The course brings knowledge, experience, value and above all a good take off point to a career. A Masters of Business Administration (MBA or m.b.a) has become an essential tool in establishing a successful career in the business world. The MBA is a postgraduate degree offered by most business schools to college graduates who (preferably) have a few years of work experience. Some companies are willing to sponsor their employees’ education, either while they are working part-time, or during a “leave of absence” from their employment (with a contract to return afterwards). Most business people in management positions have MBAs. MBA coursework, which focuses on both the technical (e.g., finance and economics) and personal (e.g., leadership and management) abilities, teaches candidates essential skills for the corporate world.
Of course, it is possible to achieve success in the business world without an MBA, but because so many people continue their education, not having a degree from a top business school can be a severe handicap as you seek employment. Both the quantitative and qualitative skills taught in MBA programs are qualities that are in high demand in the business world. If you decide not to pursue an MBA, it is possible that you are making the decision to hinder your future success in the corporate world.
The business world some 50 years back was not as complicated as it now. Most of the best managers “climbed up the ladder” and there were no “lateral entries” back then. In fact Managers itself was not a common term among many of the biggest corporations. One of the most professionally managed big business of that time, General Motors was built by managers like Alfred P. Sloan and so was General Electric but they were seldom called ‘managers’.
In fact Management as a discipline was invented by Peter Drucker by the way of his seminal study of General Motors in the “Concept of the Corporation”. This was the first book which explained what management was and how it was creating the biggest change in society by creating and managing large organisations. Drucker went on to provide the benchmark of Management and management or business books by the publication of “The Practice of Management”. He then took a step forward a wrote about the Manager or as he later changed the much abused word to “Executive” in “The Effective Executive”.
Through time the schools of Harvard, Columbia (where Buffet graduated from) and later Stanford etc began to define the study of management and the skills need for the manager.
The need to better create change in the society through organisations has become the major tools of the 21st century. The concept of management, which until the 1970s was restricted to large businesses, has started flowing downstream to small and medium enterprises. This was best explained by Drucker in his book Innovation and entrepreneurship. The definitive guide to entrepreneurship and its main tool – Innovation.
The concept of management went through another major change when it was started applying to as varied institutions as the hospital, the university, the community center, the church, the government. Every institution is now in the ambit of management which in effect would mean the entire society.
Due to the rapid growth of population, resources and requirements we have created varied institutions to effectively manage ourselves. The way to accomplish this is the organisation and the tool – Management.
From where I see, I do not see an MBA as an education to manage a business but a “set of codified knowledge” which will help me to create, run and manage varied institutions which will help to bring about change in the society.
The key issue here is how will an MBA help you get what you want. Do you want better career prospects? Yes, MBA does help to a certain extent. Envision yourself 5 or 10 years from now. Will you be in the position of a General Manager, CEO or the like?
People do their MBA for a great variety of reasons, some do it to get to the next level of management, some do it to change their careers and some do it because they want to improve themselves. The best thing about an MBA is that you get the recognition and will be a definite ego booster for you! MBA graduates are perceived to be motivated high achievers, people who produce results. To a certain extent, this observation is true but there are always exceptions!
A recent poll at MBAweb.net has shown that 38% want to pursue an MBA for self improvement whereas 21% respectively cited reasons of “career change” and “increased recognition” at the workplace.
Most people who do their MBA are in their late 20s and mid 30s, at least in the US. This is the time where one has made some significant progress in one’s career, usually a senior executive or manager and ready to cap all that knowledge and experience with an MBA qualification. MBA also means a better chance at the next promotion to senior management.