The world job market may be a bit volatile at times, but the MBA degree has never ceased to be a career booster. Employers are still hiring MBA graduates, prospects are looking good, and a new entrepreneurship trend has appeared on the horizon.
Stats are favourable
Numbers show that MBA graduates are desired by employers. Projections for 2016 are looking up, with a greater percentage of employers planning to hire MBA graduates compared with the actual hiring in 2015.
Also, according to the 2016 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report, salaries for MBA degree-holders are expected to increase either at or above the rate of inflation. Employers in the US plan to offer recent MBA graduates a median starting base salary of USD 105,000 in 2016, up from USD 100,000 in 2015. All in all, within three to five years of graduation, you would most likely have completely repaid 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 the most. Job openings are being offered in many sectors. The consulting and the financial sectors are hiring actively. High technology and computer services companies such as Apple, eBay, Microsoft, and Google are looking for MBAs to commercialise their products and are willing to offer them sufficient remuneration for their qualified services. And some of you may be willing to pack your bags and relocate as Asia continues to top the chart of the regions where employers are actively on the hunt for new talent.
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 GMAC survey indicates that internships are plentiful for MBAs. About 73% of employers offer MBA internships, and 92% of those who intend to increase or maintain the number of openings in 2016. Moreover, these internships allow students to analyse their experience and draw many valuable lessons to ensure that their interests, abilities, and motivation match the targeted corporate sector or job position. If you are 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 solve this common problem.
Read: 5 Reasons Why Networking Is Important
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 attend 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.