Let's explore the MBA, a degree for up-and-coming managers from any background.
MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. It is a postgraduate degree where participants develop business management skills. This degree is ideal for those who are currently in management roles or aim to attain such positions.
The MBA is the world's most popular postgraduate degree. Professionals from any industry who are interested in a management career path find MBA programs relevant. MBAs boost salaries by making people more competitive for senior roles.
MBA programs teach general business skills, people management skills, and strategic decision-making. The degree is beneficial for anyone with management aspirations. To be an MBA candidate, you don't need a background in business or to be working in the "business world."
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Australia typically spans 1.5 years and includes 12 subjects, though 2-year, 16-subject degrees are also common. The program is designed for a broad range of professionals, preparing them for leadership roles. It does not require a background in business and is popular among professionals aiming to move into management positions.
Approximately 52% of Australian MBA candidates study online, according to Higher Education Statistics. This indicates a strong preference for online learning within Australia's MBA programs, offering a blend of convenience and quality education.
Programs usually consist of eight or more core subjects, including a capstone project completed in the final stages. The remainder of the program may consist of elective units, or subjects required for a specialisation. Core subjects typically include accounting, finance, and marketing for managers. Popular specialisations are finance, accounting, marketing, health management, human resource management, information technology, and project management.
What Subjects Do You Study?
MBA candidates study subjects aimed at enhancing management and leadership skills. They gain knowledge in areas like finance, analytics, marketing, and strategy, which are crucial for business management. The programs also aim to improve communication, strategic thinking, and team leadership abilities.
Typically, an Australian MBA curriculum consists of 12 subjects, including 8 core units and four electives. Core subjects commonly found are:
Global Business Economics
Corporate Governance and Ethics
Accounting for Managers
Managing Information Systems
Learning isn't limited to the particular subjects you complete. Skill formation includes leadership, communication, critical thinking, and decision-making, essential for managing change and leading effectively. MBA courses also enhances self-confidence, teamwork, and time management.
The purpose of an MBA is to prepare for leadership by developing administration skills such as the ability to understand financial reports or sponsor a marketing campaign. Participants learn business concepts, how to manage people, effective communication, and core leadership principles.
MBA graduates often secure management roles, start their own businesses, or ascend to senior leadership positions. According to the Graduate Outcomes Survey, Business and Management postgraduates, including MBA holders, have the 2nd-highest median graduate earnings of $115k per year, surpassed only by dentistry.
The focus is on building a broad base of general business knowledge. MBA students grow both personally and professionally, shaping them into capable managers. This preparation is key for taking on challenging roles, solving complex problems, and making strategic decisions.
Is an MBA Worth It?
An MBA is worth it for the salary benefits, more interesting and influential jobs, the enjoyment of learning, and the contentment from reaching one's managerial potential. But we would also caution that, to get these benefits, you should be in a position to capitalise on an upgrade in management skills.
The financial investment in an MBA is considerable, yet it's an investment that can yield significant returns. With the average salary for an MBA graduate estimated at $114,182, the degree can lead to substantial earnings over the course of a career, far outweighing the initial tuition fees.
It's also worth considering the time cost of an MBA; a full-time program takes 1.5 years, during which you could have been earning a salary. However, accelerated online programs offer a solution, allowing you to study without forgoing your current employment and earnings.
The benefits of the degree extend beyond salary. They include career progression, a better understanding of business, networking opportunities, and enhanced problem-solving and leadership skills. This comprehensive development can be the catalyst for personal and professional growth. If you have the potential to grow as a manager, an MBA is generally worthwhile.
Can You Do an MBA Without a Degree?
Yes, you can effectively enroll in an MBA program in Australia without a degree. Several universities offer alternative pathways for admission, focusing on work experience and other qualifications.
The common route for non-degree holders is through a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. This pathway typically involves completing the first four subjects of an MBA program. Success in these courses can then lead to full admission into the MBA program.
To qualify for this pathway, candidates usually need to demonstrate substantial professional experience, often 4 or 5 years, in lieu of a bachelor degree. Some universities also accept a high GMAT score as a qualifying criterion. This approach allows individuals with a significant work history but no undergraduate degree to pursue MBA studies.
An MBA is superior to a bachelor degree because it is a master's degree, an advanced qualification often reserved for university graduates. It is rated at Level 9 in the Australian Qualifications Framework, two rungs above a bachelor degree at Level 7.
From a career standpoint, an MBA is generally better. It is a focused program of study, taking 1.5 years instead of the 3 years required for a Bachelor of Business. Graduates are qualified for management roles, which typically pay more than most professional jobs.
The only drawback is that you cannot do MBA courses, and will tend not to benefit, until after you have gained professional experience. Common entry requirements in Australia include a bachelor's degree and at least two years working in professional or supervisory roles.
How Long Does an MBA Take?
In Australia, the duration of an MBA degree varies depending on the program type and study mode. The normal length is 18 to 24 months, or 1.5 to 2 years.
Standard MBA programs typically consist of 12 subjects. For full-time students, these are usually completed in 1.5 years (18 months), spanning three semesters.
Extended programs, with 16 subjects, cater to those seeking more in-depth study. Full-time students can complete these in about 2 years.
Accelerated study allows for faster completion. A standard 12-subject MBA can be completed in 12 months, involving continuous study throughout the year, including summer.
Online MBAs are normally part-time, offering flexibility for working professionals. These typically take 24 months to complete, with students doing one subject every two months.
An MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a masters degree. It has some distinct qualities however, especially its focus on training people for managerial roles. The degree is available to almost anyone who wants to manage others. Other masters tend to concentrate on specific disciplines or technical areas, such as accounting, counselling, engineering, or nursing.
The MBA degree is versatile and popular in Australia and globally. Benefits include potential salary increases and accelerated career advancement. The program targets established professionals, with experience levels among candidates ranging anywhere from two to forty years.
Specialist master's degrees differ from MBA courses by focusing on technical skills in specific fields. They offer deep expertise in chosen areas. These programs are less about management and more about professional skill development. They contribute to employability and advanced development in a vocational discipline.
If you get into the graduate certificate course, you're basically in the MBA program. If you pass the four subjects (it's usually four), you can continue studying for the MBA. What's more, you should be able to count each subject completed as credit towards your degree.
You may be able to gain entry with just a bachelor degree or significant experience. A fairly typical set of requirements is that you have either:
a bachelor degree (any discipline) and two years of work experience; OR
no degree but five years of relevant professional experience.
Students may shop around to find a program that will accept them. As long as you have a degree or significant work history, you should feel confident of finding a business school that will accept you.
How Hard Is an MBA?
An MBA degree can be tough, but it's manageable with the right approach. It's less about academic brilliance and more about emotional intelligence, like organising your schedule and staying motivated. Full-time study demands about 30 hours a week.
Financially, the degree is an investment. Many MBA students balance work with study, especially in online courses. Options like employer sponsorship, loans, and FEE-HELP in Australia help ease the financial burden.
Success hinges on time management and motivation. It's not just an academic pursuit but a pathway to personal and professional growth. With dedication and the right mindset, the challenges are all surmountable.
An MBA, while prestigious, can have significant downsides. The major con is the loss of income for those not working while studying, coupled with the substantial time commitment required. This can limit opportunities for other educational or career paths.
The financial burden is another drawback, with tuition fees in Australia starting from $35K to $45K AUD and higher for top-tier programs. Additionally, completing the degree is a long-term commitment that demands continuous focus and motivation, often while juggling personal and professional responsibilities.
Moreover, there's no assurance that an MBA will guarantee career advancement. Employers often seek a combination of education, skills, and experience. An MBA alone might not be enough to secure a better job or a promotion, making it a risky investment for some.
Online MBA programs are designed for flexibility, catering to professionals with busy schedules. Courses are delivered entirely online, with no requirement to attend a campus. Course materials, including lectures, are accessible through an online platform, often with recorded video content for convenient viewing.
The cost of an online MBA is generally comparable with on-campus degrees. However, they do tend to be more affordable, with fewer premium degrees and more options for the cost-concious student. The average cost is estimated to be around $51k for the whole degree. FEE-HELP loans are available.
Students engage in coursework through a combination of online lectures, readings, and assignments. Interaction with instructors and fellow students is facilitated via discussion forums, video conferencing, social media groups, and direct messaging.
The structure of these programs is often accelerated and part-time, allowing students to complete a subject every two months while continuing full-time work. Assessments are diverse, generally avoiding traditional long exams in favor of quizzes, projects, presentations, and case studies.
How Much Is MBA Salary?
MBA holders often earn higher salaries than those who hold only a bachelor's degree, particularly in management and leadership roles. A typical MBA salary is estimated to be $114,182 per year, with significant upside potential.
MBA graduates earn more than every other group of postgraduate coursework students. Using data tables from the Graduate Outcomes Survey, we estimate that they earn a 21 percent salary premium over other master's degree holders. In addition, they earn 80 percent more than all bachelor-degree holders shortly after graduating.
The meaning of the salary statistics can be hard to decipher since MBA students are typically on an upward career trajectory anyway. But they do highlight the potential to significantly bump up your earnings by getting the degree and perhaps landing a promotion or new senior role.
The income effects can be profound because they can accumulate for many years into the future. When you're in the frame for executive positions, every competitive advantage can make a big difference.