For people who either wish to be a business leader or want to run a larger company, an MBA can provide opportunities to step into senior roles that weren’t accessible previously. Similarly, if you have a keen eye for a strategy that beats out competitors, then taking an MBA is going to strengthen these natural traits and fine tune them.
Here are a few ways that studying for a Master’s in Business Administration makes sense if you’re interested in being a leader of a company someday, or want to have a career where strategy is a strong part of it.
Learning Strategy is Genuinely Hard
Learning to become a great strategist is hard. It’s not something you can easily learn on the job. At least, you’ll make a ton of mistakes and come to the wrong conclusions due to not knowing how to analyze situations correctly.
Looking at business events or news that’s appearing today, it’s necessary to read between the lines to understand why one headline matters and others are just taking up column inches in a local newspaper. With age and experience, along with learning how to think in a deliberate, tactical manner, it’s possible to see the layers below surface problems in the same way that a great grandmaster reads the chess board many sequences of moves ahead.
Being Strategic in Your Business Role
Being strategic in a role within the business realm is applicable in many management-level positions regardless whether the role has ‘strategic’ in the title.
For example, a senior product manager is certainly a role that is open to someone who’s qualified with an MBA as it requires smart thinking about markets, customers and marketing processes. Seeing small gaps in the market by being able to analyze what products are already offered to customers, what they’re lacking and how the company can produce something that meets the customers’ needs better puts the company a step ahead.
Another approach is seeing major gaps in the market and helping to develop a product that will satisfy consumers’ needs before they’re aware they want it. For instance, there was a time when women’s health and lifestyle magazines like Cosmo filled the magazine racks, yet there wasn’t a Men’s Health title to be found anywhere. The mistaken belief was that men didn’t care enough about their health to spend money on a publication to get better educated on the subject – until someone challenged that faulty assumption.
Trying New Strategies to Get Mindshare
Getting mindshare or the attention of the marketplace is tougher today that it’s ever been. At the beginning, when advertising and billboards were new, they were so rare that people paid attention. Now there’s so much advertising that it’s difficult to stand out. A marketing hook or a new strategy to garner the attention of the target audience is required to cut through the noise factor.
Just throwing more money into advertising sometimes works, but it’s a highly inefficient approach. It breaks marketing budgets and substantially raises the cost per customer acquisition. By dealing with the problem from a strategic angle and brainstorming new ways to find the right customers, less fervent activity levels can be matched with higher success rates due to smarter targeting.
Being Strategic in Financial Roles
Working in accounting and other financial roles tends to be thought of as straight-laced, non-creative and by the numbers. That’s only true at the start in regard to statutory accounting requirements for a company to file the correct financial statements.
When moving into areas like management accounting, there’s greater license to think creatively because often the spreadsheets are planning out a new division in a company or a product launch from soup to nuts. Different ideas and approaches must be discussed and strategized to come up with the right planning and financial numbers to match that plan.
Accelerated Career Growth with an MBA
With an MBA, it’s possible to move up beyond statutory accounts or management accounts into a Senior Financial Analyst or Chief Financial Officer role.
A financial analyst role within an operating company allows you to help the business look at their results and recommend better investments. Being able to allocate free cash into money market accounts and relevant equity-based investments where capital can be invested for a few years at a stretch provides improved returns.
A CFO role is far more comprehensive. Here you’re in charge of all the finances of the company. Responsible for the financial team below you, leading them in a strategic manner to get the most out of the available resources within the department falls at your feet. A business administration-based education also covers a deep understanding of what financial debt instruments are available to companies to fund future expansion projects. This knowledge goes way beyond what is taught to qualify as an accountant.
Other Career Options
The choice of career is less restricted with an MBA than with a bachelor’s degree. You can go into the healthcare field to manage the finances of a healthcare organization by steering them through volatile waters.
With the internet shopping phenomena, fresh challenges for the retail industry were created; a detailed understanding of technology, business development and strategic planning can help a retailer to weather the changing shopping habits of net-savvy consumers.
There’s also the opportunity to take the knowledge acquired through an MBA and to go into entrepreneurship. This is especially useful if you haven’t previously had to chance to run a business and feel that you have gaps in your knowledge. This concern, which may be holding you back from going into business for yourself, is addressed with further education because it covers business in sufficient depth and breadth.
Flexible Learning for Executives
If you’re already working full-time and worry about taking extended leave to study for an MBA, don’t be concerned. An ACBSP accredited online MBA course enables you to keep your job and study at your own pace. Indeed, quite often the type of work that you currently do gets incorporated into assignments.
The Kettering course is one where credits are built up as you go through it. Progress is made and new knowledge is acquired gradually which can be directly applied to a current work situation.
For people who are highly analytical or strategic, then an MBA makes sense as a qualification worth pursuing. While there are plenty of people skills required and learned along the way too, having an intelligent mind to better work through business problems and devise effective new strategies for a business to succeed is extremely valuable.
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