Is an MBA still relevant?
17 August 2018 EDUCATION
By Dinika Naidoo
Returning to the world of academia may not always be the answer to gaining a competitive advantage over your peers. I’d like to believe that the status attached to a degree, is a combination of industry-specific knowledge and applied skill.
Furthermore, the rise of the MBA can be attributed to the stellar business and academic communities that have molded our institutions into world-class think-tanks. Often time, I find the urge to fulfill my curiosity about the MBA obsession. Yet, other times, I’m perfectly content with using alternative methods to consume knowledge, such as networking, reading, travel, and podcasts. But, is this enough? Are these avenues too frivolous for the system?
So my journey of finding the perfect fit – both expanding the depth of my mind and gaining worldly insight – continues. Stellenbosch Business School, UCT’s Business School, Wits Business School, Gordon Institute of Business Science, Henley are a few of the acclaimed names from the pool to choose from.
Most recently, speaking on Kaya Bizz, Head of the newly-launched Johannesburg Business School Professor Lyal White said, “An MBA broadens your opportunities, and is a practical degree that people look towards to climb the corporate ladder.”
He goes on to say, that the MBA should, in essence, equip disruptors and entrepreneurs with the tools, to create and manage their business journeys. Not speaking on the cost factors of the degree, we can only assume that if your employer dodges the financial pressure, so should you (well, for a while).
As a pro, I’ve watched MBA graduates marvel at the fact that they now have critical decision-making skills that were previously not there. Another factor I looked at is the interconnectedness of Africa. How will the MBA evolve and become accessible beyond structure, culture, and language in the future?
The MBA will undoubtedly give you edge, with prevailing opportunities to climb your corporate ladder with some change (Money). Along with the choice of school, we should keep in mind that leadership and experience are no longer determined by age. It’s all relative!
On whether the MBA is still relevant or not, I’m not entirely convinced it is. However, the takeaway from this exercise would be becoming an active citizen, expand your myopic outlook, purposefully engage with knowledge systems and challenge monolithic models that make little effort to mobilize into avenues of socially impactful change.
Dinika Naidoo is the producer of Kaya Bizz