What is an MBA?
An MBA is a form of postgraduate masters degree that is orientated towards the business sector. Originating from the United States, MBAs are available in UK and American business schools and universities. The qualification is quite general and includes disciplines such as accounting, marketing, finance and human resources, taking into account all the major functions of a business.
MBAs are not only postgraduate, but also post-experience. Most MBA students will bring at least three to four years of work experience in a management role with them. More popular and accredited courses could ask for up to ten years experience.
MBAs are one of the most expensive options of masters degrees; they range from around £50,000 to £80,000 in the UK and there is generally not any funding available (although some employers part fund MBAs as a training scheme for employees).
How Can I Do an MBA?
Traditionally, MBA courses are taught full-time at a participating university or business school. These courses can range from one to two years.
However, as most MBAs require prior experience, there are ways that you can carry on part-time or full-time employment and complete an MBA concurrently.
Part-time courses generally take around three years to complete and can be balanced alongside part-time employment (although some may find the competing workload a struggle).
Those in full-time employment who cannot afford to reduce the hours they work can sometimes engage in online classes, generally carried out in the evenings. This method will naturally take much longer to complete. Depending on how much spare time you have to carry out online work, it could take 60 months or more to complete an MBA online.
What is the Value of an MBA?
It has been hotly contested in recent years whether MBAs are worth the incredible price postgraduates pay to complete them. A common criticism is that many MBA courses are theory based and are restricted to using traditional tools such as lectures and case studies to impart knowledge, therefore leaving students ill-equipped to deal with real life situations and lacking in necessary leadership skills.
It is possible that some employers are beginning to question the value of an MBA as students come to them able to solve complex business problems but lacking in skills such as public speaking and character skills. However, many business schools have altered programmes to combat such criticism. These new programmes focus on problem solving, ethical and social responsibility and the process of decision making as well as standard, theory based business problems.
Also, despite recent criticism, graduates possessing an MBA qualification are still consistently the highest paid graduates. Many senior level positions will openly state that they require an MBA qualification, so if you are looking to obtain a job in a specific area which you know requires an MBA, there is no side stepping this masters degree.
Where can you Get the Most Value out of an MBA?
An aspect of MBAs which has been widely agreed upon is that the value of an MBA is very often relative to the standard and respectability of the institution it is obtained from. Only MBAs from the very best business schools and universities can guarantee any kind of employability. An MBA from a poor institution, in an increasingly competitive job market, will not be worth the fees paid to complete it. It is therefore advisable to apply for an MBA only from AMBA (Association of MBAs) accredited institutions.
As reputation is often the most important factor in choosing where to study an MBA, check that the institution has good links with both local and international companies. It is also advisable to find out what kind of employment their alumni have entered in order to gain a good idea of where you might be heading.”
About The Author:
Amy Harris is a writer for FinancialTraining.co.uk – which helps British and international students find the right financial certification courses located the UK. Amy is an American expat herself and loves helping people find their dream job, no matter where in the world it may be located.