Master of Business Administration (MBA)

What is an MBA?

Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a popular postgraduate study choice for those wanting to advance their career, particularly those aspiring to executive or leadership roles. MBA programs take multiple forms, but they typically include subjects in finance, accounting, economics, strategy, data analysis, operations management, marketing, organizational behavior, leadership, management, and entrepreneurship. MBAs offer you a complete view of business, whether you aspire to start or run your own business or climb the ladder in an organization.

Why should you study an MBA?

Completing an MBA will boost your confidence and business toolkit, equipping you with theory and models, enabling you to identify patterns in order to apply appropriate frameworks to solve real-world business problems. In addition to acquiring valuable knowledge, one of the most beneficial aspects of doing an MBA is joining an alumni network and building a lifelong learning community and develop strong friendships with your fellow students. An MBA also serves as recognition of your level. Indeed, having an MBA is a prerequisite if you want to be considered for certain roles.

Boost your salary

Will an MBA boost my earning potential?

Many students experience a significant salary bump after they have graduated from their MBA. Just how much depends on your starting point and your post-MBA trajectory. Students who go into management consulting, finance or investment banking roles after their MBA might experience an even greater salary increase, but it is important to note that working hours in these industries are notoriously long. When thinking about the return on investment (ROI) of your MBA, it is worth thinking about your salary in relation to your total working hours.

What are popular post MBA career paths?

Earning an MBA can take your career in multiple directions, but the qualification is particularly sought after for roles in management consulting, investment banking, finance, and strategy. It can also help accelerate your career development in consumer goods or in Silicon Valley or tech roles, particularly for those coming from specialist engineering, IT, technical, analytical, finance or accounting roles. It is also valuable for those with less obvious academic backgrounds, such as humanities or Liberal Arts graduates, who have always yearned to get into business. Importantly, MBAs are not just for those going into big business – they equip you for leadership roles in any type of organization (for profit or not for profit), or even if you want to start your own business.

Which type of MBA should I pick?

With multiple delivery options – full-time, part-time, in person or 100% online – there is an MBA format to suit everyone. In the part-time category, some business schools also offer Executive MBAs for those with more work experience, and some even offer Senior Executive MBAs for more seasoned professionals. Some programs include international modules, which offer a tremendous opportunity to get first-hand insights into the business environment and culture of other countries. Do your homework to choose the study type, cohort, and school that best matches your needs and goals.

What does it cost to study an MBA?

MBA tuition fees depend on the program type (e.g. full-time or part-time) and the business school. MBAs from the world’s leading business schools will set you back quite some money, but also deliver a lot in terms of high-quality learning, cachet, career prospects, and your alumni network. Check the school websites to see if you are eligible for one of the many scholarships. A more affordable option might be to explore one of the growing number of MBAs which are delivered fully online.

What are the top-ranked MBAs?

MBAs from the following business schools consistently top the various rankings from the Financial Times, the Economist, Forbes, and other ranking organizations:

Harvard Business School (HBS), USA

Stanford, USA

Penn (Wharton), USA

Northwestern (Kellogg), USA

Chicago (Booth), USA

UC Berkeley (Haas), USA

MIT (Sloan), USA

Toronto (Rotman), Canada

Western (Ivey), Canada

McGill (Desautels), Canada

London Business School, the UK

INSEAD, France and Singapore

HEC Paris, France

Erasmus, Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Melbourne Business School (MBS), Australia

AGSM (Australian Graduate School of Management) at UNSW, Australia

Otago, New Zealand

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai

Who are some famous MBA alumni?

Completing an MBA is by no means a guarantee of career success but it certainly hasn’t hurt the careers of these accomplished individuals:

  • Sheryl Sandberg, (COO, Facebook), HBS
  • Meg Whitman, (former CEO, Hewlett-Packard), HBS
  • Indra Nooyi, (CEO, PepsiCo), Yale
  • Phil Knight, (founder, Nike), Stanford
  • Michael Bloomberg, (Bloomberg), HBS
  • Satya Nadella, (CEO, Microsoft), Booth
  • Sundar Pichai, (CEO, Google), Wharton
  • Gary Wang, (founder,, INSEAD

Admission requirements

What are the entrance requirements for a top MBA?

The specific prerequisites differ per MBA and business school, but most require you to pass the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) exam. They generally also ask you to provide your CV (detailing your work experience) and academic transcripts, write a motivational essay, sit an entrance interview and provide contact details of referees. If you wish to study at a school which teaches in English, you will also need to provide evidence of strong English language skills (IELTS or TOEFL scores). Not surprisingly, the top business schools set more exacting entry requirements.

What does the GMAT test involve?

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) exam is a standardized test offered in English which measures numerical, verbal and analytical writing skills. While a GMAT result is not a prerequisite for every MBA program, it is a more common admission requirement for full-time MBA programs. Regardless, a good GMAT result might help you score a scholarship. The GMAT can be a good measure of your academic level and your ability to handle the MBA content, but it is not necessarily an indicator of business aptitude. If, however, you do need to sit the GMAT test, allow sufficient time to study for it, even if you feel you have strong quantitative and language skills.

How Adventus can help you

6 easy steps to be accepted to global Universities