Working professionals are always seeking to self-develop and often end up pursuing an MBA programme in order to invest in their future. An MBA programme can provide working professionals with the knowledge and skills to progress to a more senior role whilst also increasing their level of qualifications. It can help in all areas such as strategic thinking and being a better leader. Therefore, MBA programmes are often recommended to people that may be seeking career progression.
MBA programmes themselves have developed through shifting their focus in order to help students maximise their experience and ensure better career prospects. Whilst industries continue to change and evolve, it is important for both institutions and businesses to remain aware and up-to-date with these changes whilst ensuring that their curriculum and services are always relevant to the needs of students. Therefore, when making the decision to pursue an MBA in business, there are some factors that should be considered.
Learning while working
Many working professionals will be pursuing an MBA in business whilst still maintaining their existing job and it is important to ensure that your chosen programme will allow for this. Some students may find it difficult to balance work and studying, however an MBA programme not only allows you to increase your skillset but ensures that it does not in any way hinder your career. Whilst still a commitment, an MBA is something that you will be able to use and implement in your existing role and you may find that the two overlap, making both easier to balance.
A student-driven approach
Institutions should prioritise and focus on a student’s needs whilst developing a curriculum and you should therefore identify whether their approach is something that will benefit you. For example, more student-centred learning will focus on providing you with experiences to ensure that you are gaining more than theoretical knowledge. Content is also taught through different approaches whilst taking your needs and aspirations into account. A programme should be tailored to helping you acquire the most out of your studying, ensuring that your goals are a priority.
Whilst an MBA was used as a tool for career progression, it is now often perceived as a means of being able to thrive independently. For example, individuals that are interested in and hope to pursue entrepreneurship are able to benefit from an MBA because an institution will not only encourage and help to promote innovative ideas but will help students to become more critical thinkers. They are able to provide individuals with the fundamental foundations of what it takes to succeed, with professionals then being able to go on to implement these.
It is crucial to consider the outcome of an MBA in business and whether it will help you to progress in your career. For example, through asking questions such as whether the programme can help for you to build contacts within the industry or provide you with the expertise that you can then go on to apply in the workplace. Before dedicating time, it is important to evaluate the MBA as a whole and whether or not it is worthwhile. Think about what it will bring you and whether it lines up with your future career goals.
Whilst theoretical knowledge is able to deepen your knowledge and provide you with a better understanding of things, it is the soft skills that will help you to succeed. As more and more students are graduating with degrees, they often lack the real-life skills to be able to implement their knowledge into a job role. Therefore, things such as time management and having a positive attitude are sometimes lacking in candidates because it is not something that they were able to pick up whilst studying. MBA programmes therefore ensure that they focus on the development of these various skills because they are the means to becoming a more effective and successful working professional. Programmes should provide you with more than just knowledge, you need to be able to acquire the skills and experience that you can go on to apply in your future job roles.
Whilst an MBA can act as an additional qualification, it is still crucial to consider whether or not it will help you progress in your personal career. It is also important to choose the right institution for you to ensure that you are able to get the most out of both your time and education.
There was always that one student in your class that was way ahead of the rest. They’d be scrambling to answer questions and it seemed like they knew it all. On the contrary, there was also the student who wasn’t quite keeping up with the class. Keeping a low profile, they completed just enough work so as not to draw any attention. Now, wouldn’t it be better if education was a personalised programme that a student could complete at their own pace?
With distance learning programmes, a student can do just that. For Ruth, an online education was the best decision she ever made. ‘I never wanted to go to university and I didn’t have that much interest in education. When I started my career, that’s when I knew I’d need a degree to help me progress.’ In Ruth’s case, it was the flexibility that online learning provided that made it stand out above the rest. ‘I could complete a day at work and then come home and work through a topic at my own pace.’ With the learning material placed online from the moment you sign up, a distance learning programme allows you to choose the pace you want to go at; whether you want to be the student ahead of the class or just coasting along.
Many other students who have taken an online diploma have also cited the variety in resources as another advantage. A distance learning programme completed online enables you to cross reference numerous sources all at the click of a button. You get to make the course your own as you carry out your own research and come to your own conclusions. Most importantly, without the presence of a teacher in the class alongside you; the conclusions you come to are reached entirely on your own, free from any influence, these can then be reviewed by your tutor on completion. Thom Lieu, a student with the Online Business School says, ‘I found it really refreshing to be away from the controlled environment of a classroom. I felt free to think and am enjoying my degree much more than I thought I would.’
Furthermore, a common perception now is that a degree completed later on in life can be more beneficial to the student and their career. Whether this is a distance learning programme or otherwise, the reasoning behind this could be that a student makes a more informed decision. Rather than selecting a degree simply because it is what everyone else is doing; degrees later on in life allow you to decide what career path you enjoy and would like to pursue and then complete the degree that will propel your career. Since you’re learning while you work, the information you study is at the forefront of your brain ready to be used when required. Many traditional university students often find that the material they have learned whilst at university is a distant memory.
A standard degree may not be the most practical or economical at this stage in life and that’s where a distance learning programme stands above its competitors. It provides a much more affordable method of learning for students; one that you need not see on your pay slip for your entire working career.