The MBA is a graduate degree that provides a wide variety of both general and specific skills, but it’s not for everyone. The benefits of an MBA can be very different depending on the person; some might want to use their new skills in business, while others might want to start their own business. Whatever your goals are, you should choose an MBA program that will best help you achieve them.
One of the primary benefits of an MBA is its ability to help you gain leadership skills and prepare you for a career in a managerial position. To really be successful at managing people and teams, you need both the technical skills to do your job well – such as being adept with spreadsheets, keeping up to date on industry knowledge, and being very familiar with corporate jargon – and the business acumen to shape information into action.
However, it also helps to develop a solid understanding of business concepts; if nothing else, having a master’s degree will give you a good foundation from which to start learning these concepts.
Where can you study for an MBA?
To find the best MBA programs, you’ve got a range of options. You can study an MBA program online. It’s important to choose a program that fits with your personal goals, whether you want to become a CEO of a large company, start your own business, or do something else entirely.
So, if you’re ready for an MBA program, learn more about why you should consider an MBA from the world’s top universities and how it benefits you.
What will you learn by studying for an MBA?
The technical skills you learn by studying for an MBA will vary depending on which program you choose to follow, but most MBA programs will cover the following topics:
Accounting and Finance
This is a very broad category that touches on everything from accounting standards to analyzing financial statements. It also covers topics like working in marketing, economics, and corporate investment planning.
This covers topics such as corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions. The law component of your MBA will be very specific to the country in which you’re studying. For example, if you’re in the US, your law degree will focus more strongly on American laws than if you were studying in Europe or Asia.
This is the cornerstone of the MBA program and includes a large number of topics. The most common areas include sales, marketing, customer service, finance and accounting, and business strategy.
This topic area focuses on the thinking skills required to be a leader. The best-known textbook for this area is “Leadership & Organization Development,” by Ken Blanchard. It’s usually broken into two separate courses: one that introduces theory with leadership development as the foundation, and another that covers more practical business leadership principles using case studies and discussions among peers in small groups or one-on-one sessions.
This category covers the practice areas of management and leadership and includes topics such as strategic planning, organizational change management, team dynamics, and interpersonal communication. Much of this coursework will be practical applications of leadership theory through the lens of real-world business issues.
This topic area focuses on the practical applications of marketing. It includes all areas of marketing:
- Advertising: this is the most basic marketing technique. It’s used to increase the awareness of a product or brand so that sales will go up.
- Product/service development: you have to make sure that you’re making a marketable product or service if you want to succeed with marketing. Making sure that it’s up to code, safe, useful, and easily understandable is what this part of marketing is all about.
- Pricing: the amount charged for a product is part of the pricing strategy. The price of a product or service should be determined by comparing it with competitors’ prices in your industry and taking into account your profit margin requirements.
- Branding: branding is a way of associating your product or service with a specific group of people. This becomes important when it comes to marketing because you want to make sure that the people who need your product are actually the ones buying it.
- Sales promotion: this is a way of generating interest in your product or service. You can use this method by offering special discounts or free samples.
- Public Relations: you can gain the interest of people by getting your business in the news or creating relationships with public figures. You could also utilize social networking sites to get your name out there.
- Media buying: this is a way to give your company or product a large amount of exposure with little cost. This method of marketing is usually used in conjunction with other promotional techniques like advertising.
- Social Media Management: this type of management is all about interacting with different types of social media channels. It helps you grow your social media presence with the ultimate goal of increasing sales.
- Online Marketing Strategies: the internet has created a whole new way of marketing. You can use social networking sites, paid advertising, and email marketing to increase your business’s presence on the web.
Human Resources Management
This category covers topics related to all aspects of human resources management, such as hiring, compensation planning, and modernizing HR. You’ll also learn about HR processes, such as performance management and team building.
The process of planning, implementing, and controlling activities that takes raw materials, parts, and labor (inputs) and converts them into finished products or services that are sold to customers (outputs).
This is all about managing your business’s projects. Topics covered include project portfolio management and scheduling. The goal is that by the time you graduate, you have extensive knowledge of how to manage projects that are often very large in scope and budget.
This is the process of finding insights into data by analyzing and reporting on it. Businesses use this information to make decisions. The main topics covered are Business Intelligence, Data Mining, Predictive Analytics, and Operations Management.
Supply Chain Management
This category covers the supply chain processes and includes issues such as buyer-supplier relationships, supplier relationships, quality assurance, product design and development, outsourcing, transportation/logistics planning/management, and material handling equipment selection. Many programs also offer a specialization in either Supply Chain Management or Logistics.
Management Information Systems (MIS)
This category focuses on current and future uses of technology within the business environment. Topics include strategic planning, data analysis and reporting, organizational structure, information technology governance/management, IT architecture/design, IT security, and IT outsourcing.
This topic area involves training in the economic forces driving international business activities and introduces students to issues that affect the competitiveness of their own country. Topics include exchange rate management, foreign direct investment (FDI), globalization of business environment, comparative advantage, and differences in markets.
MBA programs are known for flexibility; you aren’t restricted to studying just one topic area. As a result, many schools offer a wide range of optional courses that explore topics like finance, accounting, marketing, operations management, organizational behavior, information technology management – and even topics such as human resources administration or supply chain management. You can also pursue an MBA dissertation in the areas that interest you most.
Besides giving you a wide range of skills and experience, the best MBA programs will also prepare you for the practical realities of your career. When you graduate, you’ll be able to use your new knowledge to make decisions in existing or start-up companies that use similar business practices. In addition to the hard skills detailed above, studying for an MBA will help you to develop a range of soft skills:
Leadership is about getting people to work together to achieve a goal. As an MBA student, you’ll learn how to identify and overcome leadership challenges in any field. You’ll be able to develop your own style of leadership with the skills you’ve learned from your professors and peers.
Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking involves analyzing a problem, making logical assumptions about the situation, and then coming up with practical solutions for situations. As an MBA student, you’ll learn how to think critically in all areas of your life, including relationships, personal time management, and business organizations.
As entrepreneurs or managers, most of your decisions will be made on the spot. As an MBA student, you’ll learn a range of decision-making strategies and critical factors that will help you make more informed choices.
As a business leader, your ability to communicate your ideas is essential. As an MBA student, you’ll learn a variety of techniques for getting your point across effectively. You’ll also practice these skills through the processes of problem-solving and goal-setting.
Personal Development/Life Skills
Business schools may teach you how to improve specific skills in their courses; however, the best schools provide personal development opportunities as part of their curriculums. These opportunities give you the chance to grow both personally and professionally as part of an extended learning experience.
Global Issues and Challenges
You’ll work on a range of global issues in most MBA programs. As you study, you’ll learn how to tackle these issues through team-based projects that incorporate both theory and practice. You’ll also learn how to contribute to positive change within your company or organization as well as in the world at large.
MBA programs give you the chance to collaborate with your classmates on a variety of project-based exercises. These exercises will test your ability to come up with problem-solving techniques in a variety of different business contexts.
Working in teams means you’ll have to work with people who are also trying to solve a problem. As an MBA student, you’ll learn how to handle these situations in a variety of ways. You’ll also learn how to work well with others as part of your coursework and through the projects that you take on.
As an MBA student, you’ll have the chance to analyze your own personal problems and take an active role in fixing them. You may also be presented with specific challenges that will encourage you to develop a greater sense of self-motivation.
As an MBA student, you’ll learn how to nurture relationships with a variety of different people. As part of your studies, you’ll also learn how to work with people to achieve a common goal.
Are there other benefits to studying for an MBA?
It’s not just the subjects that you learn that will benefit you in your future career; there are some invaluable skills you will develop and experiences that you will take with you:
You will have time management skills that you can apply to all areas of your life. It’s not just about effective time management; you’ll also learn how to prioritize tasks, plan projects, and build a network that will help you in the future.
Build a professional network of contacts
As part of your studies, you’ll get the chance to expose yourself to a wide range of professionals in a variety of different fields. When you graduate, you’ll have access to networks that will be invaluable in future job searches.
You get the chance to stand on your own two feet, develop your confidence and build positive relationships with other people in the classroom, on staff, and at the organization – all crucial skills for business success or anywhere else.
Confidence in yourself and others will allow you to look after yourself, which is another skill that can enormously help your professional life.
There’s a lot to think about when deciding which MBA program to attend; however, with the help of this guide, you should be able to find one that meets your needs. Make sure you’re well-prepared to take on the challenges of an MBA program by using this guide and reading more about the program of your choice.
With the skills and experience, you gain from an MBA program, you’ll be able to make a real difference in your company or organization. An MBA will also help you to set yourself up for future success through the business knowledge you gather at business school or by taking additional courses and workshops outside of the classroom.