5 Skills All MBA Students Acquire

Skills MBA Students Acquire

Going back to school for your MBA isn't just about getting a new piece of paper to hang on the wall. In a competitive job market, employers look for candidates who are able to distinguish themselves not only with credentials but also with concrete skills.

Here are five essential business skills that an MBA student can expect to learn.

1. Financial Literacy

No matter the industry, all organizations share a reliance on and interest in the bottom line. Business managers are ultimately responsible for the success of the organization – and often for the satisfaction of shareholders, as well. To that end, a grasp of the core principles of finance and accounting is essential. Students in an MBA program learn how to monitor and manage the dollars and cents that impact organizational health. Strong financial literacy is one aspect of earning your MBA that will always be useful, regardless of your specific job function.

2. Analytic Understanding

Gleaning the big meaning from minute details is more critical now than ever, given the role that big data and analytics play in every field – especially in the modern business environment. From finance to consumer research to marketing, data analysis is at the forefront of intelligent decision-making. MBA students learn how to gather and interpret data so they can apply the results to achieve specific business objectives.

3. Strategic Ability

The difference between success and failure comes after you identify your goals, when you deploy specific strategies to achieve them. Although many employees may bring value to an organization on a functional or tactical level, those with the ability to take a strategic view of the long-term are the ones who end up leading organizations. MBA programs are designed to teach students how to widen their field of vision and assemble strategic approaches to the major challenges and opportunities facing an organization.

4. Robust Teamwork

When it comes to large-scale operations, no single person can do all of the work alone. Delegating tasks and working with others is absolutely critical to achieve organizational goals. MBA students are taught to recognize the techniques that help teams work together effectively and apply that approach throughout an organization. MBA students often collaborate on assignments to learn how to work in cross-functional environments. Beyond the core curriculum, specialty areas of focus like project management and human resources provide further opportunity to develop teambuilding skills.

5. Effective Leadership

To use a sports metaphor, you have to know more than the X's and O's to become a championship team or organization. You also need a great coach. Those who crave the responsibilities – and rewards – of upper management positions need to demonstrate not only technical competence but also strong leadership. An MBA program allows students to hone their leadership skills, by providing the theoretical underpinning to back up their business decisions and by teaching them the importance of looking at the big picture. MBA students learn to make decisions in the service of an organization at large to help achieve its strategic objectives, a necessary quality in any leader.

How can an MBA specifically advance your professional skillset? From knowing how to interpret data to understanding what the numbers mean for your bottom line, an MBA provides both hard and soft skills you'll need to advance. You'll also learn to develop effective strategies and align your teams through great leadership.

Written by Ashford University staff.

For more information about on-time completion rates, the median loan debt of students who completed this program, and other important information, please visit http://www.ashford.edu/pd/omba.

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