MBA skill set in demand – Metro US

MBA skill set in demand

With greater career mobility, pay increases and a skill set that makes graduates strong business leaders, the benefits of an MBA degree can be hard to pass up.

Among other things, an MBA degree can teach you crucial leadership, resource and people-management skills that are in demand for a large number of business organizations.

Leslee Harden, director of the MBA program at the Edwards School of Business in Saskatoon, says the best quality of an MBA degree is its holistic nature.

“I don’t think there’s any debate that an MBA is a ubiquitous degree — any organization can use someone with the kind of education an MBA can bring. Not only does an MBA allow access to careers within varies organizations, but across industries as well,” Harden said.

A recent study by U.S. human resources firm Accountemps showed that about 80 per cent of senior management staff at corporations and financial firms hold MBA degrees, suggesting the degree is considered by many to be a requirement for senior leaders. Figures from several sources, including businessweek.com, show a potential salary increase post-MBA to be anywhere from 30 to 80 per cent.

Harden says beyond the expected pay increase, an MBA can let technically skilled people such as scientists and engineers move into lucrative managerial roles and let others jump on senior positions that open up within an organization.

“An MBA degree is all about understanding the connections within business and managing people, money and processes to make effective business decisions — any business can use that,” Harden said.

Jacquelin Thayer Scott, former president and current professor at the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton University, says many MBA students come into the degree through job experiences rather than pre-planning — a good thing since that makes for a much more natural progression into the skills the degree teaches.

“A lot of graduates didn’t initially see themselves as managers. They worked at an organization where eventually they did a good job and the boss asked them to take on management responsibilities — that’s when they suddenly realized they didn’t know how to manage,” Scott said.

She says networking is a huge part of today’s global business climate, so make sure to forge connections in the classroom.

“Take the opportunity in the classroom to get to know those students from other countries because you’re creating a personal network that can be really valuable,” Scott said.