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The Master of Business Administration: What is an MBA?

What is an MBA?

The MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is a prestigious postgraduate qualification that is highly respected by employers globally. Yet, it does not only hold currency within business. Rather, its value is recognised in government, public sector work, and in academia.

As one of the world’s most popular master’s programs, the MBA comes in different forms. But it can open doors to students from any walk of life – for recent graduates with their sights on a future in business, to experienced managers and professionals looking to take their careers to the next level.

What should I expect from an MBA?

The majority of programs will train you in core skills and theories, in accounting, marketing, leadership, or social responsibility. However, programs usually offer elective modules in which you can specialise.

Some schools even offer specific MBA programs, in Health Care or IT Management, for example. It is also common for schools to offer different programs based on students’ previous experiences. Someone already in a senior managerial role might take an Executive MBA, for example, designed to support further career progression.

The MBA can also be studied part-time or remotely. A full-time program is completed in two years – and sometimes only one – whilst part-time programs are designed for professionals who cannot afford to take this time off work. Obviously, completing an the course part-time will take longer. However, it will allow you to study evenings or weekends to fit your lifestyle. The MBA online, meanwhile, will prevent the need for a commute to class, with courses, tutorials, and assessments conducted remotely.

Applying to an MBA.

There are almost 3,000 MBA programs offered globally, producing hundreds of thousands of graduates annually. Top schools, including Insead, University of Cambridge, and Stanford Graduate School of Business, may require business experience prior to enrolment.

Most programs are conducted in English. An IELTS or equivalent proof of English proficiency is therefore usually required for non-native speakers. Often, it will also be essential for you to complete a General Management Admission Test (GMAT) and have an undergraduate degree with a 2:1 or higher.

Admissions processes will vary between schools. Generally, you should expect to submit an essay and attend an interview during the application.