5 Ways that an MBA Sets You Apart from Your Peers
Whether you have just started the MBA application process or are well into your program, there’s no doubt that you already understand the massive benefits an MBA can hold for your career.
You’re likely already aware that MBA graduates are almost twice as likely to receive a job offer by the time of graduation, or that MBA holders can see their salary increase as much as 90% after earning their degree. Even so, given all the time, money, and effort you need to devote to an MBA application and program, you may still be wondering: is it worth it?
The facts and figures are more than promising, but understanding just why and how and MBA sets you apart from others in the job market is crucial to fully appreciating the value and worth of your degree. Numbers aside, here are just a few of the reasons why your MBA degree makes you a valuable and competitive candidate.
It’s Who You Know
It’s no secret that networking is a crucial component of today’s job market. With employers receiving sometimes hundreds of resumes for a position, forging connections can be an important way to get your name heard and your resume to the top of the pile. For students in MBA programs, networking possibilities are numerous. Before even shaking a single hand, MBA students are automatically connected to an often massive alumni network who are usually more than happy to help out someone from their alma mater.
Even if an alumni isn’t able to immediately offer a job, they may be able to connect you with someone who can, or simply help answer questions and offer advice for your career path.
It’s How You Lead
Most MBA programs center their curriculum around four main areas: analytical, ethical, functional, and electives.
Now, quickly think of the four traits you would imagine a successful leader to have.
If there is any overlap between your answer and the four subject areas of an MBA, it’s probably not a coincidence.
An MBA degree will likely teach you hard business skills, and it will truly prepare you to be a professional in whatever aspect of the business world you choose. But an MBA degree can also teach you something else: how to be a leader.
Being an effective leader is not something that can be learned from a book, but it’s also not necessarily something you need to have a natural talent for to succeed. Earning success as a leader requires deep understanding in several areas — areas which happen to be the cornerstone of MBA programs.
Considering last years’ projection that 84% of companies around the world would hire MBAs, it’s apparent that this type of leadership training is highly valued by hiring companies.
It’s What You Do
It’s very likely that students seeking jobs right after earning their undergraduate degrees can be highly talented and boast a high level of understanding and skill. It’s less likely, however, that they will have had the chance to travel abroad and immerse themselves directly in the global business community, or pitch startup ideas to real investors.
For MBA students, however, this sort of hands-on experience can be expected. Unlike an undergraduate degree, the level of focus and total immersion can mean greater opportunities for experiential and outside-of-the-classroom learning. For hiring companies, MBA graduates are “a bird in the hand.” A candidate with actual experience in their field will always be more appealing than one with just theoretical experience.
It’s How You Think
Just as learning effective leadership isn’t a direct component of the MBA curriculum, other ‘unintended’ results of an MBA can help set graduates apart. According to Monster.com , “ In the broadest sense, the master of business administration degree represents a way of thinking, not just a set of financial skills and business knowledge.”
Woven into every aspect of MBA training is the skills to think critically and effectively problem solve, which are two huge traits that potential employers seek. For many employers, these skills don’t just suggest success for the applicant’s first year on the job, but further demonstrates that they could take on additional responsibilities, tackle unique problems, and become an invaluable part of the company in almost any role.
It’s Where You Go From Here
An MBA is a degree with many uses. Not only will your classes cover the fundamentals of finance, but it will focus on strategy, ethics, sustainability and a number of other concepts that are imperative to a business’ success. Especially in today’s business climate, where a deep understanding of why a company succeeds or fails can mean life or death for a startup brand, these kind of skills are crucial and can take you almost anywhere. Perhaps you are skilled in tech but want to take on more leadership responsibilities. Or perhaps you are looking to get your own startup off the ground. Maybe you are new to management and want to be the best leader that you can be. No matter where you are headed, an MBA will probably help you get there.
Even if you change your mind about your career path, the skills and abilities an MBA provides will never fade out of style.
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