When a wannabe manager considers taking a shot at an MBA, he or she is plagued by all sorts of questions. Is business education even necessary nowadays? Perhaps, it would be better to study somewhere overseas? Is it worthwhile to put so much money and effort into getting a degree in business administration? In short, does an MBA take you where you want to go?
After all, there are those who say that leaving the job market for one or two years is much too dangerous in terms of losing the valuable experience that could have provided a competitive advantage. Then there’s the price tag: the more prestigious the school, the larger the tuition. On the other hand, most experts believe that an MBA from an elite business school comes with a few perks.
Many business school applicants seem to agree, but their reasons aren’t immediately obvious. According to an AIGAC study, most people seek enrolment in MBA programs to learn something new and expand the range of opportunities available to them. Since more than thirteen hundred people agreed to answer AIGAC’s questions, this examination gives an insight into the thoughts of a rather wide demographic, which should be interesting.
So what are the arguments for an MBA?
The most frequently mentioned (57%) benefit of an MBA was a better understanding of business and the know-how that comes along with it. The second-best reason (favored by 49% of survey participants) was the ability to improve one’s employment outlook and/or start working in a different area. Sharing the next spot (with 48% each) were the people one got to know while studying for an MBA and promotion prospects. Naturally, the anticipated income increase made it to the top five (38%), but many of the respondents were of a less materialistic persuasion. At least 35% of them believed an MBA would help them become a force for good and do their part in making the world better.
Knowledge and inspiration
Of course, people have all sorts of motivations for applying to a business school. Some do it for quality education, others for the human connection studying for an MBA brings. A business school is a unique environment where you can become an expert in all business-related matters while being in a company of people who have very similar preferences and aspirations. Your fellow students will challenge and support you, which is perfect for personal growth. Not only will you understand yourself better, but you will also be able to grasp the intricacies of corporate relationship and adjust to any new trends that may emerge.
Employees in a modern company are expected to excel at teamwork. Business schools can help you with that. They teach all you all the skills necessary to put a team together, assign roles, facilitate interactions, and get your message across in any situation, no matter who you are talking to, you subordinate, your boss, or your client. This will serve you well in any segment you may choose to work next, as will the ties to business school graduates that you will build over the course of your MBA program.
Finding your niche
Yes, MBA programs help students see the big picture, but they also provide the means to study business with a much narrower focus. If you have a specific area you want to become an expert in, MBA will get you there. Even better, if you want to have a finger in a couple of pies, there are ways to get two specializations, so you could shift gears if need be. And if you want to start your own company, then business school is definitely the right place for you. It’s actually quite common for MBAs to establish businesses soon after or even before graduation. Other popular choices are consulting and various jobs in the service sector. Whatever your proclivity, you will probably find an MBA that fits you.
A satisfying compensation
In many cases, you have to sacrifice two years of employment to get an MBA, but many would say that the recompense is more than fair. On average, the remuneration MBAs receive is twice as big as the salary paid to alumni with diplomas in other fields. To cite just a few examples, business school graduates are paid over 100,000 dollars a year in America and almost as much in Canada, over ninety thousand in the UK, and about eighty thousand dollars in Germany. The best place for MBAs to work is Switzerland where they can earn more than 120,000 a year.
However, one should keep in mind that merely getting a business school diploma does not automatically guarantee a fat paycheck. Employers take other things into consideration like how much time you’ve spent working in the field, your performance and professional growth, etc. What an MBA program can do is prepare you for most eventualities.
Ultimately, when deciding whether or not to commit to an MBA, you should factor in both the sacrifices you will have to make and the rewards it will bring. Arguably, the biggest value business education has is giving students a wide range of choices.
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