Choosing the Right MBA
TOP 5 important factors to consider in choosing the right MBA
For many professionals and aspiring captains of industry, an MBA is one of the most important key to unlock the world of opportunities. Having an internationally recognized MBA allows professionals to showcase their talents to executive recruiters and head hunters who represent the top MNCs across the world like GlaxoSmithKline, JP Morgan; Accenture, Bain, McKinsey & Co and Morgan Stanley whom treat MBA qualification as a pre-requisite for granting an interview. However, whilst we embark on the quest of search for the No1 MBA, we need to be aware that MBA programs are not one-size-fits-all solutions. Business schools from across the world offer a variety of formats, delivery structure and concentrations that are customized to the needs of various industries.
So how can you as a prospective MBA student navigate this myriad of information to make your ultimate selection? Welcome to this journey of self-reflection which is a highly beneficial process as it helps you in achieving clarify and focus in your career goals.
1 Alignment to Career Aspirations
Ultimately it all boils down to your career objectives. Choosing an MBA program is like making any other decisions in your life. What do you want to achieve from it? Are you seeking to strengthen your knowledge in the current position to enhance your vertical climb? Or are you exploring a career switch? Or as a hedge against the challenging economic climate?
Your reasons for pursuing an MBA will differ from your peers , thus before you start attending MBA fairs, take time to pen down a “Personal Statement of Intent” , this will serve as a guiding post to your search for the Right MBA , enabling you to making realistic and a clear-sighted assessment of your vision and future career track.
2. Working Experience as Pre-requisite
Very few MBA programs allow students without working experience to embark into the MBA. A rule of thumb, fresh graduates with less than 3 years of working experience are discourage to embark on their MBA, the rationale being that without the necessary work experience, it will be difficult to relate the lessons learn and translate them into business solutions and applications.
Whilst there are early Career MBA programs are designed for students with two or fewer years of experience, most MBA candidates will possess between 5 to 8 years of professional experience under their bed before embarking on their MBA. Most choose to embark on a part-time mba since it provides them with the benefit of advancing in their career and qualification concurrently. MBAs are also a great catalyst for Mid-Career Changes for professionals, (PMBs) aspiring a clean “Reboot” to their professional career direction, with the support of a strong MBA alumni and an executive placement network, they will be able to make a smoother transition into their new career.
Very senior Executive programs such as Executive MBA programs usually require at least 10 years to 15 years of senior executive experience. Learning in Executive MBA class are typically through sharing of experience by the students, where their collective professional experience of class members helps facilitate discussion and participation, thus it is essential that EMBA candidates must possess a significant amount of work experience to ensure they can contribute in class. Another feature of Executive MBA students is that they are typically sponsored by their employers.
3. Time Commitment Vs Return on Investment (ROI)
Traditional Part-time MBA programs typically take 18 months to 2 years where classes are conducted on a part-time basis over weekdays evening and on weekends. This is the most popular mode of studies since it allow students to continue their full time job, maintain their family obligations and enhance their professional qualifications concurrently. Part-time MBA students also have access to the same resources as their full-time counterparts but with a highly level of flexibility, the downside is of course the intensity of juggling various challenges together.
A growing trend towards a more popular approach are Part-time US MBA programs which are typically designed for students who already have some level of work experience . Unlike traditional MBA of 18 to 24 months, US Part-time MBA are delivered over 12 to 15 months part-time, optimizing the Return on Investment with research showing that the average return on investment of US MBA is about three years, much shorter than other MBAs.
4. Delivery format & Concentration
Delivery format of MBA differs greatly, UK MBA typically are delivered through lectures and examinations. There is also a capstone component of a 20,000 to 40,000 word dissertation which requires intensive research on a specific topic of interest. Australian MBA offers more flexibility in delivery and assessment structure and offers online support for distance learning students, thus self-disciplined is a major requirement for distance learning MBA students. US MBA are by far the most dynamic system which rely heavily on case studies and practical oriented applications, where focus of MBA is a business education geared towards relevant business solutions. Different business schools also have varying reputations in offering specific concentration such as marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, international business to enable students with a deep dive specialization which is a useful option for professionals seeking advancement in specific skills set.
5. Show me the MONEY
MBA program fees in Singapore ranges from the highs of S$100,000 to the lows of S$18,000 Quality and Recognition of programs varied. It’s not just a simple decision of securing a MBA; it is the recognition of the awarding institution behind you MBA certificate that will matter.
You need to think through clearly about what you want from your career and from your life, and analyse what kind of MBA education is the best fit for your career goals and financial needs. You have a variety of options for getting an MBA education. Make sure you understand what different schools and different programs offer, and how recognized are these MBA by the employers. Whilst, MBA investment usually does pay off handsomely in the form of enhanced career prospects and higher income after graduation. As with any investment, however, there is no iron-clad guarantee of a positive outcome. There's no getting around the fact that business school represents a huge investment. You need to have faith in yourself and in your choices to feel comfortable making it. You should approach this investment by doing the same kind of careful research that you would undertake before making any other major investment. The fees listed here are indicative and correct at the time of publications. They may be subjected to change by the respective institutions