A Master of Business Administration (MBA) can set you apart from your peers in a number of ways and provide a boost to your career. Key determining factors include your vision for it, how you apply yourself, and the calibre of the institution from which you obtain your degree. What is your ultimate goal: getting a six-figure salary, landing a coveted management position, or starting a successful entrepreneurship or start-up? A Master of Business Administration provides you with the right set of tools to succeed in all these pursuits, and an advanced business qualification from a reputable business school, like MANCOSA, can also provide you with the right set of networking platforms to help you along the way.
Is the MBA a good career option?
The Master of Business Administration is a great choice for the career-oriented individual given its coursework, which covers a broad range of business-related topics, like accounting, management and economics. Not only does an MBA prepare graduates for managerial positions in the corporate environment, but it’s also a great master’s degree for those who dream of developing a successful start-up or following an entrepreneurial path. Read more about the Top Benefits of the MBA in South Africa and you can find out why this degree is still very relevant in today’s marketplace.
Earning an MBA from a reputable institution, will enhance your academic portfolio and help you build a skill set that will set you on the right track to a promotion, salary increase or founding member of a highly successful business provided you take the right steps to plan and enhance your career development. It must be mentioned that having an MBA isn’t a simple ticket to success as one also needs to constantly evolve and develop to achieve long-term goals and personal aspirations.
Types of MBA specialisations
Which MBA specialisation is best? It’s a question often asked by prospecting students. Typically, a traditional Masters of Business Administration offers specialisations in the areas of Marketing, Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology. Some business schools do offer specialisations in areas of Entrepreneurship and Healthcare, which is an emerging area these days. Choosing a specialisation is based solely on your particular interests and your intended career choice. If you want to choose Investment Banking as a career, then an MBA in Finance is definitely a good step in that direction.
Best jobs for an MBA graduate
Having a clear objective is always valuable in determining what you will do with your advanced master’s degree. Graduates have the opportunity to work in several different industry sectors, like banking or manufacturing, because the field of business is so important when it comes to commercial operations. You could find employment in different areas of these industries, like in human resources, operations, technology or finance departments or you could even practice independent consulting.
Given MANCOSA’s rich, hands-on experience with our MBA degree programme, we’ve highlighted some of the top jobs for the new graduate. These include:
- Global Business Manager
- Operations Managers
- Financial Controller
- Information Systems Manager
- Investment Banker
- Management Consultant
- Private Equity Managers
- Commercial Bankers
- Venture Capitalists
- Hospital Manager
MBA career path advice: how to get hired
So, you have an MBA and now you need to get hired. Getting the job of your dreams takes some effort on the part of the graduate so be prepared to put in the time and effort to network and impress those top-level executive recruiters and companies. Here are MANCOSA’s top tips when it comes to getting hired after you’ve completed your studies:
1) Prepare a professional curriculum vitae
Your CV needs to be professional and polished. We suggest creating relevant sections, which clearly display your personal details, education, work experience and special skills or noteworthy professional memberships. Take a look at some free career resources to select a template and to get some additional layout tips.
2) Request references from your academic advisor
It’s always good to have a reference when you’re applying for a job. Having a credible source to vouch for your capabilities could be the competitive differentiator between you and the other candidates. We suggest asking an advisor or academic with whom you’ve worked and who can attest to your character and work ethic.
3) Create a Linkedin profile and be active
Linkedin is a social media channel for professional people who wish to network. It is estimated that there are more than 600 million profiles that currently exist on the site, not to mention company pages and specific groups. This makes it a virtual treasure chest of opportunity when it comes to network connections and job possibilities. Follow relevant people, brands or groups for interesting information – and don’t forget to comment and ask questions because that is how you get noticed.
4) Sign-up for additional learning
It’s always advisable to add to your learning through short courses and you don’t even have to break the bank to do so. There are a number of free online learning resources available if you are prepared to put in the time and effort. We recommend signing up with a reputable service provider, or even one that’s affiliated with a well-known online learning institution. Take a look at edx.org and alison.com.
5) Join a professional network or organisation
If you join a professional body, you will have even more opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, and you may even find yourself a worthy mentor who can provide you with advice and tips about the industry and profession. Take a look at some local organisations, like:
- The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
- Business Women’s Association of South Africa
- The South African Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Launching soon is the MANCOSA Career Centre platform, which seeks to connect current students with successful alumni in the relevant fields for solid mentorship opportunities.
6) Consider an unpaid internship
If the job hunt is a little slow or if you need to acquire some valuable experience, you could consider applying for an unpaid internship. An unpaid internship is a great way to build your professional network and develop skills. Some companies even provide flexible working hours for their interns so you don’t have to work a typical 9-5 day. Being in the position to list an internship from a reputable corporate or multinational on your CV is definitely worth its weight in gold.
7) Attend corporate career days
Many companies invest in corporate career days to search for talent so don’t just limit yourself to online job searches. Get out there and see what’s on offer. Corporate career days and fairs are often facilitated at universities or colleges, so check what’s on their agenda and then brush up on your interview skills and start networking!
A word of caution, if you want to earn a really high salary, it’s worth mentioning that choosing a career based exclusively on the salary expectation may have negative consequences as salaries are determined by a host of other factors such as labour market conditions, industry situation, work experience as well as your ability to even negotiate your salary. The versatility and diversity of an MBA programme provide great support if you are preparing for a career switch. It is also the right option if you are switching to pursue opportunities in new industries or seeking a completely new job function.
Study an MBA Degree with MANCOSA
An MBA degree will advance both your professional and personal goals. Some common reasons for undertaking a master’s degree includes increasing your income, opening up new work opportunities, advancing your career path, and developing your business and leadership skills. In this specific master’s programme, you can also create professional and personal networks through academics, colleagues, and alumni. Find out more about the MANCOSA MBA by visiting our comprehensive information page or read up on some of the great student stories. Who knows, you might be our next successful graduate!