A distinguishing characteristic of a Master of Business Administration degree is how closely it is tied to work experience. First, the degree itself prepares students for a broad range of career opportunities. Second, university MBA admissions boards often look for work experience in prospective students.
Most online MBA programs require applicants to have some prior work experience to gain admission. With other advanced college degrees, the path is often to go straight from a bachelor’s degree into a master’s program.
At many universities, MBA admissions boards are looking for at least two years of professional experience — and some prefer as much as eight years of experience. Typically, this is in the form of full-time, paid positions. In fact, some business school representatives will tell you that work experience is the single most important asset on a student’s application.
Work Experience Enriches Education
Online MBA programs and traditional MBA programs alike are greatly enriched by students who have diverse work experience. Many educators will tell you that half of your learning will come from your professor and half will come from your peers. This means that the programs that attract the most experienced students are likely to be the most beneficial.
Your work experience will serve you well in MBA coursework, as will the work experience of your fellow students. Over the course of your program, you will be covering a wide range of business topics, such as marketing, operations and finance. It is unlikely that any single MBA candidate will have experience in all of those areas, but if your school has brought in a diverse group of students, you will learn from others who have experience in the areas that are unfamiliar to you.
The Problem With “No Experience Is Required”
When you got your first job, you were probably looking for one that required no prior experience. But in MBA admissions, the words “No experience required” can be a red flag.
Students looking for programs with MBA admissions standards that do not require work experience may be making a mistake. When the students in an MBA program have no experience, the learning becomes purely theoretical. These students can end up failing to understand how business principles apply to real-life situations.
Considering all of these factors, it becomes clear that requiring work experience to get into an MBA program ultimately improves the program, offering benefits to the students who are enrolled.
Learn more about the Baylor University online MBA program.
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