Commentators are currently taking the line that you don’t need an MBA to get ahead.
There are other career options you can consider, says Ashley Stahl, a career coach writing for Forbes. Also, the return on investment does not always reflect the two years of further study.
But these arguments relate to high-end campus programmes that cost the earth and require you to take time out from your career to study full-time at business school.
The University of London Global MBA is a very different proposition. A flexible and affordable online course, this MBA can be studied alongside work and family commitments, creating a variety of opportunities.
Setting the record straight
So, what are the arguments against studying for an MBA? Can the University of London course offset them?
1. You might not need an MBA for your next job.
An MBA is not always listed as a requirement for jobs. Stahl recommends that you apply anyway rather than waiting 2-3 years to complete one. Yet, this depends on how far you expect to climb with your next step and how seriously you take the competition.
Studying online means putting nothing on hold; you can still monitor and apply for jobs. Not only are you working towards a desirable qualification, your commitment and discipline to combine work and study will also prove attractive to employers.
2. There are other ways to gain experience.
It’s well-known that employers like MBAs because they nurture critical thinking and complex problem-solving abilities. These are particularly relevant because they are widely recognised as key characteristics of a British degree (even if you study elsewhere in the world).
Stahl says there are other ways to cultivate these skills, such as taking on extra roles at work. But one major advantage of an online MBA is the ability for work and study to complement each other with a combination of practical and theoretical knowledge.
If you can gain practical experience through your own initiative, exposure to leadership or strategy will be useful. However, the University of London offers a number of specialist MBAs (including Leadership) to cultivate versatile and sector-specific skills.
3. Network rather than study to discover yourself.
Stahl says you should seek out people in your favoured role and see whether you need an MBA to get ahead. Good sense. But networking is a tough skill in itself. Where do you start? How do you get attention?
The advantage of the online MBA here is that it forms a global network of its own. Students work together with others from around the world to gain a global perspective on business and management issues.
There are further benefits offered through accreditation. Automatic membership of professional bodies such as the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) opens up access to a network of over 100,000 managers of varied seniority.
4. Where’s the return on investment?
The cost of studying an elite on-campus course is eye-watering. As Stahl notes, the total for a top two-year MBA in the US exceeds $300,000.
The University of London MBA can be studied at a fraction of this cost, and it still provides the indelible mark of quality offered by the world’s oldest distance-learning provider. As it’s available flexibly, students can continue to earn a salary while studying the programme.
Funding options available include three 40% scholarships for Nigerian residents who wish to begin the course in July 2018.
An MBA is a serious commitment, but it does not need to be seen as a career sacrifice, nor an automatic route into mounting debt.
In light of this, the University of London MBA is an attractive opportunity, and graduates emerge ready to take strides in their careers with skills that are valued by employers.
This article is a sponsored content brought to you by the University of London.