A guest post by Natasha David
In my early 20s, I decided to earn my MBA online, before I really had any meaningful career experience. My best friend was skeptical whether MBAs were a valid option for a fast tracked career as, in her words: “everyone was getting them.”
More than 20 years on, I am still grateful I forged ahead with it, as it has given me so much more than a leg up in my career and increased salary prospects.
If you’re hesitating about enrolling in an online MBA program, or feel unsure about what you will get out of it, here are a few underrated benefits you may not have considered.
#1 Set yourself up to be your own boss
Earning your MBA is a great precursor for successful entrepreneurship. If you’re not planning on going into business for yourself, it will help your career progression by giving you a holistic view of business, from financial management to marketing principles to economic decision-making.
#2 Have the flexibility to study while working
Earning your MBA online is ideal for those who want to continue working full-time. Most MBAs are offered part-time and this option means you can work at a pace suited to your situation and available time. This also gives you the opportunity to network within industry functions if you are planning on changing careers or moving ahead in your chosen profession.
#3 Increase your credibility
While my friend wasn’t impressed at my MBA ambitions, having one still holds solid currency in the business world. Studying and earning an MBA while holding down a full-time job is impressive in itself and shows self discipline and tenacity – qualities that never go out of vogue for future employers. Furthermore, holding an MBA shows you are well-rounded in business principles, and demonstrates to anyone employing you or doing business with you that you are conversant with the ‘basics’ of business.
#4 Hone your communication skills
You cannot succeed in business without the ability to communicate your ideas – whether in a private boardroom meeting or at a larger public forum. For many people, the fear of speaking in public sends chills down their spine. Throughout MBA programs, you are required to make presentations to your peers; you may even be required to take a speech class. These exercises will help develop the confidence and speaking skills necessary to command a room and make sure your message is heard.
#5 Enhance your personal development
Nathaniel Koloc, co-founder and CEO of recruiting firm ReWork, recently wrote about the importance of lifelong self-improvement. An MBA graduate learns much more than simply the curriculum – you are tested in almost all areas of your life. It was the certainty that I would also grow as a well-rounded person that was the deciding factor for me; if I had gained no other advantage it certainly altered my mindset and perception of life!
About the Author:
Natasha David helps businesses tell their stories, powerfully. While she started her career with a mechanical engineering degree, she ultimately decided she was more suited to a life of words and became a journalist. While working full time she did an online Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and never looked back.
Also published on Medium.