Not everyone picks a job track and sticks with it for their entire career. In fact, many people are struck with the inclination to switch things up -- in some cases because they no longer love what they do; in others because they simply want to try something new. Whatever your reasons for contemplating a career change (and here are some indications that it might be time to do so), an MBA may offer the ideal solution. Read on for four reasons to consider an MBA as part of your career-change strategy, along with one guiding question to keep in mind before applying to MBA programs.
1. Jobs for MBAs exist in every sector.
There’s a reason why more than 50 percent of incoming students at top tier-b-schools are prospective career-changers: Changing careers is a challenging process, but an MBA can make it easier.
Because MBAs are key decision makers in nearly every company in nearly every sector, MBA degrees are considered door-openers for those looking to break into new areas. But an MBA will do more than merely open the door to a new career; it will also prepare you to hit the ground running thanks to two intensive years of professional development and the chance to narrow down your long-term career goals while simultaneously acquiring and honing the skills you need to reach them.
2. MBAs offer incomparable networking opportunities.
In a world that’s still very much about who you know, there’s no better way to create a rich, diverse and actionable network than by enrolling in an MBA program. The connections you make during your MBA studies with fellow classmates, professors and students can offer an easier entry point into a new career.
Additionally, most business schools arrange networking opportunities, as well. After all, their reputations largely depend on the placement rates of their graduates. In other words, they’re just as vested in you getting a great job as you are.
Even better? These connections will stay with you -- meaning new grasp-friendly rungs and sturdy footholds may appear as you ascend the ladder.
3. MBAs let you put theory into practice.
Today’s employers aren’t looking for a set of skills on your resume. Rather, they’re seeking proof that candidates can apply these skills toward meaningful outcomes. And this is exactly what many b-school deliver. Consider Hult International Business School. With 99 percent of its grads changing location, industry or country, Hult focuses not just on helping students acquire the theoretical knowledge and skills they need on paper, but also the opportunity to gain key insights by practicing them in environments which mimic -- or actually are -- the real world. The takeaway? When students leave Hult, they’re leaving with experience -- experience which can help them land jobs.
4. When it comes to learning, MBAs deliver.
MBAs don’t just open doors; they also open minds. For workers who may find themselves in a rut, the MBA process can transform who they are as employees. As one university administrator told The Independent, "An MBA is a brilliant course for testing whether you might like something – if you want to learn, here is your chance...A previous career can act as a millstone if you don't have anything else to offer. But the beauty of an MBA is that it transforms people from one-track backgrounds and gives them passion to talk and act in new ways."
All this being said, getting an MBA simply because you think it will look good on your resume or because you don’t know what else to do with yourself is ill-advised. Why? Because while an MBA does offer you the opportunity to cut your teeth on plenty of new material, it’s also a huge investment -- one that’s only worthwhile if your interests are truly aligned with the desired outcomes.
So while MBAs are right for many; they’re not a one-size-fits-all solution. Advises U.S. News & World Report on the best way to determine whether an MBA is right for you as a career change facilitator, “Consider all of the alternatives, and ask yourself where you want to be in five to 10 years. If going to business school will fast-track you to that midterm goal, wonderful. If not, invest your time and energy into whatever will.”
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