Career Booster

Experts Agree That You Can Still Bank on Your MBA

The world job market may be a bit schizophrenic at times, but MBA graduates have never ceased to be in demand. Employers are still hiring, prospects are looking good and a new entrepreneurship trend has appeared on the horizon.

Stats are favourable

Numbers show that MBA graduates remain on the radar of employers. Projections for 2013 are looking up, with a greater percentage of employers planning to hire various MBA graduates compared with the actual hiring in 2012.
Also, according to the GMAC survey, salaries for MBA degree-holders are expected to increase either at or above the rate of inflation. So far graduates from top-ranked business schools have boasted an annual pay of more than $100,000 and this trend is likely to remain. All in all, within three years of your graduation, you would have completely balanced out al l your student loans.

Better qualifications, better jobs

It is no secret that MBA degree-seekers aspire to climb the hierarchical ladder or change their professional venue. The MBA degree does indeed open the door to new career opportunities, but there are no guarantees. The responsibility of landing that dream job lies entirely with you. So before you embark on pursuing a one-to-three-year business degree, you should do your homework. First you need to narrow down your focus – decide on the industry and role which most appeals to you. For example, if you are interested in marketing, you might seek a position in consumer goods, small brand companies, and a related industry such as retail. You will also apply to a programme that best corresponds to your professional aspirations and which will develop the skills that employers demand. And don’t fool yourself that a practical knowledge of business administration and finances will do the trick. Nowadays, employers are on the look-out for soft skills. Companies want a blend of the latest business techniques plus advanced leadership, team building and presentation skills. So signing up for a leadership class, for example, may not be such a bad idea.

Also, it is good to find out which sectors are hiring in the conditions of a still rampant recession. GMAC surveys indicate that employers around the world are stocking up on new recruits after a three year lull. Job openings are being offered in the business sector and international relations. The consulting sector is hiring actively and the banks are still hiring in small numbers. The new thing is that an unprecedented surge in job opportunities for 2013 is expected in the technology sector (27% growth in recruitment demand for MBAs within the sector over the next year). High technology and computer services companies such as Apple, eBay, Microsoft and Google are looking to MBAs to commercialise their products and are willing to offer them sufficient remuneration for their qualified services. And you should be prepared to pack your bags and change your geography as Asia continues to top the chart of the regions where employers are actively on the hunt for new talent. The surprising thing is that Latin America may come out as the runner-up in that race with a 57% surge in MBA hiring, especially by expanding multinational companies in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

Networking

Any new academic experience results in a network of new acquaintances. With an MBA these contacts may prove useful as you mingle with future colleagues as well as potential bosses. Also, once you have wisely narrowed down your choice of role and industry, you will be happy to hear that most MBA programmes pride themselves on the large variety of internships they offer in order to help students connect to the corporate world. The CMAC survey for 2013 indicates that internships are plentiful for MBAs. 65% of employers intend to offer MBA internships in 2013. Moreover, these internships are supervised so that students can analyse their experience and draw many valuable lessons as to whether their interests, abilities and motivation match the targeted corporate sector or job position. If you were not happy with your choice, your supervisor will recommend different career strategies and organisational cultures where you will be successful. Trial and error is the way to resolve this common dilemma.

Be an entrepreneur in the making

MBA programmes are constantly evolving  in their attempt to meet the needs of future applicants. The top b-schools now offer modules on creating a start-up, driven by an increasing and widespread interest in entrepreneurship. So if you have set your mind on going solo and setting up your own business, an MBA programme may prove to be a good starting point. Business schools will provide you with the skills for venturing into the world of business-owners. You will have the chance to speak to mentors and at tend networking events. You will also gain the required knowhow and learn what not to do through case studies of businesses that have failed. Above all, you will get a sense of self-fulfilment, as you will be making conscious efforts towards the achievement of a rather ambitious goal.



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