The Master of Business Administration – or MBA for short – is the most popular and recognized graduate management degree. These three letters often hold the key to helping you stand out to employers and even boost your career and salary prospects.
During an MBA, you should develop your knowledge of business and management while developing your professional network. But as a generalist degree, this program exposes the fundamentals of business management in areas such as marketing, finance, and accounting. It allows students to develop both general skills and those necessary for leadership.
Here’s everything you need to know about what an MBA really is and how it’s grown to be highly respected by businesses and business schools around the world:
History of the MBA
With roots in Boston, Massachusetts, the MBA was introduced in 1908 by Harvard University Graduate School of Administration (now known as the Harvard Business School). At that time, it was the first and only graduate degree in management that attracted a class of 80 students taught by 15 faculty members.
The MBA was developed in response to a rapidly globalizing and industrialized world. It also aimed to fill a gap in the evolving labor market for business graduates who were well equipped with a holistic understanding of how a business operates.
In order to improve industrial efficiency, an American engineer Frederick Winslow TaylorThe research and management principles of have been used as a guide to design the MBA program. Indeed, the very first MBA students were trained to perfect both their general skills and develop an analytical mind thanks to the famous case study method.
Continue reading here if you are interested in knowing how an MBA now differs from before.
What preceded the MBA?
Although Harvard Business School was the first university to offer an MBA, the concept of a formal business education did not begin in the United States. In fact, the concept emerged in France in the first business school Ecole Spéciale de Commerce et d’Industrie (today ESCP Business School), nearly a century earlier.
It was not until later in the century that the United States followed suit and gave birth to Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1881. The university was named after the industrialist Joseph Wharton which aimed to prepare college graduates for the changing business landscape in the United States.
Unlike Harvard Business School, Wharton’s first program was a bachelor’s degree in finance and eventually established the MBA from Wharton in 1921.
Who is the MBA program for?
Historically, MBA programs were primarily reserved for business, finance, or consulting students. Today, this is no longer the case.
There is no typical MBA student. Classes are filled with students from a variety of professional backgrounds. To demonstrate, the Harvard MBA Class of 2022 included students from the tech industry, healthcare, nonprofits, and even media graduates. This obviously shows how management degrees such as MBA benefit everyone in different disciplines.
There are many benefits and reasons for getting an MBA. From career motivations of future MBA students are: promotion to higher positions, people management skills and having an internationally recognized qualification to be able to work around the world.
Whatever the motivations, an MBA is a comprehensive management degree program that will advance your career and improve your management skills. It’s a flexible program that offers insight into the business world that will help you thrive, no matter what industry you find yourself in.
International students, you have made the decision to pursue an MBA but you do not know in which specialty to specialize? This article will serve as a guide.