How do I advance further in my career? That’s a question that many people ask themselves as they map out their future.
One of the more popular ways of career progression is getting a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).
Although MBAs are often seen as gateways for better career prospects, there are some who are of the opinion that it’s not really necessary to advance one’s career.
“Not everyone can benefit from an MBA,” says University of Reading Malaysia programme lead and associate professor of International Business and Strategy for Henley MBA, Dr Shelen Ho.
“If you're with a job where you're a specialist, and you have this expert knowledge where you don't need to worry about working with other people, you don’t really need an MBA.
But, if you are a person who sees yourself moving towards a progression where you need to manage a team or run your own business, then a business administration degree is something that should be acquired,” she said.
There are other ways that an MBA can benefit your career progression. Ho shares them with us.
Learn and develop new skills
MBA programmes offer workshops, assignments and projects that teach students how to become better managers. Students can expect to pick up important skills such as leadership, analytical thinking, critical thinking and teamwork, among many others.
“When they’re working with one another, they can learn how to manage and deal with conflict in a safe environment. All this is so important when they move on to run their own teams,” Ho said.
Better employment prospects
MBAs that are globally recognised and accredited make it easier for employers to identify the star candidates among a sea of applicants.
“Nowadays people work in a global arena, and they can be asked to work in other countries. In cases like that, it’s important to have an MBA that is recognised worldwide,” Ho said.
Even if you’re not planning to seek employment overseas, an MBA can equip you with transferable skills that can be utilised across many different industries.
Brushing up on your skills and knowledge
In Ho’s years of experience with MBA programmes, she has seen how beneficial they can be for working professionals to refresh their knowledge and skillset.
“I find it very intriguing, watching senior executives when they’re put into a team. In my experience, it’s especially difficult for people who already hold high-ranking positions at first.
“I have people come to me and say that they didn't realise they needed to work on improving their teamwork,” she said.
The programme provides students with the opportunity to update their knowledge on the latest developments in the industry while also brushing up on areas that need a little refreshing.
Revitalize your career
If you feel like you’ve hit a dead end, an MBA could be that much needed push forwards as it also emphasises personal growth.
Oftentimes, HR or top management of companies will send their employees to boot camps to help them rekindle that motivation and drive.
“At the Henley Business School for example, we believe in holistic development. We have four personal development workshops spaced out during the programme for programme members.
“At the first stage, we ask them to reflect on why they came and how they want to further develop their career,” she said.
Helping students set goals and plan out their career in advance truly helps them set things in perspective for the benefit of their careers.
One of the attractive features of an MBA programme is networking. When you’re enrolled in an Executive MBA programme, you can expect to work with fellow executives from different fields and backgrounds.
If you’re enrolled in an internationally-recognised course, you’ll likely have the opportunity to connect with international classmates. In the long run, that could prove useful if you’re planning to eventually seek out career opportunities abroad.
"We also have workshops being delivered by tutors from abroad,” says Ho.
After graduation, you’ll also gain access to a network of alumni. The connections can be a major boost to help further advance your career in the future.
MBA at Henley Business School
For those interested in pursuing an MBA, consider the programme offered by Henley Business School at the University of Reading Malaysia in their Johor campus.
The programme is part-time, so it’s a great option for students who treasure flexibility while juggling their careers.
According to the 2015 Economist Executive MBA rankings, the Henley Business School Executive MBA is ranked 36th in the world and 4th in the UK. The school is also placed 12th in the world and 1st in the UK for connection opportunities.
Henley MBA also offers the choice and opportunity to undertake one of their study clinics at an overseas campus, either in the UK or in South Africa, enabling students to collaborate with each other and understand different cultures.
Henley Business School Malaysia is accepting applications for its February 2018 intake. Register your interest at www.reading.edu.my/mba-enquiry-form.
This article is brought to you by University of Reading, Malaysia.