How difficult is an MBA?

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MBA graduate reading the newspaper

The short answer is yes, yes it is. However, there is more to studying an MBA than just how difficult it is and how much work goes into it.

Studying an MBA is a defining milestone for those looking to solidify what they have learned through previous tertiary education and on-the-job experience. It is a positive step in the direction of securing managerial and senior positions. With that being said, it is a tough undertaking and requires dedication, enthusiasm and grit. It is an opportunity for mid-career professionals to ultimately reinvent themselves and redefine their future career path.

MBA graduate reading a business newspaper

What are the benefits of an MBA?

Studying an MBA online offers a multitude of benefits. These include being able to shape your studies around your full-time job and family responsibilities. You also have access to the course materials as and when you need them. Further general benefits of earning your MBA include:

  • higher salaries,
  • additional career paths and prospects,
  • development of critical thinking and managerial abilities, and
  • invaluable networking opportunities.

For many, the challenges of studying an MBA and obtaining this highly respected qualification are outweighed by the benefits. However, for some, the challenges are obstacles they can’t seem to overcome.

A typical MBA is first and foremost an academic programme. It has a significant amount of theory and practical information to process. This can be a potential challenge for those who find extensive amounts of content daunting. If the content in your lectures is new to you, dedicate a few hours every week to complete the prep work and reading. This will provide you with a foundation on which to build and strengthen your understanding. It will also make the lectures and content easier to digest. Don’t stop there – if you find something interesting, or tough to wrap your head around, do additional reading in order to develop your knowledge further.

How hard is an MBA?

Additionally, the production and output of papers, essays, presentations and responses to business cases can add an extensive to-do list to an already excessively long list of daily tasks. Time management and networking skills are essential in building consistent and productive momentum towards an MBA. Although these are also taught and developed during the course, it is recommended that you start building these skills from the get-go.

Overcoming the challenges of studying an MBA

In order to overcome the challenges of studying an MBA, prepare yourself for this incredibly rewarding journey. Develop mutually beneficial relationships with potential mentors and industry leaders. Digesting as much content around those key individuals and industries will jump-start your learning path and equip you with tips, tools and techniques to help you master your MBA.

1. Be your authentic self

The recipe for success in studying an MBA is for you to be your authentic self. Being your authentic self is a sure way to develop your relationships from among your peers and professors. Studying an online MBA doesn’t mean that these relationships are unreachable. Develop your communication skills via email and other contact means and reach out to those individuals who are closest to you, or even in your city/country.

Understand that studying an MBA doesn’t mean an end to your social life or a disruption of your work-life. Balance is also imperative to keep the momentum going. An MBA is a challenge. In addition to professional mentorship, discussing your challenges with a family member or friend and putting time aside for socialising can help ensure that you don’t burn out or lose enthusiasm.

2. Create a routine

Create a routine that will help keep you on track. Include all of your responsibilities and daily tasks so that you have a clear picture of what you need to achieve on any given day. Use a timer or set alarms to keep you on schedule and avoid running over.

3. Decide which path is the right one for you

Flexibility and affordability are often the major reasons why the online route is chosen. Learning how to use various types of technology during your studies will also help you personally as well as professionally in your career path after qualification.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for help. The success of studying an MBA program lies with you. It is a tough and difficult qualification to obtain. However, if you dedicate time and resources and make consistent progress, it will get easier to handle as you progress through the syllabus.