Joining an MBA programme is often a spur-of-the-moment decision. Students tend to apply as a life-changing urge, rather than as part of a well-thought out career plan. If you are still undecided but feel that an MBA might be the right path to follow, here are ten good reasons why you should pick up that GMAT textbook now.
Even in today’s insecure times when many doubt the benefits of expensive education, MBA programmes are more popular than ever. Contrary to prevailing assumptions, companies worldwide are more inclined than ever to hire MBAs. They simply consider this to be a safe bet since MBA skills are practical, hands-on and applicable from day one. So here are the top ten reasons why you should say Yes! to an MBA and go back to college.
1. Become business savvy
Although an MBA is costly, you will be surprised how much free business advice you will get from faculty, classmates and visiting executives, providing you with knowledge you will be able to directly apply to your work or business afterwards. An MBA class might have a higher concentration of business knowledge than many management board meetings anywhere in the world, and could put in you in touch with some of the greatest business minds. You may never again have the chance to meet such figures in your life after the MBA. So make the most of it.
2. Kick-start your career
Having those three letters after your name will certainly open many corporate doors for you, even in today’s difficult times in almost every country. In a 2012 Graduate Management Admission Council survey of more than 800 companies worldwide. 79% of organisations were planning to hire MBAs from the class of 2012, an increase of 72 per cent as compared to 2011. So, prospects look good for the class of 2013 too. Furthermore, a growing number of more creative industries which traditionally have not been known to require an MBA degree such as advertising, public relations and even NGOs, have seen a significant increase in MBAs joining their ranks and adding excellent value to their operations.
3. Expand your network
When you join an MBA programme, you will be spending your busy days with other ambitious and dedicated people who may end up being your business partners, competitors, employers, lawyers, accountants or suppliers. They in turn will have their own networks of other valuable individuals to whom you will also be provided access. A full-time MBA will be the best time in your life to build some of your most enduring and valuable contacts in business as well as some of your best friendships.
4. Change the course of your career
If you feel your chosen subject is not your calling in life, an MBA will give you the chance relatively early on to change the course of your career and turn it into your dream. For example, you may have a law degree but after a few years of work, even if successful, have realised that law is just not for you - too much sitting behind a desk, too much written work, suits that are too tight, competition too intense, people too shark-like. An MBA will help you most elegantly acquire the new skills you need to go into business either as a manager (where that law degree of yours could be highly useful as well as a little intimidating), or as a business owner. This is probably one of the most profitable combinations in business.
The same might apply to doctors. An MBA might open a path to a career in hospital management, if medicine in its pure form is no longer attractive. For PR and advertising professionals, IT experts, and many others who feel they have chosen the wrong option at college or selected a specialisation which is too narrow, an MBA could also open the door to career change now.
5. The luxury to stop and think
An MBA programme provides a rare chance in your adult life to stop for a while and focus on some of the big issues in business without any external disruption. It is an intense and challenging ride, but only in the most positive way. After graduation and once you have joined the high ranks of the corporate world, you may never again have the luxury of taking two years off to explore various interesting theories or hypotheses in depth.
6. Learn management
Living and studying for a year with ot her intense A-list individuals will teach you how to manage even the most challenging characters to work successfully in a team. This is a key ability of top managers and CEOs worldwide.
7. Excellent financial returns
According to the Financial Times’ 2011 business-school rankings, b-school graduates see a salary increase of no less than 60 percent after graduation. If you move countries for your employment – from Eastern to Western Europe for example – that increase will be much higher. Having an MBA places you on the fast track to better employment. It will not keep you on that track unless you display excellent achievements to justify your pay or corner office, but you will be provided with opportunities which you would otherwise not have been. An MBA programme will teach you a host of practical business skills which your superiors will surely appreciate and they will pay good money to keep reaping the benefits of your ingenuity.
8. Boost your creativity
The intense and challenging environment of an MBA programme will encourage you to think out-of the-box to find new and ingenious solutions to various business problems. That and benefitting from the creative thinking of your fellow students and visiting executives too, will probably be one of the most valuable assets for your MBA studies. Managers and CEOs are indeed very knowledgeable and serious people, but creativity and innovativeness are what set real leaders apart. If you have it in you, business school will bring it out and will provide the most fertile environment in which it will blossom and thrive.
9. Reach a higher level of business
An MBA degree has become the norm for career advancement in a number of industries such as finance for example. In an increasing number of fields, however, espec ial ly in the US and Western Europe, it is almost impossible to become CFO or CEO without an MBA. It is a ticket to the board table in IT, pharmaceuticals, production and manufacturing, commerce. An MBA after your name will take you into the inner circles of the most profitable industries where you will be viewed as equal and will be allowed to make an impact upon developments on a much grander scale. An MBA after you name means you are a strategist. It will place you on committees and in boards that you may not otherwise be given access to.
10. Solve business problems
In addition to the esteem that comeswith the title “M.B.A.” the bottom line is that you will indeed learnhow to solve a host of business problemswhich you will encounter dailyeither as a corporate leader or as abusiness owner. You will augmentyour skill-set and enhance your technical knowledge of your field. Youwill learn the essence of how business in your industry operates andthat knowledge will be practical,useful and hands-on. You willbecome much more results-orientated and driven to achieve tangible goals; something which will beappreciated by superiors and colleagues on all levels.