How to Choose an MBA Program?
With so many top-level programmes available across the world, choosing an MBA programme can be quite overwhelming.
For this reason, you may not know where to start looking or what to look for without proper guidance.
Keep in mind that your choice of school to pursue your MBA has the potential to shape your professional network and influence your professional prospects.
In choosing an MBA programme, consider the following factors to make the right choice:
Length of Program
The length of the programme will determine the pace of your studies, as well as the speed at which you will get back into the workforce.
Corresponding to the digitalisation of the business landscape and the Industrial Revolution 4.0, most universities offer a blended learning experience, incorporating both traditional face-to-face sessions, as well as online sessions.
An accelerated programme can lead to your MBA degree in one year, but with a standard programme, it will be a two-year format.
Strengths and Specialization
Most MBA programmes have their areas of strength, such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, or finance. Some business schools also offer potential immersion and collaboration opportunities with institutions of higher learning abroad.
Some programmes provide a flexible curriculum that allows you to explore elective courses. You shall discover the school’s strengths, teaching style, and curriculum to see whether they align with your area of interest.
ROI and Cost
The Return on Investment (ROI) goes beyond your starting salary as you join the workforce. When it comes to ROI, the ‘R’ should not be limited to financial return.
The business network and friendship you gain and the critical thinking skills you cultivate from attending an MBA programme will contribute to the return ‘R’ as a MBA graduate.
When choosing the right MBA programme, think of the ROI as something you gain in the long run, for both tangible and intangible gains.
Before choosing an MBA programme, you need to be sure whether the school can advance your career aspirations and goals. Talk to alumni and find out about their experiences with the career services team, recruitment events, and campus visits from potential employers.
Try to find out if the career service team is dynamic in reaching out to alumni networks and personal contacts and if there are opportunities to participate in career treks.
For every potential school, review their career and employment reports, examine career statistics and recruiter data while looking beyond starting salaries.
Culture and Personality
Check out the types of people that the school attracts and the environment that it encourages.
Are you a competitive or collaborative person? When you talk to alumni and current students, does the vibe you attain portray a competitive or collaborative environment?
Check if your interactions are in line with what you discover. A lot can be learned by networking with alumni and current students in your area of interest.
Remember that it isn’t only about whether you are a good match for the school, but also if the school is a good match for you.
In a Nutshell
Finally, when choosing an MBA programme, it shouldn’t be all about the programme’s duration, post-graduate salaries, or the number of jobs offered.
It should also be about defining the field you intend to pursue and to state the qualities you care about in a business school.
Careful research will ensure that you are spending time and effort by choosing a school that will be a good match for you.