The Master of Business Administration (MBA) has been around for more than a hundred years. In 1908, the first ever MBA programme was started by the renowned Harvard Business School. Decades later, the MBA made its way to Asia. Pakistan was the first country in the continent to offer the MBA model in the 1950s.
In Singapore, there are various MBA programmes offered by both local and international educational institutions. But we’re not here today to tell you which ones are the best for you. There’s enough information on the different programmes on offer and other details online.
We are aiming to give you the best replies to the questions you probably have heard one or two of your friends ask during lunch or on a Friday night pub session.
Or you might have asked these very same questions yourself.
I Am Bored With My Job And I Think I Want To Take A Break. My Friends Said Enrolling For An Mba At An Overseas University Might Be A Good Holiday. Is This True?
If you are bored with your wife or husband, would you go on a long break overseas? If you are bored with your job, then maybe it’s time for you to take stock of your career right now and see if it might bode well for a career switch. We highly recommend getting some advice from recruitment experts to assess your skill levels and core competencies and whether they would be appropriate for the field you intend to jump towards.
At the end of the day, you have to love your job, if you are ever going to excel in it. A break overseas or reliving college days, while paying hefty tuition fees, is in no way a good solution for a lack of passion for your occupation.
SHOULD I DO MY MBA PART-TIME OR FULL TIME?
In most cases, folks undertake a part time MBA course because they need their regular income.
If you are able to do a full time course, you might as well do it since it will be quicker and you can be more focused.
Not everyone is suited for part time studies. If you are going to work and study at the same time, it can be quite taxing indeed. A lot of discipline and hard work will be needed to stay focused so you can achieve your goals.
I WAS TOLD THAT IN ORDER FOR ME TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL AT MY WORKPLACE, I NEED TO HAVE AN MBA. SHOULD I DO ONE JUST SO THAT I CAN GET A PROMOTION?
Well, you could always check with your Human Resources department. In most instances, having an MBA never hurt anyone’s chances of climbing the corporate ladder. A lot depends on your workplace and
what is valued in your industry. There are plenty of folks who can get promoted without having an MBA.
However, quite a number of companies have salary scale systems where an MBA might be required to jump to a certain pay grade. And for some industries it has become quite clear that an MBA will indeed come in handy, mainly because, well, so many people already have one. We’re talking about the finance and banking industries, for example.
ARE LOCAL MBAS GOOD ENOUGH?
Yes, but it really depends on what is your exact measure of “good enough” isn’t it? There are many reputable organisations which conduct global rankings each year. You really ought to check them out and if possible, speak to those who have obtained their MBA at the various universities here to get more personal perspectives.
Over the years, local business schools have climbed up the international rankings and are highly regarded globally. They have also been able to attract a diverse group of applicants from different parts of the world and have been able to recruit highly talented professors. Some of the business schools also have collaborations with well-known foreign universities.
In addition, you can also consider doing MBA programmes offered by overseas business schools that have satellite campuses/programmes in Singapore.
DO YOU THINK MY COMPANY WILL SPONSOR ME IF I ASKED?
There are more companies these days which send their top employees with good upper management potential to solid business schools to get an MBA. It all depends if your company has such systems in place. Get in touch with your Human Resources department and ask them.
I JUST GOT MARRIED… I CAN’T BEAR TO LEAVE MY WIFE AND GO OVERSEAS FOR A YEAR TO GET AN MBA. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Ask your wife to do the MBA with you overseas or stick to a local university. Or delay your MBA.
SHOULD I GO FOR AN ONLINE MBA COURSE?
There are many legit online courses available. And they are usually much more affordable.
According to a report in The Economist last year, popular schools are also starting to provide elements of the online classroom. It also reported that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the first among the well ranked institutions to offer an entire MBA programme online.
Such virtual courses will mean cost savings and better opportunities to get certificates from universities far away.
You may lose out on networking when it comes to an online classroom. But what’s there to stop you from virtual networking?
A mix of online and offline elements in MBA programmes is expected to become more popular over the next few years.
I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR AN MBA. WHERE CAN I GET THE MONEY?
Try and get a scholarship or check if the company you work for offers any incentives or grants for selected employees keen on getting an MBA. There are also study loans you might want to consider if you feel strongly about getting an MBA.
If these are not possible, make sure you are not aiming way too high. Some of the top notch programmes can set you back over S$100,000. The cost of an MBA can vary widely and a quick search online will give you more information on the different prices. Do note that the cheaper options are not necessarily any less worthy in terms of educational quality. If you want a summary of MBA courses in Singapore and how much they cost, you can check out www.postgrad.com.sg.
Also, be aware of the lack of a regular income when you start your full- time MBA course. You need to be financially prepared for this. If you are going overseas to take up an MBA programme, you will incur extra living costs as well.
Unfortunately, MBA fees have generally been going up over the last few years. You might want to make a calculation if the higher salaries expected and better prospects in the job market can outweigh the heavy costs. Give yourself a couple of years or more to ‘break-even’.
But don’t forget the intangible benefits as well, such as meeting other senior executives from various industries during the course and all the networking you will be doing.
So, if you can afford it and the reasons for an MBA make sense to you, go for it. A good education never hurt anyone.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST PLACES TO GET AN MBA IN THE WORLD?
As mentioned previously, there are lots of global rankings and lists
from renowned news companies as well as other institutions readily available online.
But, perhaps you should be asking which business school might be the best for you and not necessarily which is the best in the world. A lot will depend on the reasons you have in pursuing an MBA education.
Is it for the networking or a chance to specialise in something or to make your resume look better? Or is it because there’s a recession in your country and you feel it’s the best time to study since the job market has shrunk? Many factors will determine which MBA programme is the most suitable one for you.
PEOPLE SAY NETWORKING IS THE BEST PART ABOUT TAKING UP AN MBA PROGRAMME. IS THAT TRUE?
One of the best things about taking up an MBA programme in a renowned educational institution is the opportunity to expand your professional network with other senior executives and head honchos from various countries and industries. This will also broaden your appreciation of the complexities in other sectors of business and the way different business leaders’ from other countries run their companies.
If networking is a key interest for you, it is important to determine which business school will offer a truly global and diverse experience. It would also be good for you to check out the school’s alumni network and see what sort of platforms the school will provide for the alumni to network online and offline.
SHOULD I UNDERTAKE A SPECIALISED MASTER’S DEGREE OR AN MBA?
As the name suggests, a specialised master’s degree focuses on one area of study and is suitable if you are keen on specialising in a topic. These master’s degrees have been rising in terms of popularity worldwide. You may not require work experience to be a successful applicant and it may be cheaper than getting an MBA. You may want to do this if you have a strong passion for a particular topic and it’s something you feel you would want to pursue in your career.
An MBA is a bit more general than a specialised master’s degree. And those who can take MBA courses usually are those who already have some work experience or folks who are actually already quite high up the corporate ladder. The course work may also be skewed towards business strategy which encompasses more than just one specialised area.
Some might actually do both at different stages of their lives. However, these courses, as we mentioned earlier, are usually not cheap.
If you already have work experience and want to engage in further studies, it will be vital for you to determine which certificate will enhance your career. It really depends on what you actually do in your work organisation, and what you aspire to become.