What Do MBA Studies Mean?

An MBA education should prepare you to advance your career in a tight economy. Explore your MBA career options.

In today's tight economy, it's an advantage to have an MBA.

Although it may no longer guarantee a lucrative banking job, a Master of Business Administration enables you to analyze the global market in search of new opportunities, as well as to start and grow your own business. Executive programs freshen up your business knowledge; provide you a forum to tackle business challenges with peers; and allow you to expand contacts.

Types of MBA Degrees

If you would like to change careers, you may enroll in a full-time MBA. If your boss wants you to stay put, you may pursue a part-time MBA. Higher-level executives also have options. You may pursue an executive MBA, or complete executive education, allowing you to obtain certificates in growing areas. Distance business education is also available. Breakdown of MBA Courses
MBA studies typically include core and specialization courses. Accounting, finance, marketing, business strategy, organizational behavior, technology and operations management classes are usually required. These are combined with courses related to your concentration. For instance, if you are specializing in finance, you may also take portfolio management, advance investments, and corporate control and governance courses.
Executive education, meanwhile, includes short-term courses in specific areas such as sales force performance, customer insight tools, and strategic alliances. In addition, MBA programs are increasingly offering courses in strong or emerging areas. These include corporate finance; luxury brand management; entrepreneurship; environmental, social, and governance issues; and health care.

Required MBA Skills

Traditionally, the MBA was perceived as a way to advance finance and management consulting careers. Students were highly analytical and focused on these particular fields. Today, many of these habitual business school recruits are not leaving their jobs. And new MBA recruits are usually not planning to switch careers into these positions, as hiring is still sluggish.
As a result, business schools have increasingly modified not only their course offerings, but also what they look for in an MBA student. More students are entering programs with social science, law, medicine, and engineering backgrounds. As an MBA, you should be able to analyze numbers; close deals in foreign countries; motivate diverse peers; and rely on ideas beyond the business world to launch singular products and services.
Depending on the program you choose, it could take you between one and two academic years to complete a full-time MBA. If you enroll in an executive MBA programs expect to meet at night, during weekends, or several times a year. Executive education may be completed in seminars lasting a few days, and distance education when you are available.


  • Having a master's degree in business administration is necessary for those who want to gain an advantage in this ultra-tough industry. It is one of several business degrees that provide a huge impact on a professional's salary and career advancement options.
  • A Masters of Business Administration (MBA) can help you move up the career ladder at a large corporation significantly. Besides the education you get in accounting, finance, management, operations, etc., you will build you business network. Plus, graduating from a prestigious MBA program gives a very good first impression.
  • "Master of Business Administration"
    An MBA is one of the most coveted postgraduate degrees today not just for business professionals, but for college graduates in general. Having a master's degree in business administration is necessary for those who want to gain an advantage in this ultra-tough industry. It is one of several business degrees that provide a huge impact on a professional's salary and career advancement options. Being an official Master of Business Administration is also an attractive endeavor for professionals outside the industry because the program touches different fields and sectors. Overall, MBA training is a valuable asset regardless of the career path chosen by college graduates.
  • Why an MBA
    The MBA is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. It is a degree designed to give you the ability to develop your career to its fullest potential, at an accelerated pace. What will you get out of an MBA? Aside from a powerful life experience, the MBA degree should supply three main value propositions: Skills, Networks, and Brand.
  • Skills
    These include the "hard skills" of economics, finance, marketing, operations, management, and accounting, as well as the "soft skills" of leadership, teamwork, ethics, and communication that are so critical for effective management. MBA students acquire these skills inside and outside the classroom. Since MBA programs attract people from very diverse industries and cultures, a program should be able to leverage these differences and translate them into learning opportunities.
  • Networks
    An MBA degree program offers access to a network of MBA students, alumni, faculty, and business and community leaders. This network can be very useful when beginning a job search, developing a career path, building business relationships in your current career, or pursuing expertise outside your current field. For example, entrepreneurs need access to capital, business partners, vendors, and clients. Arts-related businesses need access to funding and strategic management in order to position themselves to be relevant in the marketplace. Global businesses need access to local business cultures as they expand their enterprises to new territories.
  • Brand
    The MBA degree is a recognized brand that signifies management and leadership training. The particular school and type of MBA program you attend also have brand associations that can help open doors based on the school's reputation. The strength of a school's brand is based on the program's history, its ability to provide students with technical skills and opportunities for personal growth, and the reach of its alumni and industry network. A powerful brand can give you the flexibility to make changes throughout your career.
  • Career Advancement or Career Change
    You may want to gain a position of greater responsibility in your current field. Or you may want to switch from one area of business to another-from marketing or sales to strategic planning or finance, for example.

    You could be looking to change your career path altogether. Using an M.B.A. to switch career focus is a typical strategy. Many people seek a management position after acquiring expertise in a different field altogether-such as nursing, teaching, performing arts, or engineering-because they want to shift to a management position in their area. An M.B.A. can help you make a major break or leap in your career path-with a concomitant leap in income.

    You may aspire to an area that "requires" an M.B.A. as an entry. An M.B.A. signals a prospective employer that you've got the knowledge and skills a demanding job requires, as well as persistence, energy, and even time-management skills to handle it.
  • Specific Management Training
    Obtaining specific management training and expertise is another common reason for pursuing an M.B.A. Although the M.B.A. is a general management degree, most programs provide opportunities to study one or more areas in greater depth. Investment bankers typically concentrate on finance in their M.B.A.s, for instance. But if you have a very singular focus on a particular field, you may want to consider some alternatives such as a specialized master's program, course work as a non degree student, or non university-based courses, seminars, and workshops.

    If you need to learn something about a few specific topics, consider an executive education program. Typically conducted as workshops or seminars lasting from a few hours to several days, an executive education program may provide the training you need.

The transferable skills derived from study for an MBA include the following:

  • Academic achievement: demonstrates application and high standards of performance;
  • Communication skills: listening, speaking carefully and clearly, the ability to put across your arguments fluently in writing;
  • Analysis: distinguishing relevant from irrelevant information, identifying issues and problems;
  • Commitment: seriousness of purpose, demonstrated both by taking time out from your career on a reduced salary (or no salary) in order to improve your qualifications and by combining work and part-time study;
  • Practicality: realism, ability to set attainable goals;
  • Maturity: tenacity, independence, organization;
  • Decisiveness: fact-finding skills, clarity, judgment, courage;
  • Intellectual creativity: the ability to develop new concepts and ideas;
  • Capacity for hard work: embodying self-motivation, self-discipline and time management;
  • Group skills: teamwork, leadership, ability to motivate others;
  • The mastery of IT skills: knowledge of statistical packages, spreadsheets, databases and programming languages;
  • Cross-cultural awareness: working with fellow-students from many different nationalities and backgrounds.
    In addition to the skills outlined above you are likely to have developed the following skills to a high level through an MBA and through previous employment:
  • The ability to overcome difficulties and to solve problems;
  • To be independent and to have developed the skill of managing your own time and work;
  • To be capable of original and creative thought;
  • To argue your case with logic and not to be easily dissuaded by the views of others. Having an MBA not only gives you more leverage in dictating new job titles and salary, but also gives you leverage in achieving a better balance between work (read: fewer hours working) and life outside work.


  • To become a manager or a better existing manager.
  • Earn a better salary.
  • To develop better critical thinking skills.
  • To sharpen strategy and tactical skills.
  • To develop appropriate leadership skills.
  • To broaden ones scope. 
  • To learn and develop strategic thinking.
  • To analyse organizational methods and procedures.
  • To enrich ones life.
  • To take on more responsibilities
  • To expand ones network
  • To step to a higher level within a career
  • To learn approaches to solve real life problems.
  • To increase motivation.
  • To increase performance.
  • To learn to use power appropriately
  • To learn the art of influencing people
  • To become more marketable
  • To learn negotiation dynamics
  • To learn the methods for building energized teams.
  • Develop managerial competence.
  • To develop a global mindset.
  • For personal development.
  • To enhance interpersonal skills.
  • To learn the importance of cultural sensitivity.
  • To learn the risk management skills.
  • To lead change.
  • To learn the importance of social responsibility.
  • To develop strategic planning skills.