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How Do I Get a Master of Business Administration?

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Despite the declining popularity of the Master of Business Administration, as reported by the Wall Street Journal on 4 July 2012, earning an MBA degree is still an accomplishment. As the Wall Street Journal reported, U.S. institutions of higher learning are beginning to shift toward offering more Master’s programs in business that are highly specialized, and that often fell under the umbrella of MBA programs. Nevertheless, MBA programs remain a must have in the eyes of many employers in corporate America.

Those interested in widening their career aspirations may still be well served earning an MBA degree, but how do they go about earning that diploma? The answer to that question will vary from student to student.

First Step

Before any student can earn an MBA degree they must have all the prerequisites completed to enroll into the program they have chosen. Few, if any, schools will admit students who have not completed an undergraduate degree program first. MBA programs could look for students with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting, economics, finance, or other business related programs first. Depending upon the school, any number of degree non-business degree programs could also be applicable. The first step for any student should be completing their bachelor’s degree program.

Choosing a School

Many students will complete a four year undergraduate program and proceed into the workplace, pursuing an entry-level business position with their Bachelor’s degree. When the time comes to enhance their desirability, many students will look for a business school to attend that offers an MBA program. When deciding upon a school, individuals should choose a school that best fits their specific needs. This means the school should offer class sizes and degree options that match their career aspirations, while also being affordable and reputable. Students should also find out if the school offers any areas of specialization within their MBA programs.

Determining the Right MBA Program

There are a variety of MBA programs and specializations available for students returning to school or continuing immediately after completing undergraduate study. What is right for one student is not going to be right for everyone. Those pushing on immediately after undergraduate study may seek to remain on-campus at their current institution assuming its business school offers an MBA.

On the other hand, graduates who have entered the workforce and are returning to improve their qualifications for employers may choose a different program. While it is always an option for these individuals to return to on-campus programs, full or part-time, there are other options as well. These options include online programs that can be completed in as few as two years or advanced MBA programs that can be completed in roughly one year, and program lengths vary.

There is no wrong way to earn a Master of Business Administration. The only right way to earn an MBA is to earn it in a manner that accommodates the individual pursuing the diploma. While online programs have often been viewed with skepticism in the past, as business professionals become more and more familiar with the offerings of online MBA programs, they are becoming more and more accepting of online MBA programs.

According to a CNN article, based upon a 2010 Excelsior College/Zogby International Survey, roughly 83% of business executives now view online MBA programs in the same light as on-campus programs.

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