An MBA has proven to be one of the most resilient and sought-after qualifications for business leaders the world over. Top CEO’s have often commented on the importance of an MBA and of its benefits as a means of landing a better job or accelerating a career.
However, with many options available today, choosing the right MBA programme can be a tough choice to make. MBA programmes offered today cover a wide range of majors, from general management and international business, to finance and accounts, and even marketing. For example, INTI International University & Colleges offers up four different MBA programmes in the areas of business through its collaboration with Coventry University in UK.
How then do you choose an MBA programme that’s best for you and your career development goals?
The first step for any prospective MBA student is deciding why you want to pursue an MBA.
Generally, people decide to pursue an MBA for career advancement reasons. For some, they may be looking higher up the corporate ladder, or even jumping industries or job function. This is true in the sense that most MBA students are either fresh graduates or mid to senior level executives at the point of seeking to move into management. This makes it a very important decision that needs to be thought out carefully.
An MBA has the potential to not only advance your career; it can help to increase your salary potential. MBA holders have been known to be eligible for jobs that would not be offered to those without, making having an MBA almost a necessity to succeed in today’s corporate world.
It is interesting to note that of late the number of seasoned executives – even those with many years of corporate experience – known to be doing their MBAs is increasing. This is simply because their job function (usually in senior management) now requires that candidates possess some form of post-graduate studies. Such is the importance of an MBA!
So by identifying your goal to pursue an MBA, your next step is on deciding what skills you want to gain from having an MBA.
The easiest way to decide this is to choose an MBA programme that teaches you the skills needed that match your career goals – skills that are relevant for the industry and functions you plan to work in either presently or in the future. Apart from the general MBA, business schools now offer MBAs with majors in various areas of specialisation.
A general MBA will train and prepare you with the skills for most management and executive positions. Straightforward MBA modules usually help develop the knowledge and skills fundamental in overall general management disciplines, for example, business strategy, business ethics, managing employees, project management, accounting, business growth, etc.
The MBA programme by INTI International University & Colleges for example covers important topics such as, strategic analysis, decision-making, and appreciation of global business challenges.
MBAs specialising in finance are quite sought after by professionals in the finance or banking sectors. Finance major MBAs are skewed toward problem solving and critical thinking, both from a financial perspective, financial planning, risk assessment, financial management, as well as management skills.
An MBA graduate majoring in finance is much more than a general finance or accounting degree. These MBAs focus heavily on accounting, economics, finance, and other related topics. The skills and modules of an MBA in finance can help open up many career opportunities within the finance and banking industry.
There are also MBA programmes that focus on marketing and communications. An MBA majoring in marketing has many benefits such as learning marketing and sales strategies, including understanding the complex art of both written and spoken communication, as well as learning new marketing communications technologies. Such an MBA would also include practical assessment of marketing tools and practises and how they are applied within the context of business and management. It is an appropriate MBA for professionals involved in sales as well as any marketing and/or communication fields, media, or public relations.
Your third step should now involve researching the various MBA programmes – outlines, modules, etc – to find the one that best fits your goals. Go online, talk to people who have gone to that school, reach out to the counsellors, and try scouring forums as well. It should give you enough information to make an educated decision on where you want to pursue your MBA.
Once you have decided on an MBA programme, the fourth step is to consider the learning process. Some MBA programmes are fully coursework based, while some rely heavily on practical training – usually executive level MBAs. Other MBA programmes offer a bit of both, with each type of study method having its pros and cons.
Course duration is one more important decision factor. Full-time vs. part-time MBA programmes have varying course durations with the former taking anywhere between 18 months to two years, while part-time MBA programmes can go on for much longer.
Once you have decided the type of MBA you want to pursue, the fifth and final step is to find the right school that offers an MBA programme that suits your requirements. Consider speaking to university programme counsellors like those from INTI International University & Colleges, who can provide good insights, feedback and be a helpful resource to help you decide on the right MBA for you.
Location and cost would also be an important factor to consider, i.e. would you like to pursue an MBA abroad vs. doing it in your home country, with the latter would be more cost-effective option.
Another important point to consider is the entry requirements for the particular MBA programme of choice. Some MBA programmes require strong specific academic results, while some – depending on the structure of the course – will require a few years of professional work experience.
By following these simple steps, any prospective student will be able to easily identify an MBA programme that matches their experience, future career goals and requirements.
(For more information, visit http://newinti.edu.my/main/academic_programmes/cu-mba)