Obtaining an MBA is a common career move for many business professionals, as it allows them to boost their CVs and improve their job prospects. Most people decide to get an MBA after working for a few years, as the experience gives them a greater understanding of the lessons being taught in class. However, there are a number of people who might find themselves considering an MBA without experience. Perhaps you just got done with your BBA and wish to complete your education before joining the workforce. Perhaps you worked in a different field and now want to move into business.
Besides considering the reasons for seeking an MBA, you might also be wondering if it’s possible to obtain a finance specialization without prior experience and if it’s worth it. This guide will go over some of the factors you need to consider and help you decide.
The Traditional College Route Is Outdated
The traditional college route for MBA students includes a few years of work experience. The experience does improve your chances of getting accepted into a competitive program, but it usually isn’t a formal requirement. Certainly, some people find it hard to return to the student mindset after being in the workforce and feel they would perform better without taking time out for work experience.
While traditional colleges might have preferred the experience, the landscape of education is rapidly changing. There is a rising trend of online MBA programs that allow you to obtain the qualification without the same number of prerequisites to admission. Moreover, these programs are great as they offer a more flexible schedule while being more affordable than traditional college courses.
Does Work Experience Matter?
The effect work experience has on your admission prospects is only one aspect you need to consider. Once you have joined a program, you might be wondering if you’re at a disadvantage compared to your fellow students who did take the time out to work in the real world. The answer is two-fold. In the short term, you might feel like you’re catching up to more knowledgeable peers. Some colleges design their courses with the presumption that the students will have the required experience. If you do not possess that knowledge and familiarity with the ins and outs of a business, it can feel like you’re in over your head. However, a news story talked to a number of admissions directors, and the requirement isn’t as simple as some people think.
There is no set number of years that you need to work before an MBA becomes easy. Rather, the admissions board is looking for the level of professionalism and maturity you can bring to the college. If you have any exposure to the business world, you might have the skills you need. For example, many people go for further education after working in the military. While this isn’t business experience, you did learn time management, team coordination, and adaptability. These skills can make an MBA seem much easier than it is on paper.
Take a look at your unique circumstances and evaluate which skills you possess that might make the degree a viable option for you. You may have also been exposed to people in the field, such as if your parents ran their own business. This might not be a formal experience but can make your application look favorable.
Is it Worth Getting an MBA First?
Jumpstarting your career sounds like a plan, but as you can tell, you would need to make up for the experience in one way or the other. The course load might seem confusing at the start, and it is rather easy to get discouraged. So are there any real advantages to obtaining an MBA before getting work experience?
The answer is a resounding yes. Here’s why!
- Building A Network
One of the most crucial business skills is networking. This isn’t simply a matter of who you know, but who knows you. You don’t need to be in a position of power to make a good impression on someone. When you’re in an MBA program, you’ll get the chance to meet various industry leaders. If you leave a good impression, they might remember you fondly down the line and would be willing to help you out in your ventures.
Similarly, you would be building a network with your fellow students. A lot of start-up businesses exchange professional favors when their capital is low. There is no better place to connect with various businessmen than a college degree.
- Headstart in the Long Run
People with work experience after their bachelor’s degree climb the career ladder quite slowly as their qualification limits them. When you seek an MBA directly, you will become qualified for management and leadership positions at a younger age. This would allow you to get a higher salary, better perks, and more responsibility right from the start.
As you started younger, you would likely obtain a high-paying job and financial stability before your peers. You’d need to put more effort into coursework than others, but this choice will make your latter years much easier if you feel like you can manage the burden.
Seeking a master’s degree without work experience is the more difficult route, but the challenge is well worth the award in the end. You would need to prove that you can keep up with the coursework and would likely be doing a lot of independent study. However, if you find a way to manage your course requirements and pick up on the skills, you would have immensely improved your career prospects.