In today’s modern age, many young professionals are finding themselves transitioning across a variety of specialized fields. Whether they are working in finance or NPOs, at least once a month, a handful of those ambitious and hardworking mid-to-late 20 year olds will ask themselves the million-dollar question, “should I get an MBA?” Attaining a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) is not an easy decision, let alone an easy investment. There are various factors that need to be taken into consideration before making such a commitment. For those individuals who believe an MBA is simply the next move outside of your career, I would advise you not to make the rash decision in taking the GMATs and apply, but to do your research and understand long term what an MBA will do for you. Before I get into the benefits of an MBA, first and foremost, it is critical to determine the your tangible expectations for an MBA. As stated before, you do not want to forego for one just because it is the only option. Rather you want to evaluate what the degree will likely do for you and your professional future. Various MBA programs offer different types of benefits. In addition, many of those schools vary tremendously from each other depending on field concentration, location, and school. When considering an MBA, you need to take all of these factors into consideration so that you can further benefit your future.
After taking a moment of self-reflection of why you want an MBA, it is best to hear what an MBA can do for you. Every MBA program, especially the top 100-programs (that can be found at US News), will provide you the necessary skills to be successful in any field of your choosing. From my own personal experience, I was able to gain an immense amount of knowledge and skills from my professors, my peers, and my internships. The benefits I saw from the program can be seen in four core criteria: Concentrations, Leadership and Managerial Skills, Networking, and Real World Experience
When going for an MBA, the biggest benefit you can do for yourself and the school is researching the overall program or concentration that you would like to study. Many schools have a variety of niches that can get you into the field of your choosing. Some of the fields include: accounting, consulting, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, management, marketing, nonprofit, production and operations, supply chain management, and much more. Going to a school that has a strong focus on your intended field will play a huge role in the opportunities you will have during your program. Many schools are already affiliated with various companies and firms that could eventually become your future employers. Furthermore, schools that have higher rankings in those specific concentrations will give you an advantage in developing your core skills to give you the necessary hands-on experience in preparing you for your future career.
Leadership and Managerial Skills
Regardless of which school you decide to choose, a majority of the MBA programs provide you essential managerial skills in the foundation of business. Many MBA programs begin by responding positively to candidates that have already had a basis or concrete background in leadership skills. This can vary across the board whether it is in the professional workplace or outside. The reason many schools look highly into leadership is that it gives them the idea of type of student that can add to their diverse learning environment. Once accepted, many school begin shaping their students leadership skills through problem solving, strategizing, and managing various case studies. This not only gives students to understand their strengths and weaknesses, but to also leverage what they know and learned in the most effective manner.
One of the biggest benefits in attaining an MBA is invaluable network. Business schools emphasize working in groups. Many students, even in the classroom, often find that they learn as much from their peers as they do from the faculty and administration. During your program, it is important whom you’ll be working alongside for the next two years. Understand their backgrounds, their strengths, their weaknesses, and the value they can add to your future goals. This is important because those same people will become your fellow alumni, a valuable source that will benefit you beyond the two years of your MBA program.
Real World Experience
As much as the knowledge and studies is important in every degree, the valuable take away that you can get from your MBA program is the hands-on real world experience you will see both in and out of the classroom. Many companies and firms have already established a partnership with specific schools. For this reason, they want to see those candidates ascertain themselves in a position that will be successful for their futures. MBA programs provide their students with rare opportunities to grow and develop in their specific field. Many of them have even centralized their internship and extracurricular activities in providing them a steady path to their intended career.