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Education Specialist, works as educational counselors addressing a variety of student challenges.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Earning An MBA Is Not Enough, You Must Learn To Apply Your Skills

Are you planning to pursue an MBA for a better career? But can an MBA degree guarantee success? Let’s have a look....

Nowadays most B-schools and colleges are providing an array of options to students for pursuing business degrees. With growing challenges in the corporate world, earning an MBA has become more important now than ever before. But simply becoming an MBA graduate does not mean that you will climb the success ladder. No matter how much business schools say that an MBA is a guarantee towards a better career, I believe that you will achieve success when you utilise your business knowledge effectively to develop innovative ideas and solutions for your company.

Is An MBA Enough?

In today’s corporate world you will find more individuals who are either pursuing or have already earned an MBA degree. I agree that nowadays being an MBA graduate opens up various new career opportunities which can enable you to achieve your professional goals. Moreover with intense competition in the global job market, having an MBA degree can give you an edge over others and add value to your resume. But I can tell you right now that it is not enough.

Joanna Smith Bers, Managing Director and Talent Officer for DB Marketing Technologies in New York, said “Colleges seem to churn out MBAs like tissue paper. There may have been a time when those three letters actually distinguished job candidates from the pack, but no more. As a senior manager at a business insights management consulting firm, I have found that the MBA is more embellishment than substantive.”

Earn The Skills, Not Just A Degree

Hence you must take the effort to set yourself apart in different ways by not only acquiring business skills and knowledge, but also effectively applying those skills in a business setting. Ahmed Sharawy, an MBA graduate and an aspiring entrepreneur, believes that being able to use your knowledge to develop business plans and strategies is as important as, if not more, than earning an MBA degree. He said “The way schools and people talk about MBA, makes students and candidates believe that graduation is an achievement that entitles degree holders for a better life. But the real achievement is using what we learn to come up with innovative ideas and incubate them long enough to be successful and useful.”

This means that you will need to gain significant work experience in a relevant field either before or while you pursue your MBA degree. Your experience will demonstrate that not only you have the critical skills, but you also know how to use them at the work place to improve your productivity and add value to business.

Going The Smarter Way

But the fact remains that pursuing a full time MBA programme does not leave any space for you to gain work experience by doing even a part-time job. This is perhaps one the biggest challenges of traditional full time business programmes. I guess this is why numerous students from around the globe are now going for online MBA pathway programmes for the excellent flexibility and convenience it offers. As there are no fixed or scheduled classes, you can easily choose to work a full time or part time job and also pursue your online MBA simultaneously. Moreover, you will be able to apply what you learn at the workplace and hone your skills further. This will allow you to develop efficient business plans and strategies for your company by using your MBA knowledge.

Once you have completed your top up MBA programme and acquired adequate work experience, you will have a shot at boosting your employability to a great extent and make you a desirable candidate to prospective employers.

The Bottom Line

So if you think that simply by earning an MBA you can become a hot-shot manager at a Fortune 500 company, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Getting an MBA is certainly not a bad idea, but you need to keep working on yourself to build your career.

Manpower’s Holmes says she doesn’t want to discourage anyone from getting an MBA, but that students should understand there are limits to how much it can help. Dora Vell, an executive recruiter from Waltham, Massachusetts, said “It’s not the degree. It’s what you do with it. An MBA is just noise.” She adds “It doesn’t help me every day, but it made me feel smarter and gave me more confidence.”

What do you think? Feel free to share your views and opinions on MBA and how it can help your career. We would love to hear from you.