An MBA degree is one of the best degrees an individual interested in a career in business can get into. This is because the course can help the students develop key skills and obtain a wealth of important information that can help them either succeed within a business or potentially start their own one.
However, with the course being the premier business-related degree, there is a huge demand for it, meaning that getting into it can be very competitive. Furthermore, once in the course, people will find it to be a very demanding and difficult degree that takes a high level of commitment and determination.
For those looking to get a better understanding of what to expect of the degree, the optimal route into it as well as what your life might look like once you have qualified, here is an overview that is sure to explore all the key facets of the degree.
Before The MBA
When studying for an MBA, either on campus or online, the hard work starts way before you get accepted into the course. This is because this course requires a lot of previous qualifications and experience, to ensure that you are at a good standard already, to make sure that you can excel. Working hard to get the following qualifications and key experience will help a lot in allowing you to secure an online MBA degree.
Qualifications You Need
First things first, the MBA is a master’s degree, which means that people wanting to get into the course need to have first obtained a bachelor’s degree from a quality, accredited institution or one from overseas, such as these here. There are no requirements in terms of the area of study your bachelor needs to be from; however, it will be advantageous for the applicant to have a degree in English, business, marketing, or other humanities due to the various transferable skills such as communication and analysis within these degrees. It is also important that the degree is a four-year one.
In addition to the qualification, you will also need a good, well written personal statement when applying for an MBA, as well as a good, eye-catching, and informative resume. The best resumes will be ones that are filled with relevant experience, so it is also a good idea to spend some time volunteering or getting work experience to boost your application.
It is also a requirement for most applicants to an MBA degree to have a proof of English proficiency. TOEFL is the most common qualification that is required in this area, with the minimum scores needed to get in the range from 550-600 for paper-based tests, and 213-250 for computer-based ones. Students also need a GMAT score that is over 600 even to be considered for the course. This is done to ensure that only the best get into the degree.
The final requirements are that you will also need at least two letters of recommendation from significant people. These can be from your old teachers, professors, or managers during any work experience. This means that a person who wants to get into an MBA needs to work hard to impress well before they get on the degree.
Experience You Need
In addition to qualifications, another significant thing an applicant will need when applying to an MBA is significant experience within a business role. For most degrees, the amount of experience they want is at least three years for more entry-level positions, or two if the position you have is more senior.
The reason for this is that once you graduate from the MBA, you’re expected to obtain a role in a leadership or management position, so it makes sense to get experience in a lower position so that the transition to a role like that isn’t overwhelming.
During The MBA
Now that you know what it is required to get into an online MBA, it is important to understand what this degree is like once you are enrolled. The first thing to know is that this degree can take up to three years to complete when online, particularly if you are studying part-time alongside other commitments. This means that the degree is something that you have to be sure of and committed to, as it is going to be a good chunk of your life.
To help you decide if that time is worth it, here is a little look at what the course is like.
What It is Like
Studying an MBA is similar to studying other forms of higher education. It is demanding, requires focus, but is ultimately rewarding and a good thing for students to do. An online MBA is quite different from an on-campus version of the education, due to how that you are not going to need to move and attend lectures in a physical location. Instead, you can watch lectures from your home either live or on-demand, making it a far more flexible learning experience that makes it perfect for people with other responsibilities.
This can mean that students learning this way can feel a bit isolated from the rest of the class, and may find it harder to network with peers, guest speakers or lectures, but the money saved learning his way and the accessibility should make it worth it.
Additionally, even though you are studying online, you will still have to take part with the practical learning and work experience parts of the program. This can be the hardest thing to navigate with an online MBA, as you need to make sure that you will be able to attend these parts of fieldwork. Most institutions will try to accommodate you and make it so that you can attend a business close to home, but usually, the work experience will be at a business close to the campus, so make sure you have the means to get there before enrolling.
Specifications You Can Learn
An MBA is designed to teach students an overview of all major aspects of business management and administration so that the students have the tools to be competent in all areas. However, as well as this, there are also online MBA courses that allow you to pick a specialization so that you can gain a more in-depth insight into that aspect of business and become an expert.
This is a good thing to do if you have a specific area of business in mind that you want to get into, as learning about that isolated area will make you a more appealing candidate. Some of the specifications include:
- General Management
General management is the most popular specialization within an online MBA program, due to how it will allow the students to learn a variety of management skills that can be applied to businesses and organizations in any industry the student chooses, be that in human resources, marketing and even systems management.
Strategy is also a fairly popular MBA program that gives students a larger insight into how a successful business decision is made. Within this specialization, the students will learn about business development, consulting, planning and crucially for leadership positions, risk management. These are all skills that will be important for all industries.
- Financial Leadership
A specialization on financial leadership is great for online MBA students who would rather focus on a business’s finances. In this course, the student will learn about analytics, statistics, accounting, and lot more, with this course being good at leading students to roles in banking, and high-level finance.
This is a great specialization of the course for students who are interested in starting their own business and need a bit of help in how to do that. This offers critical management and business development experience, as well as skills that will help new business owners pitch ideas and secure funding.
Marketing is growing into a huge aspect of a business, which makes the marketing specialization of an MBA course a great option for many who want to get into this part of the business. In this degree, students will learn how to promote services and products, how to design marketing campaigns as well as how to best interact with customers. The skills learned here are essential for roles in both B2B and B2C companies.
- IT Management
This specialization in IT management within an online MBA course will help put graduates at the cutting edge of UX, software design, as well as the flow of information technology. This degree is great for those who want to manage the flow of data between companies, with them as well as into the world as a whole.
After the Online MBA
Once a student graduates from an MBA, they will have obtained a great number of skills and would have had a wide array of career opportunities and prospects open up to them. Some of the more common and most popular roles that online MBA graduates go for include:
- Financial Advisor
- Management Analyst
- Investment Banker
- Finance Manager
- Information Technology Manager
- Marketing Manager
- HR Manager
- Business Consultant
To learn more about some of the awesome roles an online MBA can get you, click here to get a more detailed explanation of some of these roles.
An online MBA can help you learn and obtain a plethora of great skills that can benefit a career not only in business but in a whole host of other great roles as well. With how transferable these skills are, it creates another reason why this degree is so well renowned and in such a high demand. Some of the top skills the MBA degree can instill includes:
- Ethical decision-making
In recent years, guiding businesses into being more ethical is becoming a huge driving force, with many organizations trying to make their business appear and operate in a much more responsible manner. CSR (corporate social responsibility) is said to be worth around $76billion, which can make it a lucrative thing for businesses to get involved with.
The online MBA can teach students to make good ethical decisions and help to guide a business into a better place. The benefits of doing this and considering the environmental and social impact of a business’s practices can help improve an organizations reputation, boost brand awareness, give the business a competitive edge over competitors and also help the business save money.
By exploring different business cultures, responsible leadership strategies, your own personal and professional values and those of others as part of an MBA can give you the knowledge and confidence to follow a moral bearing when making commercial decisions and leading others.
- Risk management
For a business to grow and develop into a leader in its niche and industry, it needs to take risks that are going to help it propel forward. However, a business leader needs to learn which risks are worth taking and how to evaluate business decisions to determine which are most suitable. An online MBA can help students build this skill of how to take risks as well as risk management skills to allow students to negotiate periods of rapid growth and development.
To get students used to this vital aspect of a business, many online MBA programs will include a workplace simulation of sorts and practical exercises which will help test and finetune an individual’s abilities to respond to change and to make good decisions.
- Interpersonal and people management skills
People are the biggest assets within a business, so business leaders must learn how to manage them effectively so that they can get the best out of these people and staff members. An online MBA will give students the necessary skills to be able to not only evoke a good workplace relationship but will also help them in evaluating their staff’s strengths and weaknesses so that the best tasks for each individual can be allocated.
The course can also teach students how to lead effectively and motivate others, to help them foster a productive and efficient work environment.