When is the right time in your career to do your MBA? Stellenbosch Business School Skip to main content
When is the right time in your career to do your MBA?
An MBA remains the ultimate degree in the world of business.

An MBA remains the ultimate degree in the world of business. As far as academic qualifications in management go, this is the pinnacle, and you will need to know you are in the right space to start your academic pursuit. Here we give you 5 reasons why it may be a good time in your career to begin your MBA journey.

The MBA specialisations align with your current career goals

As your career progresses, you create opportunities to achieve new goals and explore new ventures. You may discover that an MBA will be the best way to reach your current career aspirations – whether it is as a generalist, specialist or a position in finance. If you are at this stage, it is time to start seriously considering the highly-acclaimed degree as a next step.

General Management – This is likely the most popular MBA specialisation, and is great for developing an all-round effective business arsenal.

International Business – This area is beneficial if you want to work abroad, or work in a global company with offices in different locations.

Strategic Management – This discipline will prepare you for long-term business planning and back-up planning.

Finance – This specialisation is of course invaluable for bankers, financial controllers, chief financial officers, and finance managers. The courses will focus on Statistics, Data Analysis, Accounting, and more.

Marketing – This area focuses on businesses that rely on promoting products and services.

Entrepreneurship – This specialist area is best if you have an original business idea and think about launching a start-up.

Human Resources – This area delves into conflict resolution, team development, motivation, defining job responsibilities and more.

[Source: MastersPortal: “10 Very Good Reasons to Do an MBA Degree”]

The University of Stellenbosch Business School (Stellenbosch Business School) has three specialist streams that are conducted in the 2nd year of your MBA programme. They are designed to help you tailor your MBA to your existing career, so that you may continue on your path to success.

Lead professionally in the health care industry through the MBA in Health Care Leadership stream (MBA HCL). Or opt for the stream in Managing International Organisations (MBA MIO), which will help you thrive in complex global institutions such as the UN and WHO. Our new MBA stream in Project Management (MBA PM) will enable you to become proficient in both business leadership and the scarce skill of project management.

You’re ready to accelerate your career path

Your career journey is, by definition, an element of your life where you need to progress over time. Your current role may be fulfilling and even an achievement within itself. However, you will inevitably reach a stage where it is imperative to move on and advance your career. Florida International University provides three scenarios in which an MBA can help you move forward in your career.

You feel stuck in your position
If you’re finding it hard to get promoted to a higher-level position, you may want to consider earning an MBA degree. Feeling stagnant in your career can cause unhappiness and is one of the main reasons professionals further pursue their education. Taking some time to go back to school and enhancing your skillset and knowledge could be just the boost you need to pursue the roles you want.

You’d like an increase in your salary
What if you are satisfied with your current position, but are interested instead in a pay bump? According to an article published by the Wall Street Journal in late 2018, MBA graduates saw a salary that was, on average, double what they were earning before beginning their programme.

You’ve been promoted to a managerial role
Already being promoted could be another reason as to why you decide to pursue a business administration degree. An MBA curriculum will help you understand the language of business and give you the skills needed to rise to the occasion. You’ll gain confidence in your decision making, feel prepared to participate in important meetings, and strategically lead a team. 

You’re starting a business

Your own enterprise can only thrive when you give it your all in terms of dedication and hard work. A PGDip in Business Management and Administration that culminates in an MBA could be the perfect theoretical backing you need to ensure that your efforts are focused in the correct areas for success. In fact, starting a business has become one of the top five motivations to study your MBA degree, according to Tomorrow’s MBA study by Carrington Crisp, supported by EFMD. Entrepreneurship was rated as the fifth most valuable piece of content in an MBA, up from 10th in the previous year’s study.

MastersPortal highlights three ways that an MBA supports the success of starting your own business.

  • MBA professors with real-life experience in starting a business can tell you the major traps you need to avoid and what you should do to make sure your company grows and remains stable over time.
  • You can find MBA colleagues who have similar interests. Share your ideas with them and see if you can form a common vision. It’s easier to succeed with your start-up if you have a reliable partner who has your back and vice versa.
  • You’ll learn how to communicate effectively and why it is essential for the success of any organisation. Whether you’re negotiating a contract with the suppliers or explaining your vision to prospective investors, knowing how to express your ideas clearly can make the difference between winning or losing the support and attention of your audience.

You can afford it without question

While the MBA is an elite business qualification that can boost your career tremendously, you need to be sure that there is no question the journey will be the best route to take in your career right now. It is a massive investment in more ways than one – you need to factor in the significant risks that come with the fees and time commitments.

Decide whether your personal life can “afford” this leap as well. Is your family or partner willing to take on the challenge of moving to a new city, state or even country? Are they willing to put their careers and lives on hold for this important step towards your future? It is advisable to have conversations with the important people in your life to determine whether this choice is feasible for everyone.
[Source: UNC Kenan-Flagler – “When is the right time for me to get an MBA?”]

You are sure that you are doing it for the right reasons

In addition to being sufficiently equipped to take on the fees and time investment, you will also need to consider whether an MBA is one hundred percent essential, and that there isn’t a more suitable alternative for you. In the opinion of the Harvard Business Review, if you’re in it for the wrong reasons, you might not get the outcomes you want. However, you know you’re on the right track if you are pursuing an MBA to:

Future-ready your career
Students looking to develop skills around influence often have unique opportunities to do so during the MBA experience. An MBA could be key in acquiring the experience you need to have a competitive advantage in the job market — and this is not a bad reason to pursue one.

Explore new industries or functions
Business school is a great time to gain exposure to peers, faculty, and a network of alumni from many professional backgrounds — as well as class projects and case studies that dive deeply into different industries and sectors. Once you’re in it, you want to choose the classes, opportunities, and events that satisfy your ambitions and makes the best use of your time.

Accelerate your career path
Graduates from top MBA programs often land positions that put them on an accelerated path into leadership. The reason is simple: Employers expect graduates of these programmes to have the academic, interpersonal, and leadership skills to solve complex business problems.

Expand and diversify your network
Most MBA programmes offer access to networking events hosted by clubs and employers, as well as affinity networks and student-led conferences — all opportunities that could expand your reach, and therefore, your chances of success in the business world.

Stellenbosch Business School’s triple-accredited MBA programme is designed to give you the best opportunities in your business career, in whichever industry in the world you find yourself in. Find out more on our website if you would like us to help you pursue the most recognised degree in business. If you are not entirely convinced that you are ready to take on the MBA, find the perfect academic programme for you with Stellenbosch Business School’s programme finder.

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