Despite Doubts, MBAs Are More Valuable Than Ever
It isn’t difficult to find online articles casting doubts on MBAs. A typically American degree program designed to prepare the ambitious for careers in business leadership, the MBA has been a useful tool in securing high-profile jobs for more than a century. Yet, recently, the proliferation of the two-year business school degree amongst job applicants has convinced many so-called experts that employers simply aren’t wowed by MBAs any longer.
Of course, this is far from true. In fact, a recent study performed by the Graduate Management Admissions Council found that more than 86 percent of employers around the globe are eager to hire MBA grads. That rate rises above 90 percent in the United States and Far East, including China and Japan. Not only is their unemployment rate remarkably low, but MBA-holders also enjoy higher salaries than their less-educated, less-experienced peers: Nearly half of all MBAs report a base salary of nearly $125,000, and another third of MBAs earn between $100,000 and $125,000, while the national average for income hovers around $30,000.
It should be obvious that MBAs remain valuable in the job market. Though the cost of living and tuition prices have increased in recent years, education is more available than ever before. Now, workers can apply to top online MBA programs and while maintaining their full-time employment — bettering their career prospects without creating a two-year gap in their work experience. Plus, MBAs continue to be the best way for workers to prepare for higher-level positions because the programs provide students with the skills and knowledge they’ll need as business leaders, including:
How does an entrepreneur begin a business? How does a business leader create growth? These questions and others regarding business strategy don’t have intuitive answers. Because every business situation is unique, prospective leaders must be equipped with the right knowledge and experience to create an effective strategy under specific circumstances. During MBA studies, students are programmed to approach scenarios strategically, considering all variables and options before solving problems; therefore, MBA grads are more effective long-term leaders in business.
Communication and Collaboration
Communication is the most important skill for any relationship, but business leaders must master written and verbal communication strategies if they expect to successfully manage their teams. Though the abilities to communicate and to collaborate are often seen as innate, the truth is only thorough practice makes a person great at expressing ideas and working with others. Fortunately, top online MBA programs teach future leaders effective communication methods, especially business jargon and writing techniques mandatory for upper-level managers.
Research and Analysis
Big data is becoming such an integral tool for modern businesses that all potential leaders must have some experience compiling and using data before they find employment. MBA students spend much of their time researching and analyzing all sorts of business data, from descriptive and diagnostic sets to predictive and prescriptive sets. By the time they graduate, most MBAs are near-experts in using data to make informed decisions, and many feel comfortable accumulating and organizing data, as well.
Though not a hard business skill, the ability of a business leader to see potential benefit in every relationship is a significant boon for employers. Hiring a worker with many business connections gives businesses greater access to high-quality resources, including funding, vendors, and even new talent. If nothing else, MBA programs are mills for tight-knit, exceedingly successful networks, and grads inevitably make links with peers, professors, and successful professionals, which they can take advantage of for future business success.
Project and Risk Management
Business is inherently risky, but experienced and educated business leaders understand how to mitigate the worst risks while achieving success. Properly organizing projects and assigning priority to certain tasks is a primary method for lowering risk. MBA students receive theoretical and practical training in risk and project management: Within their courses, they learn the correct strategies, and in balancing their course loads, they receive sufficient experience applying those strategies.
While excellent business leaders have plenty of strong soft skills, to be effective in their jobs, they must also have the technical skill to use common business tools and methods. MBA programs — especially the online variety — compel students to use the devices and software they will most likely manipulate in their future careers. Being familiar with such tools dramatically reduces a leaders’ training time and makes them more effective, sooner.