Times are changing and no more so than in business, where the recent recession and the arrival of The Generation Y has made many of us to consider following an MBA very seriously.
Business management is booming, especially in the world's fastest growing economies. Sri Lankans, more than ever before, are considering MBA's as a way of progressing their careers, earning better salaries and giving themselves great career flexibility.
But choosing the right MBA is a big decision. It's not just a matter of rankings but candidates working out what schools are right for them. So how does someone decide which is the right MBA? In order to select the right MBA candidates need to first select the right business school.
Selecting a Business school with "diversity"
As we enter the second decade of the 21st Century, with globalization at the core of business, diversity is the buzzword in Sri Lanka's top MBA business schools. The reason for this is that MBA classrooms are places of peer-driven learning.
The MBA course director at Oxford College of Business says: "Learning is very interactive and experiential in the MBA classroom, and students learn as much from their peers as they do from the textbooks. For this to be successful you need people from all types of industry backgrounds. Engineers may rub shoulders with lawyers, doctors, marketers and those who may have managed a family business. But what binds these together is work experience! Most top business schools in the world select candidates with at least three or four years in some kind of management position. "
"In the case of our MBA the average is five years. The existence of CEO, directors and senior managers from diverse industry backgrounds is the one reason why Oxford College of Business is rated as one of the best MBA providers in the country."
However, for applicants to be sure that they aren't simply wasting their time applying to unsuitable institutions there are a set of questions they must ask themselves.
Firstly, MBA aspirants must know what is it that they hope to achieve from an MBA.
According to the TopMBA.com Applicant Survey, which questions thousands of MBA candidates each year the main reasons to purse an MBA are to change careers, to improve promotion prospects within a company or industry, to increase international flexibility, to start a company and, the obvious favourite, to improve earning potential.
Secondly, should you select a 12month or Traditional MBA?
12Month MBA programmes are aimed at senior managers who want to develop their career further. They are similar to traditional MBAs but differ in their schedules, rigidity of curriculum. All MBA programmes offered in the country have a general management focus. The biggest single difference is in the wealth of offerings in a 12month MBA. With a faculty consisting of industry experts as opposed to full-time academics in traditional MBA programmes. Students are able to apply what they study in class the very next day in their work environment. Traditional MBA models involve several individual subjects being offered generally over a 12 week period. For a busy executive, this makes their learning susceptible to external factors such as unexpected work and personal issues that could occur during this time.
The 12 Month MBA is offered as one subject per month. This means that students need to focus on just one subject at a time, in addition to their usual personal and professional obligations. The fact that the examination is just a month away from the start of each subject has contributed to high completion rates, as the students are continuously motivated. Applicants looking at career progression should select a 12Month MBA programme as such MBA's are directed towards career progression. However if a prospective student's objective is to be became a scholar or an academic practitioner a more traditional MBA is a better choice.
Thirdly, learn what the 'right fit' for schools is and see if that suits you.
All business schools are not the same. Although they seem to offer the same MBA qualification on paper, each has a different approach, school culture and MBA specializations.
An example of the culture of the school might be comparing Harvard Business School, which famously encourages a very competitive culture between students.
Oxford College of Business (OCB) on the other hand has a strong culture of 'Life Long Learning' inculcated into all its MBA students and being part of the Alumni is a very important part of joining the MBA programme. The OCB- AIB MBA Alumni organize regular alumni events where both past and present MBA students get a chance to meet and network with their peers who are mostly top corporate leaders representing the country's business community.
Most popular MBA in Sri Lanka
The 12 Month MBA offered by the Australian Institute of Business (AIB) in affiliation with Oxford College of Business is approved by University Grants Commission (UGC) and is the most popular MBA programme in the country today. The AIBA-MBA have been rated among the best in the world which is the main reason why the MBA programme offered by AIB is popular with students worldwide The Australian Institute of Business (AIB) MBA is a four star Post graduate degree and recognized by authorities both locally and internationally:
This is an honour shared by only a few of the world's elite business schools around the world.
While there is a place for rankings as a rough guide, MBA candidates should look far deeper at what a business school does before committing to applying there.
Candidates should get on a school's online forum, speak to alumni from schools that appeal to them, speak to the admissions people and faculty and the most effective option would be to ask their friends as to where they would recommend you to apply!
For more information contact Malindu Ranasinghe - 0714151547 or visit www.12monthmba.com.au