A Master of Business Administration, or MBA, is one of the most misunderstood degree programs out there. In fact, the Economist once said, “The MBA is both revered and reviled.” While some people are huge advocates of the degree, others feel it is a waste of effort or a vehicle of greed.
Those who support MBA programs believe they are helpful to growing businesses in today’s global economy. Others believe MBAs offer mediocre courses, cost more than they should and that they’ve reached a saturation point in the market. Opponents of the MBA also believe these programs don’t really train students in the management and leadership skills they need for success, but rather emphasize analytical skills and business functions too heavily.
Yet the number of MBA programs continues to grow. In 2016, the number of applicants to MBA programs grew by 49%, with 57% of one-year MBA programs reporting growth in number of applications, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council.
Despite the myths that proliferate regarding MBA programs, people still seem to want to attain the degree.
Bottom line: Is this a legitimate graduate degree for a business professional and will it bring a return on investment? Or is it an unnecessary education best avoided? Understanding the truth behind some of the myths surrounding MBAs will help you make a better, more informed decision.
Myth 1: MBA Programs Promote Greed and a Love of Power
For someone who wants to run an ethical and moral-based business, this myth is perhaps the most distressing. While some MBA programs may indeed promote greed and a love of power, there are programs out there that support business from a Christian standpoint. The key is to find a program that aligns with your values.
Within an MBA program, you can develop the managerial and leadership skills you need to grow a successful business while also learning how to motivate people to reach their full potential. Your training will focus on how to make informed decisions so that you can be a better leader to your team.
Myth 2: MBA Programs Don’t Teach the Skills Employers Want
Another myth about MBA programs is that they no longer teach the skills employers want. Certainly not true. The right MBA program offers invaluable skills for the workplace. According to a survey by the Financial Times, today’s employers desire for MBA graduates to sharpen their soft skills. Instead of marketing or financial skills, businesses value employees who are able to:
- Work with a wide variety of people (76 percent of employers surveyed)
- Manage time effectively and ability to prioritize (72 percent of employers surveyed)
- Build, sustain and expand a network of people
- Solve complex problems
Employers are now more accepting of online programs as they seek qualified candidates to fill positions. Many online universities are accredited by other associations, with the academics being just as rigorous as an on-campus program.
Myth 3: You Only Need an MBA if You Manage Other People
Though people in management can benefit from an MBA, the truth is MBA programs are quite versatile. Many offer a number of different concentrations to let the student tailor their education to their career goals. You can pursue an MBA with concentrations in areas like healthcare or marketing instead of leadership or management.
MBA graduates are some of the most diverse in the world of business, and the training they receive positions them well for a wide range of career opportunities, not just for management and leadership opportunities. If you are looking to learn how to think through complex problems, lead creatively and make business decisions ethically, you can benefit from an MBA.
Myth 4: MBAs are Only for Male Students
Historically, it was men who pursued MBA degree programs. But this trend is shifting. A growing number of female students are pursuing MBA programs. Part of the reason for this is the increasing number of online MBA programs. The flexibility of those programs appeals to women, especially those who are in the role of caretaker. Though only about 38 percent of MBA graduates are women today, this number is steadily increasing as schools are focusing their recruitment efforts on a more diverse pool of potential applicants.
Myth 5: Online MBA Programs are Inferior
This myth has two parts. Some people claim that the academics of online MBA programs are inferior to traditional on-campus curriculum. Others claim that the faculty teaching online programs are subpar. Both of these are untrue. Today, you can earn an MBA from a university completely online, with both a rigorous curriculum as well as highly skilled faculty who want to help you succeed.
If you find an accredited program, you may discover that it’s even more challenging than a traditional one due to the nature of online education. You must have self-discipline and self-motivation to complete an online program successfully.
At ACU Online, we employ a team of academic and business leaders, many of whom are actively practicing in their fields, to teach our online programs. We have created an environment that encourages students and professors alike to build a network around themselves that they can tap into as they progress in their careers. ACU Online’s MBA program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the highest accreditation body for schools of business.
Are you interested in learning more? Reach out to discuss ACU Online’s Master of Business Administration program designed for busy working adults, backed by solid Chrisitan values and ethics. Contact ACU Online today at 855-219-7300 or acu.edu/online.