By Contributing Author
It’s a big step when you decide to take on an MBA (masters of business administration), but any aspiring manager will be able to benefit hugely once they have this qualification, as there are so many benefits to having it. Of course, it is also a financial investment, and it’s something that, even when done on a part-time basis, is going to take up a lot of your free time. There are also many entry requirements to get past if you want to start studying, so even before you begin the work, an MBA can be a challenge.
When you weigh up the pros and cons of achieving an MBA, what is the outcome? Is it going to be worth all the hard work and the financial input? Or would it be better just to keep working and climb up the career ladder the traditional way, without any additional qualifications? Although the answer will be different for everyone and depend on their own set of circumstances, generally, because there are so many excellent reasons to do an MBA and gain this degree, it will be worth the effort you’ll need to put into it. Read on to find out exactly what some of the very best reasons for doing an MBA are, and you’ll understand what a benefit it can be in your career and your life.
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Develop Management Skills
There is a world of difference between being a good manager and a great manager; between being someone that people tolerate and someone that people look up to. Although management is an innate skill, something that someone would be born with, this is not the case. Sometimes people are just naturally skilled at managing a team, but that doesn’t mean that those who can’t learn, and this is something that an online MBA can offer you.
During your MBA learning, you will develop “excellent management skills, and you will learn how to push a company onto success. This will benefit those with very little experience who want to boost their chances of promotion, but it’s also useful for those with plenty of experience, those who have been managers for many years, who want to increase their skills and become better at what they do.
Whichever online MBA or traditional qualification you pick, there will be different modules to choose from within that degree, which means you can effectively tailor it to exactly what you want it to be. Some of the key elements that will help you with your management skills will often include people management skills, networking and how to create connections, how to manage crisis situations, how to take care of a company’s finances, and how to “protect your company’s reputation.
Out of Your Comfort Zone
Once you reach a certain level in your career, it will become easy to stay there. You will be comfortable, knowing just what you have to do and getting into a routine. Although there is nothing wrong with this per se, if you are particularly ambitious and you want to do more, it might feel as though you are stuck in a rut, and you can’t find a way forward to become more and rise further in your company or your career in general.
When you study for an online MBA, you’ll see that there is a way out and that, once you have gained your new degree, you’ll effectively be given the key to the next level of your career, should you wish to take it (and if you’re studying for an MBA, you will likely want to take it).
You’ll be pushed far out of your comfort zone, but this is going to be a good thing, and it will show you that you can do a lot more than you might have assumed and be settling for. When you explore all the new ideas that will be shown to you, including international business practices and fascinating management tools that you can use in your own business, you’ll be able to step up and do more, even if it was difficult to reach that level.
You Can Specialize
When MBAs were first set up and started to become popular, they all taught almost the same thing. However, the more popular they became the more advanced they could become too, and the more unique. If you are particularly interested in knowing more about and specializing in, there will be a degree that suits you. It might be an online MBA, and this is excellent because, when you start to look at online courses, you’ll see that there is even more scope to choose exactly the right MBA for you – you won’t have to worry about location, for example, your choice will be much wider.
If there is something you especially need or want to know more about when it comes to your business skills, there is sure to be an online MBA that fits your goals. It will mean you need to research things carefully, but although this might delay the start of your studies initially, it will also mean that you’re learning what you want to learn from the start, rather than picking a degree and then realizing it was the wrong one and having to start again, wasting a lot of time in the process.
Some of the specialisms that an MBA can offer you include:
- General management
- International business
- Strategic management
- Business finance
- Operations management
- IT management
- Human resources
Access to An Extensive Business Network
Networking is one of the core elements of business since no matter how talented they are or how innovative a product they are selling, they will be able to do it alone; backup, advice, and partnerships are always required. When you are studying for an MBA, you will have access to an extensive business network immediately, which many managers and business owners spend years searching for and building up. Of course, that’s not to say that everyone on your course is going to be of use to your or your business, but since you’ll be interacting with a wide range of people, from other students to teaching staff who will be experienced managers, it is likely that there will be at least one person who it is worthwhile meeting. There will probably be more.
Depending on the course and the school you choose, you might even have access to the previous students who will show you what you can achieve once you have gained the MBA. This is true even of online MBAs with no physical school to attend; it is still possible (and recommended) to network as much as you can. You never know who you might meet, and networking in this – or any – situation could be exactly what your business, or your career, needs.
We can’t talk about the many benefits of studying for an MBA without mentioning one of the most obvious and essential outcomes; the money you can earn once you have graduated. Employers who are specifically looking for someone who has gained an MBA will be willing to pay a lot of money – as much as 50 percent more than a manager without an MBA – for the privilege of having such a qualified person in their business. This is why getting an online MBA can, and perhaps should be looked at as an investment; the money that you will need to put into earning this degree should be earned back quickly once you qualify and start working, and once it has been paid for, everything else is profit, and that profit is going to continue coming for decades into the future.
On top of the excellent salary, there is a high level of job security, which is just as important for many. If a business has invested in an MBA graduate, it won’t want to let that investment go easily, and even if cost cutting redundancies are happening, you, with your online MBA degree, are unlikely to be affected. If you choose to leave a particular company, you should easily find more work; there are relatively few MBA graduates compared to the number of hiring managers looking for those graduates. You can pick and choose the job that works best for you, giving you the chance to do exactly what you want to in terms of your career.
You Can Start Your Own Business
You certainly don’t have to have studied for an online MBA if you want to start your own business, and the majority of people don’t do so; they simply start and learn as they go. However, when you look at the figures that show how many of these businesses fail in a short amount of time, one of the reasons behind this is lack of business experience. Passion and a great product or service are crucial, but it’s not enough without business knowledge.
This is why an MBA can be an ideal way to get started. You’ll learn all you need to know about running a business, and you’ll do it without any risk because you’re not learning ‘on the job’. Once you have graduated and you have a great deal of knowledge about exactly how to run a business, what pitfalls to avoid, and the best management methods, you’ll be able to start your business with a lot more confidence and with the right road map ahead of you to reach the level of success you’re looking for. It might mean that your business launch needs to be delayed, but it’s better to start later than planned and be a success than rush into things and fail.
Remember also the networking aspect of an MBA. It might be that, while you’re studying, you meet someone who would make an ideal partner or who has a business idea that you want to be involved in. Look out for these opportunities on top of everything else.
Change Your Career
Have you always wanted to work in a business – or start a business – but because you don’t have the experience, it’s been hard to find a way in? Perhaps you’re working in an entirely different career, and you want to change track, but it’s proving to be a hard thing to do due to a lack of experience and knowledge.
You’ll have two choices if this is the case. Either you can continue on in the career you have now, which might make you miserable and will make you feel frustrated if you have other plans, or you can invest in an online MBA and gain the knowledge and experience you have been lacking, which will enable you to follow the career path you’ve been looking for finally. Of course, the choice will always be yours, but if you are serious about a career change and you want to make the most of this disruption in your life, an MBA could be the answer.
MBAs Are Challenging
An online MBA might have many advantages over a traditional, school-based MBA (including the fact that you can study at your own place and in your own home, allowing you more flexibility and choice), but both are equally challenging, so it’s wise to go into your new studies understanding this; it won’t be an easy degree to obtain.
Of course, the more business experience you already have, the less of a challenge your MBA will be, but these courses have been designed to be challenging; they’re not for everyone because if everyone were able to gain an MBA, they would not be worth as much as they are to hiring managers and those who graduate with them.
Why is the fact that MBAs are challenging a good reason to study for one? It’s because challenges are part of life, and they are good for your personal growth. When you have challenges to overcome, you will become more successful and confident in your abilities. If there are no challenges, life will become boring, and your ambition will start to flag. It’s great to keep your brain healthy and take on challenges when you can. Since having an MBA will also boost your career, the challenging aspect is an excellent additional reason to apply for an online MBA.