We are living in an age where an MBA is a degree aspired by many. From a fresh graduate to a working professional, everyone wants to pursue an MBA. While it seems a good option for fresh graduates for a good career start, is it worth getting enrolled in an online MBA program for working professionals?
We know you might be worried about your career advancement, especially during these uncertain times. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive post elucidating how an online MBA Program can help working professionals advance their careers. We have listed down the top 9 reasons that will help you decide whether you should take a leap and enroll in an MBA program or not.
What is an Online MBA Program?
An online MBA program is a convenient and advanced version of distance learning. In an online MBA program, the lectures are offered on virtual learning platforms. These programs allow students to learn at a pace that is ideal for them, without feeling stressed or hassled.
Here’s how an online MBA Program can benefit working professionals:
1. Career Advancement
Career Advancement is one of the most common reasons for many people to pursue an MBA. At times, working professionals feel that they have reached a certain level in their careers, beyond which they need something to get to higher or managerial level positions. An online MBA can help you with this. Earning an MBA online can help working professionals boost their career opportunities. It can also help them get job promotions and salary hikes. With an online MBA, you can do that without leaving your current employment. However, you will need to make sure that you can manage the time commitments of the course.
2. Broadens your Knowledge
An online MBA program provides you with a vast knowledge of different topics. The core courses enable students to develop a holistic foundation in business disciplines such as finance, marketing, and accounting. The specializations, on the other hand, allow students to gain in-depth knowledge in specific areas they are interested in, such as business analytics, international business, and entrepreneurship.
Besides, you also get access to case studies from businesses in different industries, which improves business knowledge and problem-solving skills.
3. Develop Managerial & Interpersonal Skills
With an online MBA, you can sharpen your managerial and business skills and achieve a new sense of professional fulfillment. It can teach you specific business skills, such as strategic thinking and leadership. These skills will help in boosting your confidence that can help you capitalize on new career opportunities or drive organizational change in your existing role. Online MBA programs focus on business management, leadership, and marketing, making it a valuable degree to have.
Hard skills and soft skills go hand in hand. In many jobs, technical skills alone are not enough to get the job done effectively. Soft skills are required in all careers to make hard skills valuable, which is why most of the online MBA programs help students to enhance their:
Interpersonal Skills: Teach how to work collaboratively with others.
Entrepreneurial Skills: Teach how to evaluate markets, set goals, and think creatively.
Communication Skills: Train students to communicate effectively with peers, superiors, and clients.
Thus, pursuing an MBA program for skill development makes sense. After all, most firms look for potential employees with not only skills to perform the job but also with a sound thought around making business decisions.
4. Ideal for Networking
Networking with different people makes an online MBA program worthwhile. The professional network you develop while pursuing the program will extend beyond your peers and professors to include contacts outside of your program. You will be able to interact with working alumni, business leaders, and some other professional connections through online classes, virtual social events, or via an online portal.
With an extensive network, you will be able to understand even the change in the global business environment and discover new ways to adapt fast.
According to LinkedIn – “85% of critical jobs are filled via networking of some sort.”
Networking is, therefore, essential for working professionals, which is why many programs offer webinars specifically devoted to how to excel in networking online.
5. High Salary Potential
Apart from expanding your career opportunities, online MBA Programs also prepares you for high-salary paying jobs in today’s competitive market.
As per a recent study, the pay of average MBA graduates was 50% higher than their position before earning their degree. Moreover, in the five years after earning their MBA, the average pay increased by 80%.
After earning an MBA, you can easily get a high-salary job. However, for that, you will have to choose your course providing institute and specialization wisely. The salary aspect also depends on the industry you choose and the company you join.
6. Greater Job Security
Nowadays, the job market is more uncertain than ever before. Getting fired is one of the biggest fears for employees, in today’s job market. Having an MBA gives you a benefit in the sense that your employer will be less likely to let you go.
7. Makes your Resume Stronger
An Online MBA can strengthen your resume by adding those specific skills to your resume that employers are looking for. Mastering all such skills will help your resume look better in comparison to other candidates. It would show that you have the knowledge and flexibility to keep up.
Needless to say, an MBA course lays a good foundation for many careers, including executive roles, project management as well as market research roles.
8. Easier to Switch Careers
Nowadays, it is difficult to find someone who stays with one company or even one industry throughout his or her entire professional life. Many professionals expect that they will switch jobs many times throughout their careers. While some professionals are keen to discover new workplaces with different tasks, some of them plan to start their own business. With an MBA qualification, it becomes much easier to make those transitions, as an MBA is proof of your expertise and your skills to switch careers or start a new business.
9. Worldwide Recognition of your Credentials
An online MBA certification/degree is recognized throughout the world. On completion of your online MBA, your online certification/degree will be acknowledged worldwide and your credibility will increase among business people, opening doors to a variety of career opportunities.
Is It a good time to pursue an MBA?
Given that the world is changing so much during these transitioning times, pausing and reflecting on one’s career strategy can be immensely helpful. Which is why we think that pursuing an online MBA during the Covid-19 pandemic is something that you should definitely consider.
In March 2020, IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva stated that “We have reassessed the prospects for growth for 2020 and 2021. It is now clear that we have entered a recession as bad or worse than in 2009. We do project recovery in 2021.”
While many experts agree that COVID-19 will trigger a recession, the coronavirus crisis also has the potential to change higher education more than any recession in the past. Historical data suggests that recessions are the times when the online MBA applications increase. The reason is quite obvious. Recession often results in increased unemployment and fewer new opportunities. Due to the same reason, professionals seek higher education to add value to their resumes by expanding their skills.
Who can Enroll in an Online MBA Program?
Education: Usually, the basic eligibility criteria for an online MBA is Graduation/Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline or equivalent from a recognized university with a minimum of 50%.
Work Experience: While most programs do not require prior work experience, some of the programs might ask for 2-3 years of work experience to enrol.
Entrance Exams: There are no entrance exams for online MBA programs.
Select Your Program Carefully
All online MBA programs are not designed in the same manner. Moreover, employers notice where job applicants have earned their degrees from while sorting through the stack of resumes.
Importantly, since it is not the right time to leave your job for education, choose a program where the time commitment is something that you can manage.
It is better to do your research before you apply for an MBA program. You should opt for such a course that suits your personal career goals, whether those lie in finance, marketing, human resources, strategic management, or any other domain. If you are looking to combine a top-class education with flexibility and convenience, the following online courses may be perfect for you:
- Master of Business Administration
- MBA in Production & Operation Management
- IIM Indore Executive Post Graduate Certificate Programme in Management (EPGCPM)
- MBA Logistics-Supply Chain Management
- Master of Business Administration – Executive Health Care Administration
The Bottom Line
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other,” a quote from the speech that John F. Kennedy, the 35th U.S. President prepared in Dallas in 1963.
We cannot agree more with this quote. Just getting a job or a promotion is not the end. Rather, it is just the beginning of a lifelong learning process. A leader cannot lead without a desire to learn and must continue learning to maintain a position of leadership.
An online MBA can help professionals in various ways. It can enhance their career paths, develop vast knowledge, build soft skills, build a professional network as well as help them land a high-paying job. It’s a good idea to enroll in a program that will provide you with the required knowledge and skills, that will help you fit the best in the business community.