The MBA for Career Change – What You Need To Know

Categories: Career & Development, MBA
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
The MBA for Career Change  – What You Need To Know

Whether it is a desired change in industry or role, a large portion of potential business school students look to the MBA to assist with a career change. They do so as the degree has a very strong reputation and is known to open doors in a number of different ways for its students and graduates. For some, career change is a moment where they decide that their role is not progressing as planned, and for others, it is unhappiness or the search for a greater challenge. Whatever your motivation is for change, the MBA can help get you there. See the below points to learn more about the connection between the prestigious degree and switching careers.

Career change is a primary motivator for the MBA

When considering the top motivators for pursuing the MBA, career change or a change in role is commonly indicated. While some find themselves unexpectedly motivated to change industry or role as a result of their study, many enter an MBA with a career change outcome in mind. This was the case with AIB MBA graduate Zoe Kammas, who shared, “I was motivated to study the MBA because of a change in my career. Coming from the aviation industry, I wanted to pursue human resources, so I specialised my MBA degree in human resources management”. Prior to starting her MBA, Zoe knew the new direction she wanted her career to take, and could therefore tailor her studies to do so. The new knowledge helped Zoe, and many others, to branch out and pursue a new field and role.

The MBA can open new doors

As a degree that gives students a holistic knowledge of business, the MBA can open new and exciting doors for its graduates as their comprehension of the business world and various industries broadens. Many use the MBA for career change unexpectedly as their new knowledge prompts them to consider new ventures. It exposes students to innovative ideas, and as such, can change the way they view their own career and future. Business school is an opportunity for students to focus on their professional development, and during the course of the programme they have plenty of time to consider long-term career goals.

In an article on The Globe and Mail, 28-year-old Carolyn Stark experienced exactly that as she started the MBA in one career, and left with an entirely new perspective. “When I first applied to the MBA, I didn’t necessarily know I wanted to go into consulting,” she said. Throughout the duration of her degree, she was exposed to a range of companies and discovered her talent for providing strategic advice. “That [MBA experience] was really valuable since I was making a big switch to get that exposure to different industries and different options,” she said.

Networking with your MBA is a must

When students commence the MBA, they may be perfectly happy in their role but are motivated by other reasons such as an increased salary or the desire for a formal qualification. Throughout the programme, students interact with Alumni from around the world and in a range of different industries. For the majority of students, they don’t network during the MBA for career change reasons, but rather to build valuable business contacts to assist them with their current roles. That being said, these interactions allow students to build relationships, and in turn it can often lead to new career opportunities. Contacts are formed in industries where students previously knew no one, and before they know it, they are pursuing a new venture.

What do you think?

Are you considering the MBA for career change reasons? Whether it’s through the application of new knowledge, or the establishment of new contacts, it is clear that the programme can assist greatly in this area. I’d love to hear from MBA graduates who have pursued a career change through their MBA – how did it work out for you and what advice do you have to current or potential MBA students?

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. 


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