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Jump Start Your Career with an MBA

Jun 13, 2008
Many of the best managers in the world share a single attribute - they have an MBA (Master of Business Administration), the ultimate achievement in business degrees. There is an incredible variety of business degrees available, ranging from generic ones like Batchelor of Business Administration (BBA) or specialist degrees in areas like Human Resources or Marketing. Most of these are undergraduate degrees which have little or no Management content.

An MBA can be a real asset to recent graduates and can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to achieve a management post. This is particularly true if their first degree is not in a business area. However, an MBA can also be useful to recently-promoted managers. Many of those who work in business begin their careers in a functional area such as Finance or Marketing, before being promoted to a management position, sometimes with little knowledge of what's really involved. It can be useful at this stage to enrol for an MBA course in order to improve their management skills.

The first MBAs appeared in the USA in the late nineteenth century and they remained an American phenomenon for many years. The first European MBAs arrived in the 1940s and course provision in Europe, and especially in the UK, has grown rapidly ever since. Many people regard a European MBA as superior to an American one, as they are perceived as being more rigorous and usually incorporate a dissertation. European MBAs are extremely attractive to overseas students as they give them the opportunity to live and work in Europe before returning to their own country with a valuable qualification and the skills needed to take part in business ventures with European companies.

MBAs are generally offered in a variety of modes, including full-time, part time and distance learning. Distance learning courses were initially paper-based but nowadays they are increasingly delivered online. Courses are available in numerous different locations, but many students like to study in a major European capital like Paris or London. London is often seen as a particularly attractive destination, since it permits students to improve their English while studying for their degree.

MBA programmes usually cover a range of management areas areas, including Financial Management, Business Law, Human Resource Management, Marketing Management and Project Management. Some courses are very general in nature, but others allow students to specialise in areas such as Branding, Finance or Human Resource Management. Entrepreneurship is an extremely popular option since it is of great benefit to students who intend starting their own business.

The thesis is an important element of an MBA as it allows students to gain expert knowledge and experience of a particular business area and to establish contacts who will be useful in their future business career. Most theses are research-based, so MBA programmes generally include courses in qualitative and quantitative research methods to prepare students for carrying out their research.

Anyone contemplating a career in business, or anyone who has just been promoted to a management position should certainly give serious consideration to doing an MBA to improve their management skills and to demonstrate their commitment to building a successful career.
About the Author
Peter Brown is Founder and Principal of London Graduate College of Management, a well-known business school. He is also author of a blog entitled Learn in London .
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