices You Can Take

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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