Is an MBA still relevant? If you ask this question to several people across a variety of industries, you'll get a multitude of responses that are all over the place.
Is an MBA Still Relevant?
It’s a popular question these days. Even Forbes, the global media company devoted to finance, posted back in 2016 about reasons not to get an MBA, but then posted again in 2019 about how to determine if you should get an MBA.
So…is an MBA still relevant?
The answer is a clear, firm…maybe.
The myth that you have to have an MBA to “make it” in business has been disproven, but there are still really good reasons to pursue your MBA.
Why Should I Get an MBA?
Specialized for Your Career Goals.
The modern MBA can be very specialized. In fact, many programs have core courses that align with both the university’s philosophies as well as industry-required skills. Then, outside of this core content, you can choose the path that best aligns with your goals. For example, Concordia University offers 14 specializations for the MBA program.
Grow your skill set.
Taking MBA courses gives you the dedicated time and space to dabble a little. If you’re already in finance, you’ll have a chance to explore management or marketing at a high level, for example. If you’re pivoting in your career, an MBA can be a great way to solidify your skill set so that future employers understand that you’re competent in business administration. Additionally, specialization is a great way to show competency within your industry.
Beyond the subject matter, getting your MBA can help you develop other skills, too. You will experience significant growth as a communicator throughout your time as an MBA student. Whether it’s written communication through research papers and discussion posts or it’s verbal communication in presentations and dialog, expect to grow in this area.
In addition to communication, you’ll grow in your understanding of the numbers. Business Analytics is a buzzword these days, and for good reason. You should expect to be challenged when it comes to working with data. After all, you’ll probably be expected to communicate it to a variety of stakeholders and departments.
What experience are you hoping for?
Taking the time to nail down why you actually want to pursue an MBA will be well worth it. Getting an MBA will require you to set aside time specifically for your growth in business-related skills. While that may sound intimidating, it also can be really freeing. When you have classes to attend and deadlines to meet, it’s a commitment to bettering yourself. The leadership formation and growth happens over time, and thinking about how you want that experience to look is important in considering your program options.
While the coursework is important, a lot of the learning and personal growth during your MBA happens through networking and interacting with fellow classmates. Everybody brings their own life experience, knowledge, and story with them to class. By engaging in class discussions, whether virtual or in-person, you will broaden your mindset. You’ll have to remember how to argue your point logically and disagree civilly. When hearing your classmates share their work or their perspectives, you have the chance to grow as a listener.
Learn from Industry Experts.
Additionally, the relationship-building goes beyond your peers. Many MBA professors are adjunct professors, and that’s usually because they’re industry professionals. You have the chance to have a front-row seat to watch an industry expert teach from their own experience. These professors teach in their spare time because they love what they do, and they’re passionate about inspiring the next group of leaders.
Networking opportunities make an MBA extremely relevant today. While networking can be more straightforward these days due to LinkedIn and other social media advances, sometimes connecting directly with a guest speaker from your Strategic Management course or interviewing for an internship your professor recommended can help open up opportunities for you.
So, is an MBA still relevant?
The answer is up to you.
If you’ve determined that the cost is worth the return-on-investment, that’s a great first step. If you’ve decided that you want to grow professionally and personally, all while bumping up your earning potential, earning an MBA might be a good move for you.
This blog was originally published on 10/27/2020. It has been updated to reflect current information.
— Vanessa Lane is the Content Marketing Lead at Concordia University and can be reached at email@example.com. When she's not at work, she can be found playing with her kids or watching NBA basketball with her husband.
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