If you're looking to advance to a senior management role either
in your current career path or an alternative one, a Masters in
Business Administration (MBA) from an internationally renowned
business school is an invaluable qualification to attain.
The MBA provides a sound background in key business areas that
help aspiring managers and business leaders take on new challenges,
including setting up their own enterprises. MBA candidates
gain an understanding and appreciation of the science of
management, HR and organisational behaviour, entrepreneurship,
leadership, strategy, international business, economics,
accounting, finance, operations management, marketing and project
Full-time students will also usually undertake a placement
within a business where they will be responsible for managing a
As with most things worth having, it is not a course of action
to be taken lightly - don't underestimate the commitment
required to complete the MBA successfully. MBA courses at the
leading institutions are rigorous and the shorter the course the
more taxing it is likely to be.
Here are some key things to think about as part of your planning
- What are your goals and aims in undertaking the MBA? Do you
have a short and medium term career plan? How does the
MBA fit into this plan?
- Is it a logical stepping stone towards your goals?
Conduct thorough research to find the type of MBA programme that
best matches your career goals, lifestyle and financial
- Are you and your family aware of the impact your study time
will have on your family life? For example, you may be studying
abroad; possibly away from your family.
- Studying part-time and combining this with a job will help with
finances but you need to take into account between 15-20 hours
study per week, in addition to your preparatory work and
participating in study groups. You need to be very organised and
driven to succeed.
- Can you commit for the period of time required? Most full-time
MBA courses run for anything between 10 months and two years;
part-time students can expect to do course work for at least five
years over weekends and evenings. Some MBAs can be tailored
to specific roles and business sectors and this may determine the
length of the study time.
- If you're thinking about enrolling in a fulltime course, how
will you finance your study as well as your normal household
expenses while studying? Increasingly employers are willing
to fund or part-fund the cost of MBA study because they are looking
to promote from within the organisation and keen to develop talent
and harness new skills. Support ranges from paying for course
materials to full funding. Even if your organisation does not
promote support for MBA study, it is worth speaking with your line
manager and/or HR department to see if the organisation will
consider sponsoring you.
- If your employer is willing to sponsor your study, will this
support be tied to a guarantee that you will return to the company
after gaining your MBA? If so, how does this fit into your
career master plan?
- If you are self-funding your study, look into scholarship
opportunities, as well as loans. Traditionally MBAs have been
funded through loans. Banks have been willing to lend to
post-graduates in the knowledge that once the MBA has been attained
there would be a substantial increase in expected salary.
- Also, look into financial support from the business schools you
are considering - some provide lending schemes to help with
If you are a young engineer looking to develop your management
knowledge and skills and considering an MBA, please look at the
rest of the SMF
Scholarship sections of this
website applications for a £30,000 scholarship are considered on an
ongoing basis, with up to ten awards made between August and
September each year.