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MBA? There's an Easier Way...

A young woman sits comfortably on the floor studying on her laptop

At the start of the year, many of us set a string of resolutions with the best intentions of bettering ourselves over the coming months. These resolutions are often aimed at improving our general health or careers.

And if you are looking to boost your career this year, now is the time to brush up on your business skills. Try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Is your salary above or below the median for your current role? (find out at payscale.com)
  • Did your last pay rise beat the national average for your role?
  • Is there a realistic prospect of moving up the ladder any time soon?
  • Are your peers getting more promotions and better jobs than you?
  • Have you acquired any news skills outside of your current role in the past year?
  • Do you feel challenged and/or excited in your job?

If your answers to most of these questions are negative, it might be time to rethink your career options.

One of the most comprehensive business courses you can take is an MBA – a Masters in Business Administration. These courses incorporate all the core disciplines needed to move into the very top echelons of business. Accounting, finance, marketing, economics, operations management, organizational behaviour, ethics, business law, entrepreneurship, quantitative and qualitative research and business history are the centrepiece subjects covered in an MBA. These, in turn, are linked with the integrative subject – strategy. These essential skills can make moving up the ladder a lot easier. That the CEO’s of hundreds of the top businesses have MBAs (as do tens of thousands in their top management teams) is proof enough of the worth of acquiring this extended range of business knowledge.

Today, over 1,000 business schools around the world offer MBA programmes, enrolling some 100,000 new graduates each year. While there is little doubt that an MBA delivers value to those who take it, not to mention the organizations they end up working for, the name of the particular business school also speaks volumes. Realistically, is an MBA from the hundreds of business schools in the lower echelons worth paying tens of thousands of pounds for?

The way we learn is changing, and traditional courses like MBAs are no longer the only path to success. Access to learning materials is increasingly more convenient and cost-effective.

In 1987, Aspen University in Denver launched the world’s first 100% online MBA. By 2018, according to accreditation body AACSB international, 140 top business schools now offer online MBA programmes. This, in turn, means there has been an explosion of great online teaching resources, which can be easily tapped into (if you know how).

You can watch and listen as Professor Porter explains how his ‘Five Forces’ strategy model works, exactly as he might have taught it in his Harvard lecture theatre. You can access hundreds of hours of free video lectures given by other distinguished business school professors, from top schools including London Business School, Imperial, Oxford and Ashton.

To make the best use of this veritable colossus of business knowledge you need both the framework of the enduring core business skills and access to the best free lecture material. My book, The 30 Day MBA, can provide you with a flavour of how all the top business schools teach, and the areas in which they excel. Download teaching notes, read up on the latest research and watch faculty teach. Each chapter focuses on a core business principle, and the book includes an ‘online video courses and lectures’ section with relevant classroom/lecture theatre presentations and discussions delivered by faculty members of leading business schools.

To get a flavour of the 100 or so lecture links available in The 30 Day MBA, check out Wharton’s introduction to marketing course. Wharton is consistently ranked in the world’s top three business schools and only accepts nine per cent of applicants. Additionally, get a first- hand insight into finance from Nobel Laureate Yale Professor, Robert Shiller.

The Fitness Industry Association reckons that a third of people who join a gym in January will throw in the towel by Summer. However, those who acquire their own fitness equipment tend to go the distance.

It’s never been easier (and cheaper) to study the fundamentals of business. Learn on the go with The 30 Day MBA as your guide and get access to presentations and resources from some of the world’s best business schools.