WHAT is an MBA? Bschools.org describes an MBA, short for a master of business administration, is a graduate degree that provides students with practical and theoretical training to aid them in better understanding the general functions of business management.
Some MBA programmes accept students without professional experience, some MBA programmes require that applicants have two to four years of work experience or even five or more.
Professional MBA programmes are meant for bachelor’s degree holders with less than five years of experience while executive MBA programmes are aimed towards those aspiring to senior-level management positions.
What are the entry requirements to study for an MBA in South Africa?
- 4 year degree (NQF 8) OR 3-year degree plus PG-Dip (NQF 8)
- Post-university work experience: A minimum of four years for the programme.
- Acceptable GMAT, NMAT score OR the WBS Admission Test.
- Maths: a level of competence equivalent to the requirements of the SA matric certificate.
An MBA degree has many advantages, technically and personally. It will open up opportunities for career growth and financial compensation whether you work in technology, finance, management, marketing, or manufacturing.
An MBA degree can also develop your communication and leadership skills, both of which are critical for professional success.
Dr Akhil Shahani, chief executive of Ask.Careers suggests these 10 benefits of doing an MBA:
1. Higher salaries: An MBA degree not only offers better job prospects to graduates, but it also comes with higher salaries than you would otherwise receive. It is the preferred qualification for a managerial role, which is traditionally a high-paying job. It can significantly improve your chances of landing a top-level management role and may even help as you climb the career ladder.
2. Better career opportunities: Graduates of an MBA programme have access to a more diverse and broad range of opportunities, such as human resource management, statistics, technology and information systems, economics, and finance. All of these areas qualify an MBA graduate to work in a number of fields and industries.
3. Network of successful peers: MBA students get more opportunities to network in the corporate world. Many universities have events and initiatives for students to meet or connect with experienced professionals and business leaders of top multinational companies.
4. Develop management skills: An MBA prepares students or professionals to plan for changes in the business world. The skills one acquires at a management school are the best tools for adapting to the unavoidable shift in industries, markets, and business practices.
5. Build personal credibility and brand: Individuals who choose to form their own companies instead of being employed within an institution often find that an MBA accords them credibility in the market.
6. Global exposure: An MBA graduate from an accredited school is recognised as someone with competency over core areas and major managerial positions within an organisation. Since it is highly consistent with other similar managerial degree programmes, it can be used to explore career options in any part of the world.
7. Develop personality and soft skills: Modern MBA programmes stress developing a student's personality, soft skills and professionalism, allowing them to develop into outstanding communicators and advisers, with a new perspective on life and the business world.
8. Entrepreneurial skill development: MBA graduates go on to become young entrepreneurs. An MBA programme provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to eventually start and run your own businesses.
9. Build industry connect: Recruiters, keynote speakers, old-school business leaders, and young entrepreneurs, are among the people a candidate will encounter when pursuing an MBA.
10. Improving communication skills: Being a good communicator is a key life skill, no matter what you do. It can help you share your ideas, motivate others, and build a network. This is why communication is a key component of every MBA programme specialisation. It can help you interact effectively with your co-workers, supervisors, employers, and other associates in the future.
Earning an MBA means investing a significant amount of time and financial resources, but ultimately it pays off in personal satisfaction as well as competitive salaries and career growth opportunities.