How the MBA Can Benefit Your Career
Business school graduates benefit from more than just a solid return on investment through substantial salary increases. They also deepen the knowledge, skills, and abilities they will need for future professional success. Here are just four of the key career benefits of an MBA program.
Business school gives you new skills and knowledge that will turbocharge your career. MBA students often set their sights on a job in finance or consulting. But the hard and soft skills acquired during an MBA program can transfer to myriad other roles. Today’s MBAs work in tech, health care, consumer goods, government and nonprofits, and many other industries.
Dean Matthew Slaughter of Darmouth’s Tuck School of Business recently told Bloomberg Businessweek he foresees a steady pool of applicants for MBA programs because the degree provides the hard skills and leadership training that businesses will continue to require.
An MBA strengthens your leadership ability, intellectual creativity, critical thinking, cross-cultural awareness, communication, and even greater IT mastery. These skills will serve you well as you move toward your ultimate career goal.
You may start out at a financial firm such as Morgan Stanley and learn a tremendous amount about banking and analysis before deciding that it’s not a good fit, as happened with our client, May. She built upon those skills when she eventually became involved with running a business as a gourmet food importer.
B-school gives you a deeper understanding of the complexities of the business world. Those problem-solving skills mastered during your MBA will carry over to your next position, and the one after that, too.
(For more on the skills you will boost with an MBA degree, check out this story in MBA Crystal Ball. In it, Stacy shares some of the less apparent skills you should already have before starting business school.)
Higher Employment Rates
Increased job security with your current employer or within your current industry is another of the key career benefits of the MBA. The degree is also a powerful differentiator in a crowded marketplace. Recruiters have said that some of their corporate clients will not consider any candidate without an MBA.
This shows just how much business leaders value this qualification. Employers believe it vets potential hires. You can safely assume a graduate from Harvard Business School or the Wharton School is going to bring considerable skills and business acumen to the job from day one.
Without a doubt, companies appreciate managers who have risen through the ranks, know the business inside and out, and can get the job done. But they also like hiring MBAs for their ability to handle complex situations.
They can act swiftly and adapt in the face of a rapidly changing global environment. As outsiders, MBA hires bring in a broad or fresh perspective. They see how to improve inefficiencies or come up with innovative solutions to business problems.
Many MBA programs offer specializations or concentrations that provide a deep dive into the nuances of a particular industry. Here, students can sample a few different career paths to see whether it’s a good fit before taking the plunge.
Adding a concentration is a good move for people who know exactly what they want to do with their careers. If you have a specific interest, such as digital marketing, real estate, business analytics, social innovation, health care, and so forth, earning an MBA with a concentration can make you even more marketable.
In today’s competitive job market, listing a concentration on your resume helps you stand out. Career switchers, however, would be better off focusing on a general business education instead.
At business school, you’ll interact closely with talented individuals from all over the globe, which enhances the experience by exposing you to different business practices, cultures, and points of view.
For many people, the connections you make are one of the most valuable career benefits of an MBA. Make sure you capitalize on the opportunities in and out of the classroom during your MBA studies. Your alumni network helps you stay connected to the university as well as to countless professional opportunities you can tap into throughout your career.
When you’re spending two years of your life and paying more than $100,000, it’s the network of contacts you build that make your MBA experience genuinely priceless.
Main photo credit: Solent Creatives (CC BY 2.0)
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