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When most people think of postgraduate education in the business field, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is often the program that comes to mind. While an MBA degree can certainly be a beneficial choice for many business professionals, an MBA program is far from the only postgraduate business program available. In this article, we'll examine what an MBA is and the benefits that it provides, as well as the various business degrees that are excellent MBA alternatives. This will help you decide which course of education is the best choice for your future in business.

Is an MBA Right for You?

While an MBA can is an excellent choice for many people interested in business, it isn't the right choice for every person and career. There are plenty of other great business degree programs that are worth considering, and an MBA is just one of the options available to you. Before you decide between an MBA and MBA alternatives, it's important to understand what an MBA is, what it offers, and whether it fits your career goals.

What is an MBA?

An MBA is a postgraduate degree program that covers a range of business skills and topics, including statistics, accounting, economics, leadership development, management, and entrepreneurship. An MBA program is designed to prepare students to work as business executives in a number of industries and prepare them for success as entrepreneurs, founding their own startup companies.

A typical MBA program takes about two years to complete, though there are some accelerated programs that can be completed in a year. These are known as a mini-MBA. On average, an MBA costs around $50,000 to $80,000 but this varies depending on the school you choose.

Since an MBA is focused on preparing students for professional excellence, work experience is often valued alongside academic achievements when schools are selecting students for their MBA program. Though not always required, strong work experience paired with solid academic achievement is a formula for success when applying to top MBA programs.

When is an MBA Worth It?

For those pursuing a career in management or another business-related field, an MBA can be incredibly valuable. An MBA is also a worthwhile degree for those who plan to take the entrepreneurial route and found their own startup company.

Graduating with an MBA makes you a more attractive potential employee for companies seeking to fill management positions. In addition to setting yourself apart from the competition, completing all the courses required to earn an MBA can provide a broad base of business knowledge that you can leverage throughout your professional career.

It is worth acknowledging that an MBA is not a particularly specialized degree. Rather, an MBA is designed to cover an array of business topics that will help prepare students for an equally wide range of careers in the fields of business and management. This is one reason why an MBA is the degree of choice for entrepreneurs who want to improve their business skills; entrepreneurs are rarely specialists and instead must perform a variety of roles within their company.

However, the generalized nature of an MBA program means that it may not be the best choice for those planning to enter a more specialized field. Thankfully, business schools offer plenty of MBA alternatives that are much more specialized and focused. Those with a more specific career path in mind, such as finance or project management, should consider a degree that is more focused on the particular career of interest.

Why Go Back to Business School?

Before we dive into the various excellent MBA degree alternatives, we should first discuss whether going back to business school in the first place is the right choice for you and your career. Pursuing a postgraduate degree is a commitment of both time and money, particularly for those who have already earned undergraduate degrees or certificates. In many cases, though, earning a postgraduate degree is well worth the sacrifice.

If you are planning on starting your own company, pursuing postgraduate education may be worthwhile depending on your circumstances. If you feel that you are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed as a startup founder, further education may not be required. Unlike those seeking employment, startup founders don't need to “pad their resume.” Of course, no matter how skilled or knowledgeable you are, there is always room for improvement, and going back to business school can provide you with tools to improve your company and your career.

For those pursuing employment rather than founding their own company, going back to business school is a worthwhile endeavor. Earning a postgraduate degree will make a candidate more attractive to potential employers. Going back to business school doesn’t guarantee a higher-paying job, but it certainly increases the likelihood.

Alternative Business Degrees

There are plenty of master’s degrees that are excellent alternatives to an MBA. Here are just a few of the exceptional alternative business degrees University of the Cumberlands offers:

Master's in Project Management

Our master's in project management program is designed to prepare students to lead project teams. If you are pursuing a career in management or as a project leader, a master's in project management is an excellent option to consider.

Master's in Strategic Management

Those who attend our master's in strategic management program can look forward to learning a more tactical and strategic approach to business leadership and management. Compared with an MBA, this program places more emphasis on the science of running a successful business, including resource management, strategic analysis, and overall business strategy.

Master's in Global Business with Blockchain Technology

Our master's in global business with blockchain technology program is designed for students interested in pursuing careers in the rapidly-growing arena of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. If you would like to pursue a career in what many consider to be the future of global finance, this program is an ideal choice for you.

Master of Science in Finance

Students who attend our Master of Science in Finance program can look forward to receiving the analytical skills and theoretical tools required to excel at a wide range of careers in the world of finance. If you are especially interested in pursuing employment at a financial institution, then this program is an excellent alternative to an MBA.

Build Your Future in Business at UC!

At University of the Cumberlands, we are proud to offer a wide range of exceptional online courses that are designed to prepare students for an equally wide range of business careers. If you are interested in learning more about the MBA program or alternative business degrees offered at the University of the Cumberlands, contact an admissions counselor or request more information today.