The personal and professional benefits of earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) are many and well-known – greater opportunity for career progression, higher earning potential and better managerial skills to name just a few.
But have you ever thought about what an MBA could mean to your employer? Not only can the knowledge and skills you gain be just as valuable to them as to you, but the industry-specific expertise you’re exposed to, and even the way you learn, can have a direct impact on your organisation.
The advantages for your employer can be an important consideration when searching for an MBA course, particularly if you are looking to secure their support or sponsorship. We’ve looked into the various merits employers want from MBA graduates, and how an MBA course can help you deliver them.
Soft skills are high on employer’s lists
According to a 2017 survey by the Financial Times, many employers looking to hire MBA graduates place a good deal of emphasis on ‘soft skills’; the kind of interpersonal traits that make someone effective and responsive in the workplace, across all sectors and industries.
Communicative skills, the ability to work with a wide variety of people and time management are the kind of dexterities employers value highly, so an MBA course should seek to develop these.
For example, studying Organisations and People Management can provide a greater understanding of how different people work, and choosing an Online MBA helps you apply this knowledge for an immediate workplace impact. An online format requires you to organise your time, work with people from different countries and cultures and find creative approaches to real-world business challenges, helping to expand your own soft skills in a practical sense too.
Your personal development fuels organisational success
As much as you want to increase the chances of reaching your career goals, your employer also needs managers capable of guiding your organisation towards new opportunities. Your growth as a business leader can be mutually-beneficial, so don’t underestimate the importance of Professional and Leadership Development when looking for an MBA course.
Fostering an awareness that professional self-improvement is a continual process can help you stay at the forefront of your field throughout your career. This continuous development of both your personal and professional capaibilites not only benefits you but is also advantageous for your employer as it allows you to build and apply your knowledge in real-time to have more of an impact on the organisation.
A mentor can also enable you to get the most from your learning as you progress as a leader, and can help shape your development to reflect your organisation’s values and objectives.
Filling knowledge gaps creates business advantage
Gaps in your experience or a lack of certain skills can cause your career to plateau, but an MBA can give you the extra capabilities you and your organisation needs to enable you to reach the next stage. Those in the financial sector, for example, can find that an emphasis on accounting expertise leaves them short on core business knowledge, and that diversifying their skillsets through an MBA can open up higher-tier career opportunities.
Conversely, other employers are actively searching for MBA graduates with specific skills that they want their businesses to be able to capitalise on. Data analytics is one such specialism; nearly half of international businesses want more staff dedicated to it, and are calling for more training to combat a growing data skills gap.
Whatever the know-how employers want MBA graduates to add to their organisations, they can start seeing the returns sooner when learning is put into immediate practice. Online MBA students and their employers both benefit when fresh perspectives can be directly applied in a real business setting.
“The course has given me a whole new perspective on work in general, being able to understand different realities and how these can be applied even in the smallest things I do on a day-to-day basis,” says Maria Agius, Online MBA with Data Analytics student.
Flexibility benefits both you and your employer
Finally, it’s important to remember that the mode of MBA study you choose will affect your employer too.
Online learning offers a way to improve your professional proficiency without stepping away from your role, so your employer wouldn’t have to cover your time out of the office. Your organisation can benefit from your strategic business education first-hand, while also being able to adapt your new skills to complement its unique needs.
What’s more, it is possible to extend our Online MBA from one and a half years to five years, giving you and your employer even more flexibility regarding how you gain and apply your learning.
“I can access the course anytime I want to,” explains William Walker, Online MBA student. “Not just the current module but previous modules as well. I really hadn’t accounted for the advantage of being able to tap into a private tutorial 24/7. That’s been the best feature by far.”
Considering an MBA in terms of its advantages for you and where you work can help to focus your thoughts when it comes to what sort of course you should opt for. Taking your employer’s priorities into account can help to create a new phase of business growth for both you and them.