The Art and Science of Choosing the Right Master’s Degree Program
A Master’s degree is one of the most effective steps you can take to enhance your professional credentials. MBA offers you the critical skills set and advance knowledge that can give you a significant boost. To ensure you get the best education possible, as well as the most impressive degree to display on your profile, you have to put some effort into choosing the right Master’s program.
Choosing the right program is all about taking a closer look at what you want not just out of your education, but for your career as well. There are simply too many choices available. Part-time MBA, Full Time MBA. International MBA, Executive MBA…
Here’s a guide to help you on your MBA selection journey:
1. Choose a program that aligns with your career goals
Before you start looking across universities and comparing curriculums, make sure you know what the program entails. Many of them may have similar or identical titles, but a wildly different scope or focus within the broader topic. How do you know if you’re choosing the right program for you? By choosing a program that can aid in achieving your career goals and aspirations. Research the career path you want to take and get an idea what responsibilities it will entail and what skills it demands. That’s what you should expect from your program.
2. What do you want to specialize in?
Within any career, there is the need for specialization. You can start the process of finding your niche by choosing a program catering specifically to it. Online guides might be able to help you figure out what skills and knowledge you require, which can allow you to narrow down those programs that offer them, and those that don’t.
3. What are your strengths & weaknesses?
It’s not all about fitting the course to the career, it’s about fitting the course to the student, as well. Are you able to excel in a remote learning environment? Do you excel in research or falter on the academic writing? The right course can help improving your weaknesses while underscoring your strengths.
4. What are the entry requirements?
When it comes to applying for an MBA or Master Degree program, there is no single path that determines acceptance, and each school has different ideas about appropriate academic preparation. Minimum qualifications for students applying to MBA programs can vary, whilst a Bachelor degree will be a helpful factor, others considered Working Experience as the most important consideration and does accept executives with extensive experience into the MBA
All Master’s programs have certain requirement to entry. You may qualify for certain courses based on working experience while some may demand a bachelor degree and specialized skills or a grade that you do not have. Narrow your options down to those you qualify for and be prepared to invest further for further development.
5. Plan your budget
How much are you able to spend on your education? Should you apply for a loan? What are the different payment programs on offer? To help make your studies more affordable, you can look into the wide range of grants that you are eligible for. Some scholarships are awarded based on your choice of career path or socio-economic background. You may even be able to obtain corporate sponsorship while still employed.
6. Consider the length of program
Many fresh graduates will want to enter the corporate world as soon as possible. If you have already begun your career for some time, you may not want to spend too much time. Look at the length of each program, how many years it takes, and factor that into your decision.
7. Understand the curriculum fit
As mentioned, a program with the exact same name can differ drastically from school to school. Once you have found options that work to your budget, your time-frame, and you meet the entry requirements, take a closer look at the curriculum. Focus on the specialized skills or education that apply to your career path and choose the most relevant programs.
8. Research programs, application & admission requirements
Once you have decided on whether or not the curriculum of the program will help you achieve your career aims, it’s time to take a closer look. Research the statistics of the program, including how many people get accepted to the course each year and the percentage of graduates who find employment in their chosen field. Further research the application and admission processes in advance. You want to learn the exact requirements of the college and avoid making a generic application that will lower your chance of being awarded a place on the program.
9. Meet school representatives
If you have gotten this far, then you have likely narrowed down your options quite a bit from the potential thousands of programs out there. You can find the schools you want to focus your efforts on by getting a deeper understanding of them. Meeting school representatives provides an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the program, the culture and learning environment as well as available resources in the education package.
10. Prepare for & take standardized tests
Many Master’s programs include standardized tests to ensure they find the best candidates amongst their many applicants. Once you have figured out which universities you want to apply for, learn more about which tests they will be carrying out and find out as much about the course materials as you can. Spend time preparing for these tests so that your chances of success are maximized when you take them.
11. Shortlist schools in advance
There may be one or two programs that seem particularly well suited to your career aspirations, but it is best to prepare by shortlisting a broader selection of suitable options in advance. This way, you can better weigh your options once the acceptance starts coming in. You might not get the offer from your first choice, so having those options can be crucial to beginning your Master’s journey. Your shortlist should include some target schools, reach schools, and safety schools. Respectively, these are schools where your academic credentials fit, fall slightly beneath, and exceed those of the average student accepted to the program.
12. Focus on the quality and not just budget
You should have done some research on the institution beforehand, but once you get those offers, it’s time to scrutinize them more thoroughly. You want to ensure that they have all the academic resources, the specialist workshops, the industry-standard equipment, the links to the industry as well as qualified and experienced lecturers. An established university’s name with professional accreditation on your CV can be a significant career booster.
Making the Right Choice
Your Master’s Degree could be the platform you need to kickstart that career move or switch. However, to ensure the experience is as enriching as possible, you should do your research and ensure you choose the right one. We offer various Master’s programs, so get in touch with our educational consultants, jump on the bandwagon and be on your way to success.
Put all these pieces together, and the MBA that emerges on top should be your preferred choice of MBA. Don’t leave your MBA selection to trial and error, rather let our team of experienced and professional consultants help you.