The importance of an MBA: fad or the future?

“A degree has value only if the degree is scarce, and the MBA is completely unscarce,” says Jeffrey Pfeiffer, professor of organisational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Prof Pfeffer has published on a wide range of topics but is well known for taking on the industry in which he works – business education. He argues that schools’ reputations have suffered from promoting themselves as a route to enhanced future salaries. The professor has been pointing out for a decade that the value of a degree is linked to the prestige of an institution rather than what it teaches – but few people have been listening.

MBA has become one of the most popular degrees and it’s not hard to find out why. Despite the fact they burn a hole in students’ pockets and are time consuming, most of them find that MBAs are well worth the effort. MBA has become a prominent platform to make a successful career with benefits like improved career opportunities, a higher salary, better networking, and increased skills & expertise.

‘Sharp technical person with an MBA becomes a valuable asset to any company’ has become a popular saying these days. Human resource, marketing, finance, retail management, hospitality management are some of the most sought after MBA programmes.

As a matter of fact, there have been numerous articles on why an MBA degree is valuable for students but none have addressed the point when it is valuable?

Through this article, I would like to answer this question and put light on the scenarios ‘When having an MBA degree becomes valuable and fruitful.’

  1. Aspiring for a career advancement
    Imagine, a professional who begins his career with an operational role. After working for few years he boasts of great academic profile and good work experience. But three to five years down the line there comes a period when he feels stagnated.
    Many professionals, at some point of time feel the same and therefore wish to move to the next level. At this stage an MBA turns out to be worthy. It can help professionals to make a quick progression from a mid-level role to a senior management position, where they will have ample opportunities to demonstrate their leadership skills as well as take strategic decisions.
    Remember, an MBA degree can open up opportunities that were not available earlier, but the lack of it can be a huge reason for career stagnation.
  2. Looking for switch in career

There comes a point when we desire for a career switch. Imagine, an employee is in IT for the past five years, but with time he recognizes that marketing is his forte and he wants to go for a career switch. His great IT experience will not do much to land him a senior level role in marketing. But an MBA can provide him with the cushion of switching his career.  An MBA with particular specialisation makes it easier to move across industries. It is truly beneficial when one wants to change career tracks smoothly.

  1. When you need a strong network

An MBA is also valuable when you need a strong network. Essentially, an MBA is a networking degree. MBA is not only about knowing people but also building contacts. It allows you to network with classmates, professors, and alumni from a specific school. For any career path, this can open new doors or investment opportunities that would previously not be available.

An MBA student gains access to the extensive alumni network of the particular MBA program he is part of. This extensive business network pays off throughout the career making you the first hand recipient of all important information. Forming professional and personal bonds with tutors, guest speakers and fellow students can prove valuable for your future.

  1. When you desire for self-growth

Imagine your graduation days. No responsibilities, lack of right perspective and quite a lot freedom. Till graduation everyone is forces to do things, especially. But once people start working, they learn who they are and what their potentials are. But the irony of life is that they are burdened with responsibilities that they hardly get any chance to follow their passion. An MBA gives them a second chance in life to do what they always wanted to do. Many MBA students discover a new person in themselves once they graduate from business school. Interaction with faculty and peers can change perspective about things both personally and professionally.
MBA truly helps when someone wants to change and has an intrinsic motivation behind it. So remember don’t go only for fat salary or position. Go for growth and excellence as well.

5. When you have to manage time

Managing time and meeting the deadline sometimes becomes a very tough nut to crack for many professionals. They find it difficult to manage time as well as quality of work. MBA students are taught to effectively plan and exercise conscious control over the amount of time they spend on their delegated work.

This enhances their productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. Many MBA candidates even juggle between full time job and studies. As a result, they tend to learn lessons about scheduling and prioritizing.

Having an MBA degree truly helps in time management.

 

  1. When recession knocks on your door
    An MBA degree provides a merger of elective and specialised courses to candidates where they are trained to handle even complicated business situations.

During recession hard time can prevail for many employees. But an MBA can breathe a sigh of relief because it has been found out that demand for MBAs rides high even during global economic recession. It is truly a recession proof degree because it never goes out of demand in any job market. MBA degree can assure sustainability of your job in the organization as well.

  1. When you want to create your own brand and add credibility to your name

An MBA degree from a top B-school has the power to add respect points to your profile. It acts as a golden feather in your cap which holds a lot of brand value. The degree becomes truly valuable when you crave to add credibility to your name. The ultimate result is higher salaries and better managerial positions.