What Is An MBA and Why Do You Want One?

An MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. It is a degree that focuses on teaching students about the most important aspects of business and management. Students who earn an MBA often use it to advance their careers and ensure that they are well-paid throughout their lives. 

Nowadays, the search for an MBA or a career in business administration is quite popular among fresh college grads or graduates who have the desire to make a career in the business industry. With all of the hype that surrounds an MBA degree, it can be difficult to determine whether or not this is going to be the right option for you.

Have you ever wondered what an MBA is? Look no further. This article explains the definition of MBA and discusses some of the benefits.

What is an MBA in the First Place?

An MBA is a Master of Business Administration degree, which is a program that is necessary for those who wish to rise to higher positions in the business world. Previously, it was a degree for managers, but these days, it can also be used by people to become successful entrepreneurs.

Such programs aim to enhance students’ managerial skills and marketability. You can earn an MBA after two or three years of intense study in a chartered business school or a university, depending on the program’s structure. The courses will usually cover all aspects of the business world, such as accounting, marketing, economics, etc.

Why Do You Need an MBA in Today’s Job Market?

1. An MBA can fast-track your career

Everyone starts off their career with the same goal: landing a good job. If you’ve been working for a while, maybe you’re ready to move up to that enticing six-figure position. But an enticing salary and a high-ranking role don’t just happen; it takes hard work, dedication, and skill. For many people, this means getting an MBA.

In today’s competitive job market, high performers are moving up more quickly than ever before. In some industries, going from associate to director is a matter of months, not years. Gaining an MBA gives you a competitive edge in today’s job market and can help accelerate your career.

2. A degree is an investment in yourself

If your career path requires a graduate degree, you’ll need to think of it as an investment. With so many industries becoming increasingly competitive and employers hiring the most qualified people they can find, the more education and experience you have, the more competitive you become.

Besides, when you look to the future, the most valuable asset you have is yourself, and it pays for itself over time. A graduate degree offers a higher return on investment than other investments and assets. According to Brookings, graduate students can earn up to double what a bachelor’s degree holder can earn in their lifetime. 

An MBA is an investment in your career, increasing your market value and enabling you to move up in your field.

SEE: Understand self-learning

3. It will open up new career paths

For those looking to change their career trajectory, an MBA is a driving force behind it. MBA students are exposed to a wide array of business areas, allowing them to figure out where their true interest lies. Having an MBA will open up job opportunities you didn’t even know existed and help you identify the path that suits you the most. 

Even if you have your heart set on a particular area, having other options will only work to your benefit in the long term. Ultimately, this is one of the greatest benefits of a business degree since it opens up new career paths that can lead you to experience in industries and areas you wouldn’t have had access to before.

4. You will learn about a range of business disciplines

Today’s business leaders need to know about more than just their area of speciality. The MBA is an intensive study of all aspects of the modern business environment in an interactive, collaborative setting.

Pursuing an MBA provides you with the opportunity to learn about a range of business disciplines. You’ll be able to choose from elective courses in areas such as finance, marketing, and operations. 

In addition, you’ll benefit from courses in project management, accounting, and economics that may not be available in undergraduate programs. Through specialization courses offered by most MBA programs, you will gain in-depth knowledge of your particular interest. Furthermore, students learn to critically analyze complex business problems and create effective strategies for solving them.

5. Networking – Meet key people in your field

Whether you’re looking to build your network, gain some leadership building skills, or learn something new, earning an MBA can help get your career to where you want it to be. 

Networking is a key skill that you must develop to survive today. It can help you achieve your goals when looking for a job, help you grow professionally, and build strong business relationships. 

Attending conferences, panels, and networking events is an important part of developing expertise and a professional network in any field. Networking will allow you to meet people who can help you make connections that are crucial to your success.

SEE: Explore networking skills

6. Credibility with potential employers

Some people might think an MBA isn’t worth the time, but in today’s business world, it’s never been more important. Earning your MBA helps you specialize in a certain area of business, stand out from your peers, and gain some much-needed leadership experience. It will show potential employers that you have what it takes to get a leadership position—and succeed in it.

Wouldn’t it be nice to stroll into your next interview with a prestigious MBA on your resume? Turn those questioning eyes into glowing praise by showing off your MBA in the first 30 seconds of your interview. With an MBA, you will turn closed doors into open ones and raise eyebrows with your credibility.

SEE: Employers are looking for these skills 

7. Expand your skillset

Expanding your skill set is one of the most rewarding aspects of any educational experience. Joining an MBA program means becoming a part of a community of learners. It might mean learning accounting or econometrics, trying your hand at corporate finance or investment management, or getting practical experience through teamwork and case studies. 

If you aspire to gain skills beyond your current job, an advanced degree is a great way to do it. Additionally, you can select electives that will broaden your knowledge and perspective while learning best practices in your field. Whatever direction you go, expect new challenges – they’re part of how you grow as a professional.

SEE: Discover the benefits of entrepreneurial skills 

Different Types of MBA Programs

1. Full-time MBA

A full-time MBA is up to two years of concentrated, rigorous coursework in fundamental business courses. Full-time programs are ideal for recent graduates right out of undergrad, who want to pivot into business or a related industry. 

These programs allow you to interact with and build lifelong friendships with your classmates (even if you don’t sit next to them on the first day of class). 

Full-time MBA options are a great option if you have the time, want to change what you have been doing, and do not want to feel constrained by a significant other or children.

2. Part-time MBA

Typically, students in part-time MBA programs are older and employed full-time. The students attend classes only one to two days per week in person. They sometimes have lectures on weekends at an off-campus location, so they are not in the classroom every day. 

Part-time MBA programs generally last between three and four years. They can often be tailored to a student’s specific interests. Professionals balancing busy work, family, and community responsibilities will benefit from part-time MBA programs. 

3. Executive MBA

These programs are highly selective and have a strong academic focus. Executive MBA participants already have good leadership skills and are experienced, business people. If you’re a full-time working professional with at least eight years of experience, the Executive MBA may be for you.

A significant aspect of these programs is the building of a network of relationships with peers and mentors from a variety of industries and backgrounds. Executive MBAs are designed for those who have demonstrated their potential to benefit from an MBA program. 

Often, students enrolled in executive MBA programs have responsibilities outside of school and can’t quit their day jobs.

4. Online MBA

Online MBA programs are business curriculums taught through online learning platforms. These programs can be a convenient and affordable way for students to earn their degrees without the need for classroom attendance.

These programs are ideal for people who want to earn their degrees while balancing professional priorities. The course format is flexible and adaptable, making it easy to study on your time. And with no commute or campus attendance required, you’re able to save time, energy and money. 

SEE: Explore reasons to take an online class

How to Pick an MBA Program

1. Do research

Lots of people make decisions about MBA programs solely based on rankings. This is a big mistake. Although rankings are an excellent benchmark for the top business schools, don’t assume that the top-ranked school will necessarily be the best fit for you.

To find schools that best match your professional and personal prospects, start by conducting basic research on business school evaluations and data. Once you have a sense of which schools may be right for you, it’s time to start drafting your shortlist.

2. Personal factors to consider

It can feel tempting to pick a program because it’s prestigious, or because your best friend got in—but don’t do that. This is your investment into your future, so take the time to make sure you’re making the right decision. 

Picking your MBA program is a very personal decision and one that should be taken after much introspection. You may have specific goals and requirements while looking for MBA programs. Some of the questions you will need to answer include: Do you want to pursue a general or specialized MBA? What are your career goals? Which university has a strong track record of placement in each field?

Picking the MBA program that is right for you is a process and will take time, so you should take into account both personal and program-related factors.

3. Think about the one with a big alumni network

Networking is perhaps the most important thing in career advancement. Alumni networks are one of the easiest and most reliable ways to get a job after graduation. However, not all schools have a strong alumni network across the world. 

The network you create during your time in business school will last long after graduation. Take a look at your chosen programs’ alumni base and research how they can help further your career trajectory.

4. Consider the location

Location, location, location: it’s not just the mantra of real estate agents. Before you sign on for a two-year commitment to an MBA program, think about where you’d like to live for that period. If your main goal is to move somewhere new after graduation, consider a city where you can envision yourself launching your career.

5. Cost of the program

The cost of the program is another major factor when choosing an MBA program. If you want to be an entrepreneur and you’re confident you can find investors, a 2-year program provides critical training but can be a big drag on income. Costs significantly vary between schools and even depend on program duration. Grad school is expensive, so it’s important to consider your goals.

FAQs

Who is an MBA degree for?

A Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) is for anyone wanting to leverage the power of a business degree to advance their career. An MBA degree is for you if you are interested in the possibilities provided by embedding financial skills into your existing field, rather than completely changing direction.

Which degrees are most useful for an MBA? 

The most useful degrees are in liberal arts, sciences, and economics. An MBA program will draw on qualitative and quantitative abilities.

How much money can you earn with an MBA?

Your future is bright with an MBA. In the US, the average annual income for those with an MBA is about $100,000.

Final Thoughts 

There are a number of benefits to enrolling in an MBA program. Companies often prefer to hire candidates who have earned one of these higher education credentials over those who don’t. 

However, there is much more to getting an MBA than simply earning the degree and collecting a paycheck. Business programs teach students about numerous aspects of running a successful business, and much of this knowledge can be applied to other areas of work as well.

An MBA is a great choice for people who want to work in the corporate environment after graduation. It provides them with an opportunity to pursue a career in any organization, become successful business entrepreneurs, and make good money.

Now that you know what an MBA is, you should learn more about career prospects. For more information, read the article that highlights what you can do with a master’s in business administration

Thanks for reading.