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How to know if an MBA is right for you: A 5 Step Guide

You’ve been considering studying an MBA, but you’re not sure if it’s the right course for you. How can you figure it out, before you enrol?

An MBA can be a big investment of your time and money, so of course, you want to be sure it’s going to deliver the right skill set and career path to suit your ambitions. Fortunately, you don’t have to make that decision alone.

Here’s our 5-step guide on how to know if an MBA is the right choice for you.

Step 1: Assess yourself to be sure of your future career path.

If you’re already considering studying an MBA, then chances are you’ve already got a career path in mind. Perhaps you’re already working in business and you want to climb the ladder, or maybe you’ve studied an undergraduate degree in a different area and you’re looking to develop a new skill set.

Wherever you’re coming from, you need to have a clear idea of where you’re going. Try completing some self-assessments online, and develop a timeline of where you want to see yourself in five years. Ask yourself questions such as; what position would you like to have, and for what company?

Knowing where you want to go will give you a clear picture of what it is you need to get out of your studies in order to get there.

Step 2: Find the people who are living your future dream, and look at their credentials.

Now you’ve figured out who you want your future self to be, the next step is to find other people who are already working in the positions you want and look at their credentials.

Do some research online:

  • Browse the staff pages of company websites.
  • Google some search terms for the positions and company or industry areas you’re looking at.
  • Trawl around Linkedin or Twitter.
  • Ask amongst your networks.
  • Attend some conferences and meet some people in your industry.

If the people you find all have an MBA education, then it’s definitely a good idea to get one!

Step 3: Consider the alternatives.

If you don’t do an MBA, what could you do to get where you want to be? Studying an MBA can offer a range of different perks in addition to the course itself, such as professional networks and contacts, careers services and internship opportunities.

If you decide not to study an MBA, is there another way you can access these ‘services’ in the real world?

Could you find a mentor, organise an internship, or get some professional development within the workplace? If you’ve already explored these options, and you’re still feeling drawn towards a structured learning environment with all it’s perks, then it’s likely that an MBA will be a good decision.

Step 4: Choose the right institution and the right price range.

There are lots of factors to consider when you’re deciding on an institution for your MBA. Reputation in the business world is important, but that doesn’t matter if the institution costs more than you can afford! Figure out your price range, and look at the options within that.

Make sure you also consider the different ways in which institutions teach, and the various careers and support services on offer, too. Choose an institution with great industry connections and a supportive, flexible learning environment.

“By this stage, you have already done a lot of thinking about your MBA. You’re edging your way toward a test of character and you owe it to yourself to give it everything you have got. I hope you have seriously looked at three providers before deciding on Torrens. When you arrive here, note all of the support services available to you; this is like somebody extending their hand – all you need to do is take it.” – Dr Justin Pierce (Director of our MBA Programs, Torrens University, Australia)

Step 5: Look into specialised MBA options and compare subjects to make sure you’re getting the skills you need.

Standard MBA courses include subjects in strategic management, economics, human resources, marketing and financial management. According to Torrens University Vice Chancellor, Justin Beilby:

“The MBA is designed to further develop your cognitive, technical and creative skills. Ultimately, graduates will develop strong business acumen which will help them to lead people, teams and businesses and enhance their career prospects in the long term.” 

Then, there are the more specialised MBA courses, which allow you to focus on niche industry areas. For example, Torrens now offers MBAs specialising in Global Project Management, Public Health, and Information Systems.

There are different advantages and disadvantages to the general and specialisation options. Which direction you decide to take depends on the type of position and career you want to have.

See here for more information on the different MBA courses on offer at Torrens University.

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