The MBA or Masters of Business Administration is one of the most popular graduate degrees pursued today. From ambitious, career minded students looking to land their first job to working professionals motivated to further their career, tens of thousands of applicants flood the leading MBA Schools every year with hopes of getting into the best program. But while the prestige of attaining an MBA and the increase in salary and career advancement are often lauded, one of the most important aspects necessary to understand before deciding to pursue the degree quite often doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. That aspect quite simply is…just what exactly does an MBA teach you?
Academics vs. Experiential The topic of what an MBA teaches you can really be broken up into two areas. First are the actual academic courses and subject matter that one studies in an MBA program. There are many different specializations within MBA programs and thus numerous electives that can of course change depending on the student. There is however a broad core course load that is relatively similar among different MBA Schools and program types, even among both traditional in-person full-time programs and the newer online or distance learning MBAs.
The second area that really is a factor in going through the MBA process has to do with the more flexible but no less important aspects which fall into the experiential. These are such things as learning to work under pressure, working in groups, career networking and connection making and how to complete often complex and long projects on-time and within certain criteria.
Of course depending on the program attended there is also the social aspect of being immersed in an invigorating and intellectually stimulating environment often with students from all over the world that are talented and driven in various ways. For the sake of the rest of this article however I will concentrate on the more tangible, academic courses and subject areas that are part of any quality MBA program.
The MBA degree by its nature is a generalized degree. It is designed to provide the student with the core proficiencies in subject areas deemed essential to working in the complex world of business today. All MBA programs have ‘core courses’ which are required of all students that provide this foundation. After and sometimes during the process of completing core coursework there are then electives in various areas of particular interest to the student that help to specialize the degree for the area of business the student wants to pursue.
As an example of the Core Coursework I’ll list those required from a top Ivy League school, The Columbia Business School at Columbia University in New York City. While schools vary slightly in the exact course name and emphasis and some have slight variations, for the most part any MBA program will have some version of the following for its core curriculum.
8. Leadership Development
9. Global Economics
10. Decision Models
As can be seen, the core coursework gives a wide base of knowledge that can then be built upon with specialized electives in the area the student wants to focus on. For more information check out http://www.BachelorDegree.me.