Your MBA Degree

A Master of Business Administration Degree is the most popular Master’s degree in the United States in recent years. It is seen as a ticket to a good living for anyone who can achieve that level of education, and the course of study is now offered in almost every country in the world.

History of the MBA

The Master of Business Administration course has an interesting history: the first such course ever offered was at the Harvard Graduate School of Business in 1908. Up until then, there were two American schools that offered a precursor to the MBA course – the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, but the first full MBA program was offered by Harvard.


The popularity of the Harvard Graduate School of Business and its MBA course grew quickly, and by the early 1930s, the annual enrollment was over one thousand. This prompted other universities to offer their own versions of the MBA program, such as the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the Sloan Fellows Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1950, the first MBA Program was offered outside of the United States. The course was available at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. The MBA degree proved so popular that it gradually spread all over the world, and today it is possible to obtain an MBA online, or to take an Executive MBA course with an emphasis on Global Trade. The variety of programs offered allows for a degree of specialization within a specialty, and the accessibility of the program has resulted in thousands upon thousands of graduates hoping that their diploma will allow them to have a lucrative career.

MBA Prerequisites

Before you can begin your MBA program, you must first have a Bachelor of Arts degree, as well as a good amount of work experience. Your undergraduate grade point average and academic transcripts will play a part in ensuring your acceptance, as will the scores you achieve on your entrance exam. You will need a good resume, with a significant amount of work experience and good references. Always remember that a history of volunteer work, community involvement, leadership skills, and letters of recommendation will help with a lot of schools. In almost every school, you will also have to do well in a personal interview, so learning about the things that are being looked for by the interviewers will be immensely helpful. You will want to demonstrate to the school that you will not only be able to handle the course load, you will also be an asset to the school’s community, and serve as a good example to other students. There are a few schools that do not require an undergraduate degree, but not very many. These schools may accept someone as a student who has a great deal of work experience, does well on the entrance exam, has letters of recommendation from previous or current employers, and aces the interview, for example. It is always a good idea to research the school you wish to attend and find out what their entrance criteria are so that you can do your best to meet them.

Choosing the right MBA Program

Since there are many different types of learning programs to help you get your MBA degree, you will almost always be able to choose a program that meets your criteria for time, intensity, and outcome. You can choose a full time MBA course load, which takes two years to complete, or a part time program that allows you to hold down a job and attend classes in the evenings and/or on weekends. The second option may take longer, but you will still achieve your goal if you work hard. There are MBA degree courses offered in the form of modules, which means you would attend classes full time for a short period (say two weeks) and then have a period where no attendance is required. The online MBA course option is becoming very popular, since it gives students more flexibility in regards to time management, although it is best to take an online MBA from an established school with a good reputation rather than from a for-profit school, since prospective employers tend to be a bit suspicious of the quality of education one can obtain online. The online MBA programs offered by many accredited schools with excellent reputations are now understood to be every bit as good as the full-time programs, but the for-profit schools that offer MBA degrees do not always measure up to expectations.

MBA for Business professionals

If you are already a business manager or executive, the Executive MBA Degree might be the right fit for you. This type of MBA program was developed to enhance the education and performance levels of those who are already in management positions, so the program is not only shorter than the full MBA program, it is also designed to allow students to maintain a full-time job while working towards their degree. There are full-time Executive MBA programs which are one year long, and many executives are allowed to take a one year sabbatical from their jobs in order to complete the course. No matter what your scheduling limitations are, there are so many different options offered in the various MBA courses, that you will almost always be able to find a course that fits your needs.

In the regular two-year MBA program, the first year is devoted to learning the basic, universal concepts that apply to every business. These core subjects include things like accounting, human resource management, business ethics, and corporate governance. Often, these courses are divided into two levels – level one is covered in the first year, and level two, which is usually more in-depth, in the second year. There are elective courses available to each student, and the subjects of the electives often cover things like international business operations, business law, market research, and managing non-profit enterprises. This allows a degree of specialization by the student, so that their education can reflect their future career plans.

MBA Dissertations

The largest task for most MBA degree programs is the thesis or dissertation. The student must pick a subject, and complete an in-depth project that addresses that subject, thoroughly analyzes it, and provides a critical review of the subject. Some programs allow students to complete a major project instead of a dissertation, which gives the student a chance to solve a real-life problem in their company, as well as using their careful documentation of their work as their final assignment for their MBA degree. The final thesis or dissertation can take a huge amount of time and effort, and is the crowning achievement for the MBA student.

The last step in earning your MBA degree is the final exam. The Major Field Test for MBAs (MFT-MBA) is the standard test used by many accredited universities in the United States. This test is the most commonly used one in the US, but other countries have different exams. All of the exams, however, are designed to test a student’s knowledge and comprehension of business methods, best practice, and common procedures, and by all accounts is a very difficult exam to do well on if you have not studied the course material extensively.

There are many career paths available to a person holding an MBA degree. The course can give you the education you need to become a financial analyst, an entrepreneur, a project manager, or a department director. The electives that you choose to take within the framework of the MBA course can slant your education towards the career that you have chosen to enter, allowing you to specialize within your chosen field.

Global MBA Degrees

The MBA degree program is offered in dozens of countries all over the globe. The course is essentially the same in every country, although there does tend to be more of an emphasis on global trade in countries other than the United States. The accreditation bodies may have different names, but they play the same role. Laws may be different in other countries – for instance, India has a law that says that only universities can award degrees to students, so the Indian business schools cannot issue a degree, they must call it a post graduate diploma instead.

Wherever you decided to take your MBA course, you will pay a significant amount of money for it. The most expensive MBA degree in the world can be obtained from Columbia University in the United States for a mere $168,307.00 if you so choose, and that is a conservative estimate. The cost of living in New York City is probably much higher than calculated in the cost of the degree. Most institutions do not charge that much for a degree, but you will not get an MBA degree anywhere in the United States for under a hundred thousand dollars. In countries where higher education is less expensive, it may be possible to earn your MBA degree for less than half of what it would cost in the United States.

The MBA degree has lost some of its popularity in recent years due to the financial crash of 2008. Since financial analysts were supposedly trained to manage finances and see what the trends indicated for the future, the blame for the financial fiasco has been placed at their collective door, under the premise that they should have known better than to allow such a catastrophe to happen. Since 2008, enrolment for MBA degrees is down – partly because fewer people are in a financial position that allows them to pay that much for a degree.