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Is a Master of Business Administration Worth the Investment?

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Introduction to the Master of Business Administration

Think MBA Think Global.

Within this perspective, you will need a programme that can equip you with the knowledge and capacity to deal with the complexities of the global business environment. Over the years, one programme that has been sought and searched like the Holy Grail amongst the most popular programmes around the world is the Master of Business Administration (MBA). A recent study by Olivet Nazarene University (2019) which conducted an analysis on Google Search Trends revealed that the MBA was the most searched master’s degree in the United States from July 2018 to July 2019.

People pursue an MBA for several obvious reasons and these could include:

  1. Gain knowledge on managing and administration of business;
  2. Better job prospects;
  3. Hoping for a better salary;
  4. Starting a business from scratch; and
  5. Career change.

The thought of studying an MBA must have crossed your mind at some point or the other. However, you may be having one or more constraints that do not allow you to enrol on an MBA programme. These could be time involvement, cost of the MBA, family and work commitments, just to name a few. Perhaps, the most important question remains whether the MBA is worth the investment in the rapidly evolving business environment.

A Master of Business Administration is a postgraduate course. As an advanced higher education programme, it is centred on the disciplines of strategic business management. The Master of Business Administration had originated in the United States in the early 20th century when industrialised countries and businesses sought scientific management approaches. The primary aim of this postgraduate programme is to equip you with advanced knowledge, skills and key functional management disciplines to address challenges in the complex and ever-changing business environment to drive organisational growth.

Most Masters of Business Administration programmes are delivered over two academic years. The actual time taken to complete the MBA will depend on your own effort to complete the programme within that time period. The first part of the programme usually consists of modules that are management related such as marketing, operations, human resource, strategic management and so on, while the second and last stage of the MBA is the dissertation. In most cases, it is the dissertation that takes the most amount of energy as it involves choosing topics, working out the complete process, determining the best way to collect data, analyse them, present them and derive meaningful conclusions. The dissertation is a culmination of all the learner has accumulated in terms of knowledge over the course of the programme.

The average cost for an MBA in the Mauritian context ranges from 135,000 MUR ($3,800) to 575,000 MUR ($16,400). The range of the cost is wide, and this is because the different MBA programmes are from different local and international institutions. For example, an MBA from Europe or the United States tends to be more expensive while the ones that are closer to the local market are more competitive. However, the contents covered by each of the MBAs are very similar.

Despite the cost, an MBA programme offers a multitude of benefits, elaborated below.

Higher earning potential

Among the top benefits of an MBA, the chances of earning a very attractive salary are high.  Generally, MBA graduates receive higher pay than non-MBA graduates. Since the MBA programme aims to equip you with skills to investigate complex issues, design and critically appraise research, make sound using data and information and communicate their conclusions clearly to the relevant audiences.  Moreover, an MBA prepares you to demonstrate self- direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks with a theoretical underpinning.

Therefore, the more skilled you become, the more you increase your earning potential.

Ultimately, an MBA coupled with adequate professional experience create avenues to top management and executive positions, allowing you to earn a better income.

From a realist perspective, sometimes an MBA cannot get you a higher position promptly as there may be unavailability of job openings in the organisation. In such cases, you may apply for vacancies elsewhere.

Further career prospects

An MBA opens doors to an array of career alternatives. For graduates seeking career advancement, this qualification involves many crucial aspects of business, making it a versatile and useful tool for career growth. Career prospects like Financial Manager, Marketing Manager, Researcher, Operations Manager, IT Manager, Head of Human Resources may emerge.

Because the MBA programme has strengths in the different areas of business, it creates pathways to various careers.

Develop Strategic Thinking Qualities

Strategic thinking is a highly sought skill, which is acquired throughout your MBA journey. You can think in multiple timeframes, understand what must be accomplished over time, what needs to be done now, how to weigh the possible solutions against the problems and how to execute the plan of action.

Greater Networking Opportunities

Networking is an important aspect of professional life. An MBA presents you with the opportunity to interact and work with people from other organisations or industries. Such exposure is vital for your own professional growth and makes it more accessible for you when you decide to switch the field of work or position.

Entrepreneurial Development

The MBA is also relevant to smaller, progressive companies as well as entrepreneurs. The model of entrepreneurship is often obstructed with a lot of financial risks, unforeseen circumstances and deadlocks.  Is an MBA worth it for entrepreneurs or new start-ups to invest in more money, time and effort? An MBA does not guarantee sheer success to entrepreneurs, however, it aims to develop a unique set of skills such as creative problem solving, strategic thinking and calculated risk-taking.

Conclusion

Ultimately, is an MBA worth the investment? The answer to this is yes. The challenges imposed by the rapidly growing environment make the upgrading and enhancing of skills and qualifications imperative in order to meet the demands set by organisations, customers and other stakeholders. As a prerequisite for most top management positions as well as for successful career advancement, an MBA has become one of the most sought-after credentials in the corporate world today. However, one must take into account that not every Master’s Programme can provide you with a Return on Investment, it is, therefore, advisable to earn an internationally recognised MBA from a reputable institution.

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