How an MBA Can Help You Change Careers |

How an MBA Can Help You Change Careers

By Linda Mohamed

Updated December 2, 2020 Updated December 2, 2020

According to a recent survey by AMBA & BGA, over half of current MBA students plan to change careers after graduation.

Out of the 78 percent of respondents who plan to change company after completing their MBA, 33 percent hope to move to a new company in the same sector and with a different job function; 29 percent hope to move to a new company in a different sector but with a similar job function; and 16 percent wish to launch their own business.

But how exactly can an MBA help you change careers?

Let’s take a look.

A strong and relevant skillset can take you far

Perhaps the most attractive element of an MBA program is the focus on developing new business skills. By tackling a variety of business activities throughout the degree, an MBA enables you to acquire new business knowledge and abilities that can help you pivot your career within a wide range of sectors, including finance, consulting, HR, operations, marketing and technology.

The need for a new skillset is strongly reflected in the AMBA & BGA survey: when asked which core aspects of an MBA students were interested in the most, developing business skills and developing people management skills emerged as the clear winners, at 81 percent and 68 percent respectively.

Aside from a need for transferable business knowledge, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought forward another trend within business: the need for leaders who are able to thrive in uncertain times.

According to data by GMAC, MBA hiring is finally bouncing back after a serious slump in early 2020 as employers are on the lookout for candidate who have the necessary skills to deal with ambiguity, further proving the evergreen value of an MBA and other business degrees across industries.

Networking is key

Networking is one of the most successful ways to change careers and land new jobs. From attending events to joining LinkedIn or meeting someone for coffee, networking opportunities are everywhere if you look hard enough.

Nevertheless, going to b-school can help you gain access to highly exclusive business networks you won’t find anywhere else, starting off with student and alumni communities. In fact, during your MBA program, you will have the opportunity to interact with talented professionals on a daily basis and form long-lasting friendships that might lead to job offers, new business partners, and perhaps even investments for future business ventures.

Moreover, most MBA programs will offer extra-curricular networking initiatives, such as mentorship schemes, business presentations and digital events. While these might not seem a direct pathway to a career switch, they’ll help you solidify your connections even further.

Understand the job market

An MBA can also give you a deep understanding of the job market – a key skill to have in the job-hunting process. In fact, the most successful MBA graduates are able to see gaps in the job market (and, frankly, within companies) and advertise themselves as the best people to fill them.

During your MBA degree, you’ll be able to access b-school career services, exclusive internships and a variety of career-centered events – all of which are guaranteed to give you a comprehensive overview of the business world, helping you identify how to stand out in competitive candidate pools.

Learn to know your worth

According to data by GMAC, despite the financial challenges brought forward by the coronavirus pandemic, the median base salary for MBA graduates is still projected to surpass six figures in 2021.

Career switching isn’t easy, but with an MBA under your belt you’ll be able to confidently sell yourself as a great employee, maximizing your return on investment (ROI) and solidify your spot in the world of business.

This article was originally published in December 2020 .

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