When the term “MBA” is mentioned, the sorts of images that could come to mind include:
- The smiling face of a top-earning CEO gracing the front cover of Forbes
- A global, skyscraper-dotted, financial center bustling with office workers all over
- An expensive Harvard certificate that can open doors at the highest corporate levels.
While there are some truths in the above, there is more to an MBA than that. So, what exactly is it all about? Come with us as we explore more about MBAs.
What Does an MBA Entail?
MBA stands for “Master of Business Administration”. It’s a postgraduate degree designed to build high-level managerial skills for careers in the corporate world.
The MBA originated from the need for companies to have a scientific approach to management. Although it’s a master’s degree like many others, the core of an MBA certification focuses on the theory and practice of business management.
Significance of an MBA in the Business World
In the modern job market, the qualification is widely considered crucial for top managerial positions. Aside from opening doors to a wide range of alumni networks and top-tier careers opportunities, an MBA could also be the missing trigger necessary to kick-start your own business enterprise to the next level.
Today, MBA programs are getting more specialized to offer focused knowledge in particular areas. This enables learners to develop and hone their expertise in special areas of business or management science. Study options have also opened up with the availability of flexible, online programs.
Balance between Hard and Soft Skills
An MBA is a rare program that balances between teaching hard and soft skills. While hard skills can easily be learned at school, most soft skills have to be acquired working through trial and error.
Learning hard skills normally requires you to be smart, i.e. have a high IQ level. Conversely, soft skills utilize your EI or emotional intelligence. While hard skills have fairly constant and cross-cutting rules, soft skills have their rules shifting with different companies, varying corporate cultures, job environment, and/or working regulations.
MBA Program Formats
Traditionally, in most Western-style academic jurisdictions, MBA courses have been offered in the form of a two-year course that also includes a summer internship between the first and the second year.
Due to the rapidly changing corporate and economic environment requiring faster qualification, today business schools are offering 12-18 month courses. Part-time, especially evening class, programs have been particularly favored in recent times.
MBA courses also come in online and distance learning, modular, and blended formats to cater for learners according to their varying time and cost flexibilities. The availability of 100% online programs means you can easily study with business schools across the world, including Australia, Canada and the UK.
Cost of MBA Certification
The cost of taking an MBA program to completion depends on the country or region involved, the specific academic institution offering the course, and the length of the program. Other additional expenses may arise from the need for accommodation, food and travel costs, health insurance, as well as books and materials.
In the US for instance, average tuition charges at top institutions like Harvard may surpass $60,000. However, some American business schools can charge as low as $20,000. Comparatively, the UK’s London Business School charges about £70,800 while Singapore’s NUS Business School is much lower at $44,000.
Employment and Salary Prospects
In North America and Western Europe, most MBA certifications can land you a quality corporate management position. According to 2017 statistics in the US, within three months following graduation, over four-fifths of MBA graduates normally secure good positions. Further surveys show that, in 2019, employment prospects will continue to get better for MBA graduates.
Getting a higher pay than what they currently have is certainly among the biggest advantages of acquiring an MBA degree. The belief that getting an MBA certificate is a not only a secure, long-term investment but also a lucrative venture is certainly true. Relative to other degrees, starter salaries for MBA graduates are quite high.
What’s even more appealing is that the pay for MBA degree holders will continue its upward trend years after your graduation as you gain more experience in your business management and leadership career.