Do Your Homework When Considering an MBA
If you’re looking to improve your career prospects, the buzz going round right now may have put a bee in your head. You may be considering doing an MBA degree. Attaining this level of higher education will certainly pep up your resume and qualify you for certain types of employment and salary levels that would be unattainable without this advanced degree.
“MBA” stands for Masters of Business Administration. It is a versatile graduate degree that people all over the world study for. This means that once you have an MBA diploma under your belt, it can help you boost your career just about anywhere on the planet. In fact, the MBA is one of the most popular professional degrees in the world right now, with more than 2,500 different programmes on offer.
While the name might suggest that this a qualification focussed exclusively on a management career in the business world, it is, in fact, applicable to more different kinds of roles than you might initially think. An MBA can open new doors for you and it can create the appearance of new opportunities on your horizon. Whether you plan to work in a bank, the government sector, a private company or anywhere else that interests you, getting an MBA is a good choice.
How to Get Started
If this sounds interesting, you’ll want to know how to get started. A prerequisite for MBA study is an undergraduate degree from a good university. It’s worth mentioning that this doesn’t have to be a business-related degree, as the former subject requirements for acceptance into an MBA programme are not set in stone.
In addition to holding a BA or BS, you’ll be expected to have good scores on either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). A lot of MBA schools and institutes will accept either of these two types of test scores, although you should be aware that you will need to have passed the test in the most recent 5 years.
It is also expected that you have some practical work experience before starting MBA studies. While this isn’t always strictly necessary, it’s likely that you’d be asked get some experience rather than starting MBA studies fresh out of college or university.
Understand Your Choices of School or University
With so many different MBA programmes offered around the world, it comes as no surprise that they offer varying approaches. This means that it’s important to do some research and find the university or business school that offers a programme that meets your needs and goals.
As well as understanding the curriculum of individual programmes, you will also want to clarify each one’s entry requirements. Perhaps you are eligible for the one you most like the look of. or maybe you need to look at other options. In either case, the sooner you find out the details, the better.
You will also want to get a feel for the level of prestige an MBA degree from any given school will garner in the marketplace after you graduate. Because MBA programmes vary greatly, employers are more impressed by some than by others. You don’t want to study hard for this qualification only to find that it doesn’t wield the influence in the employment market that you counted on.
Choose the Right Programme
You can generally expect to complete an MBA in 2 years from the time you start studying. This timeline applies for a full-time, intensive study programme. Going out to work every day in a regular job whilst doing an MBA could be possible, but it would be fairly demanding. Such an undertaking may not be right for everyone.
However, you can also apply to a part-time MBA programme. In this case, you’d be studying for maybe 3 or 4 years. This could be suitable options for someone who can’t commit all of their time to studying, although it can become difficult to keep your commitment and motivation high for so long.
If you want to get qualified quickly and get on with your career, a one-year MBA programme is a highly rigorous approach that involves taking a lot of classes in a shorter timeframe. Other options that might be worth exploring include MBAs for people who already have extensive business experience and dual degrees that let you study something else at the same time.
A modern option that suits a lot of people is to study for an MBA online, although not all employers are going to be as impressed with this as they might be by more conventional methods of MBA study.
What You Study
MBAs offer very wide-ranging study courses that run the gamut of subjects related to the business world and management in general. You can expect to delve into courses with titles like Finance, Accounting, Economics, International Business, Business Law, Marketing and Management. The idea is that you study each of these subjects in sufficient depth to feel comfortable working in these areas or overseeing a team which delivers outcomes based on this knowledge.
You might find that the course you take specialises strongly in one or more of these areas. It’s also possible that you’d be complementing your studies with an internship before completing the MBA. Specialist MBAs focussing on areas such as marketing or accounting are now available and can be an excellent choice for anyone who has a clear idea of their future career path.
An MBA offers an excellent way of getting a comprehensive business education that you can apply in any one of a number of different aspects of a career. It is an expensive way to expand your education, but if you get the process right, the benefits will accompany you in your career and lifestyle for the rest of your days.
She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen).
Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).
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