What Do You Learn in Business School?

What do you learn in business school? MBA programs help you learn valuable skills through practical application that’ll help you start your own business, make a career shift, or advance in your current job.


If you’re looking to start a new career, make a career change, or simply learn business practices to apply to your current position, business school may be a good choice for you. But what do you learn in business school exactly?


Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs help students develop skills through academic theories and practical application.


While most programs are two years of study, there are some accelerated ones that can be completed in just one year. There are many benefits of studying business management, including the opportunities and networking it provides, not to mention the fact that it sets you up for higher salary expectations simply by earning the degree. According to a  new analysis done for Poets&Quants by PayScale, “which collects salary data from individuals through online pay comparison tools, shows that the MBA–even from schools that lack global or national caché–delivers hefty seven-figure income over a post-MBA lifetime.”


Before enrolling to earn your master’s, let’s look at what business school teaches you.


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What Coursework Can I Expect?


Regardless of the program you choose, many business schools offer the same breadth of courses. For example, at University of the People, a tuition-free online accredited university, you can expect to take some of the following classes pursuing MBA:


Principles of Business Management, Basic Accounting, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Business Communications, Principles of Marketing, Personal Finance, and Entrepreneurship, just to name a few.

Online or Offline?


Many people obtain their MBA after years of work experience, but some choose to do so while continuing to work. For this reason, online programs can offer the benefit of flexibility to continue working while earning your master’s degree.


Of course, offline institutions are a great way to network in person and meet new people from all around the world, but both online and offline programs provide the benefit of better preparing you for the next steps in your career.



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A Diverse Range of Skills


Like all college education, there’s a lot to learn outside of the actual coursework. Some additional skills of studying business management include honing in on the following skills:



1. Networking:


Perhaps one of the most sought-after and widely experienced benefits of business school is the networking that occurs. With students from all walks of life, professors with connections, and visiting lecturers and events, it’s very possible to meet your future business partner while in school.



2. Communication and People Skills:


Along with presentations and working with peers, business schools teach communication skills that will prepare you for jobs and everyday life. From verbal and written skills, you’ll be able to effectively communicate your ideas.



3. Analytical Thinking:


Thinking practically and applying theory to real-life experiences means that your analytical skills will jump to the next level through practice.



4. Decision Making:


Most things in business come down to cost/benefit analysis, but not everything. With courses surrounding operations management, accounting, and more, the business school prepares you on how to manage decision-making in an efficient manner.



5. Ethical Reasoning:


Like life, not everything is black and white, and while there are monetary decisions to make, ethics always play a role. Business school helps you learn how to balance ethics into your decision-making process.



6. Operation and People Management:


To make a good business run, you want to cut costs and be the most efficient with resources. Here’s where operations research and management of human resources and hard resources come into play.



7. Problem Solving:


If you’re naturally a problem-solver, you’ll enjoy the years of study. But, even if you’re not, an MBA program will surely open your eyes to new ways of looking at problems and devising solutions.



8. Strategy:


There’s generally an infinite way of solving problems, so with this kind of coursework, you can learn valuable strategies on how to approach real-world situations, as well as business endeavors.



9. Data Analytics and Reporting:


No matter what you do in business, it’s useful to be able to prove ROI (return on investment). For this reason, you’ll need to learn how to analyze and report data to your team, peers, and maybe one day, your board of directors!



10. Confidence:


With a wide range of classes, presentations, and education comes the confidence you’ll need to successfully run a business or prosper in a company. Graduate programs help you develop this skill through constructive criticism and knowledge that better prepares you for your future.



11. Time Management:


Everything comes down to how you manage your time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but by maximizing your time and strategically outlining how you spend your days, you’ll be able to accomplish more than most simply by honing time management skills.


12. Teamwork:


Hand-in-hand with networking comes teamwork. Businesses don’t run alone, and MBA programs will give you multiple opportunities to work in teams, see situations from different perspectives, and bounce ideas off of one another to come up with the best ideas and solutions for problems.


13. Work/Life Balance:


Something MBA programs share with all college education is the skill of work/life balance. With jobs, too, it’s necessary to make time for social, mental, and physical health while balancing the responsibilities of school or work.




The Opportunities are Endless


As previously mentioned, business programs are useful for those who are looking to grow their skills in their current position, make a career change, or even figure out what they want to do next, and that’s because the skills that you learn are broad and useful. While business school isn’t right for everyone, it can open up a lot of doors for anyone willing to make the commitment.


Notably, some of the job prospects that open up for those with an MBA range from working for someone else or becoming your own boss as an entrepreneur, including:


  • Management Consultancy
  • Teaching
  • Marketing/Market Research
  • Sales
  • Finance
  • Communications & Public Relations
  • Operations and Logistics
  • Technology & Research



Wrapping It Up


If you’re considering going to obtain your MBA, first decide the reason why you want to enroll. Do you want to start a business one day? Are you looking to be promoted in your current job or make a career change? Once you have that figured out, then you can focus your studies on taking the coursework and networking with the people who will help you achieve your goals. Everyone has different reasons for getting their MBA, and you’ll be able to connect with people from all different backgrounds during your studies.


Along with learning practical and real-world applications from the coursework, you’ll also surely master skills that will be useful in whatever career you choose to pursue, and also life in general.


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