Things to consider before becoming an MBA student
Are you thinking of becoming an MBA student to help you get a seat at the top table? Source: Shutterstock

Are you thinking of becoming an MBA student? The programme is popular for many reasons, be it to climb the career ladder and land a senior management role in business, to open the door to new career opportunities, to enjoy a higher salary or to remain competitive in the global business market. 

While there are many benefits to earning an MBA, it’s important to explore, on a granular level, how the right programme will accelerate your career and help you meet your goals.

While money and time are some of the important factors to consider prior to becoming an MBA student, here are several other things to consider before taking the plunge:

Financing options 

Some employers will sponsor employees to become an MBA student. Source: Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

Getting an MBA is an expensive affair. In the US, MBA programmes can cost anything from US$50,000 and up. A prospective MBA student can expect to pay a larger sum when studying at a prestigious business school. As such, it’s best to explore your financing options early on. This could include scholarships from the university, student loans or even sponsorship from your employer.

Students who can’t afford to quit their full-time job in pursuit of an MBA will need to do so part-time, which warrants strong self-discipline and time management skills to balance work, life and study commitments.

Undergraduate accreditation and standardised tests

Students looking to enrol in foreign business schools will want to ensure their undergraduate degree is accredited and recognised by their prospective business school. Some business schools require students to take standardised tests, such as the GMAT, for admission while others don’t require it at all. 

Choosing an MBA specialisation to suit your career goals

If you’d like to start your own business, become an MBA student with an entrepreneurship specialisation. Source: Shutterstock

There is no shortage of business schools, so the world is your oyster. However, many business schools have an area of specialisation for their MBAs, so it pays to dig deep and understand what you hope to gain as an MBA student. 

Some choose a generalist pathway programme, while others specialise in entrepreneurship or healthcare, among others, so choose accordingly. 

A holistic education

With so many MBA programmes popping up all over the world, how do you pick the right one that suits your personal and professional aspirations? 

Some schools not only boast a strong academic faculty, but also offer students the chance to do company visits, take on internship opportunities, pursue study abroad trips to gain international experience, and listen to talks by business leaders for a holistic learning experience. 

Some institutions also have strong industry partnerships, enabling students to gain industry insights, real-world experience and access to a network of professionals, which may be useful for future job referrals. Sift through each school’s website and find out what they can offer that will help you reach your career aspirations.

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