Deciding to study for an MBA degree (Master of Business Administration) is a big step for aspiring managers. But if you want to enter the competitive business world of today, the financial investment of pursuing an MBA is worth it.
What is an MBA degree? A Master of Business Administration is a postgraduate programme meant especially for people who already have work experience and wish to gain in-depth knowledge of business practices. A prestigious degree and highly appreciated by employers, the MBA has several paths available to help professionals advance their careers.
So, what can you do with an MBA? Are the financial investment and the entry requirements justified? All in all, is an MBA degree worth it? An MBA will offer you a wealth of advantages, especially when it's from a well-regarded business school. Getting a high MBA salary after graduation, landing a management position, developing a strong professional network, or even becoming your own boss are just a few of the advantages of studying for an MBA degree abroad.
Need to know more? Here are some of the reasons why MBA degrees are awesome and worth pursuing.
1. Learning management skills is why MBA degrees will set you apart in the job market
MBA applicants are usually young businesspeople with a minimum of two years of professional experience. Even senior employees who feel up to the challenge may sometimes apply.
MBA classes will help you develop the skills necessary to make a company successful. The curriculum of each Master of Business Administration degree can be different, but some of the most common things you’ll learn are
- How to be a good leader and manage people successfully
- How to develop, market, and sell your products and services
- How to use connections and partnerships to create your own network
- How to manage difficult situations such as financial crises or public scandals
- How to keep the company's finances healthy
- How to promote and maintain the company’s positive image
- How to gather, interpret and create reports based on industry data
- How to hire top talent and improve employee retention
- How to create hierarchies that help the company thrive
- How to make tough calls at the right time
So, what is an MBA degree if not a chance to get out of the comfort zone? You'll explore the latest International Business trends, apply the newest management tools and techniques, and challenge yourself to improve your business, teams, and collaboration.
What is an MBA degree if not the best way to prepare you for today’s constantly changing business environment? Throughout your career, you’ll need to adapt to unavoidable changes in industries, the marketplace, and the ways people do business.
What is an MBA degree? The thing that will make the difference if you want to change careers, or the industry evolves in a way that messes with your plans. You’ll know how to adapt quickly and find a new direction. Rather than trying to survive the harsh business environment, you’ll take advantage of the changes in the economy.
2. From Marketing to Human Resources, there are plenty of MBA specializations to choose from
Still unsure what can you do with an MBA? Check out the MBA specialisations below, and see what they mean. I’m sure things will get clearer:
- General Management: Probably the most popular MBA specialisation, it’s great for developing an all-round effective business arsenal and a versatile business environment.
- International Business: A degree that is best if you want to work abroad or in a global company with offices in different locations. It teaches you how to align business goals across borders. As global businesses are growing, this too is an all-around popular specialisation.
- Strategic Management: A degree that prepares you for long-term business planning and backup planning.
- Finance: This MBA is great for bankers, financial controllers, chief financial officers, and finance managers. Courses focus on Statistics, Data Analysis, Accounting, and more.
- Marketing: A degree that focuses on businesses which rely on promoting products and services.
- Entrepreneurship: An MBA that works best if you have an original business idea and think about launching a start-up.
- Operations Management: This is a specialisation ideal for managers in charge of optimising production processes. You’ll learn how to run production as efficiently as possible.
- IT Management: An MBA that prepares you to do business in the technology sector or do business that heavily relies on technology. This side of business relies heavily on the analysis of collected data and product development based on it.
- Human Resources: A recommended degree for managers in charge of HR teams or working with large groups of employees. It focuses on conflict resolution, team development, motivation, defining job responsibilities and more.
- Consulting: This MBA prepares experts to help companies face different challenges. This specialisation also develops your expertise in a variety of sectors and is very well paid.
Keep in mind that there are also a lot of MBAs providing dual specialisations, further upgrading your management skills and job-market versatility.
>> Here are a few universities and Business Schools that offer MBAs:
- James Madison University, the US
- Geneva Business School, Switzerland
- University of Wolverhampton, the UK
- Koc University, Turkey
- Loughborough University, the UK
>> Read about the 7 Types of MBA Degree You Can Study in 2022
3. You’ll get access to an extensive business network
If you’re wondering why MBA degrees are so great, think about the networking opportunities. You’ll interact with fellow students, professors, and businesspeople with great management experience.
You also gain access to the extensive alumni network. Your connections will give you a great overview of the business world. So, the MBA meaning goes beyond theoretical knowledge. You’ll gain tools that will allow you to quickly understand the changes in the business environment and discover new ways to adapt. You can reflect on some big business issues and make connections between various global events and world affairs.
4. You’ll enjoy some of the highest salaries on the job market
Job security and high salary are some of the most important reasons why MBA degrees are so popular. The average income for an MBA graduate is much higher than that of an employee with a regular Master's. You can expect to earn twice as much as what you would get from a regular university degree.
Going back to the question of what you can do with an MBA degree, here are some popular career choices: business operations manager, management analyst, market research analyst, top executive, HR manager, etc.
Average salaries for MBA graduates
According to the QS Jobs & Salary Report, these are some of the average MBA annual salaries in the world:
- In the US – 102,100 USD/year
- In Canada – 99,800 USD/year
- In Australia – 98,400 USD/year
- In Singapore – 82,700 USD/year
- In the UK – 92,400 USD/year
- In Switzerland – 123,500 USD/year
- In Germany – 77,200 USD/year
- In France – 98,500 USD/year
- In Italy – 86,400 USD/year
In two or three years, you cover the investment made with your MBA education.
Average MBA tuition fees
An MBA programme represents a considerable financial investment. To give you an idea about how much you might have to pay, we’ve listed the average tuition costs in popular study destinations offering MBAs.
Keep in mind that you can find more affordable MBA degrees (under 10,000 EUR/academic year) in these countries. At the same time, top business schools can demand higher tuition than these average amounts. Some offer MBA programmes for 60,000 EUR/year with the most expensive going over 100,000 EUR/year.
- The US – 35,000 EUR
- The UK – 20,000 EUR
- Australia – 17,000 EUR
- Canada – 25,000 EUR
- Spain – 20,000 EUR
- Singapore – 35,000 EUR
Which countries have the most affordable MBAs?
By default, MBA programmes don’t come cheap. Still, you don’t have to break the bank if you want to advance your business career. You can find very affordable or even free Masters of Business Administration in the countries listed below.
- Finland – 0 EUR only for EU&EEA students
- Sweden – 0 EUR only for EU&EEA students
- France – 0 – 9,000 EUR/year for all international students
- Austria – 0 – 10,000 EUR/year for all international students
- Germany – 0 – 9,000 EUR/year for all international students
Our list is not exhaustive. You can find affordable MBA degrees in top study destinations, like the US or UK. To do this, use the filters on our website, Mastersportal.com, and select the tuition fee you’re willing to pay.
Which MBAs lead to the highest salaries?
All MBAs lead to high salaries, but some industries pay better than others. According to the U.S. News, these are the top 5 industries where MBA graduates earn the most:
- Financial Services
- Consumer Packaged Goods
If you’re interested in earning more, choose an MBA that will enable you to develop the necessary skills to work in one of these industries. However, don’t allow high salaries to trick you into believing an MBA diploma is the only thing you need. Salaries are determined by many other factors, such as work experience, bonuses, and how well you negotiate your contract.
5. You’ll get the knowledge to start your own company from scratch
Why MBA degrees are so popular often comes down to people wanting to become entrepreneurs and learn how to start and grow a business. They have a big dream and want to know how to turn it into reality. Here’s why MBA degrees can help you become a successful entrepreneur:
MBA professors with real-life experience in starting a business can tell you the major traps you need to avoid and what you should do to make sure your company grows and remains stable over time.
You can find MBA colleagues who have similar interests. Share your ideas with them and see if you can form a common vision. It’s easier to succeed with your start-up if you have a reliable partner who has your back.
You’ll learn how to communicate effectively and why that is essential for the success of any organisation. Whether you’re negotiating a contract with the suppliers or explaining your vision to prospective investors, knowing how to express your ideas clearly can make the difference between winning or losing the support and attention of your audience.
Don’t believe you’re the only one who wants to become an entrepreneur. Many MBA graduates end up starting their own businesses. According to the GMAC research team, “B-school alumni entrepreneurs most often found their own companies (85%), and combined, over half establish businesses within the consulting (36%) or products/services industry (26%).”
6. MBA degrees are great for a career change and thriving business opportunities
For many students, another answer to what can you do with an MBA question is either change the industry they’re working in or advance to a managerial or administrative position. You shouldn’t do both at once, as it’s possible to spread too thin – not having the work experience in the new position to back it up. Approximately 1 in 3 prospective MBA students use their management education to pursue opportunities in new industries or job functions they have not worked in. This is a good reason why MBA programmes are also valuable later in your professional life.
To figure out what can you do with an MBA, it’s a good idea to decide on the industry and job you plan to follow before applying to the MBA. This way, it will be easier to pick the best MBA for your needs and have clear future goals that weigh heavily during your application interview. Also, you’ll have 2 years to develop the exact skills you need for the new job.
The versatility and diversity of MBA programme specialisations are great support for those preparing for a career switch.
Graduates of part-time or full-time MBA programs have higher chances of holding a high-level management position and enjoying successful MBA careers. Over 50% of MBA graduates worldwide are senior managers or board directors. This type of positions brings a higher salary, but also greater responsibilities.
Here are some of the largest companies in the world that hire MBA graduates:
- Bain & Company
- The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
- Goldman Sachs
- JP Morgan
- McKinsey & Company
- Walt Disney
7. International MBA degrees are an excellent way to widen your perspectives
As an international student earning an MBA degree abroad, you will gain a new perspective on how businesses are handled and get to live in a foreign country during your studies. Why international MBA degrees are so valuable? Because you will get in contact with work cultures and mindsets different from yours. You will learn new, better or just different ways of doing business. Who knows, you might end up staying and working in that country after graduation.
When considering which countries are best for studying an MBA, you should search for the nations offering the best MBA specialisations according to your needs. It’s also important to keep in mind tuition fees, living costs and which employers are more likely to hire you after graduation.
Here are the best countries for studying an MBA and the top business schools in each country:
The United States is the clear winner in terms of top-ranked MBA degrees. The U.S. wrote the book on business and offers MBA specialisations for anything you can think of. It has one of the biggest economies in the world and offers diverse career options and salaries to match them.
In terms of prestige on the job market, an American MBA diploma weighs heavily and may provide the extra edge you need in a competitive job market. The challenge with the U.S. would be the substantial investment and living costs, plus the unpredictable immigration laws.
The United Kingdom has an old tradition in business education and matchless academic quality. There are many one-year MBAs you can choose from. The UK is great if you plan to work in the banking sector, as top MBA graduates are very much in demand by banks in Britain. One drawback would be the unpredictable economic climate with the Brexit situation as well as the status of European students coming to the UK.
France was the first European country to introduce the one-year MBA. Employment following a French MBA is high: 80-90% of graduates from the country's top schools find employment in business sectors. Paris has the largest business district in Europe, also known as the Wall Street of France. The challenge is that you may have to learn French to work in the business industry.
Canada is more affordable than the US, the UK, and Australia, while also being present in top international rankings and giving you a better return on investment for your MBA. Because of the relaxed immigration laws, most of the international students who graduate an MBA in Canada stay and work in the country. Canada is also known to have a stable economy, which helps with business ventures that rely on predictability.
Australia has a strong international focus, attracting MBA students from North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. This offers great opportunities for networking and has great potential for students who want to specialise in international business. Australian universities also offer many scholarship opportunities. The downside to Australia is the high living cost.
- Monash Business School
China has cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong that are massive global financial, trade, and industrial centres. Chinese MBA degrees are more affordable than similar studies in other countries worldwide.
The percentage of MBA graduates employed after three months is well over 90% at most Chinese schools, with some schools even achieving 100% post-graduate employment rates. Studying here is also a great opportunity to break into the immense Chinese market that many global companies are trying to get a piece of.
Singapore is a great place to do business in the technology sector, as the country has integrated technology into infrastructure and the lives of its citizens. This is also a very international country with the biggest part of business school faculty and students coming from a foreign nation. An MBA in Singapore is great for specialising in innovation and entrepreneurship. Discover more reasons to study an MBA in Singapore.
- National University of Singapore
- Nanyang Business School
8. MBA degrees are not difficult to graduate although they are challenging
Many potential students ask why MBAs are so difficult to graduate. But they ask the wrong question, the truth being: for the average student, MBAs are quite easy to graduate. But as you’ll probably learn during your Master’s in Business Administration: your attitude makes up over 50% of your professional success. So be positive and trust your potential.
Rather than asking why MBA degrees are complicated, try to develop new ways of looking at the things you consider difficult and take them as challenges or problems to overcome. That’s how a professional business person would look at it.
In short, an MBA is as difficult as you make it, and is as rewarding as you invest in it. In the business world, there is rarely any hand-holding. You either develop into a competent business expert or are surpassed by the competition.
Here are a few class examples that are usually included as part of the curriculum of an MBA degree. These may offer you an insight into how difficult you might find the learning experience for an MBA:
- Accounts for Managers
- Managing Business Environment
- Organisational Behaviour
- Managerial Economics
- Financial Management
- Marketing Management
- Operation Management
- Business Law
- Human Resource Management
- Operational Research
- Strategic Management
>> Most international MBA degrees are English taught. Make sure you demonstrate your language proficiency by taking an English test:
9. MBA degrees work great as part-time or online courses as well
Why MBA degrees are great online programmes? The main benefit of studying an online MBA degree is obviously convenience. You might be busy with your work, or you are simply involved in other activities which are important to you. This doesn’t mean you cannot expand your knowledge about business and management. Online MBA programmes are very flexible. You can study at your own pace and access lectures and course materials whenever you want.
What can you do with an MBA earned in an online programme? Anything. Online MBA courses are accredited. We’re living in a world where studying online receives the same recognition as on-campus education. Just check the accreditation of your MBA degree or university before enrolling, to make sure you don’t run into a scam. Spotting the difference between a genuine Business degree and a fake one shouldn’t be too hard once you do your research.
Online MBA tuition fees are lower. Another advantage of studying online is that you’ll only have to pay the tuition costs. Moving abroad would involve other costs like accommodation, transport, and visa expenses (depending on your nationality).
Here are a few universities where you can study an online MBA:
- Nottingham Trent University Online
- University of Birmingham Online
- Lebanese American University Online
- Tel Aviv University Online
- IUBH University of Applied Sciences
- Arden University
If you want to develop your business knowledge but don’t have a lot of time, you can choose a part-time MBA programme, next to your job. Studying a part-time MBA will increase your study duration from 2 to 3 years, sometimes even 4 years, depending on the type of MBA you choose.
But a part-time MBA gives you the space to keep earning while studying and not having to put your personal life on hold. Part-time MBAs may offer weekend classes or may have flexible hours, so you can fine-tune your studies to fit your schedule.
10. Executive MBA Degrees are perfect for experienced professionals
Is 30 too old for taking an MBA? What about 40? As a reference, you should know that the average age of incoming students at Harvard is 27, but more than 10% had 7 or more years of experience. Columbia and UCLA Anderson both welcomed students in their 40s. In Europe, schools such as LBS, INSEAD, HEC Paris, and Cambridge Judge have an average age of 29.
The good news is that business schools do not consider age as an essential factor in the admission process. An important criterion is the full-time job experience, and older students have plenty of that because they’ve been on the job market for longer. Usually, the main reason why there aren’t more MBA students in their 30s and 40s is not the age restriction from universities, but that not many of them are applying.
It should be clear to you what your goals are for taking an MBA degree, as you should convince the admission committee that you are motivated to study the MBA and you have a long-term plan in which you believe. Also, if you have good GMAT scores, there should be no problem with the fact that you’re older than the average MBA student.
You may consider taking an Executive MBA, such programmes may have a higher average student age. EMBAs are more oriented towards career progression than on a career switch but have fewer networking opportunities due to less time spent with colleagues. However, if you are in your 30s or 40s, you probably already have your network of stakeholders and partners to rely on. So dig right in!
>> As a final thought, an engaging course like the MBA takes a lot of commitment and focus, and to ease the MBA student journey, Amberstudent is on a mission to provide quality homes and student accommodation, from New York to the UK.