Over the years, I've heard more than my fair share of reasons why students opt to "get" an MBA. Some of those reasons are really unconventional and thought-provoking. Often, I've been convinced that many students who spend tens of thousands of dollars and two precious years of their lives would never gain any real benefit from their MBA qualification.
An MBA is not an academic degree. It is a professional post-graduate program meant for people who want to participate in the management and administration of organisations. To help you ensure that it is the right choice for you, I've made a top 10 list of good reasons why you should think of enrolling for an MBA program. If you don't think any of the reasons I've enumerated here apply to you, you should consider another course that would be more suitable for your needs.
#10: “I want to earn more than I’m earning right now”
I wouldn't say this reason should suffice on its own, but whether they want to admit it or not, the desire to command more money in the human resource market is the primary motive for many executives who enter an MBA program. And why not?
You're working hard and you basically like your job yet you're not satisfied that your salary matches the effort you put in to your work-day. You see others doing much the same things you do but earning more because they have an MBA on their resume and you don't. If you think you have the potential and if you're not afraid to put in the time and the sleepless nights, that MBA may just add some dollars to those numbers on your paycheck.
#9:”An MBA will help me get that promotion I want so much”
Again, this is a slightly short-sighted reason to put yourself through the grind of getting the MBA, but even if that's the only reason that you can honestly think of, I'd say go for it! You may set out with a limited gain motive, but you'll end up learning things that will stand you in good stead in the long term.
Your employer will benefit from your new expertise and your interest in applying that knowledge to your job and you are therefore more likely to get that promotion.
A caveat: it is not the MBA that will get you the career advancement, it's what you do with it and how you use it to your benefit.
#8: “It’ll be easier for me to get my first job with an MBA in my pocket”
An MBA is like the US Dollar; it is a good legal tender because every major employer anywhere in the world knows its basic value and most HR professionals recognize what the organization is likely to get in exchange for your MBA qualification. The essential elements you will be taught in any MBA program remain more or less the same and therefore, even if you apply for a job across the globe and your prospective employer is not familiar with the school you went to, your MBA will probably go in your favor.
It is not an accident that the MBA is the most popular post-graduate management qualification on Earth.
#7: “An MBA will add value to my first degree”
Strictly speaking, the MBA program was created for people who had already gathered some work experience. Since it is not an academic course, it was not meant for students who had just earned their first degree and had not yet entered the market.
Increasingly though, students all over the world are choosing to enroll in MBA courses directly after their graduation so that they can join the job-market at a higher level. Good Business Schools all over the world are now also more likely to accept recent graduates than they were before. So yes, an MBA will definitely add value to your first degree.
It would be better, however, if you register yourself in an MBA program after your first degree and a professional qualification or a Masters degree or a couple of years work. You would be more likely then to get more out of the MBA course and would be more likely to put the learning to more productive use.
#6: I’ll make a group of friends who will become assets as my career progresses”
Believe it or not, this is one of the most pleasant outcomes of joining an MBA program. Your network of associates and friends affects your success in your chosen field. Your colleagues in class are likely to become part of your future professional connections. You'll meet people from all walks of life at your MBA institute. While you're in the course, they will provide various perspectives and increase your learning as you gain from their experiences of their industries. After you complete your course, you will still be able to keep them as people you can access and benefit from throughout your professional career.
#5: “I will be able to change the course of my career if I get an MBA”
Say you're a software engineer. You know you're good at what you do but lately, you haven't been feeling very satisfied. You think you could do more but you don't know what or how. You should definitely consider an MBA course. It will give you the wherewithal to consider other things you can do with your core knowledge of software programming.
#4: “An MBA will broaden my horizons and make me more effective in my work”
There is an inherent difference between an MBA and general post-graduate courses. In the conventional streams, you tend to begin with a generalized education and progress to more and more in-depth knowledge of your area of interest as you go into higher education. The more degrees you get, the narrower your focus becomes.
The MBA does the opposite of making you a specialist. It takes you through the theories and practices of general management. You are made to understand the different aspects that make up an organization and are given an overview of its functional areas. Even the subjects you "specialize" in–Finance, Human Resources, Marketing etc.–are expansive in their scope.
Your horizons are sure to widen with an MBA qualification.
#3: “The MBA will give me more confidence in my job”
No doubt about it, the MBA will certainly enhance your personality. Once you've been through the rigorous 2 year course packed with projects,group exercises, assignments, tests, presentations, internships and more, you'll be more than capable of holding your own in most situations that may come up in your work life.
As you go through the MBA program, you will learn the theories behind what you actually do in your job and gain strategic knowledge of why your workplace is run a particular way. You'll become better at what you do when you actually understand why you do it. You can also build on your experience and gain additional skills that give your confidence a boost.
#2: “I’ll be able to take a leadership role in my organization”
Say you're an accountant in an advertising agency. You know your own job really well and you know you have the ability to become a more integral part of your organization. You want to grow in company and gradually become involved in the making of the agency's future financial policies and strategies. With an MBA and a more rounded understanding of the management of a business, you will be able to take a leadership role and become a specialist who can maximise his contribution to the organization.
#1: “I want to start my own enterprise and an MBA will help me do it”
I can't think of a better reason to go get that MBA qualification.
I firmly believe that the world needs more job makers than job seekers. Second, I know a lot of people who are entrepreneurs at heart and have really good ideas but they have to be contented working for others because they don't know how to run a business and don't want to risk failure. If you're one of them, sign-up for an MBA right now, because it will give you the knowledge, the network, the basic experience and the confidence to execute your ideas into reality.
If you want to read my Top 10 Reasons why NOT to get an MBA, go to rkb-lbc-09.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html