What MBA should you take?

What MBA should you take?

student studying for her online mba program

Students considering an online MBA program in Canada are part of a growing community. In January 2019, monthly magazine Maclean’s identified reasons why Canada is a hotbed for MBA talent. Cosmopolitan communities like Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver provide avenues to international job opportunities from Japan to France. Canadian MBA students also emerge from strong secondary school settings that are ideal breeding grounds for future business leaders.

A 2017 article from TechCrunch also highlights why future entrepreneurs may want to learn their trades in Canada. The tech publication noted abundant government support for startups, favourable exchange rates, and quality of life as incentives for startups in the country. You can begin taking advantage of Canada’s business-friendly environment by choosing the right MBA specialization for your career. Aston University’s online MBA in Canada program offers specializations in organizational development and finance for students who arrive with experience in the workplace. Choosing an MBA specialization, however, is a personal decision that can be simplified using a few criteria.

Find opportunities in the trends

According to Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census, 33% of men and 18% of women with graduate degrees were MBA holders. These numbers can seem daunting for rising business professionals competing for mid-level and executive positions with their fellow graduates. A good way to choose which MBA program is right for you is to find gaps between supply and demand. In other words, if there are a lot of MBAs in one concentration, you may want to look elsewhere to pursue clearer paths and more room for innovation.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) published an Application Trends Survey Report in 2018 that detailed MBA applicant trends. This report indicated that MBA applications in Canada increased by 7.7% from 2017 to 2018 with 53% of all applicants in those years from outside of the country. The GMAC report notes that while MBA programs in Asia beat Canada with an 8.8% growth in applications, Canada finished ahead of Europe (3.2%) and the United States (-6.6%). Canada, in short, is fertile territory for MBA programs, students, and faculty.

GMAC’s analysis of MBA specialization trends reveals opportunities to select a program in high-demand areas. Applicants continue to flock toward data analytics specializations, while management and finance specializations have stayed static or declined. Businesses around the world still need managers and finance experts to keep their operations afloat. Aston University offers online MBA courses in these specializations to help you advance in overlooked fields.

Prepare for the road less traveled

Your choice of an MBA program can also be made by pursuing unconventional jobs for business graduates. After all, your MBA does not lock you into standard job tracks like accounting or finance. Courses in entrepreneurship and organizational development from Aston University’s online MBA program can translate into a variety of career choices. In August 2018, U.S. News & World Report identified seven nontraditional career paths for MBA holders that can help with your choice of graduate school specialization.

The professional sports world is an intriguing path for MBAs who want to use their analytical skills in a competitive field. Front office executives like Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow in Major League Baseball and Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in the National Basketball Association used their MBAs to rise through the ranks. The same competitive element also applies to the fashion, film, and television industries. You can use your MBA to gain employment with a college or university that needs assistance with program marketing and data analysis. U.S. News & World Report also notes that supply chain companies and restaurant groups look for MBA graduates because they are trained to look for growth opportunities and areas of inefficiency.

Follow your learning style

As a working professional, you likely know the types of educational situations where you thrive. You might be a hands-on learner who likes to tinker with ideas or a student who wishes to brainstorm with faculty and colleagues to understand concepts. Above all else, an MBA program should turn theory into practice to prepare you for the next steps in your career. A June 2013 article from U.S. News & World Report highlighted the different teaching styles used in MBA programs.

The standard lecture model is ideal for learners who can synthesize a professor’s words and assigned readings on the fly. The case method approach to teaching allows students who like to discuss practical examples of business theories with their colleagues. Experience-based learning creates opportunities for MBA students to network, experiment, and learn lessons in business settings. Aston University’s accredited online MBA program combines all of these learning methods to turn early-career professionals into business leaders.

Learn from other MBA students

The first MBAs were awarded in the early 20th century. After more than a century of MBA graduates, there is a lot of advice available for prospective graduate students. An easy way to seek this advice is to ask work colleagues, former professors, and family members about their experiences with business schools. The Economist also publishes a series of diaries from MBA students around the world as part of its “Which MBA?” series. These diaries provide invaluable lessons as you choose which MBA specialization fits your long-term needs.

Israeli student Evgeni Tsenter wrote a diary about choosing his MBA program based on its diverse students and offerings. American student Sean Jennings told readers about his experiences as a late-career MBA student pivoting toward the nonprofit world after time as a company founder. MBA student Isabelle Graveline spoke about how her experiences with the Indian business world taught her to always ask questions and keep her mind open. Alex Sheen told readers that he chose an online MBA program because it allowed him to connect with business students around the world. The experiences and lessons offered by other MBA students can help you make informed choices about your graduate school experience.

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