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The Unexpected Benefits of an MBA

December 01, 2022
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If you’re considering a graduate degree to help advance your career, you’ve probably heard about some of the quantifiable benefits of an MBA. You likely already know, for example, that an MBA can open up new career paths and provide a serious boost to your salary, even if you’re unaware that the median salary for candidates with an MBA is 75% higher than for candidates with only a bachelor’s degree.1 Or you may know that it's a hot job market with lots of career advancement opportunities for MBA graduates, but you might not have heard that master's-level recruiting bounced back from its pre-pandemic levels1percent of recruiters told the graduate management admission council they planned to hire MBA graduates in 2021.2

What is discussed far less often than the financial benefits are some of the more subtle ways MBA students profit from attending business schools.

There are ways in which the degree and the work of pursuing it can help you in your personal life as well as your professional life, and it’ll continue to pay off well beyond graduation. Below, we’ve outlined four surprising benefits of an MBA to help you realize the full value of a graduate-level business education.

Can You Get the Same Benefits When You Earn Your MBA Online?

Like on-campus programs, online MBA programs offer different emphases in their MBA curriculum and different networking and career-development opportunities. As far as most employers are concerned, you are getting the same degree, whether you earned it online or through an on-campus program. What matters is the business school that issued the degree, and whether it is accredited.3 The Sy Syms School of Business is one of the elite institutions accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Many online MBA programs also give students access to an alumni network of valuable professional contacts, and offer career counseling and other career resources, often at lower tuition costs than on-campus programs.

Be More Persuasive

Smiling african american female leader listening to colleagues project ideas.

Successful business leaders are able to drive strategy for their organizations, and a key part of being able to do so is having the ability to write and speak persuasively. MBA coursework—particularly in a program like the Sy Syms online MBA that recognizes the importance of soft skills—often includes classes on negotiation and business communication. As you progress in your career, it’s essential that you’re able to clearly and confidently advocate for your strategic insights in discussions with executives and stakeholders. Additionally, on a more personal note, you may have to make your case someday for why you deserve a promotion or specific opportunity; pitching yourself or your ideas is a prime test for your persuasive abilities.

Increased persuasiveness is one of the benefits of attending business school that can trickle into multiple aspects of your life. If you have ever rented an apartment, you know how difficult it can be to state your case to a landlord intent on charging you for damages. Or, if you have ever tried to plan an outing with a large group of friends, you have experience trying to be heard over a cacophony of opinions that can’t seem to come to a decision.

Online MBA programs, including the online MBA from the Syms School, offer excellent opportunities to develop persuasive skills through group projects and online message boards. Armed with the practiced ability to clearly, concisely, and convincingly articulate a well-reasoned position, gained from practicing on your fellow students, you can give yourself a leg up on any similarly tricky situation.

Improve Your Decision Making

Handsome mature business leader sitting in a modern office.

A strong, efficient decision-making process is another one of the key benefits of an MBA. The leaders that emerge from online MBA degree programs are armed with foundational knowledge in important aspects of business operations. These subject areas may include finance, marketing, supply chain, accounting, , data management and management information systems. However, they’re also trained to mobilize this knowledge through coursework and exercises specifically centered on decision-making strategies, as well as through assignments in more generally-focused classes.

We are asked to make countless choices every day, and they range from the trivial (What should I order for lunch today?) to the life-altering (Am I ready for a serious commitment?). The sharpened decision-making mindset you will develop through your online MBA coursework can serve you well when faced with any of these challenges. The same skills you build to help you survey, synthesize, and act on information to drive your business career can also be put to use at any time outside of the office.

Grow Holistically as a Person

Rear view of woman in business attire speaking to people in modern business center.

Since an MBA is designed to provide you with a broader education than other degrees, it only makes sense that business schools will expose you to different professional approaches and subject matter as well. Thus, your master’s education, even though it is business focused, should challenge you to think with both sides of your brain.The best online programs also help you develop a global perspective by giving you opportunities to collaborate with international students and work on global business challenges.

Ideally, your business school coursework should strike a balance between quantitative subjects, like finance and accounting, and qualitative subjects, like communication and management. Both areas of expertise are essential for all business leaders to master. If you come from a traditionally analytical background, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that deepening your social skills and creative problem-solving will help you leverage your new knowledge in insightful, innovative ways. On the other hand, if you have experience in a field like marketing or social work, you’ll likely discover new ways to streamline your processes or adopt a more methodical approach. This is playing out well for companies around the world as they realize that embracing human elements in the workplace, like creativity and empathy, along with a focus on the bottom line, are key to employee retention and overall productivity..4

Manager shaking hands with a happy, confident and excited business woman.

By spending time nurturing all of these traits in an educational setting with other students you’re not just setting yourself up to thrive in a business role—you’re improving yourself as a person, growing into someone who can experience and communicate empathy in your personal relationships. Adopting a more holistic mindset will encourage you to think creatively when faced with challenges in your everyday life. You may even find that your mind is more active overall than it had been before embarking on an MBA, which could in turn lead you to seek and enjoy new creative outlets in your free time.

Work for the Greater Good

The last of our surprising benefits of an MBA is not just one that affects you; it affects everybody. It is becoming clearer by the day that ethical businesses are not just to be lauded for “doing things the right way,” but customers also prefer them to their competition.5 The best online MBA programs realize this, and train their students to address moral and ethical challenges whenever they may arise, in whatever field in which they go on to work.

Happy business woman discussing financial strategy with her colleagues.

If ethics are incentivized by a record of success and supported by a strong business education, then the work you do upon graduation from your MBA program may be globally beneficial. Whether you see yourself working for an innovator in green energy technology, or improving customer data security practices for a popular app, your work can have a profound effect on other people’s lives. Wherever you end up in the business world, know that a well-rounded MBA education can help you make a positive impact.

Additional Benefits Offered by Online MBA Programs

Online MBA programs offer working professionals many additional benefits over on-campus programs. Working on group assignments and participating in online discussions not only broadens your perspective but also gives you more opportunities to build your network of business professionals.

Studying online gives you much greater flexibility to work at your own pace, fitting the coursework into your busy schedule, around your personal obligations. Sophisticated online platforms, like the learning management system at Sy Syms, and asynchronous learning design allow you to access course materials anytime and in a way that's consistent with your preferred learning style.

Most MBA programs seek to admit students who are working professionals. Unlike on-campus students in full-time MBA programs, you won't have to quit your current job to enroll in the Sy Syms accredited online MBA program.

Embrace All the Benefits of an Online MBA Program

When you attend business school to pursue higher-level education like an MBA, you want to know that your degree will give you a meaningful return on your investment. To get the most out of your experience, search for a program that provides the tangible results you want (including a higher salary and broader professional connections), as well as more subtle, but equally important benefits we mentioned above, like increased confidence and personal growth.

The online MBA program from Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business can help you realize all of the benefits above through a rigorous curriculum and a comprehensive, cohesive online experience. With the support of our distinguished faculty, you’ll be fully equipped to capitalize on the one-of-a-kind opportunities that come with being a Syms graduate.