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Is an MBA still important?

via Destiny.com : We chat to Peter von Loesecke, CEO and MD at The MBA Tour, about whether an MBA is still important

1. What kind of opportunities can an MBA unlock?

I believe an MBA is an essential qualification for promotion in certain industries like Finance and Management Consulting. An MBA, combined with other experience like engineering and operations, can help someone with that experience to differentiate themselves in the workplace. It is an essential qualification to understand how strong brands prevail in the marketplace, why well managed distribution channels often define market success rather than the product itself, and how powerful supply chains become a competitive global advantage.

2. There’s been a lot of research about how the MBA is not as important as it was in the past? Do you think it is still important to have one?

Yes, I do. But the answer is not the MBA itself, but understanding how businesses and organisations can be transformed to have a competitive advantage. While the MBA degree is an end result, it is how one is taught to think during your MBA study that is most important for business transformation. Many students do not understand what an MBA can do for them and therefore have a hard time articulating what value they will get form the degree. One of the key messages an applicant should convey to an admissions committee is what they think the value of the degree is for them. Value is not just monetary, but also how it might accelerate their career or give them better insights on managing in the future

3. There have also been conversations about how an MBA from certain universities doesn’t hold the same weight as it does for others?

There has been many cases of scams by disaccredtied and unaccredited universities, therefore, it is important to choose where you get your MBA education wisely. For instance online MBAs are becoming more and more common as technology advances. There are now many great opportunities to obtain your MBA without ever having to leave your house.

Essentially an MBA provides an entrance ticket into certain industries and positions. After that, how you apply your education and learn from your experiences is what really advances your career. Each MBA program offers beneficial career resources and alumni networks to help students secure employment. The ability to leverage these connections both during your program, while doing an internship, and beyond graduation allows for MBAs to successfully navigate their careers.

4. Is the institution where you choose to do your MBA important?

Yes. We know selecting which institutions to apply to is no easy task, as there are lots of universities out there. However most decisions are made based on the duration of the programme as well as the ranking of the institution. Most students want to go to a school that is highly accredited and has a high career placement success rate.

In terms of duration, some students prefer to study a one-year programme which was designed for people who are typically more advanced in their careers, have more industry and possibly management experience, and need less support in their job search. The one-year programme is also relatively cheaper, especially from an opportunity cost perspective. However, the two-year programmes, due to their longer duration, provide for more opportunities for internship, involvement in on-campus activities and clubs, and more flexibility regarding class selection and subject specialization.

5. What would your advice be to someone who wants to enrol for an MBA?

The overarching value of an MBA lies in its ability to accelerate learning by improving the way MBA graduates approach business problems. The MBA is worth the cost if you have the right combination of experience, motivation to succeed, and career path in mind. Many successful entrepreneurs began their careers in industry, but were able to exploit “disrupters” in their industries to build a new business model for delivering goods and services. An MBA programme teaches you to recognise opportunities to enhance and improve business in a highly saturated and ever-crowded global marketplace.

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