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The Top Skills That MBA Graduates Possess


The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a holistic business programme, known for its ability to vastly improve fundamental business skills. The MBA also provides a platform for developing a suite of less tangible, but highly valued skills, such as expert time management and holistic thinking. We analysed a range of AIB MBA graduate testimonials to learn about the top skills developed during the programme. Results were consistent across the board, with many MBA students developing and perfecting the below throughout their MBA.

1.  Effective communication skills

While excellent communication skills are considered essential in most roles, many students commence their MBA with a need to improve in this area. Thanks to the diverse range of tasks throughout the MBA, students graduate with an understanding of more complex business language and how to articulate it, primarily as a result of the large amount of reading they do and new knowledge they acquire. They have practiced applying their learnings by writing succinct assessments and communicating with a diverse student community - allowing them to really refine their communication style. At the end of the programme, students should feel confident approaching both written and oral communication with ease and professionalism.

2. Expert problem solving skills

MBA graduates are known to be critical thinkers with strategic views on business issues. During the degree they are asked to take the time to understand circumstances, identify issues and think strategically and holistically before taking action. After several months of working in this style, it is likely that this method of approaching issues will translate into the work of the MBA graduate, making them great strategic problem solvers in a practical sense.

3. Networking know-how

Even when studying an online MBA that allows students to fit the degree into their life, students are still encouraged to interact and network with their peers as much as possible. They are often provided with a number of opportunities to attend events, form study groups and grow their networks. All of these experiences plus the new knowledge they acquire help to build the students confidence, benefitting their interpersonal skills and networking know-how. Although not formally taught throughout the MBA degree, networking skills are an asset in the business environment, as the ability to connect with people and maintain relationships is instrumental in business. 

4. Dealing with pressure

There are high-pressure circumstances in almost every role, however, the business environment is well known for its pressure, pace and level of responsibility. Throughout the MBA degree, students fine-tune their ability to manage high-pressure situations - from working towards deadlines to remaining calm and focussed in exams. Students can then transfer these skills into their professional lives and feel confident in their ability to deal with whatever gets thrown their way. 

5. Strategic research and analysis

The ability to conduct thorough research and effectively analyse data is one that is not to be overlooked. After doing so throughout the MBA, students should be proficient in providing evaluative feedback and in-depth analysis in a range of business disciplines. These skills allow the student to provide more value in the workplace, with the MBA giving them the confidence to suggest new ways of approaching certain facets of business.

6. Best practice leadership for today’s business world

Last but certainly not least, MBA graduates will possess an understanding of leadership and what makes a great leader. Students undertake subjects such as ‘leadership’ and ‘strategic management’, equipping them with the knowledge of how to be a high quality leader. It is important to remember that to be a leader, you must have the ability to motivate and inspire others. This is not exclusive to to those in a management position – you can lead at any stage in your career.

Read more: The Characteristics of a Truly Influential Leader

What do you think?

Do you have any other skills to add to this list? Every student will enjoy a different MBA experience, equipping them with their own unique and diverse skillset to take into the workplace. Leave a comment below to suggest other important skills for us to build on this article!

The Agile MBA, delivered 100% online.  Learn more about the programme here.