This can seem an overwhelming prospect – there’s a bewildering variety of MBA courses vying for your attention. Furthermore, when and if you decide on a program, they uniformly involve a significant investment – they can cost anywhere between $60-160,000 USD, and that’s before you factor in the time and energy involved for an on-average two year programme.
You may ask, is such an undertaking really worth it?
Together with the leading French business school, HEC Paris, we examine the benefits completing an MBA can provide, and discuss whether it may be the right choice for you.
A popular choice
Whether you are an employer or an employee, MBAs are popular in the corporate world. In April, a survey by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) showed that 9 out of 10 MBA graduates recommend the qualification to others, citing the motivation it provides, the career flexibility and the ensuing job prospects as benefits.
Employers are also big fans of MBA graduates. This year, a survey of international employers by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) revealed their attitudes towards graduates. 47 percent of surveyed employers considered themselves ‘Very Favourable’ towards MBA graduates, with another 40% considering themselves as ‘Favourable’.
Further examination of the AMBA survey reveals what exactly employers value about MBA graduates. Qualities identified in graduates, and rated most highly by employers included understanding of management principles, leadership and problem-solving skills. Time-management skills and ability with multiple languages were also considered skills that MBA graduates excelled in – especially those participating in an international programme.
Going by this data, completing an MBA seems to be a ‘no brainer for those seeking fast career progression. The time, money and energy required to complete the qualification seem a welcome trade for the upskilling provided, and the favorability it has among employers.
On the move: Undertaking an MBA can open up a world of career opportunities. Photo: Getty Images
Case Study: HEC Paris
For a better idea of how an MBA can benefit those seeking to move their career forward, let us examine one particular cohort from one program – in this case, the graduating class of 2021 from HEC Paris.
First, we should identify some important information about the class. 281 participants from 50 different countries made up the 2021 cohort. 34 percent of graduates were female, and 66 percent male. Almost half of the 2021 class hailed from the Asia and Oceania regions, followed by the Americas, Europe and finally, Africa. The average years of work experience prior to embarking on the MBA was six years. The course length for an HEC MBA is 16 months – as opposed to the usual 24.
Three months after graduating, 93% of the HEC Paris 2021 cohort had accepted a job offer. On average, in accepting those job offers these graduates almost doubled their pre-MBA salaries.
Some of the top recruiters for the 2021 cohort included Amazon, Hello Fresh, Microsoft and Deloitte – all thriving companies with an international reach.
Of course, a higher salary isn’t everything. Job satisfaction and flexibility also play an important role for many. 79 percent of HEC graduates changed their job sector following graduation and 67 percent changed their role, demonstrating the opportunities provided by the qualification – students were able to find a role that better suited their interests and passions.
An MBA also led to greater mobility for HEC Paris graduates. 68 percent of the cohort secured a job outside of their home country, beginning an international career and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many.
The sensible decision
For those wishing to progress their career, undertaking an MBA would appear to be the smart choice across a number of important metrics.
Whether it’s an increased salary, greater career flexibility or international mobility, the data demonstrates that the 2021 graduating class of HEC Paris have enjoyed all three.
Of course, not all MBAs are the same, and many have a particular focus, whether it be industry-specific or more focused on leadership skills. It is important to do your research before making any decision and to talk to alumni to get a better understanding of what you’re about to take on.
For an MBA program with an international focus and a global reputation for quality teaching, you may like to consider HEC Paris. Based near an international centre of culture and commerce, students enjoy world-class teaching across sixteen months of industry experience, and are able to access a strong alumni network. The school also offers flexibility in terms of learning, with a number of delivery options to suit your schedule. One of Europe’s top three business schools, HEC Paris demonstrates excellence in MBA education.
Choosing to undertake an MBA is not a decision to be taken lightly – but as we’ve seen, the positives can more than make up for the costs, financial or otherwise.