If you recently graduated from college, pursuing an MBA may not be appealing to you. After all, why would you dedicate another two years to studying for an MBA? It turns out that there can be an abundance of advantages to pursuing this degree. We reached out to our own MBA graduates to get the scoop on why they decided to pursue this advanced degree, and what opportunities it helped make possible.
1. Better Career Opportunities
According to the 2014 Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 80% of recruiters were planning to hire MBAs that year, up seven percentage points from 2013 and 30% higher than 2009.
One of our MBA graduates, Felicia Banks, told us that her degree has helped her get her foot in the door at a financial firm and also at a higher education institution. Banks also used her Strayer education and industry experience to start her own business as a Career and Life Coach.
2. Develop Management Skills
Another possible advantage of an online MBA or on-campus MBA degree is that it can prepare you with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue top management roles. MBA alumnus, George Davies, applied the skills he learned from his Strayer degree to his job at Space Ltd. Since his time at Strayer, Davies was promoted from Purchasing and Materials Manager to Operations Manager, and then to General Manager for the entire company, overseeing 45 employees.
3. Preparation for Starting a Business
An online MBA or on-campus MBA degree often represents an opportunity to obtain critical skills for starting your own business. Its purpose is to help you build your leadership skills, sharpen your skills in strategic analysis, and teach you more about today’s complex, global marketplace.
Eric Williams, managing broker of Exit Choice Realty, explains why he pursued his Strayer MBA: “I decided to get an MBA because I wanted to go into business for myself one day. My MBA from Strayer University has been invaluable to me and my business. It’s been a cornerstone for my success by preparing me with vital information and knowledge I would need to be productive and confident in my abilities.”
4. Career Transition or Change
Business school can also be a great venue for transitioning into a different industry. Kelletta Blackburn decided to pursue her MBA because she wanted to learn more about the business side of running a company. “Getting an MBA from Strayer University has given me the opportunity to transition my career from working at associations and other nonprofits to the private sector. I also have a greater understanding of how business processes are created and implemented across an organization. Furthermore, thanks to my MBA, my career is at a level where I have more control over the initial creation and implementation of the projects that I work on,” said Blackburn.
Most MBA degrees, including one from Strayer University, allow for specialization. This enables you to understand the ins-and-outs of different careers and industries before committing to one. With a specialization in Communications, Blackburn also says that earning her MBA helped set her apart from other candidates during the job hunting process. “It shows that I have an understanding for how a business operates and can think strategically.”
Additional Words of Advice
We asked our alumni for advice that would help prospective students facing similar decisions when they were first thinking of going to business school. If time is a deciding factor, Kelletta Blackburn has some words of wisdom for you: “You must look to organize your time. Perhaps it is waking up an hour earlier to study or do homework. I managed my time while earning an MBA and working full-time by committing to myself that I would not take weekend classes and that I would have all of my homework completed by Friday night. By sticking to this routine, I had every weekend free to relax, socialize or just simply get other things done in my personal life.”
For Eric Williams, one of the most important benefits of obtaining an online MBA is the wealth of knowledge that sometimes even years of experience won’t provide. It forced him to think differently and move past his comfort zone. “Expanding your brain bank by making a deposit of MBA-level knowledge is an investment that will pay great dividends in the future well beyond your expectations,” said Williams.
It’s also important to remember that all of the benefits that you can acquire with an MBA degree come only with a lot of dedication and hard work. To keep yourself motivated throughout the pursuit of this degree, Felicia Banks recommends finding a source of inspiration. For instance, she turned to quotes that encouraged her to believe in herself and complete the program. One of her favorites is a quote by John Wooden: “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.”