If you are thinking of taking a degree in MBA, but are confused and are being told by many that the curse is not worth it – here’s something that might enthuse you again to think and act upon it. An MBA degree is fantastic for people who are ambitious. If you want to be competent and want to advance your career and earn a higher salary, then getting an MBA degree is a good idea. Most ambitious individuals want to achieve goals such as: gain a higher position in their company, aim for executive position, earn lot of money, take on challenging assignments etc. Companies are always on a lookout for smart and agile MBAs; this course prepares you with general management skills and usually in a specialized field such as marketing, finance, human resource development, operations or information technology.
Another reason for acquiring an MBA degree is – many companies look for executives and managers with an MBA degree because MBA degrees teach leadership and analytical skills. The MBA students work with groups for doing projects, assignments, and presentations. For completing challenging assignments they need to collect lot of primary and secondary data and research methodology. They learn presentation skills, managing abilities and learn to handle almost any business problems through case studies analysis.
An MBA degree also teaches extremely important management skills such as finance skill, collaboration skill, people management etc. Not only will you learn how to manage your own time effectively, but you will also learn how to handle projects in time and how to effectively use money and group of employees in project management. Another management skill that is extremely important in today’s business world is risk management and an MBA degree will teach you how to analyze risks and make skilled and cost-effective decisions.
MBA degree will teach you to effectively negotiate with anyone. An executive or manger will be expected to communicate well with clients, investors, colleagues, employees, general public and government agencies. As a student of MBA you will attend many seminars, workshops which will teach you to collaborate effectively with your employees, co-workers, customers and clients; it will also teach you how to delegate work responsibilities and how to lead your workforce with confidence. You will also learn the art of public speaking and therefore will be more comfortable in the board room or speaking at a seminar. It will teach you the art of speaking crisply and relevantly.
While choosing a University program look out for subjects like project management, negotiation skills, strategic leadership, managing innovations, design thinking workshops, researching skills, behavioral finance, decision science and business ethics. See if these subjects are included. Also, see if subjects like real financial models and business history are included in the curriculum. These subjects sharpen your analytical skills.
Look for MBA programs where the faculty has hands-on experience in the real tough world. Avoid faculty that overly rely on Xerox-based case teaching and power point presentations. Looking at 50-75 slides in a 3 hour lecture without any sensitization to real time issues and relevance will thoroughly bore you. Instead, look for faculty that knows about Maria Montessori (she was an Italian physician and educator best known for the philosophy of education, and her writing on scientific pedagogy). Go for the course which will prepare you for rough and tough business world. Embrace seriousness for some time; after all, it is the power of ideas, not a spreadsheet with statistical analysis which can improve business. And finally, listen to your intuition, your inner voice. Some good B Schools these days have started design thinking workshops. Opt for such schools. It will change your life forever.
Back in 1999, it was already essential to work in groups. This was arguably a crucial skill that Columbia business school taught, particularly compared with those schools that encourage students to compete against each other by allocating much of their grade to their participation in class. All case study analysis would be done in groups of five, who would sit huddled around laptops at the big tables in the library. The students in the group would actually find solutions to the real time issues in the cases. Yes, working in groups teaches you to respect other’s view points and team spirit.
Go for challenges, go for intensified studies. Work with intelligent crowd which will help you in self-awareness exercise. Work with groups which will evaluate you and you will evaluate others in terms of the personal skills needed to find and keep a job, this is probably more useful than many other over fashioned curriculum. Go for internship in your chosen areas. For example, if you want an internship in real estate, take a couple of classes on the subject in your first year and demonstrate your commitment to recruiters. In short, choose a school which stimulates your thinking, which helps you to realize your dreams and helps you to augment your credentials. And, let me tell you, it’s not so simple to find such a school.
Operations Management is one of the most important subjects. A full-term class on the subject prepares you to run companies and making factories or supply chains work more efficiently. Don’t underestimate Micro and Macroeconomics. Nowadays, macro factors, and central bank policy, drive markets. Everyone in the world of finance needs an opinion on the Federal Reserve. Though you might find those subjects high and dry they are the most applicable and useful subjects. I feel, eventually, education cannot be treated democratically. Students must be told by their teachers what they need to know. That is part of the value of an MBA, or any other worthwhile qualification. The requirements are set by someone specialists who have researched and designed the syllabus.
But such ideas are increasingly mismatched with the changing nature of business education. The job of setting a curriculum is becoming difficult than ever before. The business environment is changing at a faster pace, it requires new skill sets. The competitive landscape for business education is changing; therefore friends give yourself time to choose the right business school and the right program. MBA is still one of the most exciting programs.