If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, you may be wondering about your options to advance up the career ladder. If management is on your radar or you want to extend your skills, why not consider a Master of Business Administration (MBA)? The MBA is one of the most prestigious postgraduate qualifications, offered by university business schools and select private colleges around Australia. Feeling inspired? Here’s what you need to know.
- They have many benefits: MBAs are highly regarded in the world of business and management, providing graduates with knowledge of core business principles as well as key managerial skills. They are internationally respected and can open up a number of opportunities for career progression. Graduates are in high demand — some companies actively seek out MBA graduates or only open certain roles to those who hold an MBA.
- Graduates enjoy excellent employment outcomes: Data from the recent Course Experience Questionnaire survey shows that graduates of postgraduate business and management programs earn an average salary of $101,025 — one of the highest of all fields. Compare this to the average starting salary of business and management undergraduates, which currently sits at $50,684. That said, MBA courses can be quite expensive, with some institutions charging more than $100,000 for their programs. In terms of the courses themselves, postgraduate business and management graduates were quite positive about their course experience, rating skill development five stars, overall satisfaction four stars and teaching quality three stars. See the MBA ratings section to see how institutions rate and compare.
- MBAs vary in style and many offer flexibility: MBA programs are designed for those already in the workforce, so there are a range of flexible options on offer so you can fit study around other commitments, such as work and family. Some are offered in block mode, where you complete study over a number of short, intensive study blocks. You can even choose to complete a course online. There are also a range of different MBAs available — you can choose from an executive MBA, designed for senior managers and typically offered as a shorter, more intensive course than the traditional MBA, or specialist MBAs in areas such as computing, international management or even hotel and restaurant management. You may also choose to pair an MBA with another field such as law, engineering or science through a double degree or study a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). Some MBAs include international study tours to places like China, the United States or Europe that allow students to put their skills into practice in a global business environment.
Before you make your decision…
As with any big decision, consider the return on investment of completing an MBA and weigh up the cost against the benefits. Is an MBA necessary for further career progression or are there other alternatives for professional development? Are the benefits of holding an MBA enough to warrant the time and money you will spend on further study? It’s also worth investigating the support available from your employer, including study leave or funding for further study.
Even if you’ve studied at undergraduate level, bear in mind that postgraduate courses usually require you to invest significantly more time and effort. It is also likely that, as a postgraduate, you’ll combine your studies with commitments such as work and family. If you have young children or a busy work life, an MBA can put you under a lot of pressure.