Submitted by Carrie Kelly,
the Director of Operations, Graduate & Executive Programs at the Goodman School of Business at Brock University.
It used to feel like our undergraduate degree determined our career trajectory. Psychology >Psychologist. Education >Teacher. Computer Science >Programmer. Pre-med >Doctor.
But our career paths aren’t as simple or as straightforward anymore. In a world where most of you will have between six to seven careers, you’ll need to demonstrate flexibility and adaptability.
And, even if you stay in the same field, as you move up the career ladder you’ll be faced with increasingly more complex and challenging problems, problems that you might not be able to solve with just knowledge gained in your field.
The MBA isn’t just for future CEOs or Wall Street executives. It’s a degree that will help you acquire business acumen, leadership skills, and management know-how that will serve you in any field, from managing your own business to changing your career.
Here are my three top advantages of following your undergrad with an MBA.
1. Better toolkit of knowledge
. You never know when you’ll be called on to manage a budget, oversee a staff or solve a crisis in your company. The MBA’s curriculum is broad and comprehensive, designed to expose you to every aspect of business. That includes a strong foundation in accounting, strategy, ethics, finance, operations, marketing and HR- the building blocks of every organization.
2. Surprise employers
(and yourself). You’ll surprise employers with the skills and experiences you got during your MBA. MBA programs are about more than the classroom and the textbook. They also are about networking, out-of class experiences, gaining work experience through internships and co-ops and partnering with the local business community. At the Goodman School of Business, for example, many students take part in service-learning, a program where the MBA students are paired with small business and non-profits who need business expertise. And don’t be surprised if all of these hands-on experiences help broaden your ideas about what you want to do with your career.
3. Start fresh
. Sometimes your undergraduate degree isn’t the right fit for you. Maybe you realized that you didn’t like the topic, or the job opportunities aren’t really what you want to do with your career. Perhaps you are ready for a change. You can not only use the MBA to compliment your undergraduate experience, but also to make a fresh start. Specialize in a completely different field from your undergrad. Make that switch from art history to finance or from political science to e-commerce. In around two years, you’ll have the knowledge, skills and network needed to relaunch yourself in the workforce.