You will have likely seen countless summaries about the advantages of MBA programmes, the ways in they differentiate themselves from each other and how they change to reflect the business priorities of the day.
In essence, an MBA is useful if you want to:
- advance to leadership positions in your current company or profession
- make a career change
- set up on your own as an entrepreneur
- gain a deep understanding of current global business issues
- broaden your knowledge and confidence across the full range of topics important for business today
There is also a good deal of hidden value to an MBA, from the opportunity to refocus yourself, to think about big global issues beyond your current professional context, to the chance to engage with top professors in various fields, to the deep and lasting value of establishing a network or friendship circle of peers who will also go on to be successful in their areas of business and can provide a support network which is potentially invaluable.
While there is no such thing as a golden ticket, it remains true that earning capacity is significantly enhanced by having an MBA, because it opens up new positions and shows you have the skills and knowledge for senior management and leadership roles.
A 2013 survey commissioned by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) reveals that MBA graduates from AMBA-accredited business schools are currently earning, on average, approximately £82,000.
The median UK post-MBA salary, including variables such as bonuses, stands at £90,000, a 7% increase since 2010.
The 2011 Global Management Education Graduate Survey by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) listed the average post-MBA salary increase by economy sector as follows:
Products / Services – 59%
Nonprofit / Government – 45%
Technology – 35%
Manufacturing – 34%
Finance / Accounting – 34%
Health Care – 33%
Consulting – 32%
Energy / Utilities – 24%
So the financial value of an MBA is holding strong despite the economic climate of the past five years. One can even argue that the qualitative value of MBAs may actually increase during such times as they provide a differentiator between professionals.
What Will I Learn?
An MBA is a postgraduate degree which confers on graduates the recognition that they have a deep and broad mastery of business issues. As such, they indicate to employers that you may be suitable for executive or senior management positions, and equip you to succeed in multiple areas of business.
While the academic content will vary to some extent, they generally offer core elements that include but are not limited to:
- Business management
- Global management
- Human resources management
- Information systems
- Operations management
- Strategic and risk management
- Technology management
They also give you the chance to concentrate on one or more specialisms, suited to your field of work.
High quality MBAs will give you a theoretical grounding while retaining a very practical focus. The core method of study – pioneered by US MBAs – is looking at case studies, working with professors and other students to examine, analyse and interpret real-world business and management scenarios from across the globe.
 See for example http://www.economist.com/whichmba