Is This the Best Climate to Get An MBA?

The role of gender in the business world is complicated. While more women are “leaning in” and becoming valued leaders in their own right, the landscape is anything but uniform — Whereas some females will find it extremely difficult to forge their paths, others luck out by choosing industries and workplaces that support their professional drives.

Getting an MBA has long been viewed as a positive career move that enhances a graduate’s prospects, skill, compensation and CV. The only question is whether such benefits are as accessible to women as they are to men. Here’s what to know and why many students are choosing digital MBA programs from accredited institutions like Victoria University Online.

A Quick MBA Primer

MBA, or Master of Business Administration, degrees are a global phenomenon. They allow students who’ve already obtained bachelor’s degrees to refine their skills even further without going through a traditional master’s program.

MBAs let professionals who possess firsthand knowledge of the business world learn more about management styles and leadership. These programs have high entry standards, such as requiring that candidates display valid work experience in leadership roles. In the U.S., you’re also likely to have to pass the Graduate Management Admissions Test or the Graduate Record Examinations, more commonly known as the GMAT and GRE. Both are tough assessments that take more than three hours.

Professionals have differing opinions on MBA degrees — While most say that they wouldn’t exclude someone from a high-paying management role simply for lacking an MBA, many employers favour these candidates with enhanced benefits and advancement policies. Several companies, such as Intel and Apple believe in these credentials enough to subsidise the tuition fees for their workers who want to go back to school.

How Does Gender Fit Into the Business School Landscape?

So is getting an MBA right for you? It’s important to consider the evolving nature of the typical business school environment.

In some cases, the odds seem stacked from the outset. Research indicates that women perform just as well as men do in MBA programs even though they tend to start out with lower GMAT scores. In other words, some gender-biased admissions criteria may stop some female candidates before they have a chance to get started.

MBA students — the next generation of business leaders — seem to be rethinking the standards, but change doesn’t happen overnight. Although gender continues to be a highly relevant factor in shaping modern culture, researchers found many students maintained that gender didn’t matter. This discrepancy suggests that instead of business school having mystically achieved equity while the world lagged behind, there’s still work to be done — as most people should already know. If the female students of the current era don’t lead the charge in setting new standards, we’ll still be having the same conversation decades from now.

Making the Call on Furthering Your Professional Standing

Although some of these facts may seem discouraging, it’s essential to realise that getting an MBA could make them easier to deal with from a broader career perspective. The masculine gender norms that exist on some university campuses aren’t isolated. Such attitudes are just as prevalent in the actual business world, so you need the power and authority to overcome them.

One critical distinction between professionals with MBAs and those without is that advanced-degree-holders tend to enjoy more power over their futures. One study found that graduates felt their degrees contributed to their career development in positive ways. In addition to commanding higher pay, MBA grads acquire skills that help them with everything from performing their routine leadership duties to starting their own enterprises — and if there’s one proven way to eradicate the glass ceiling, it’s to put yourself in charge.

Also, consider the fact that earning an MBA opens the door to unconventional career moves. By attending a school with high qualifications, you’ll indicate to employers that you’re worthy of being headhunted. This is especially true if you’re diligent about documenting your career achievements, which also helps you prove your work experience when you apply to a degree program. As more governments take their cues from places like California by requiring companies to have women on their boards of directors, possessing enhanced educational credentials could become integral to your advancement.

Finally, understand that the best MBA degree courses do more than just teach you high-level management methods. They also help you network and learn from other students who have unique perspectives and professional insights.

In today’s business world, women routinely face challenges that many of their male counterparts can’t even envision. If you’ve set your heart on getting past these pitfalls, then arming yourself with better credentials and a more comprehensive education is a smart decision.

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