#1 Benefit of an MBA: Professional transformation
Neil is the President of the South African Chamber of Commerce in the USA. This means he has to work with government officials, corporate executives, politicians, and even world leaders, on a regular basis.
Before his MBA, Neil completed a number of small courses on leadership and management. But, it wasn’t until his MBA program that he was really able to move to the next level.
The MBA program at Business School Netherlands (BSN) gave him the skills and tools he needed to reach his full professional potential. “I know how to conduct myself professionally and share what I know in a way that I give my message across effectively and efficiently,” he explains. “An MBA is more than what you learn. An MBA changes and elevates you to the next level of being able to do business within your industry.” (06:03)
For Neil, “the most difficult thing about the MBA was the volume of time [and] the amount of energy it consumed.” (06:28) However, one of the benefits of an MBA is bringing your professional skills to the next level. As Neil puts it, “[My MBA] took me on a journey to corporatize myself, to make myself more professional.” (06:47)
#2 Benefit of an MBA: In-demand soft skills
Soft skills describe a person’s character traits and interpersonal skills, as well as emotional intelligence. As opposed to hard skills, soft skills are more difficult to learn.
Neil says, “The great thing about the MBA at BSN is that it capacitated me with a basket of soft skills – leadership skills, interpersonal skills, but also skills on corporate and social responsibility.” (05:29)
In Monster’s The Future of Work 2021: Global Hiring Outlook report, employers cited soft skills such as dependability, collaboration, flexibility, and problem-solving, as the top skills they want in employees. Workforce futurist Alexandra Levit claims that soft skills give people “career durability,” leading to long-lasting, engaging, and productive careers.
A rigorous, challenging MBA experience is an effective way to strengthen your soft skills – just like it was for Neil. “Up and above a learning experience, [my MBA] also was an interpersonal growth opportunity. If you are operating on a higher level, the expectation is always there. You have to give more of yourself if you want to see better results,” he says. (06:58)
#3 Benefit of an MBA: Increased salary
One of the most tangible benefits of an MBA is an increase in salary.
In a survey of 11,000 MBA graduates, TransparentCareer and RelishCareers analyzed the impact an MBA degree has on salary. In their study, MBA graduates reported an average salary of $36,742 more than their coworkers without a degree. The average salary of an employee pre-MBA was $79,505. The average salary after obtaining their MBA was $116,248.
As Neil says, “The best benefit is an increased salary and increased opportunity through your MBA.” (08:49)
In terms of his overall transformation, Neil tells us, “Pre-MBA, I was a dedicated and focused employee, but I lacked the tools and skills on a personal level to be able to reach my goals and objectives. Post-MBA, I felt empowered. It was going almost from a David to a Goliath. It was a personal transformation in terms of my career advancement and within my personal growth.” (07:23)
There are a lot more benefits of an MBA program than the three we’ve listed here (with Neil’s help).
If you are considering pursuing an MBA, Neil concludes, “My best advice I can give to any student that embarks on the MBA is they are starting with the next chapter of their life. On the other side of this walk of fire is going to be a lot of time, a lot of pain, a lot of heartache, but you need to keep it together because it’s going to build character. It’s going to make you strong. On the other side of it, you will be an enlightened individual with a skill set and an ability that will allow you to excel and grow.” (08:11)