Have you decided that a bachelor's degree is no longer enough and want to accelerate your career with additional training? Experts will advise you on how to do it right. The MBA, a master's program in business administration, is designed for a wide range of people of different ages, with different areas of knowledge and interests. Part of the audience are relatively young students (who have received a bachelor's degree) or experienced graduates with families who received their bachelor's degree several years ago. All of them are united by the decision that it is time to continue their education and get additional tools that will help them move up the career ladder.
Why get a master's degree in business administration?
Let's start with a (completely trivial) question: you have a bachelor's degree in your pocket, so why would you want to go back to being a student and sometimes leave your comfort zone? We live in an era in the labor market when every line in a resume is considered important and meaningful. Therefore, people need to add values to themselves that will allow them to "stand out" and give them an advantage over other applicants for their coveted position. In today's highly competitive labor market, candidates need to provide themselves with "anchors" of recognition of their value, and the MBA does this for them. A candidate who invests in their education is highly valued in the eyes of a potential employer. Experts who have extensive experience as teachers and mentors and act as career counselors note that while the first degree is exploration, the second demonstrates seriousness and intention to devote oneself to the chosen field. It is advisable not to be afraid of difficulties and not to stay in your comfort zone, because choosing an MBA program that meets your career goals significantly increases your market value.
So how do you choose an MBA program and, most importantly, where?
From the financial encyclopedia, advisory agencies, special narrowly focused coursework, and dynamic MBA courses, there are several important factors to consider when deciding on an MBA program:
- Practical course of study - when choosing a course of study, you should make sure that it teaches applied and practical tools, rather than theories that are far from reality.
- Diversified programs - it is recommended to give preference to programs that cover different areas of specialization rather than focusing solely on a narrow subject area, so that you can get training in as many areas as possible during your program.
- Teachers who are "connected" to the real world - universities whose faculty come from the real world and are not confined to an academic ivory tower are more important because they provide an opportunity to experience the real world "from the outside" even while studying.
- Teachers who know how to teach are far from trivial, and in master's programs, it is rightly expected that teachers are well qualified, engaging, and present the subject in a clear, concise, and inspiring manner.
- Supportive environment - Institutions where the learning environment is supportive and encouraging, and where faculty are approachable and allow for easy access during and after graduation, have higher graduation rates. Graduates feel comfortable approaching professors after graduation, which gives them an additional advantage in the labor market (experience with professors is to their advantage).
- Accessibility of the learning environment - the overall learning experience is especially important in master's programs, so make sure that the university suits you in all respects, from such trivial factors as the availability of parking near the university to the possibility of distance learning, available databases, etc.
- Networking is no less important! It is advisable to choose universities where there is an opportunity to establish contacts with students and professors from your field of activity so that you can build business relationships in addition to your studies.
- International cooperation - universities that allow students to exchange experiences with academic institutions abroad will add significant value to your education.
- Consideration of a student-friendly university - it is advisable to choose universities that recognize the limited time of students and understand that master's students, unlike bachelor's students, usually have to combine their studies with "real" life (work, family, career). Such universities offer flexible study programs that allow students to combine all areas.
And the last piece of advice from experts for those who are still considering an MBA is that it is the expert opinion, accumulated experience, and the desire to gain valuable knowledge that will lead you to clarify your goal.