The MBA: It’s a prestigious postgraduate degree and one of the most respected qualifications globally. Even those who don’t know what the acronym stands for – Master of Business Administration – are often aware that the MBA is well-regarded in the business world. What they may not know is that it’s become highly relevant across all industries for leaders and those aspiring to management and leadership roles – the go-to degree for management careers, so to speak.
The MBA and management go so well together, in fact, that, as the practical business school, the Australian Institute of Business (AIB) have an entry path for the MBA that’s specifically for managers and leaders – even those without an undergraduate degree or any previous study.
If you find this a little confusing at first, we don’t blame you! Traditionally, an undergraduate degree such as a Bachelor’s was required to be able to study a postgraduate qualification like the MBA. But now, we understand the value of the skills, qualities and experiences of those who have worked hard to reach management ranks and proven themselves as people managers, strategic leaders and experts in their field.
That’s why, when choosing to study with AIB, your management experience can qualify you for entry into the online MBA. We take a closer look at what’s required to get into the MBA, why experience is so valuable and how the journey can differ between students with a prior degree and those without.
Let’s get real: What are the AIB MBA entry requirements?
To study the AIB MBA, applicants need to meet the minimum criteria for the first stage of the MBA – the Graduate Certificate in Management. There are three pathways, and students need only to meet one. They are as follows:
It is the first pathway that enables experienced managers and leaders, business owners, and those with significant technical experience to apply for the MBA without having previously earned a degree. A minimum of 3 years in a management role or business ownership is required, plus at least another 2 years of relevant work experience.
Although they’ve taken a different road to their degree-holding peers, the applicants that meet the requirements for this entry path have proven through their career progression that they have the in-depth expertise, interpersonal skills, strategic outlook, motivation and perseverance to build a career from the ground up, proving to us that they’re MBA-ready.
The other two entry pathways for the AIB MBA ask for a qualification such as an Advanced Diploma, Bachelor’s degree or higher, as well as relevant work experience. You’ll notice that work experience is a requirement across all pathways, and that’s because we believe MBA students need to have practical, hands-on experience to be able to conceptualise their learning in a practical manner and apply concepts to real-world scenarios.
Tips for making the most of your experience while studying the MBA:
- Apply what you’re learning in your workplace and test out new ideas.
- Chat with colleagues who are specialists in the subject you’re undertaking to gain greater practical context and diversity of thought.
- Base your assignments on issues you’ve faced and experiences from the places you’ve worked.
- Choose a workplace problem relevant to your function or industry for your final project.
- Form study groups to learn from the diverse perspectives of fellow students.
Do those without a previous degree struggle with the MBA?
The MBA is a Master’s degree, an AQF level 9 qualification, so it goes without saying that it’s a challenge for most MBA students, but not necessarily any more so for those who enter via their management experience. It’s a learning curve for all! That’s why study skills training and support for students throughout the degree is so important.
At AIB, the compulsory portion of this occurs in Orientation, which is an online course that all students complete before they can begin their first subject. In Orientation, as well as through the academic, administrative support and wellbeing support available to AIB students, those who haven’t studied before can ease into the MBA and build their study skills in areas like research, skim reading, academic writing, referencing, time management and more.
Support networks in your personal and professional lives will also be valuable throughout the MBA. From a personal perspective, getting your partner, kids and friends on board with your new study schedule, and being able to turn to them for some encouragement when you lack motivation, will be a big help. As will getting the support of your workplace, whether that be through a financial contribution to the course cost, annual leave or study leave, opportunities to learn and grow within the company, or simply for co-worker encouragement.
Without an undergraduate, will my MBA be accredited and recognised by employers?
Upon the completion of the MBA, students can officially add those three powerful letters to their name. As a Master’s degree, the MBA becomes a focal point on your resume and LinkedIn profile because of what it says about to you to employers – that you’re a driven, ambitious high-performer with advanced business expertise and leadership skills.
An undergraduate degree will never be of any less value when you have a postgraduate as well, but in the business world, your MBA will be the one that gets you noticed, enhances your professional credibility and your employability.
Most importantly, as long as you’re studying an accredited MBA through a registered higher education provider, your MBA will be recognised globally. Accreditation is one of the most important boxes to check when choosing an MBA as it validates the competence, credibility and integrity of the higher education institution and ensures that the course content, learning outcomes, faculty, course delivery and much more are of the highest standard.
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is the sole government body in Australia authorised to register institutions of higher education, including universities. When a degree is accredited by TEQSA – like the AIB online MBA - you can trust that it is compliant with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and is, therefore, credible and recognised.
Ready to take the first step in your MBA journey?
You can check your own eligibility for the AIB MBA today. Click here to start your journey!