Why MBA is More Important Than Other Degrees

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People at the beginning of their careers, irrespective of industry sector, tend to specialise. Most will concentrate on their particular role, such as sales or marketing. Some focus on gaining a professional qualification, such as Chartered Engineer or Accountant. If successful they can rapidly develop to become respected professionals in one area of expertise. These areas are, however, typically of a specialist nature and a career move to a new organisation may not offer enormous career development opportunities or increased responsibilities. 

The MBA is essentially a generalist qualification designed to widen the student's horizon in order to take account of all the major functions of a business as well as their interactions in practice. Because its focus is general rather than specialist, the MBA is targeted at those who can make a contribution to strategy. They may have general management ambitions, but not necessarily. They may also be senior specialists who need a rounded view of an enterprise in order to maximise their particular contribution, and for who better performance in a current job may be as important as early ambitions for promotion. MBAs come from almost every conceivable background in terms of first degree, functional role, industry and enterprise including charities, government bodies, health, education and other not for profit organisations.

No sector now is exempt from the influence of the MBA. Over the last decade the MBA has firmly established itself in the non for profit sector: health, charities, local government, the civil service, education, law and even church management. The latest trend appears to be the popularity of so-called 'dot-coms' and entrepreneurship. A disproportionate number of these areas are the brainchild of an MBA. In some cases, the have been ex-students who have dropped-out to launch a successful project whilst at business school.

An MBA from a good school will certainly open many doors, but one from the wrong school may have the opposite effect. But even in the cases of good schools, possession of an MBA cannot, in itself, guarantee career progression. Only successful utilisation of newly acquired MBA skills and expertise can achieve this end. Research undertaken by the Association of MBAs clearly demonstrates that MBAs do exactly this. The MBA offers the ambitious manager a wider range of career opportunities and the chance of both increased responsibilities and a higher salary.

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