What an MBA Degree Is and What You Need to Know

By  //  May 10, 2021

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Young professionals aiming to enter the business world as promising leaders often consider applying to a top post-grad business school.

An MBA degree is an unofficial milestone for achieving corporate success and landing a C-suite job, but it’s also an instrumental asset for promising entrepreneurs.

 Types of MBA Degrees

B-schools offer a wide range of MBA programs that cater to those with varying levels of responsibilities. MBA degrees can be divided into three major types, as described below. 

Full-Time MBA Degrees

A full-time MBA degree is typically a two-year program that’s designed to give students a fresh start in pursuing a career. They are intensive programs that teach basic and advanced principles of business and skills that graduates can apply in any industry and company.

 Part-Time MBA Degrees

Part-time MBA degrees are better suited for students who are employed, already have a career path in mind, but need an MBA degree to move up the corporate ladder. In general, a part-time MBA program can take as little as two years to complete, depending on how many credits a student can pack into each semester.

Executive MBA Degrees

An executive MBA degree, or EMBA, is a highly specific program that’s designed to cater to C-suite employees, senior managers, and others who are already in the workforce. EMBA programs are typically held during the evening via online sessions and in-class tutorials and lasts two years at minimum. 

What Are Online MBA Programs?

The rising need for business education in developing countries has been one of the driving forces behind countless universities’ decision to open online MBA programs. Schools like the Kenan-Flagler Business School, Questrom School of Business, Warrington College of Business, and Warwick Business School offer flexible MBA programs for local and international applicants who work full time.

However, there’s a stigma that online degree recipients are, for whatever reason, not as qualified as their in-class counterparts. This stigma has been debunked over and over by both schools and online degree holders who have landed their dream jobs.  

What Is an MBA Degree?

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. For most people, an MBA is usually the highest post-grad degree they aim for, but it’s not entirely unheard of for students to continue their studies to receive a Ph.D. or to become a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).

Primary MBA Application Requirements

To enroll in a top-notch business school, you’ll typically have to fulfill a myriad of requirements that proves to the enrollment staff that you’re a qualified candidate. In a general sense, applicants will have to fulfill these primary requirements before becoming eligible for enrollment.

A Bachelor’s Degree

First and foremost, MBA applicants must show proof that they have obtained a four-year bachelor’s or associate’s degree from an accredited school, both locally and internationally. While having a BBA degree can give you a leading edge in enrolling in an MBA program, it’s not a hard requirement. Students from all kinds of educational backgrounds can be enrolled in an MBA program, provided that they meet the following requirements.

 Work Experience (Optional)

Another requirement that enrollment staff is looking for in potential MBA students is work experience. They’ll consider both how long you’ve worked and your position, which can play detrimental roles in your likelihood of enrollment. However, some MBA programs don’t require work experience at all, though they might place a greater emphasis on your GMAT or GRE scores.

GMAT or GRE Scores

Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) results are a must-have for MBA applicants. On average, world-class B-schools require a minimum GMAT score of 700, but some are more flexible and will accept a minimum of 600. As for Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, some schools aim for an average of 320 with minimum Verbal and Quantitative Comparison scores of at least 160. Miraculously, some of the top B-schools in the world are waiving GMAT and GRE scores in 2021. 

What Do MBA Programs Teach?

MBA programs typically offer introductory and advanced courses in every aspect of business, including but not limited to marketing, strategy, ethics, and finance. Many top-notch in-class B-schools also offer students the unique opportunity to learn from the best business practitioners by visiting companies or joining seminars led by well-known businesspeople.

Ultimately, graduates are expected to understand the fundamentals of starting and managing their own businesses. But perhaps the best skills students can obtain are fine-tuned business intuition and knowing how to react to changing trends.

Deciding on Your Own: Should You Get an MBA?

So, is an MBA degree for you? Seeing as how different MBA programs cater to students with varying levels of responsibilities, there will be at least one MBA program that meets your every need, whether you’re planning on transitioning to a different industry, trying to run your own business, or need up-to-date technical know-how as a C-suite employee.