Are you an engineer, a manager, a medical practitioner, a lawyer, or any professional? Regardless of your specialisation, there is a common interest in your decision to earn a Master of Business Administration and follow one of the many high-demand MBA career paths in high-growth industries. The main reason for the enduring interest in earning an MBA is that it offers the business knowledge and skills that employers value most.
The uniqueness of this postgraduate programme can be traced back to its history of more than 100 years and its subsequent evolution to become the most popular postgraduate study in the modern era. Originating in the United States, specifically in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, the inaugural MBA programme was launched by Harvard University in 1908. Its primary aim was to address the market’s pressing need for a skilled workforce proficient in finance and management, a demand stemming from the rapid globalisation and industrialisation of the world.
The first ‘MBA’ curriculum was based on Frederick Winslow Taylor’s newly coined ‘Management Science’, followed by the Wharton School MBA at the University of Pennsylvania in 1921. By the 20th century, many institutions had followed suit, such as Stanford, Chicago Booth, Western Ontario, and the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Harvard Business School began admitting women in 1959, and, at that time, it was common to acquire 3 to 5 years of work experience before enrolling in an MBA programme. The expansion of the value and demand for the MBA continues due to its ability to reinvent itself, adapt to technological disruption, and meet the changing demands of students and employers.
Pursuing a master’s in business administration can be a valuable choice for many individuals seeking career growth and advancement. Building holistic business skills and enhancing knowledge in various fields and industries are the general benefits for both the MBA holder and the company. Some MBA programmes offer concentrations or specialisations in specific industries, such as healthcare, technology, or finance, where such industry-specific knowledge can be particularly advantageous in certain sectors.
Specifically, some reasons why people pursue an MBA and the benefits and advantages that come with holding an MBA degree can be as follows:
- Comprehensive Skill Development in the areas of management, finance, marketing, operations, and strategy, hence equipping learners with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in leadership roles.
- Enhancement of Career Prospects and Credibility since the organisation often opens doors to higher-level positions and opportunities for promotion to those with significantly higher levels of qualification. It also demonstrates one’s commitment to education and professional development.
- A Unique Environment for Networking with peers, professors, and industry professionals, which is instrumental in accessing job opportunities and gaining insights into various industries.
- Cultivate Entrepreneurship for starting own businesses, from business planning to financial management.
- Understand Global Business Dynamics, which is increasingly essential in our interconnected world, can help graduates.
- Gain Higher Earning Potential, which can vary depending on factors such as industry, location, and years of experience.
- Bridging the Career Switching Gap between previous experience and the desired field by providing a foundation in business principles.
- A Transformative Experience for Personal Growth as it is a challenging endeavour that often requires time management, discipline, and critical thinking.
- An Access to Alumni Networks that can provide ongoing support and opportunities for collaboration and mentorship.
It’s important to note that while an MBA can offer numerous benefits, it also requires a significant investment of time and money. Hence, it is vital to carefully consider career goals and the specific programme of interest to ensure the pursuit aligns with aspiration.
About the Author:
DR JERRY KOAY
MBA Programme Leader, Graduate School of Business, SEGi College Subang Jaya
With a career spanning over three decades, Dr Jerry Koay was an industrial practitioner for 20 years in electronics manufacturing engineering and operations prior to his dedication to the education industry for more than 14 years now. Currently, he leads the MBA programme of SEGi College Subang Jaya. In a managerial capacity, he worked in various multinational corporations locally and abroad as a functional and operations manager in charge of production, process, equipment, and industrial engineering. Being an ex-director of academic affairs, he chaired the academic board research board and served as a member of the executive management board. A passionate educationist, he lectured and supervised research in business schools in areas of operations management, project management, technology management, and change management in both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of universities and colleges.