Prior to studying an MBA, and also throughout the graduate course, many people will ask you a simple question – ‘Why are you studying an MBA?’.
Most will ask ‘Why MBA?’ out of genuine interest, some out of frustration with the amount of your time it’s taking away, some out of admiration and a few out of envy. It’s important that your answer is clear and relevant to your own motivation, not for the sake of the person asking the question, but for yours.
The success of any major project often relies heavily on its purpose.
A project’s purpose, its intention and meaning, motivates those involved. It engages and inspires. It helps people push through challenges and find solutions.
When the opposite is true, when a project has unclear objectives, research has shown it has a greater chance of failing.
So, what is your purpose in earning an MBA degree? Which reason/s most apply to you in seeking a powerful business education? What answer will you give when you’re asked why you’re at business school?
Here is a selection of powerful motivators for those completing a Master of Business Administration.
Every career is built on knowledge. Few courses offer the breadth and depth of business-essential knowledge as an MBA.
As a base on which a new career path can be forged, an MBA course is unrivalled. Even better, as a way to boost a future career or after several years of professional experience, an MBA degree has been proven to have enormously positive effects both on salary and seniority.
It is able to do this because it differentiates the MBA graduate from those around them in the eyes of managers, recruiters and potential employers. It is evidence of their knowledge and capabilities across a business and as a manager or leader of people.
An MBA qualification is also proof of an individual’s superior time management and teamwork skills.
A Berkeley MBA report said MBA students learn three highly valuable, time-management related skills.
And speaking of skills, an MBA leaves its graduates with endlessly transferable business skills, including leadership, teamwork, communication, analytical skills, strategic thinking, creativity and more.
Each, on its own, is a career booster. Combined, they offer a potent mix of talents that great businesses are always seeking.
They can lead to the kicking of career goals via work in more senior roles, other organisations or new industries.
Career-wise, an MBA can:
According to a paper from Business Because, the average MBA graduate will see their salary increase 77% after they graduate. That figure came from a report authored by the head of content at Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the respected international higher-education network that ranks universities and MBAs.
We have previously reported that the 2020 Graduate Outcomes Survey, funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment and carried out by the Social Research Centre at the ANU, revealed those with postgraduate degrees such as Masters degrees had a short-term median salary of $83,300 and a medium-term median salary of $98,800.
PayScale research revealed the average salary of an MBA graduate in Australia, irrespective of time since graduation, is $101,799.
And the 2019 BOSS MBA Ranking study showed graduates from Australian MBA programs earn an impressive pay bump, with an average pay rise of 28 per cent, to an average of $157,000.
Even more remarkable was the Executive MBA salary increase, from $154,000 before the course to $222,000 afterwards. That’s an average salary increase, post EMBA, of 44 per cent.
In terms of salary, an MBA graduate degree can:
The building of a powerful network has always been an excellent argument for completing an MBA. After all, you’re spending intense time, whether on campus or online, working on projects and sharing experiences with high achievers from all over the country, and often around the world.
An MBA is the type of experience that develops lifelong friendships. Of course, those friends over the next few decades are going to spread their wings throughout organisations around the globe.
Sometimes they will be looking for people they know to help fill senior roles, meaning you’re now part of a high-powered recruitment network that offers entirely new career opportunities.
Sometimes you’ll need the advice of people you trust, experts from outside your own organisation. Their distance and objective point of view mean they can see clearly and help develop solutions without the baggage that comes from being inside the company walls. This means you’re also now part of a powerful problem-solving team.
Finally, being a part of such a group of people from different sectors, industries, territories and walks of life means you naturally get to see issues, opportunities and challenges from numerous points of view.
Diversity, as the business world has discovered, is an essential ingredient in the recipe for success. It enhances decision making powers, improves resilience and reveals options that are simply not visible when there is not a breadth of career and life experience on board.
In terms of networking, an MBA can:
An MBA is not necessarily about success within a traditional organisation.
Many have used the knowledge gained from an MBA program to launch their own business and become an expert in their field.
Entrepreneurship is one of the greatest management and leadership challenges. It requires flawless strategic business management skills, deep knowledge of people management techniques and processes, powerful insight into such specializations as marketing, human resources, finance, IT, and a powerful understanding of business operations.
After startup comes a growth phase that, when approached without the required level of strategic planning, often creates so much pressure it proves fatal for businesses.
Knowledge gained within an MBA gives an entrepreneur the confidence to enter that growth phase with everything in place.
Growth, of course, at some stage means finding new customer segments and entering foreign markets. This challenge is the same for managers and leaders within organisations. Most MBA programs have a focus on entrepreneurship because it is often just as important within large organisations as it is for fast-moving startups.
All in all, an MBA teaches its students how to have a strategic overview of an entire business.
For your own business, an MBA can:
If an MBA is boiled down to a single idea, that idea could well be ‘leadership’.
Leadership is about taking competent and confident responsibility for the success of an organisation, a department, a service, a product or a brand.
It’s about convincing the people around you, whether it’s just a few or thousands, to become engaged in a journey that is bigger than the sum of their parts. That has a lot to do with flawless communication, from clear delivery of information in a one-on-one situation to conveying consistent and relevant messaging across the entire organisation.
It’s about inspiring and caring, listening and creating an environment of trust. Once known as a soft skill, great communication is now recognised as a game changer, and it’s not easy.
Every MBA has a strong focus on leadership, including academic study, case studies and practical experience in project groups.
Various forms of interpersonal communication are deeply analysed in an MBA, including different audiences such as departmental teams, boards of directors and other stakeholders such as community and shareholder groups. One vital ingredient of communication, of course, is asking questions and listening.
In the business world, excellent leadership is a powerful advantage. It’s only becoming more important as unique challenges arrive more quickly than ever before.
In terms of leadership, an MBA can:
A guarantee of every MBA program, whether face-to-face, online, part-time or full-time, is that it will take you outside your comfort zone.
It all happens in an environment of safety and security, but all MBA students are stretched and challenged, just as they will be in the business world.
In the course, this teaches students entirely new skill sets, from leadership to strategic thinking and much more. Outside the school of business it offers other skills that are just as valuable in personal life as they are in business – time management, discipline, prioritisation, utilisation of networks, delegation, etc.
Without being drawn outside your comfort zone, little growth can occur. But an MBA is all about personal growth, so courses and coursework are typically designed to ensure you’re constantly tested, learning along the way from your own successes and failures.
By taking you out of your comfort zone, an MBA can:
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