What do you want to achieve? An increase in your earning power? A boost to your career? A career switch? Well, an MBA can help you do all these things, and more.
Nowadays, MBA aspirants can choose from a wide pool of programs, both in Canada and abroad, that have the potential to open many doors and offer countless opportunities for career advancement.
Here are six reasons why you should give enrolling in an MBA program serious thought if you want to grow as a business leader.
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1. (Not only) financial gains
Many business professionals are drawn to the MBA degree by the generous return on investment (ROI) it promises. The numbers are indeed impressive. For instance, the median salary of business school alumni working at mid-level positions in Canada is $113,000 and at the executive level the median salary is $180,000, according to the 2018 B-School Alumni Employment Report released by GMAC.
Salaries vary across the schools, of course, with alumni from some institutions earning much more than the average amount. Graduates from Richard Ivey School of Business earn $146,000 three years after graduation, which represents a whopping 85% increase from their pre-MBA salaries, according to data collected by the Financial Times in 2019. Graduates from McGill University: Desautels earn $139,000 on average after three years, up 78%.
ROI is indeed a useful indicator, but the metric does not reflect the true quality of the degree. The MBA is more than the sum of its parts. Part of the difficulty in estimating the true ROI arises from the fact that the skills, experience, confidence, and network an MBA graduate gains cannot be reduced to mere figures.
2. Career growth
Job opportunities in Canada are quite diverse for MBA and EMBA graduates. Finance and consulting as well as the tech industry are the top fields of employment preferred by graduates from Canadian business schools. The good news for business professionals who want to build a career in Canada is that top companies such as McKinsey and JPMorgan Chase have offices in the country and are open to hiring MBA alumni.
However, obtaining an MBA degree does not necessarily mean that you are predestined to work for a corporation. More and more graduates are choosing to strike out on their own and found a startup. At MBA level, entrepreneurship training is now offered either as an option within a general MBA or as a specialist MBA in its own right.
3. Network expansion
"For many prospective MBA students, the networking opportunities available within Canada's graduate business programs are as valuable — or even more valuable — as the MBA designation and the knowledge with which it's associated," business journalist Rebecca Walberg wrote in an article for Financial Post.
When choosing to pursue an MBA, perhaps one of the most vital aspects that you need to consider is the networking opportunities that you will have access to. The MBA degree is in a category of its own when it comes to networking. Not only do business schools strongly encourage it, but they also attempt to facilitate it after graduation.
4. Employers value your enhanced skill set
One of the MBA’s outstanding features is its ability to equip students with a toolkit containing the most vital hard and soft skills necessary for them to succeed in today’s world of business. Employers overwhelmingly agree that business school graduates are prepared to be successful at their companies, according to the 2019 Corporate Recruiters Survey by GMAC. The survey also shows that employers are particularly pleased with the way schools are addressing the current soft skills gap.
5. Change of direction
The desire to change the course of their career is among the most common reasons why people choose to enroll in an MBA program. It has indeed been shown to be a successful strategy, as more often than not a business degree provides a number of benefits in this respect: it allows you to immerse yourself for one or two years in a totally new environment where you think, dream, and devise strategies for your new professional endeavor. You will have access to case studies to prepare for your new career, sometimes more useful than one or two years of actual experience in the field. You will be able to benefit from the experience and acumen of some of the greatest minds in business. Your peers will offer inspiration in terms of exchanged knowledge, breadth of scope, diversity, experience, and different business approaches.
6. International experience at home and abroad
No matter whether you choose to study at home or abroad, most MBA programs strive to expose participants to different global perspectives and different ways of doing business. Professionals know that to succeed in today’s environment they need to be aware of the complexities of business in an international setting. The ability to work effectively in multiple cultures has become indispensable in the contemporary workplace.
Choosing an MBA at home or abroad largely depends on your goals. If you want to gain a more nuanced understanding of global business and truly get out of your comfort zone, maybe it is worth casting a wider net to include schools outside your home country. The diversity of MBA programs around the globe is growing, and so are your chances of taking your career to the next level.
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