If you are thinking about pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree, you may already know that an MBA can help you advance your career. By getting an MBA, you can develop business acumen, enhance your leadership skills, increase your earning potential and marketability, and cultivate a professional network of peers, faculty, alumni, and industry leaders and policy-makers. But you may still have questions about the specific kinds of business knowledge and skills you will learn in an online MBA program.
What makes up an MBA education?
The typical curriculum leading to a Master of Business Administration generally emphasizes the core requirements, a set of courses designed to provide you with a well-rounded foundation of business acumen. These core courses include accounting, economics, finance, statistics, business strategy, human resources, marketing management, operations management, manufacturing and production, and technology and information systems.
In addition to the business knowledge you will gain through the coursework, you will learn essential MBA skills and competencies, such as leadership, teamwork, collaboration, problem-solving and analytical skills, negotiation, compromise, time management, adaptability, strategic thinking, communication, quantitative/research skills, presentation, project management and evaluation skills.
What employers look for
Interpersonal skills – how adept a person is at communicating and building relationships with a wide variety of people – top the list of traits that employers desire most when interviewing MBA candidates for hire (8.6 on a scale from 0 to 10), according to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2013 Global Management Education Graduate Survey. The annual QS TopMBA.com Jobs & Salary Trends Report says that soft skills have always topped employers’ wish lists. Interpersonal skills are necessary to help you work with and inspire others and can set you apart as a leader. The report says that leadership topped the list of skills that MBA employers were most confident that MBA graduates possessed.
Employers are also turning to social media more often to recruit new MBA hires. A majority of employers find new talent from employee referrals (66 percent) and networking events (53 percent), according to the GMAC survey. The survey also found that employers emphasized the importance of developing networking skills as part of students’ professional MBA skills and competencies. Creating a social account on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter is a norm for today’s professional. According to Jobvite, a recruiting software platform that helps companies target potential quality employees, LinkedIn is the preferred social network recruiters use for their recruiting efforts, with 95 percent using it to search for and contact candidates, while 93 percent of recruiters use the social platform to keep tabs on potential candidates and to vet candidates pre-interview.
Beyond the MBA
An MBA can provide you with an edge over the competition in business-related fields by arming you with a solid foundation of indispensable business acumen and skills and competencies. The knowledge and skills you learn can give you a foundation for learning about the business world long after you have graduated.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.