Do You Need a Master of Business Administration to be Successful in Your Career?

When I looked at Master of Business Administration degree programs of Ivy League schools in the US, they’ve got a metric that shows their graduates will, on the average, double their salary upon completion of the course. It could be true for some but I highly doubt finding anything similar here in the Philippines. 

That is not to say anything bad about the quality of our Master of Business Administration programs nor is it an argument against the need for this degree in our economy. I do believe the strong foundation and the wide array of knowledge one could get from this degree. A 42-unit masters course in business should, on the minimum, enable the students to be better equipped in the business world.

Lesson 1: Leadership

Business management positions are leadership responsibilities. These are what MBA students are being prepared to handle but the ironic thing is there is no formal subject dealing with leadership per se. From our own observations we can deduce that leadership is learned more by doing and not through lectures or vague concepts. 

In the span of almost three years working to get a Master of Business Administration degree, opportunities will present itself to the students for them to learn how to lead. They should seize it and make use of it for their development as future business leaders.

Lesson 2: Communication Skills

There is no shortage of unsolicited advice exhorting the importance of effective communication skills in the work environment. College deans speak about it in when they welcome the freshmen. Professors admonish students to express what they think. Books give emphasis to it as a necessary skill to rise in one’s chosen career. Superiors never fail to indicate it as an area for improvement. 

There is indeed evidence to suggest that effective communication skills can have a more potent effect in improving one’s chances to succeed the corporate world than anything else. If we know something, we should most aggressively flaunt it and convince anyone listening how competent we are regarding the subject. Because if not, no one will think we are any good. A genius who does not speak will be of no use to a dynamic organization which needs contributions from everyone.

Lesson 3: Decision-Making Ability

Business managers are paid for their decision-making ability. All the knowledge that will be acquired by the student will aid him or her to make better decisions. Each subject provides tools to assess each situation in different angles. This makes students aware of possible alternatives which can bring the business to success. They may not fully master every detail of these tools but they are aware of them. 

The students can tap them when they need to. So they try their very best to learn everything about these tools while also trying to apply some of the theories immediately to practical situations. Those methods will challenge the students to think and be more creative. This is the reason for case studies and group projects. In my opinion, decision-making ability is the objective that is most directly addressed by the Master of Business Administration curriculum.

Some would say that MBA’s are pursued by many just to expand their networks. That may be true and it is a very good aspect of the learning experience. But always remember LCD – (Leadership, Communication skills and Decision-making ability) because if you want your money’s worth, this is the real essence of a Master of Business Administration program which students must all give their best effort to learn and experience.

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  1. Depending on the level of education, graduates of Business Administration Schools may find employment as Administrative Assistants, Financial Planners, Human Resources Managers, Auditors, Bank Examiners, Insurance Underwriters, and many administration schools in metro manila