The MBA (Master of Business Administration) is an internationally recognised and geographically portable post-graduate, post-experience academic course in a number of subjects that together can be said to constitute the science of management.
It is intended for those who work in business and management who seek career advancement, business ownership or technical skills and business knowledge. The challenges imposed by the 21st century place a high premium on upgrading skills and qualifications in order to meet the demands set by companies, customers and the environment that managers operate in.
AMBA are proud to accredit three schools that award MBAs in the West Midlands, which are Aston Business School, Warwick Business School and Birmingham Business School. All three can consider themselves part of the global elite amongst business schools as all are triple-accredited, which only 67 schools in the world can say. Furthermore, all three offer a range of programmes and specialisations that ensure that students can not only find the right programme and the right study mode that is likely to fulfil their future career aspirations, but employers can recruit secure in the knowledge that the MBA graduates have been taught well by a distinguished and experienced faculty that combined both established and innovative theory with practical ‘hands-on’ ‘real-world’ project work.
For the individual, obtaining an MBA can open doors that lead to a higher salary – research has indicated that employers are ready to pay those they hire with an MBA degree nearly twice as much as those with only an undergraduate education. It can lead to career progression – 70 per cent of MBA graduates work in senior management or above. It can provide you with a great business network – throughout your studies you will get to know and interact with future senior managers from a wide range of sectors and geographical regions. It can give you a more holistic perspective – giving you an improved overview of the business world, a deeper understanding and a certain receptiveness to the subtle changes in the work/business environment. It will also dramatically improve your skills and knowledge acquisition – the demands MBA studies places upon you far exceed the demands under-graduate work or the majority of other post-graduate courses placed upon students. The upside to that is that the courses are structured in a way that allows students to gradually increase their skill-set and knowledge which provides the confidence to tackle any business situation. But what elements of an MBA can enhance the employability, skills, knowledge and value to an employer, and what value can an MBA graduate provide for an employer?
Typical modules within an MBA programme include:
The aims are to provide students with a broad theoretical and practical understanding of key concepts and issues in organisational behaviour, and in particular their implications for managing the organisations at a time of disjunctive change and the globalisation of markets.
To succeed in this module, an MBA graduate has proved they are highly collaborative, multi-disciplinary and methodologically diverse. They will have an in-depth knowledge of resource management and performance, contemporary employment relations, how to manage a diverse workforce, an understanding of the new roles and careers in modern organisations and worker well-being. And these are rare skills that are becoming invaluable to employers.
This is designed to introduce the concepts of operations management, and to illustrate the strategic significance of operational capabilities. Also, to demonstrate the value of understanding the critical interfaces between key business functions, and to provide familiarity with the language, concepts and application of operational management tools and analysis.
Projects now span multiple markets, multiple locations and multiple clients. Operations management programmes will teach employees the project and programme management skills necessary to break the complex down into clear steps and make sure that everything happens at the correct cost, when it should, and how it should.
Business, ethics and responsibility
Corporate responsibility and business ethics are no longer niche subjects. Today’s managers need a sound knowledge of basic ethics approaches to business in order to build reputations for their companies and themselves. Stakeholders expect managers to be able to show responsibility for company goals and strategies as well as for their business environment and society.
There are a number of ways an organisation can make a positive change towards responsible business practices, and to manage the social, environmental and economic impact their business has, and this module teaches graduates how to look beyond the balance sheet and focus on how their employer can help society and the environment.
In this module, students not only learn relevant theoretical models relating to management and leadership, they will also learn how to assess and adapt individual behaviour with respect to a range of management and leadership styles, competencies and attributes.
As leading management consultant Peter Drucker once said: “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations”, and it’s that kind of leadership that an MBA programme aims to inculcate in its graduates.
Innovation and entrepreneurship
This module provides students with an understanding of the entrepreneurial process and the development of new ventures. It’s likely to cover how to protect innovative ideas for the betterment of the organisation, and conceptual foundations are matched with practical training to enable students to formulate and explore entrepreneurial strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
From the perspective of both employee and employer, this is arguably the most important element of an MBA programme. MBA graduates with enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurial skills are a key asset to any company as they will be able to spot gaps in the market, they can demonstrate the commercial value of activity, they can showcase their strengths by demonstrating a capacity for independent work and original thinking, as well as sound business sense and a keen interest in the market that their employer operates in, and in how that market can be broadened.
Entrepreneurialism involves spotting an unexploited opportunity and making the most of it – essentially, identifying a gap in the market and filling it. However, it can also be about trying something new or improving a process to increase efficiency or boost results. This skill is effectively a combination of competencies, including: commercial awareness, creative and innovative thinking, prioritisation and time management, problem solving and negotiation and persuasiveness skills. To conclude, innovation, entrepreneurialism and alternative approaches to business practices gained via an accredited and internationally recognised MBA programme (which combines the theoretical and the practical) can certainly be beneficial to both employee and employer.
But it is just one element of an MBA programme that can enhance the employability for graduates and also become an important asset to an employer.