The number of MBA’s offered is constantly growing. So if you have decided to go back to university and expand your competences by doing an MBA, you are certainly on the right track. MBA graduates continue to be in high demand. Not only do more companies plan to hire in 2012, they plan to hire at similar or increased levels when compared to 2011, according to responses to the 2011 Year-End Poll of Employers of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Moreover, nearly a third (32%) of companies planning to hire MBAs in 2012, expect to increase the annual base salary when compared to 2011. So if anything, an MBA is an investment which pays off in the long run. Yet, applying to a b-school does not amount just to choosing the most popular program.
Steps to Choosing the Right MBA for You
1. Why do you want to do an MBA?
When you have finally decided that now is the right time to do an MBA. In this first step, you need to establish the three main reasons why you want to pursue an MBA. Are you looking for a complete career change? Do you want to change job function or industry? Obviously, you will have more than three questions and several possible answers to each one. One of the first entries will be your GMAT score.
2. Where Do You Want to Work?
Now you begin to think about all the places where you would like to live and work. The world offers lots of different weather systems and climate patterns, not to mention a range of different cultural viewpoints associated with any given location, so it might be better to start with your career interests. If you are driven by the world of finance and investments, you might want to consider the cities where the markets are based, Or, if you are attracted to the world of luxury and fashion, then you might look towards that.
3. Getting the right focus
Some people, it seems, know what they want to do almost from birth and cannot wait to start doing it. If you know your strengths, whether it be in entrepreneurship, finance or general management, and more importantly, you want to build on them, doing an MBA is an excellent means of achieving your goal. Once you know which skills you want to focus on, you are in a better position to consider which kind of general management MBA is right for you. That's because nearly all general management MBA programs offer far more than the core management skills. Hospitality Management or even the very select wine business. If you want to fulfill the dream of a lifetime and switch to a career in an industry in which you have no previous experience, then a Specialized MBA might be just for you.
4. Full-time or Part-time?
If you want to advance your career in your company or sector or want to make your career in a different part of the globe, a full-time MBA is probably the ideal choice. You will find yourself immersed in a course of study that will mark a profound turning point. For example, say you want to improve your team-building skills; a full-time MBA can do just that. Part-time MBA program are the ideal choice for professionals who do not want to give up thriving careers to attend a school that may be a continent away from their jobs. The part-time option is for those people who want to advance their careers.
5. National or International?
To say the entire experience of an MBA is bigger than the sum of its courses raises the interesting question of what kind of experience is suitable for you. Do you prefer a local business school to a foreign destination Even if the same criteria were even further conditioned on your continuing to work, you could still choose a modular MBA program with campuses in different countries. At the very least, you could go for an online MBA program that is open to international students.
6. Return on Investment
How to enhance the return on investment of an MBA is the big question among most MBA students. Fortunately, the return on investment is indeed rapid for the vast majority of graduates, with the average return being three to six years. In calculating the rate of return, candidates should also consider whether as a rule the business-schools with the highest tuition rates offer the best return on investment.
7. Rankings of B- School
Before applying to business schools, most prospective MBA candidates consider the rankings such as the Financial Times and Which MBA (Economist Intelligence Unit) and Business Week , With the large variation in business school rankings, it is no wonder that prospective MBA candidates often raise questions about rankings at Access MBA Fairs. Candidates should match their criteria to the top schools in the rankings, while considering the consistency with which their selected schools fall within a given range over the past five years. In addition, candidates are advised to use the Access MBA search tool for MBA program.
8. Contacting Schools
School visits are also important. Make sure you have been given all the information that business schools provide. By requesting brochures and other hand-outs, you can glean facts and figures about the schools on your list. Brochures often contain key information about tuition, class composition and electives, making them required reading for candidates.
9. Confirming Your Selection
You are clear with all facts and figures. Now is the time to sit down with an MBA expert such as a member of the Access MBA Staff who will confirm your choices. As well as your dream school, you are advised to select two schools to which you have a good chance of gaining admission.