Master of Business Administration (MBA) is considered as one of the most prestigious degrees in the field of Business and Management. Business schools receive thousands of MBA applicants each year in Nepal. There are many colleges in Nepal, affiliated with both national and international universities, that provide an MBA degree to the students.
But, is an MBA really worth it?
Well, yes and no. Now, before you stop reading the rest of the post, let me explain to you a bit of my story.
I graduated MBA in 2019. Initially, I had decided to apply for an MBA because I wanted to start my own business and I thought that an MBA would help me to learn about business and entrepreneurship.
I had never studied a management course before. I studied Science in my +2 and I did my Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Information Technology. Back then, I did not even know the basics of accounting, finance, or marketing.
Two years later, I graduated as an MBA, majored in Finance, with CGPA 4.0.
How did that happen?
Well, a lot of things happened during my MBA. As I said, my original purpose to join an MBA course was to start my own business and learn about entrepreneurship. I never thought I would be majoring in Finance, let alone score a 4.0 CGPA. When I was studying MBA, I started learning more about the various aspects of a business. Finance became an interesting subject for me. I was consistent with my assignments and I was keen to learn new stuff. Honestly, I never really cared about my scores. Instead, I focused on being consistent and growing my knowledge in this new field.
So, for me, MBA was totally worth it.
But it does not mean that it will be so for everyone.
There are different reasons for people to apply for an MBA. Some do it because they really want to learn, some do it because their friends are doing it, some are just following what their parents’ and relatives’ tell them, and others are doing it because they just want a degree.
If you are deciding to apply for an MBA course, what is your reason to study MBA?
It is not worth it if you just want a degree. Honestly, that degree will be of no use if you don’t know the actual things that you learn in an MBA. If you want to join the MBA because your parents are telling you to or because your friends are doing it, think again. Is it really what YOU want?
It is not about what someone else wants or thinks. It is about what you want to do. I wanted to start a business, so I joined the MBA. What is your passion? What skills do you want to develop? Be clear about them. Don’t just randomly make your decision. Don’t be influenced by others. Take your time and think about it.
In Nepal, most of the students do it because people think that they have to have a Master’s degree. It has become like a culture. Parental and peer pressure is also one of main the reasons.
In most of the western countries, having an MBA degree is a big deal. But, in Nepal, MBAs are not really valued that much. It is because almost every other management student has an MBA degree. MBA in Nepal costs around 5-10 lakhs. Maybe even more. If you are not doing it for the right reasons, you will only be wasting your time and money.
When is an MBA Worth it?
An MBA consists of different business-related subjects like finance, accounting, marketing, human resources, leadership, and entrepreneurship. If you really want to learn about these subjects and you want to pick a career in any of these fields, an MBA is worth it. Also, if you are in a managerial and leadership role or you aspire to be in these roles, an MBA is a good option.
For certain organizations, an MBA is a must-have criterion to be in a managerial role. In such a case, you can pursue an MBA. If you are a working person with a few years of experience and you want to be in a better position at your organization, you can go for an Executive MBA (EMBA). There are many colleges that provide EMBA programs to corporate executives and managers who are already working and have gained enough work experience.
MBA is also worth it if you are thinking of starting a business. But you won’t be able to magically establish a successful business just because you are an MBA. Starting a business is easier said than done. It takes a lot of effort and hard work. But an MBA will definitely be a plus point in doing so.
Myths about MBA
Most people think that having an MBA degree is a prestigious thing. In reality, it is nothing like that. People don’t really care, especially in Nepal where it is a common thing to have an MBA degree. The following are some of the myths about MBA.
The first myth about an MBA is that it will be easy to get a job. If you think that having an MBA degree will magically get you hired in the big companies, then get ready to be disappointed. Recruitments are done on the basis of skills and not on the basis of which degree you have unless the job-requirement specifies the necessity of the degree.
The second myth is that you will get paid more. Whether you are at your current job or you are looking for a new job, do not have high salary expectations just because you have an MBA degree. But if you were to get promoted in a managerial position and you completed your MBA or EMBA for this specific purpose, you might get a raise.
The third myth is that you need to get into a top college. Honestly, college doesn’t really matter. Yes, a few things like good professors and infrastructures might matter but your ultimate goal is to get qualified. If you focus on the course and have a keen desire to learn, you can do it at any college. There is an old saying that where there is a will, there is a way.
The fourth myth is that it will be easy to start a business after completing the MBA. Like I said, starting a business takes a lot of work and effort. An MBA does provide the necessary ideas and show you a path to starting a business. However, in the real world, things can get a lot trickier. Most MBAs only provide book-knowledge. It means you will only be qualified academically. Starting a business requires a different mindset. You must be willing to face a lot of real-world challenges.
Last but not least, the fifth myth is that an MBA is only for management students. An example of this is me itself. I had never studied management in my life. Yet I studied MBA and did quite ok. MBA is not just for management students or for those who want to become managers. Anyone can study MBA. Most people even think that those who study MBA end up working in a bank. With all due respect to everyone working in a bank, it is not necessary that you become a banker after your MBA. There are a variety of other fields that you can work in.
I’m going to say it again that if you are thinking of applying for an MBA, make sure that it is what YOU want and not what your friends, parents, or company wants. It does not really matter whether you have an MBA or not. There are a lot of options for you to choose from. Explore a little. Think about it.
If you want a job, develop your skills. If you want to make more money, learn about money and business. It does not matter what degrees you have. Most of the world’s successful men/women did not even go to college. I bet nobody asked them for their degrees.
Be the best version of yourself because, eventually, it is your character, your skills, your education (does not have to be academic education), and your contribution to the society that is going to matter, not your degree.
An MBA is only a path that will guide you. It is not a necessity.