If you feel like your career isn’t quite where you’d like it to be, or if you’re envisioning a future climbing toward the pinnacle of your organization, then it’s time to think about going back to school. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is widely seen as the gold standard for professionals across all sectors and industries. There are many MBA benefits you can look forward to experiencing, such as strengthened job security, a broader professional network and enhanced career qualifications that can allow you to pursue top positions.
Top MBA Benefits To Consider
Although the decision to go back to school to earn your MBA isn’t one to be made lightly, fitting your degree into your already busy life isn’t necessarily as difficult as you might think. MBA programs are often available online as well as in on-campus evening classes — and an online education can offer just as much value as in-person classes. Plus, not all MBA programs require a master’s thesis, and it may be possible to graduate in as few as 12 months.
While you’re making your decision about going back to school, consider the following MBA benefits.
Strengthen Your Job Security With an MBA Degree
Even if you’re satisfied with your current position, it can be worthwhile to pursue an MBA. Your new credential can improve your job security because it enables you to bring greater value to your organization. If your organization plans layoffs in the future, it's possible the less-qualified professionals will be laid off before those who hold an advanced degree such as an MBA.
Prepare for a Career Transition
Perhaps you went into accounting, but now you think you’d like to switch to marketing. Or maybe you’re working in healthcare, but you’re passionate about sports and are interested in exploring career opportunities in sports business. An MBA can help you make the transition.
An MBA degree allows students to acquire advanced knowledge and skills that are transferrable across industries. Furthermore, all types of organizations in all industries recognize the inherent value of this degree.
Gain Specialized Knowledge in Your Field
Acquiring transferrable skills is only one of the top benefits of an MBA. Even if you aren’t planning on transitioning to a new industry or a different career, an MBA can be a great choice for your future plans. It can allow you to develop specialized knowledge and skills in a particular field.
If your main goal for getting an MBA is to develop specialized knowledge, then you’ll want to choose an MBA with a concentration in your field. For instance, let’s say you’re a marketer, you may choose to pursue an MBA with an Emphasis in Marketing. In addition to the general, broadly applicable knowledge and skills of an MBA, you’ll also take an in-depth dive into key marketing competencies.
Broaden Your Professional Network
One of the most valuable MBA benefits is the program’s impact on your professional network. No matter which type of MBA degree you choose, you’ll be able to interact with professionals from near and far, and from all types of organizations and niches. One perk of strengthening your professional network during your studies is that you’ll benefit from exposure to a range of perspectives and worldviews from people from all walks of life.
You may also benefit from ongoing mentorship opportunities. In addition, you just might find your next position through a classmate. It’s even possible for MBA students with an entrepreneurial spirit to find potential business partners amongst their classmates.
Polish Your Professional Image
No matter which industry you’re in, reputation matters. A professional’s reputation can either propel them toward the top of the corporate ladder or hold them back from reaching their full potential.
When you decide to go back to school to earn your MBA degree, you’re not only investing in your career. You’re also investing in your professional image by enhancing your credibility and elevating your personal brand.
Earn an MBA to Improve Your Soft Skills
According to a 2016 survey conducted by Wonderlic, 93% of employers ranked soft skills as either “very important” or “essential” when making hiring decisions.1 So, what exactly are soft skills? Soft skills are non-technical skills that pertain to your interactions and work style.
Some common examples of valuable soft skills include communication, active listening, collaboration, teamwork, empathy and interpersonal skills. Problem solving, critical thinking and adaptability are similarly important.
One of the many benefits of an MBA is that your studies will allow you to refine these critical soft skills. Whether you’re brushing up on your communication, enhancing your style of leadership or figuring out how to improve company culture, you’ll grow as both a person and a professional during the course of your studies.
Prepare for Leadership Positions With a More Impressive Resume
At some companies, an MBA is required of job applicants for leadership positions. While you’re working toward your advanced degree, you’ll learn to identify your current leadership style, and you’ll explore the benefits and disadvantages of all leadership styles. An MBA in Leadership degree can teach you how to become a more effective leader who is attuned to the needs and strengths of the team, and who can lead by example.
Improve Your Self-Discipline
Earning an MBA isn’t easy, but few things worth accomplishing are. As you’re working toward your degree while balancing your work obligations and family commitments, you’ll develop greater self-discipline and time management skills. Stronger self-discipline can prove to be a personal benefit to you, and it’s also something that employers tend to recognize as immensely valuable.
Prepare for a Doctoral Degree
Not all professionals cease their studies after graduating with an MBA. If you have aspirations to earn a terminal degree, such as a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), then an MBA degree serves as an effective stepping stone. You’ll brush up on your research and writing skills, which can empower you to flourish in a doctorate degree program.
Are the Benefits of an MBA Worth the Investment?
Only you can decide whether the benefits of an MBA are worth the time and expense of going back to school. As you make your decision, consider your goals for your career. If you’re not satisfied with your current situation at work, would enhancing your career qualifications enable you to pursue your desired position?
It can be helpful to take a look at whether MBA degree graduates feel their investment was worthwhile. According to a 2018 survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 96% of graduates rated their MBA education as being of “good,” “excellent” or “outstanding value.” Nine out of 10 respondents stated they would opt to pursue an MBA degree if they had to go back and do it over again.2
How To Pursue an MBA Degree
Once you’ve decided that the many MBA benefits are indeed worth the investment, it’s time to head back to school. It’s always a good idea to choose an accredited university; however, the school’s reputation isn’t the only factor to consider. You’ll also want to ensure that the business school you choose offers flexible scheduling, such as online and evening classes, in order to accommodate your work obligations.
A typical MBA degree program covers a broad range of topic areas, including leadership, operations management, strategic management and finance. It may also include coursework in marketing, accounting, applied business statistics and economics.
If you wish, you could choose to earn an MBA with a specialization. For instance, you may find MBA degree programs that emphasize marketing, healthcare leadership, sports business and similar concentrations. If you know for sure that you want to stay within your industry (or transition to a new one), then earning an MBA with a concentration could be a good fit for you.
Experience the benefits of an MBA for yourself when you enroll in the renowned Colangelo College of Business at Grand Canyon University. In addition to the general Master of Business Administration degree program, the college offers a number of specialization options. These include MBAs with concentrations in accounting, cybersecurity, leadership and health systems management, to name just a few.
Begin your academic journey at GCU today by clicking on Request Info at the top of your screen.
1 Wonderlic, Hard Facts About Soft Skills in March 2022.
2 Graduate Management Admission Council, Alumni Perspectives Survey 2018, The Value of a Graduate Management Education in March 2022.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.