Are you feeling stuck in your career? Are you looking for a way to move ahead? Education is still the best strategy for getting where you want to be professionally, whether you want to move ahead in your current field or switch to a new career entirely.
Earning an MBA or MBA certificate could open doors in your career by giving you the skills hiring managers want. You’ll gain hard business and finance skills as well as transferrable skills that can stand you in good stead if you’re a career changer. You’ll also build a valuable network of contacts, enjoy increased job security and even earn a higher salary. As a result, you can get ahead in your current career or make a successful transition into a new career.
Develop New Skills
Do you want to develop new business and finance skills but aren’t sure if you’re ready or willing to commit to earning an entire MBA? Online business certification programs allow you to focus on building specific hard business skills in a graduate certificate setting. Most MBA certificate programs are graduate certificates that give students the equivalent of about half an MBA. You’ll take nine to 15 credits and finish in about a year. If you change your mind after you’ve started and decide you want an MBA after all, you can apply your certificate credits toward the full master’s degree.
What hard skills will you learn in a certificate program? Many of the same ones you’d learn in a regular MBA program; you’ll probably be taking many of the same business and finance core courses as MBA students at your school. You’ll learn how to create sales forecasts, write business plans and generate and read earnings reports. You’ll learn about accounting, marketing and statistics. You’ll pore over case studies to learn about business strategy and how to grow a business in a sustainable manner.
But many of the skills you’ll develop in business school classes won’t be hard skills. Soft skills, like communication and negotiation, are just as important in the business world. MBA students say that their classes taught them a lot about listening to others and respecting their views, seeing the big-picture perspective of a business or industry and negotiating with business partners.
Build New Contacts
As a student in business classes, you’ll have the chance to get to know many other people who will eventually go on to positions of leadership in the business world, whether that’s in the c-suite or in lower levels of management. If you take online classes, many of your cohort may already be working in the corporate world, taking MBA classes part-time on their own professional journeys. That means you’ll be forming connections with other professionals who can help you move up the ladder later on.
This is especially important if you want to use business classes as a stepping stone to a career change. It’s much easier to use an MBA to launch yourself into a more advanced role in a familiar field because you already have experience, skills and contacts to help you. You may even be able to move up within your current company.
However, to make a career change, you need to learn about the new industry and make new contacts in that field. You need to find out what skills hiring managers look for from candidates in that industry, and you may need to develop some further hard skills in addition to what you’re learning in business and finance classes. You may need to take advantage of internships and other opportunities to gain familiarity with and experience in the new field. You’ll need to work even harder than you otherwise might to attend informational interviews and industry events, read industry blogs, participate in industry clubs and otherwise develop the skills you’ll need to make hiring managers notice you.
If you’re looking for a feasible way to make a big change in your career, earning an MBA or an MBA certificate will definitely get you there. You’ll develop the business and leadership skills you’ll need to finally achieve the success you want. You can make the right career doors open for you – you just have to be willing to put in the time to make it happen.