Climbing the corporate ladder is the dream of many. However, to make progress in this journey, you need a suite of accomplishments, an MBA degree being one of them.
Having an MBA degree can quickly boost your chances of getting senior roles in large organisations, become an industry leader, or even get into the C-suite.
However, thanks to the plethora of MBA courses available today, it is pretty natural to feel overwhelmed by the range of choice. Another question that troubles most MBA aspirants is – when to pursue an MBA course? Granted that completing an MBA program will bring numerous opportunities before you, it’s crucial to time it right.
Today, we’ll help you figure out the right time to pursue an MBA course. Not just that, we’ll also shed light on the various factors you should consider while opting for an MBA degree to get the optimal outcome.
How to determine the right time to pursue an MBA?
Although this might seem like an arduous task, determining the right time to do an MBA is quite simple. All you have to do is keep the following factors in mind:
1. Professional experience
An MBA course teaches you advanced management and leadership skills in a specific domain. They offer different specialisations and help you get into senior roles in your industry. Due to their advanced nature, many MBA courses require students to have considerable professional experience.
However, the requirement criteria vary according to the institution. For example, our MBA program with Deakin Business School requires you to have a minimum relevant work experience of three years along with a bachelor’s degree with at least 50% marks. Similarly, our MBA course with Liverpool Business School requires you to have at least two years of full-time work experience with a minimum of 50% marks.
What does it mean?
It means you must have worked in your industry for a certain number of years before you become eligible to enrol in an MBA course. If you already have a few years of experience, you can apply for an MBA course right away. On the other hand, if you’re a fresher with no experience, it would be best for you to spend a few years in your industry and gain work experience.
Having some professional experience will help you in multiple ways. First, it will make you familiar with the ins and outs of the industry. Moreover, it will give you a solid foundation to learn the advanced concepts of business management and administration.
2. Developing soft skills
Many MBA programs require students to have multiple soft skills. As a student, it can be quite challenging to develop and hone these skills. On top of that, it can be even harder to showcase these skills to recruiters and interviewers.
Some of the standard industry soft skills include leadership skills, teamwork skills, communication and interpersonal skills, negotiation skills, time management skills, etc. Keep in mind that MBA programs prepare you for leadership roles in different industries. Hence, they require you to show leadership potential.
You’ll need professional experience to develop and nurture your soft skills. As you’ll work with fellow professionals and solve business problems together, not only will you get to develop these skills, but you’ll also get to showcase them as much as possible.
Top MBA programs prefer candidates having industry-relevant soft skills. This is where a few years of professional experience will come in handy.
3. Your career aspirations
MBA courses require a lot of dedication and commitment. This is because most MBA programs span for two years, covering a wide range of industry-specific subjects and specialisations.
So, before you make such a commitment, it’s essential to figure out why you want an MBA. Is it because you want to get a promotion? Or do you want an MBA so you can switch industries?
There can be many reasons to pursue an MBA, but it’s vital to determine your MBA goals. An MBA degree isn’t a requirement for many career profiles, so figuring out your MBA aspirations can help you realise if your chosen career requires an MBA or not.
Suppose you’re a software engineer and want to get ahead in the tech domain. In that case, it might be better to get an AI and ML course rather than an MBA as it’s more industry-specific and prepares you for advanced roles in your sector.
To determine when to do an MBA, you must clarify your career aspirations. You can start with the 5-4-3-2-1 method, where you chart out your goals in a sequence of five years, four months, three weeks, two days, and an hour. Think of your career goals and then figure out if your career goals require an MBA or not.
4. Affordability of MBA courses
We talked about the financial and time commitment of MBA courses. Different institutions charge differently for their MBA courses. However, the course pricing is usually high for reputed and established institutes.
Many people hesitate to join MBA programs because they cannot commit to full-time classroom learning while keeping their professional commitments. Similarly, many people think MBA courses are too expensive, so they don’t consider pursuing them even when they are interested. Thanks to online courses, time commitment and affordability are no longer an issue for MBA aspirants.
When you choose an online MBA course, you can study from your preferred locations and at your convenience. Generally, you need to commit a few hours every week to continue your online MBA education. Also, online courses are much more affordable than on-campus MBA courses.
How to get started with your MBA journey?
Now that you know how to figure out when to do MBA courses, you might wonder, “How do I get started?”
In the current pandemic-ridden world, it would be best to join an online MBA course. You will remain safe within the confines of your home while enjoying a top-class learning experience delivered by trained mentors and industry experts.
Moreover, as we discussed before, online MBA courses allow you to work while studying, so you don’t have to interrupt your professional life to start your learning journey. At upGrad, we offer multiple MBA courses, including:
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) with Liverpool Business School
- Global MBA with Deakin Business School
All three of these courses are online and allow you to learn comfortably. You can pick any one of them depending on your career aspirations and requirements. Do check them out!
So, as you can see, deciding on the right time to pursue an MBA course depends on several external factors, including the eligibility criteria of different MBA courses, your professional experience, and your schedule. But most importantly, it depends on your interests and career goals.
If you have work experience and the passion for an MBA degree, you shouldn’t delay your plan to pursue an MBA. Figure out your career aspirations and start your journey as early as possible!
How do I decide if an MBA is the right career path for me?
Those looking to advance in their career look at an MBA as a viable career option. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all deal. To help you make that decision, you need to ask yourself a few important questions. You have to start by determining whether your potential employer will value your advanced degree. Gauge their reaction when you tell them you want to pursue a particular management degree. Next, you need to consider your circumstances. Build a network and seek advice if you’re heading in the right direction.
Can I do an MBA after BA?
Yes, you can. Most B-schools in India and abroad admit candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in any stream. A lot of art graduates are exploring a career in management as this opens up multiple job opportunities. If you’re shifting from arts to business management, you can always do a short-term course that familiarises you with the world of marketing, finance, accounting, economics, operations and management. Besides this, you need to have work experience and give certain entrance exams including CAT, MAT and XAT.
Is the MBA program from Liverpool Business School worth it?
Yes, it is. It is an online MBA program that spans eighteen months. Students get a chance to interact with managers and business leaders, and improve their overall business literacy. The program is ideal for entrepreneurs and business owners who have three to eight years of full-time work experience. Another benefit of this program is that candidates have six specialisations to choose from.