What is an MBA degree and
why should you do one?
Your questions answered
Why do an MBA?
Have you asked yourself the question 'Why do I need an MBA?' Funding your MBA is a significant undertaking, especially when you consider time out of the workforce (if you choose a full-time program) so it's important to think carefully about why you want to do the course and what your post-MBA career options are. Of course it's not just about getting a new job - many people do an MBA to develop skills to help them progress on their current career path. Whichever option applies to you - or even if you are not sure - do your research and think ahead.
Also consider the timing - why do an MBA now, is this the right point in your career? MBAs are expensive so the ideal is to do one early enough in your career path that you will get the return on investment, but also
If you're wondering, 'but what is an MBA qualification?', read on to find out!
What is an MBA degree?
An MBA is an advanced degree in business administration, usually taken by candidates with a minimum of three to five years full time work experience, or more for Executive MBA programs. Some MBA courses are generalist programs whilst others offer specialisms in marketing, entrepreneurship, finance or other areas.
How does an MBA help in your career?
Faster promotion, a wider and more varied network, a broader set of skills, increased commercial understanding - there are numerous benefits to completing an MBA.
Is an MBA a good career option for you? An MBA can help you in making a career change, particularly if you are looking to enter an industry such as consulting from a different sector. It can be particularly useful if you want to make what is referred to as an MBA 'triple jump' - changing sector, functional role, and location, all in one career move. An MBA can also accelerate your career progression - either because the qualification is recognised in your sector as valuable in itself, or because of the new skills you learn on the course - not just hard skills such as financial management but also soft skills such as leadership, negotiation and communication.
A further benefit of doing an MBA is the network that comes with it. Not only will you study alongside future leaders, you'll also become part of an extensive alumni community who understand what doing an MBA is like and will usually be happy to help out with advice or informational interviews.
What is an Executive MBA degree?
Unlike a full time MBA, an executive MBA is usually studied part time alongside work, either on evenings or weekends or sometimes in short blocks of 4-5 days. Executive MBAs tend to be a bit older and have more experience than students on a full time MBA program. When deciding whether to do an executive MBA versus full time MBA, think about how you will balance the demanding workload and group projects with your full time role as well as whether you will be able to get the most out of the program alongside work.
What level is an MBA program?
An MBA is a post-graduate level qualification, sometimes known as a level 7 qualification in the UK.
What is required for an MBA degree?
Earning your MBA involves taking classes on a variety of business, finance and leadership focused subjects. You will usually have a mixture of exams, presentations and assignments and will be doing a lot of group work. Most programs will also have a final project or dissertation, worth a significant part of your final grade, which you need to achieve.