4 ways an MBA can enhance your career

If you’re trying to get ahead of the competition in the business world, an MBA could be just what you need.

You’ll learn new skills, gain confidence and get to know people with the same passion for business as you.

Many potential students are concerned about funding and how they will fit an MBA around their current work commitments. If you’re in two minds about whether an MBA is the option for you, consider the following four advantages to taking the leap.

It could get you promoted

This is the big one really. UK Statistics from a 2014 survey conducted by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) prove that an MBA is a great way to put yourself in the picture for progression within your organisation.

Their study reveals that 32.5% of respondents were at a Junior Management level before they started their MBA. This dropped to 18.8% immediately after graduating, while by the time the survey was issued a few months later, only 5.1% remained at this level.

If you’re wondering where they all went, the statistics also show that 12.8% were at a Senior Management before starting the programme, rising to 21% upon graduating. A third of respondents found had reached this level by the time they completed the survey.

An MBA is about more than just the certificate. The skills you learn will make you a better businessperson, and this will not go unnoticed when opportunities for progression arise within your business. Many universities offer a part-time MBA course with seminars and training days scheduled around your work commitments, so there’s no need to worry about asking for lots of time off.

Meet like-minded people

Students often find that one of the most positive aspects of an MBA course is meeting their fellow coursemates and discovering just how many people are on the same journey as them.

You will be able to swap stories, share ideas and support each other throughout the process, whether you’re looking to make headway within your current organisation or set up your own business. Remember, your seminars will only last a few hours, so it’s good to find other ways to maximise your experience.

These are contacts that can last long after your MBA programme has officially finished and it’s worth making the most of this opportunity to meet new people.

You can expand your knowledge of other cultures

Part of the MBA course is seeing how things are done in different business environments. Many MBA courses will include an international visit to countries such as China or India, where you will see first hand just how companies in these regions operate.

As well as potentially being a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the knowledge you gain here will set you apart from your peers and put you in a position to potentially educate colleagues in a way that will benefit your organisation.

You don’t necessarily have to fund yourself

If money is an obstacle, there are lots of different ways to fund your course. You can take out a Career Development Loan, or investigate the scholarship opportunities on offer at your chosen university. In addition to the obvious educational merits and esteem afforded by scholarships, they can be a great way to knock a bit of money off your fees.

Alternatively, your current employer might be able to fund your MBA studies for you. Many institutions offer discounted fees for businesses who put forward multiple students, so it’s always worth asking the question.

You will usually need to agree a long-term commitment to your business in order for them to invest in your future like this, so if you’re happy with your work environment, this could be an ideal solution for you. It’s a great way to further your development without getting saddled with debt.

James Riches is a guest contributor from Manchester Metropolitan University, one of the top MBA providers in the North West of England.