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Why an MBA?
The MBA qualification broadens and enhances knowledge and should be viewed in a sense of building up skills.

Although the most popular reasons for undertaking the MBA is to increase salary, other reasons include widening career opportunities, furthering one’s career and/or to extend personal networks. There are other equally important reasons that any prospective MBA student will state, but by far the most compelling is to create career opportunities for oneself. The challenges imposed by the 21st century have made it an essential component that we upgrade skills and qualifications in order to meet the demands set by companies, customers and the environment we operate within.

This is where the MBA becomes a tool to be utilised in building up existing competencies - the theory learned can be utilised to find plausible solutions to concurrent business issues. At the end of an MBA programme, one emerges with an upper level of functional managerial and business issues as well as new conceptual skills ready to meet the demands that are set by the competitiveness around us.

With an MBA, you can:

Advance your career
Whether you're a doctor, an engineer, or an editor for your local newspaper, a graduate business degree can prepare you to move into a managerial position within your field.

Change your career
If your current career path is a less than perfect fit for your aptitudes and interests, business school can give you the opportunity to explore your options, then provide you with the training you need to change careers entirely.

Set up your own business
Interested in starting your own business, but not sure that you have the necessary expertise to launch a start-up in a high-growth industry? An MBA can prepare you to do everything from writing a business plan to acquiring venture capital to launching an IPO. Research has shown that the failure rate for small businesses started by an MBA is about 50 percent less than the standard failure rate.

Develop technical skill and business knowledge
Can you advance to a managerial position or launch your own business without the benefit of a graduate degree in business? Yes. There is much to be learned from on-the-job training and employers certainly value work experience. However, an MBA programme will put you on the fast-track to career advancement by offering you the chance to develop a wide range of general business knowledge and a broad base of technical skill in a relatively short period of time.

Become a leader in an emerging field
Innovative education can lead to an exciting career in a newly emerging field, such as brand management, information technology, e-commerce, or mobile telecommunications.

Network
Networking is another key benefit. Business school teaching styles encourage teamwork and, over the course of an MBA programme, you'll develop important relationships that can serve you well throughout your business career. And no matter the school, you can often get plugged into a network of alumni working at a wide range of companies. This is useful for professional contacts.

Although the degree is considered the pathway to a successful career, it still does not guarantee a flood of job offers, but when one considers the positive options, it far outweighs the negative issues. It is a costly course and the time constraints that are associated with the study load are legendary. That’s why, in some circles, it has been termed “Married, but away”.

Approach the studies with an open mindset and let your intentions be to develop yourself to your full capacity. Accept the programme as a challenge, set your personal as well as career objectives and, most importantly, utilise the Masters of Business Administration degree to close gaps that may exist within your skills and qualifications, so that you can facilitate and expedite your management career.

Reproduced with permission from the MBA Association, www.mbaassociation.org.
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