An MBA equips graduates to take the next step in their careers, whether it’s an accelerated climb up their current career ladder or a strong pivot in a different direction. In fact, “students find themselves able to make significant changes five, 10, 15 years post-MBA, thanks to the skills learned and networks they build,” says Virginie Fougea, global director of admissions and financial aid at INSEAD.
In an MBA program, students learn a mix of theoretical and practical knowledge that prepares them to move up the management ranks in their organizations. They typically cover core subjects such as accounting, economics for business and management science, but may also choose electives to either work toward a concentration or simply explore their interests in areas like entrepreneurship, international business, organizational design and more. Some programs include coursework-based training in soft skills such as leadership and negotiation, while others feature guest lectures by CEOs and other management personalities.
Most programs have strict requirements for admissions, including an MBA application, GMAT scores, undergraduate transcripts and letters of recommendation. In general, they prefer applicants who have significant experience, though some programs do accept bachelor’s degree holders with high GPAs and strong grades on their graduate entrance exam.
Many MBA programs offer online or on-campus options, and students can pursue the degree full time or part time. Before pursuing an MBA, students should consider whether it makes sense from a family, career and financial perspective and how long they want to commit to the program. They should also research which schools are right for them, how much they can afford and what financial aid is available. mba