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What's more valuable - work experience or an MBA?

18 August 2016

There are endless facts and figures out there about how MBAs will increase employability and income. These are based on averages, and are only part of what you need to think about when you’re contemplating studying for your MBA. You have to work out what’s best for you, so here are a few things to consider before you make your decision.

First things first
If you’re currently studying and haven’t got any work experience, an MBA is going to be quite difficult to get into. Most MBA courses will want you to have at least two years’ work experience if you have a degree, and up to five years if you don’t. So in this regard, work experience is pretty much a prerequisite to getting your MBA. It makes sense – it takes real-world work experience to truly prepare you for the MBA experience.

Will an MBA give you a better job?
The short answer to this question is ‘probably’. Studies show that MBA graduates are about 20% more likely to get jobs in their field as opposed to those with only undergraduate degrees. There are no conclusive studies about overall lifetime earnings for MBA graduates, however. Some roles have an MBA in a particular field as a prerequisite to entry. Other employers require you to have a postgraduate degree but don’t mind what field it is in. That said, it nearly goes without saying that an MBA puts your career on an upward trajectory.

How much can you learn in your current role?
Getting an MBA puts you on the fast track to learning how to analyse and solve problems at a deeper level, possibly more than work experience would – unless you’re lucky enough to have some great mentors around you. It may also help you learn how to plug into wider, more fruitful business networks than the ones you are in now. The value of real-life work experience can’t be overstated, but an MBA will almost certainly take your skills and knowledge to the next level.

Will you love it?
Doing an MBA is not easy and will mean time spent away from your current work and commitments. An online MBA can help ease the time spent away from these important parts of your life, giving you more flexibility in the way you study. However, it’s crucial that if you choose to complete an MBA you do so because you will enjoy doing it and you are committed to your career development. The beauty of studying through SCU Online is that you can complete your MBA while working, and incorporate all of those real work experiences into your masters.

Will you learn things in an MBA that work experience can’t give you? Absolutely. Will it be worth your while? Again, that’s up to you, but chances are – it will.

Find out more about our great online courses or speak to one of our friendly Student Enrolment Advisors today on 1300 589 882.