What are Common Misunderstandings About MBA Degrees

Anyone planning an MBA course should be aware of these 5 misunderstandings

There are still different opinions about what an MBA program really brings. In companies, this study variant is particularly popular with HR managers, who like to use this type of training for employee loyalty.

In many cases, however, there are clearly misconceptions about the concept of training that, if successful, ends with an MBA. Employees, managers and HR managers alike often select study programs according to criteria that are based on misunderstandings. The journalist and MBA expert Bärbel Schwertfeger has summarized the five most common of them and these are to be presented in more detail below.

Misunderstanding number 1: Those who choose an MBA degree could actually also study business administration

The primary target group for an MBA course are academics who do not have a first degree in economics. During the course, the focus is on imparting management knowledge, personal development and optimizing individual leadership skills. In addition, after completing your first degree, you must have several years of well-founded professional experience.

The focus of an MBA course is also on developing solutions in a group in which each participant brings their personal experience to the table - after all, during the course of study you not only want to learn yourself, but also from each other.

Against this background, it is extremely important for a good MBA program that the participants are subject to a strict selection. As a rule of thumb, the more prestigious a business school is, the stricter the admission criteria are. As a result, this has an impact on the quality - after all, the more qualified the individual participants are, the greater the learning effect.

As an example of strict selection criteria, Stanford University should be mentioned here, which in 2014 only allowed 7.1 percent of applicants for a full-time MBA. However, when it comes to part-time study programs or Executive MBAs for managers who already have work experience, the selection is usually not that strict. At German schools, on the other hand, it is often the case that the lower the admission hurdles, the greater the demand.

Misunderstanding number 2: An MBA is all about practice, research work tends to be of secondary importance

Of course, practical orientation plays an important role in an MBA degree, but that does not mean that research is therefore left out. The fact is that the professors who teach at leading business schools do their own research and publish their results in renowned academic print and online media.

In addition, most of these teachers have their own practical experience in companies in a wide variety of industries and they often act as consultants to companies. What is special about it is that the professors provide their knowledge from the scientific field with a practical relevance at a high level, which enables MBA participants to apply them when finding solutions to certain management problems.

Misunderstanding number 3: MBA programs that are accredited are automatically of high quality

As far as Germany is concerned, there are 2 types of accreditation, one for the study program and one for the study system. Both Master's and MBA courses can be or will be accredited. The so-called Accreditation Council has given several agencies the authority to do this. As soon as you have accredited an MBA program, this program can officially bear the seal of approval of the Accreditation Council. In addition to the program accreditation of a degree program, there is the so-called system accreditation. This examines whether the university affected by the examination has a functioning quality assurance system.

However, an agency that reviews a program in Germany only deals with whether the respective study program can meet the minimum criteria. In order to be accredited, the examined courses do not even have to follow the original concept of an MBA course. This is why it happens that a master’s degree with a certain specialization presents itself as an MBA, because such a program sells better. However, if you look at the international MBA offer, various other seals of approval apply here, such as AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS.

Misunderstanding number 4: Anyone who decides on an MBA course and applies for admission can have their professional experience taken into account

Typically, a school requires a few years of professional experience when it comes to admission to one of its MBA programs. In general, work experience is one of the basic requirements for admission to a good MBA program. For Germany, at least 1 year of professional experience is mandatory. Participants from leading business schools often even have more than 5 years of professional experience and even with the Executive MBA it can happen that in some cases several years of management experience is required.

If you want to study an MBA in Germany, you can now do so without a first degree. In such a case, the apprenticeship or an internship is counted as professional experience and anyone who can also demonstrate professional experience is recognized as an academic achievement. The possibility of an MBA course without a first degree arises not least from the fact that from a political point of view it is definitely desired to make it easier for experienced professionals to access a higher education course they are aiming for.

Misunderstanding number 5: If a company supports a particular MBA program, then it has to be good

It often happens that companies have little or no overview of the MBA courses on offer and therefore they rely on inexpensive and convenient courses. For this reason, it is essential that HR managers deal more intensively with the MBA market and obtain more comprehensive information about it. Ultimately, it should be in the company's interest that an MBA course that one of your employees would like or should complete also has a sound quality from a scientific point of view and that the qualifications acquired by the employees bring positive benefits to the company.

Text source: www.haufe.de

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