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There are a lot of reasons to pursue an MBA that go well beyond the simple goal of landing a specific job or earning a promotion. An MBA helps you learn skills you need to excel in business; skills like research, analysis, synthesis, and communication,  and those skills are translatable to virtually any career. Earning an MBA will help you compete at a higher responsibility level, it can open doors to better career growth and flexibility, and while in the program you will network with others who may become future colleagues.

Possessing and MBA is not just for those looking to enter a career in general management, finance, or consulting.  For entrepreneurs, an MBA offers excellent advantages because it is no longer sufficient to have drive and passion to ensure long-term success in your venture. Much like your corporate counterparts, an MBA helps entrepreneurs develop skillsets you will need to navigate the business from start-up through growth into sustainability.  Many new ventures, especially those seeking funding from angel investors and venture capitalists also have an exit strategy; an MBA will give you a foundation to best understand that landscape.

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If you are currently considering an MBA, we encourage you to reach out to an admissions representative at Post University and learn more about how our program has helped over 1000 alumni reach their potential.  An MBA will always be a great investment in your future. It’s not only a solid financial investment; an MBA will also help you master skills and broaden your scope of understanding the complexities of modern-day business.

Reasons to Consider an MBA

An MBA is an excellent investment for a long career path because it gives you both breadth and depth of knowledge. By understanding more, at a deeper level, graduates with an MBA add significant value to their organization.  Often this added value leads to higher salary levels for MBAs. That is substantiated in a recent U.S. News and World Report stating the overall average salary for MBA graduates in 2019 was $106,757.  What’s more is that different areas of focus can also increase your earning potential, significantly.

For anyone in a leadership role, an MBA is advisable to reach higher levels of responsibility in your career. That is just one of the reasons you should consider an MBA, though. While the education is certainly tied to future advancement opportunities and earning potential, the abilities that you gain through an advanced business program includes both hard and soft skills as well. Some of the knowledge, skills, and abilities that you’ll develop through a good MBA Program, like the MBA in the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business at Post University include:

Management Skills

Management skills are essential to building a successful career in executive or management capacities. It’s often said that employees don’t leave a bad company, they leave a bad boss. There is a lot of truth to that. Some people do have innate management skills, this is one of the primary skills a MBA will enhance.  However, most people can use more direction to develop the interpersonal skills necessary to become an effective leader.

Leadership Skills

It has been said that a good manager is not necessarily a good leader but that a good leader is most often a great manager.  The reason is because good managers are often task-oriented and excellent at execution whereas good leaders are often future-oriented and excellent at inspiration; and while neither is mutually exclusive of the other, they are very different skills.  A great MBA program is going to teach students both skills and give students the opportunity to take on leadership roles.  Those leadership opportunities could be in group work, simulations, or case study analysis.

In-Depth Knowledge of Different Departments

You may decide to follow a specific specialty in your MBA program, but the right one will still give you a good overview of every other department and how they function together. This is essential because a successful company has many moving parts that must all work in concert to be successful. Making executive-level decisions means that you must understand the other departments, their pain points, and their needs. You also need to see the overall picture of how the different departments work together.

Hiring and Retention 

The hiring process, building a solid company culture, developing an environment where top talent will want to work, and cultivating solid team relationships are all essential to a successful company. Employee turnover is a large concern because it can be exceptionally costly. The companies that perform well have good staff and a great process for hiring and promoting.

Product Development

Product development is something that managers and executives often need to work with in an intimate way. A knowledgebase in this area will include the research and development side of production and the key components you’ll need to understand in order to make decisions to best suit the growth and success of the organization.

Business Structure

MBA programs delve deeply into the hierarchy of company structure to help you understand the best ways to cultivate work relationships where responsibilities are delegated efficiently. One where all staff members are given the right information about of structure and autonomy for optimal communication and success.

Advanced Market Knowledge

It’s important that those in management and leadership positions understand the overall market. This includes studying analytics and reporting to inform business decisions based on the movement in your industry and other environments that can impact your own growth and day-to-day business.

Analytics and Reporting 

MBA programs dive deeply into analytics and reporting to help future leaders build and analyze reports that can help them form insights and maintain a firm view of their productivity, in specific areas, over time, and companywide.

Types of MBA Degrees

There are a number of options open to you if you decide to pursue an MBA. Programs offer specialties that are designed to dive deeply into various aspects of the business in a detailed way. For instance, you might pursue an MBA with a concentration in finance if you wanted to work in the financial industry or were seeking a career trajectory to become a CFO.

When asking “which MBA is right for me?” you should assess the school, the curriculum, and the experiences you will be subjected to, all based on your career goals. Here is a look at the most common degree programs:

Traditional MBA Program

Traditional MBA programs are offered at many colleges and Universities. These are two-year degree programs, which have traditionally meant that you would need to attend in-person classes. There are some options at many business colleges to combine in-person classes with online coursework today. It’s critical to understand that an MBA is an advanced degree program that is very time intensive. For some students who are already working in their field, finishing the degree program may take more than two years’ time.

To enroll in a traditional MBA program, you’ll need to choose the business school you’d like to attend and apply for acceptance. In some cases, the MBA program may allow you to enroll directly into the program after completing your bachelor’s degree. In other cases, you may be required to have work experience in your field for several years before being accepted into the MBA. Each program has its own specifications and you should pay strict attention to their requirements when you apply. Most programs require a four-year degree, a high GPA (3.5 on a 4.0 scale), letters of recommendation, and a high score on the GMAT prior to acceptance. In most application processes, you’ll also need to write a compelling essay.

Traditional MBA programs include elite business schools, as well as programs that have a much higher acceptance rate. Many students prefer the traditional program approach because it allows you time to devote to your course of study with other professionals. It also offers excellent networking options. However, it is a large time commitment that often requires foregoing income from work to attend. Traditional MBA programs are also often far more costly than some other options.

Online MBA Program

Online MBA degree programs, like the MBA in the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business at Post University, are often far more affordable. In recent years, there has been an advance in the technologies used to conduct online learning options, which means that the education is far higher in quality for students who choose this route. Many highly respected Universities and schools offer online degree programs, so these options have a much better outcome for career growth. They are no longer looked at as less comprehensive than their traditional counterparts.

The main benefit of the online MBA option is that the classes are all online, which often makes it easier to fit into your work schedule; making it possible for you to learn while you earn. The classes are usually small, and you can attend on a schedule that meets your needs. There are some areas where a strictly online MBA program is often found lacking, such as the ability to network—though you will have opportunities to meet your classmates virtually and there’s no reason you can’t set up study groups independently. There are fewer chances to develop those natural bonds with classmates and professors, so you’ll have to be more intentional in this area.

Professional MBA Program

A Professional MBA program is exactly what it sounds like, a graduate business program designed to fit the scheduling needs of working professionals.  You may find professional MBA programs that are online, in person, or both. This is an excellent option for someone who can’t take a year off from work to concentrate solely on the coursework.  In-person classes are often held at night or on the weekends and the time it takes to finish the program can range from 2-1/2 years to as long as 7 years.  Often the professional MBA does not offer financial aid, so while it can be less expensive and more flexible you may have to pay out of pocket.

The benefit is that you will earn your degree at your pace and may not have any debt upon graduation. You will need to be disciplined to put in the amount of work necessary to excel in this structure because it is self-paced.  In most professional MBA programs you can structure your studies to focus on areas you need to advance your career.

Executive MBA Program

Executive MBA programs are specifically designed for working professionals, typically executives. Unlike the traditional MBA courses which are rigorous and designed for people who can devote their whole concentration to school, the EMBA is designed for professionals who work full time. In most cases, you’ll be in an executive position or working toward a senior level management role before entering the EMBA program. Most candidates for this type of program have between 10 and 20 years of management experience when they enter.  Coursework is designed to help students move beyond general management and into the c-suite, which requires looking at the business differently.

EMBA programs are designed with working executives in mind. The courses are often scheduled at night or on weekends to meet executive needs; making this an excellent option for working senior managers. The coursework complements their current roles in their company and can position them for better career growth.

Which MBA Program Is the Best?

When you look at which MBA program is the best, the real question should be which program is the best for your individual needs. Elite level MBA programs are obviously highly reputable and respected, but those comes at a high cost and are extremely competitive. You should research the school that you’re considering attending and make sure that you can see how well their students perform after graduation. Many colleges and schools will be able to show you the percentage of graduates and how many have found placement directly after graduation.

 

 TraditionalOnline

Professional

Executive

Typical student22 to 27 years old; very early career studentsVaries; entry-level career students mixed with seasoned professionals30 to 40 years old; mid-career professionals to lower-level executivesAge can vary but is mostly seasoned executives.
DurationOne to two yearsOne to three years depending on how accelerated the student progressesBetween 30months and seven years18 to 30 months
StructureMost are a lock-step program with structured coursework in years one and two.Structure varies from 6-week to 10-week courses spread over the number of terms necessary to complete all the requirementsStructure varies according to the program and the professional’s pace to completionTypically, this program flows a lockstep cohort structure (i.e. the same group of students take each class together until completion)
Work ExperienceNone required by many programs; but most reputable programs require a minimum of 2-years with up to 8-years preferredVaries by institution and ranges from no work experience to several yearsVaries by institution and ranges from no work experience to several years.  Most reputable programs require a minimum of 2-years with up to 8-years preferredVaries by institution but ranges from 5 years minimum to 20.  Most reputable programs require 15-20 years’ work experience.
SpecializationsYesYesYesNo
Pros
  • Permits exclusive focus on studies.
  • Access to industries that require internships
  • Full counseling support from the business school’s career center
  • On campus interviews
  • Flexibility in attending class
  • Same MBA as traditional students
  • Accelerated pace
  • Continue work while earning degree
  • Opportunity to apply lesson immediately in current job
  • Least expensive option
  • Access to advising in the Business School
  • Support from the business school career center
  • GMAT often not required or waived

 

  • Same MBA as traditional students
  • Continue work while earning degree
  • Opportunity to apply lesson immediately in current job
  • Program costs are manageable
  • GMAT often not required or waived

 

  • Condensed classes held on a consistent night (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
  • Access to elite programs
  • GMAT requirements often waived
  • Excellent networking opportunities
  • Employer often pays
Cons
  • Must sacrifice work for school
  • Large financial commitment
  • Risk of graduating without a job
  • GMAT requirements
  • Reduced networking opportunities
  • Often there are no internships or access to industries that require internships

 

  • Scholarship and fellowship offerings are scarce
  • Reduced networking opportunities
  • No internships or access to industries that require internships
  • Employer may not pay the cost
  • Working full-time and doing schoolwork can be exhaustive
  • Students may need assistance with family obligations
  • Programs can be very expensive, especially at elite schools
  • Highly competitive admissions process
  • Employer must agree to time away from work

Choosing the best program may also take into account the specific area of business where you’d like to thrive. There are many specialties that you can choose from to meet your goals and passion. Some common disciplines include:

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Strategic Management
  • IT
  • International Business Management
  • Operations Management
  • General Management

There are some schools that also offer specialized coursework for entrepreneurs. Many entrepreneurs also get a great deal out of a standard MBA, as well. All of these disciplines can help you rise to the head of the department within larger corporations or in a leadership capacity within your specific industry.

Which MBA Is Right for Me?

The MBA that’s right for you will be the one that meets your needs in scheduling, support, budget, and course of study. At The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business, we offer a wide range of disciplines and MBA programs that are both in person and online for professionals at every stage of their career. Contact us today for more information.

Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly!