Change Your Career Path with an MBA

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Did you know that an MBA can help you change your career path? At MANCOSA, we understand that deciding to change your career can be daunting. That’s especially true when you’ve invested time and financial resources to get where you are today. The idea of investing further might fill you with doubt. However, obtaining an MBA is the best decision you’ll ever make to advance your career.

Career change is one of the most common motivating factors driving applicants to the MANCOSA MBA programme. So, if you’re at a crossroads in your career right now, you’re not alone. This article will help you decide whether a Master of Business Administration is the right choice for you. Read on to learn 5 ways an MBA could boost your career, how it could help you to change careers and the steps you’ll need to take to make the most out of your MBA journey.

5 Ways an MBA will boost your career

The MBA programme attracts ambitious and career-oriented individuals who want to accelerate ahead of their peers and make their own opportunities. But the qualification requires a significant investment in resources. So, it’s sensible to ask yourself whether it’s a worthwhile venture for you. Here are 5 ways that an MBA can advance your career.

1. It will qualify you for senior roles

An MBA will equip you with a powerful combination of leadership skills and practical experience. The focus is on experiential learning, plunging students into real-world situations. Holding this qualification demonstrates to employers that you can handle and solve complex problems.

2. It can provide impressive networking opportunities

As you study for your MBA, you will meet people from all walks of life, including peers in the classroom, alumni and potential employers. A strong network of individuals from around the world will allow you to share knowledge and perspectives, collaborate, exchange ideas and potentially progress your career in ways you can’t initially imagine.

3. It can support your change in career path

MBA courses provide access to a wide range of experiential learning opportunities that will not only broaden your knowledge base but also your horizons. It allows you to try out industries and job functions without risk, uncover new passions and potentially open new doors.

4. It can catalyse personal transformation

Studying for an MBA takes students out of their comfort zone, inspiring creativity and self-discovery. It supports individuals in identifying who they are as a person, their values, working and leadership styles. This increases confidence and independence – both transferable skills that are valuable in the workplace.

5. It will increase your earning potential

Post-MBA salaries tend to be higher than those without the qualification. So, while they require a significant financial investment, the long term financial security they promise makes it a worthwhile choice.

How can an MBA change your career path?

An MBA can be instrumental in supporting a change in career path. Thanks to its international prestige, and weighty credibility, the qualification offers more than just a fast-track to the C-Suite. It can open previously unseen doors to new career paths.

Perhaps you want to switch industry, function, or location. The great news is that all of these are possible with a Master of Business Administration. Some people even transition in all 3 areas and find that their MBA launches them into a complete career reinvention.

A familiar scenario is moving from a specialised role onto a more diversified career path. An engineer might choose the MBA programme to build a broader set of skills and understanding of business functions that support them as they embark on an entrepreneurial journey.

Let’s look more closely at 3 ways an MBA can change your career path.

1. Develop a broad set of skills

To be accepted on the MBA programme, you need to have work experience under your belt, and you’ll soon realise why this is so important. As you study, you’ll learn to leverage your existing experience and contextualise the real-life scenarios you’ve encountered into powerful lessons that you can translate into your future career.

An MBA focuses on the continued accumulation of diverse, effective and transferable business skills. These include leadership, creative thinking, teamwork and analysis. They’ll build on your existing foundation of knowledge that you’ll return to repeatedly throughout your career.

2. Gain a deeper understanding of business functions

An MBA will provide a general introduction to business and facilitate the development of broad management skills across all departments within an organisation. This cross-functional disciplinary approach will expose you to new ideas, industries, functions and career paths that you may not have considered before, expanding your awareness of new opportunities.

3. Build a strong network of contacts

The human connections you’ll make throughout your MBA studies are arguably the most valuable part of the experience. This includes your peers, alumni, mentors and potential employers that you will meet in class, at events, and on internships.

Your network can be the most effective way to access a new industry or company, especially when gatekeepers such as HR prefer to avoid career-switchers.

Ways to use your MBA to change careers

We have shown how an MBA can be instrumental in supporting you through a career switch, the next thing you need to know is how to go about doing so. Below you’ll find that we’ve broken down the steps you need to take in order to secure your MBA place and gain the most from your MBA experience.

1. Securing your MBA
  • An MBA requires a huge investment of your time, energy and financial resources – so you need to show that you’re making an informed decision about your commitment.
  • Take some time to set clearly defined goals for your career destination – both industry and function.
  • Thoroughly research the career path you have chosen in preparation for your interview with the MBA admissions committee.
  • In your admissions interview, demonstrate that you understand the career path you are aiming for.
  • Demonstrate that you have realistic expectations. Discuss potential challenges, and describe your plan to overcome them.
2. During your MBA
  • Get outside of your comfort zone and don’t shy away from personal development opportunities!
  • Make connections with your peers, employers and alumni through events, projects, internships and mentorship. You will be exposed to high-quality connections throughout your MBA programme that will bolster your network throughout your career.
  • As you study, stay focused on the industry and job function that you’re aiming to move into.
  • Where possible, tailor your curriculum choices to your specific needs.
  • Keep an open mind while you study, and explore a variety of functional areas to develop your understanding of yourself and your passions, professionally and personally.
  • Maintain a relationship with career advisors as you complete the programme to discuss new pathways that open up as you study.
  • Look for opportunities to practice the new skills you are learning in real-life situations.
  • Apply for an internship at a company that is relevant to your future plans. Keep in mind that this is a risk-free way to try something out, gain experience and make connections.

Study an MBA online with MANCOSA

In this article, we have demonstrated that an MBA holds international prestige with employers, and can open doors to fantastic business opportunities. This qualification is proof that you are a hardworking, determined individual who takes your career seriously.

An MBA increases your credibility, making you a serious candidate for new opportunities and promotion, accelerating your career progression and even helping you to change your career path.

Now it’s time to find the right MBA programme for you! MANCOSA boasts an excellent online MBA programme, which allows you to work towards your degree via distance learning.

We are proud that our programme is consistently rated as one of South Africa’s top MBA degrees and invite you to learn more about it right here. Our team is on hand to answer any questions, so feel free to get in touch for more information.