Should you start studying for an MBA?

Career Advice
01 June 2016 | Career Advice | Guest Author
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is an internationally recognised degree that has been designed to develop professional skills in business and management. It’s one of the UK’s most popular post-graduate programmes and can be tailored to suit a variety of different goals.
An MBA, however, is not just about what’s taught in the classroom. Connections made through your tutors and fellow professionals, the networks you create and the business insights you gain are all important parts of the MBA experience. 
When deciding whether to apply for an MBA, there are a few different things to consider...

What will I learn from an MBA?

Some modules in MBA courses concentrate on developing entrepreneurial expertise, problem-solving and people-management skills, which have been proven to help professionals progress in their career. Others concentrate on more specific areas such as financial management, managing customer values and business strategy. 
Most MBA courses are designed to help professionals face a wide range of specific, real world business situations. This is so future employers know that candidates who have completed an MBA will be ready to deal with a diverse variety of managerial scenarios.
Professionals studying for an MBA are taught through a combination of academic and applied techniques, and teaching methods and modules are continually updated to incorporate the latest management practices. 
Another big part of the MBA process, both in general and specialist MBAs, is the personal development that occurs throughout time spent studying. Professionals are likely to become more confident, develop their empathy skills and work better in a team thanks to their studies. 

What different types of MBA courses are there?

There are various types of MBA programmes that have been designed to deal with a variety of different goals and lifestyles. 
MBAs are split into general courses and into those more geared towards a particular industry. There is a wide range of specialist MBAs to choose from, including; Financial Services, Digital Management, Marketing and International Management. 
For people who are very focused on a particular sector of business and are willing to stay in one industry, a specialist MBA can be a perfect choice. For people who like to be more broad with their learning, a general MBA may work better, and most of these courses let professionals choose more specific modules throughout their studies to help make it more tailored to individual goals. 

Who is suited to an MBA?

Studying for an MBA is best suited to people who want to take their career to the next level. An MBA will have an incredibly positive impact and can be the stepping stone needed to progress. 
The best MBA applicants need to have experience working in a business environment, be ambitious, tenacious and willing to work hard. An MBA is not for the faint-hearted, as undertaking the course will have an impact on all aspects of an applicant's life. 
Some people opt to study while working, which requires a steely determination and strong time management skills. Finding a balance is something each candidate should strive to achieve, and it can be done by people who have the right level of commitment. 

The benefits of studying for a MBA

The hard work and dedication put in while studying for an MBA is worth it for the considerable benefits professionals gain. A 2014 survey conducted by the Association of MBA's showed that a third of all respondents occupied a senior management role after graduating from their MBA course, and many of these graduates received a promotion immediately.
As well as the career benefits, MBAs can open up a wide range of paths that professionals may never have considered before. Many graduates go on to open their own businesses with the skills they have learned, and others move abroad after they learned new insights into  ways of working. 
In addition to this, the benefits of meeting a wide range of like-minded people cannot be underestimated. Growing a network of contacts is vital in business, and MBA courses introduce professionals to many like-minded people on their programme, as well as tutors, guest speakers and influencers. 

The next steps 

Even though an MBA can be a big commitment, for many people it’s the right path to take. From higher salaries to advanced problem-solving skills, there are a wide range of benefits for bright, ambitious, hard-working professionals. 

Rosa Mitchell is a writer for Manchester Metropolitan University, who offer a variety of different MBA courses. For more information, download their free guide to studying for an MBA.
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