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Benefits and impacts of an advanced study in business administration
One of the most popular courses taken at the post-graduate level today is the business administration degree, particularly the Master of Business Administration (MBA).
In fact, the MBA degree ranks high on the list of master’s degrees that many universities promote, and this is mainly as a result of the existing market it has among professionals and students.
At the undergraduate level, universities typically award a business administration degree after a four-year course of study that focuses on areas such as accounting, finance, information systems, human resources, management, marketing, risk management and statistics.
In turn, the graduates from the sphere of study go on to develop skills for a wide range of jobs and enjoy the benefit of flexibility throughout their careers.
However, irrespective of educational background, many people decide to pursue an advanced study in business administration for several reasons. There’s an existing notion that MBA degrees are great for people looking to have a career boost or gain better business opportunities.
One of the top reasons that people pursue further study in business administration is that it helps them develop great personal and professional skills that will be useful in today’s constantly evolving world.
Have you been considering pursuing further studies in business administration? What are the possible benefits and impacts to gain from an MBA? Read on to learn everything you will need to know.
What does a Master of Business Administration entail?
A degree in business administration typically entails introductory courses in general education and business fundamentals. A number of programs focus on areas that prepare you to pursue a career in your chosen specialization.
This graduate-level business and management degree focuses on leadership and managerial skills, so much so that earning it equips the professional with knowledge and skills that help accelerate their current employment situation.
Interestingly, MBA programs aren’t ‘one size fits all’ and have different categories that will depend on the goal you’re looking to achieve. The four major categories of MBA programs are full-time, part-time, executive, and global.
Whichever category of MBA program you opt for can also be on-campus, online or hybrid.
Types of MBA concentrations
There are different concentration areas that an MBA offers, and the one you take will again depend on your skills, specialty or need. Some of the most common MBA concentrations available in programs today are outlined below.
This concentration is built on essential accounting knowledge and skills. You’ll typically learn general business courses such as financial reporting, managerial decision-making and accounting, business taxation, auditing, accounting information systems and attestation.
The advanced coursework in accounting will also typically contain advanced cost accounting, advanced data analytics, accounting ethics, fraud examination, forensic accounting and internal audit.
Those who take concentrations on accounting usually become accountants and auditors, and can be found within private organizations and public agencies. Others may pursue careers in consultancy, taxation or financial analysis.
This concentration is hinged on learning to become an effective financial decision maker.
Here, you’ll be able to explore how financial decisions are made within organizations, and it includes aspects such as investments, assets buying and sales, fundraising and risk management. In reality, finance is such a broad topic, and an MBA program will typically cover investment analysis, corporate banking and real estate courses.
General concentrations may include supply chain management, enterprise valuation, derivative securities, principles of finance, real estate market analysis and principles of investments.
With a concentration in finance, you can take on roles such as security analysis, commercial, investment, and mortgage banking, financial analysis, risk management and portfolio management.
MBA programs also provide marketing concentrations because it has become essential in different industries today. A concentration in marketing ensures that you become an effective and creative decision maker within any business environment.
Marketing requirements will also cut through market research, rating strategies and establishing customer relationships.
A marketing MBA concentration will present typical professional coursework within product design, communication design, advertising, buyer behavior and financial analysis.
With this qualification, you can pursue different marketing careers in fields such as sales, product, brand development and advertising.
Economics is another major concentration included in MBA programs, and it can include macroeconomics, microeconomics and business writing. The coursework will generally include behavioral economics, econometrics, economic research, labor economics, public finance and industrial organization.
With this concentration, you can pursue a career as an economic consultant, finance analyst, banker or marketer.
This concentration highlights information systems and skills that professionals need in order to grasp computer fundamentals, programming, data analytics, network design and systems security.
You’ll also be equipped with skills that use information technologies to solve business problems. You can expect to learn about business database systems, business analytics, strategic management, and operating networks and systems.
Business intelligence analysts, network administrators and cybersecurity managers are some of the roles that graduates of this MBA concentration can pursue.
Benefits of pursuing an advanced degree in business administration
Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects, increase your earning potential, or gain a deeper understanding of the business world, an advanced degree in business administration can provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed. Here are some benefits of pursuing an advanced degree in business administration
To broaden your business perspective
This is perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of studying for an MBA degree. It brings people together from different walks of life and interests and sifts out specific global perspectives relating to business.
With an MBA, you can broaden your business perspective just by engaging with peers and other professionals through discussions, group projects, a thesis and real-life practicals.
An MBA also provides specific programs that encourage cross-cultural and international activities in such a way that it will broaden your business perspective and prepare you for the high demand of the business world, irrespective of where you’re domiciled.
To expand your personal and professional network
Aside from what you learn, one major benefit of an MBA program is the people you meet and network with.
Throughout the program, you meet different people from different parts of the world and field, and if you can navigate it, they’ll quickly become a big part of your network.
From group projects during program days to the rich alumni network post-studies, you’ll be able to connect with people who can refer you to job opportunities or something else that will be useful for your career development.
Intentionally expanding your network is an important part of career advancement, as it opens you up to new and exciting opportunities.
To level up in your current career
Many MBA candidates admit that the major driver for their further education is finding the best way to level up their careers. In theory, some skills and knowledge picked up in an MBA program can also be gained during work experience.
However, not all workplaces or roles have the precise conditions needed to gain this requisite knowledge. On the other hand, an MBA presents you with the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills you need to level up your career, even with a more focused approach.
An MBA takes you through practical projects, responsibilities and clients that can fast-track your knowledge and skill build-up.
To allow you to pivot into a new career path
The great thing about an MBA is that it accommodates different career paths and trajectories. So, aside from helping you to advance your current career, it also comes in handy for professionals looking to pivot into new career paths.
An MBA makes it easier to transition to a new career path, irrespective of your experience level. An MBA can come into play as the education, skills and experience you need for a new role.
For instance, you may be looking to transition into a managerial role within an industry that you have no experience in, but an MBA can serve as your qualification.
To increase your earning potential
One aspiration that professionals have is to increase their earning potential. MBA degrees help you as a professional to earn more money than your contemporaries without the qualification. Also, organizations tend to hire professionals with MBA degrees. This means that you will become more marketable for better jobs or earning possibilities.
However, graduating with an MBA is not an automatic ticket to a salary increase. There are a number of other factors such as industry and location that will decide that. Ultimately, an MBA puts you in a better position to earn better than you currently do.
To fortify your business skills
MBAs help to fortify professionals with a wide range of skills such as leadership, communication, strategic thinking and versatility, some of the high-level skills that corporate employers look out for during hiring processes.
These skills will enhance your work rate and procedural abilities at the workplace.
To add a specialization to your resume
If your career goal is to master a skill or particular specialization in preparation for a business role, then an MBA program may benefit you.
An MBA degree program gives you an opportunity to learn about the different areas of business and see how they are all connected within the general business model. You can also choose to specialize in a specific business area right from the beginning.
When you choose a concentration that aligns with your goals, achieving them becomes much easier. Including a strong specialization on your resume shows career focus and can help you stand out from other professionals.
To improve your credibility
A great source of credibility is work experience. However, an MBA degree also goes further to establish expertise. Foundational degrees are used to show foundational skills, but MBAs, on the other hand, show practical skills and experience that will be useful in the chosen field of work.
An MBA degree on your portfolio will improve your credibility and heighten the chances of you being hired by potential employers.
To help improve communication and time management skills
Some skills are essential to the business world, irrespective of the field or specialization you find yourself in. Two of these skills include communication and time management, and studying for an MBA will help develop them.
Effective communication is an effective soft skill that’s developed through the process of studying for an MBA. Both written and communication skills are honed as you successfully convey different concepts of business projects to various people at several levels.
This skill can be transferred to a real-life situation at any organization in which you find yourself.
On the other hand, an MBA also helps you learn how to manage time and projects effectively. From extra-curricular activities and personal business to school work and course load, there are a number of things to juggle throughout the process of studying for an MBA.
To build on the flexibility of the degree
Most universities that offer MBA programs typically allow the option of choosing the best type of degree that suits your need and schedule.
As mentioned, there are full-time and part-time MBA programs, so you can look into your peculiar circumstances and choose the best option.
For those who are unable to attend on-campus education, the option of online programs makes it possible to get the level of education from the comfort of your home.
Career paths to pursue with an advanced study in business administration
An advanced degree in business administration qualifies professionals to work in a wide range of industries, depending on choice and expertise. Some of them include the following.
Level of education: An MBA is often preferred.
Overview: A business consultant helps an organization to gain a competitive edge within the industry through recommendations and guidance. You’ll be able to conduct different studies on a business, analyze data that has been received, and use it to draw inferences that will be used in preparing managerial reports.
Market research analyst
Level of education: An MBA is often preferred.
Overview: A market research analyst can work individually and within teams. The role involves helping organizations recognize the products and services that work best for customer wants and the price to leave them at.
As a market research analyst, you’ll be able to monitor sales and marketing trends, create different customer data collection methods, and share them through manageable reports.
Executive marketing manager
Level of education: An MBA with a concentration in marketing, communications or business.
Overview: An executive marketing manager works on creating several strategies that will help their organization grow its competitive advantage to a point where it is sustainable.
As an executive marketing manager, you will oversee product or service launch from implementation and evaluation to collaborating with other departments to achieve goals.
Chief HR officer
Level of education: An MBA with a concentration in human resources, business or communications.
Overview: This is the highest-level position in the human resources field. As a chief HR officer, you’ll be in charge of defining and structuring major company policies, systems and goals as they relate to the employees of the organization.
Whatever organization you find yourself in, other HR officers and executives ultimately report to you.
Business administration-related jobs are projected to grow by 8% within the next 10 years. An MBA can help you hone the right skills, gain great experience, and build the right personal and professional network.
However, as much as there are numerous benefits to pursuing an MBA degree, it’s important to point out that it isn’t for everyone or every profession. Before deciding to pursue one, ensure that you’ve done adequate research into your field and its prospects for the future. Look out for what hiring managers need and tailor your qualifications based on that.
Nevertheless, if you’re planning to pivot into a new field that essentially requires an MBA, or you need to ensure that you’re eligible for promotions in your current industry, then the accredited online MBA program at St. Bonaventure University is a step in the right direction.
Pursuing an MBA program is a significant commitment both on time and financial levels. It’s important to ensure that advancing your studies in business administration is indeed beneficial to your career and that the investments you’ll make are right for you.
However, you can be certain that the training you receive while going through the MBA program prepares you for the different opportunities and problems that exist within the career path you have chosen.
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